by Jess Rubenstein
Gee there is a whole heck of a lot to talk about the Rangers these days don’t you think? I mean we have all these meaningful playoff games that both Slats and Junior Dolan promised up the Rangers would be in last January don’t we? There has been so much Ranger related stuff going on that one doesn’t know what he should be writing that is Ranger related these days and one gets buried trying to figure out what should be said.
Ok so I am being really sarcastic as I watch yet another playoff season without the Rangers involved in them. Thanks to the Rangers sarcasm and what moves us so-called experts think the team needs to make is all we really have to talk about these days. To tell the truth in my journey’s over the web and the various media outlets, I find that the majority of the folks really haven’t figured out what really the Rangers need to do this off-season.
The answer is really kind of easy as all one has to do is watch those remaining teams that are still alive in the NHL playoffs to see what really needs to happen for us to avoid the 7th year in a row without playoffs. It starts with team defense and ends with a structured team system. It has nothing at all to do with who should be hired as the coach or which player needs to come or go. Take a good look at how the playoff games have been played and you will see that I am right. As long as the Slat’s system is what the Rangers will use then no coach or player will fix the Rangers.
Don’t believe me then go look at all the various playoff stats and you will see the numbers will bear me out. Go watch some of the games and see what is winning or losing these playoff games. When one is seeing that the highest scoring team remaining in the playoffs is only averaging 2.82 goals a game (Dallas) then that has to be your clue as to realizing how wrong that Slats is for today’s NHL. When you look at the GAA average and see that top 5 teams are either below 2 goals a game or just barely over it then that too should be your clue as well.
Slats tells us that he believes that it is ok to win games 10-9, well as long as he continues to believe in that outdated and very foolish game plan then the Rangers will remain outside of the playoffs for a very long time. The playoffs this year are offering concrete proof that Slat’s vision for the Rangers is dead wrong and doomed to failure.
What lessons the Rangers should be learning from this season’s playoffs are the way teams come out with a game plan and stick with it. Teams will make the minor in game adjustments to their game plan but what you aren’t seeing is the Ranger style of one on one hockey. What you aren’t seeing is the Ranger wide open brand of hockey either as you are seeing close checking and hard work that is winning playoff games.
No matter what Slats believes and wants us Ranger fans to accept would get the Rangers blown totally out of the water in the playoffs. You aren’t seeing high scoring blowout games for the most part but rather close 1-2 goal games. No shootouts, no high scoring end to end hockey types of games have been showing up on the playoff menu. The Mighty Ducks had a streak of 8(7-1) one goal games broken last Saturday so that should tell you something about what is working since they have been playing 2 of the highest seeded teams in the first 2 rounds.
The bottom line is that while Slats is off in his summer house in Banff wondering who he will be able to sucker into taking the Ranger head coaching position (mark these words Slats will return as coach as nobody responsible enough wants the job) or how much more of the Dolan’s money he is going to spend on UFAs, the playoffs continue to go on without the Rangers yet once again.