If the Rangers lose two games to the Capitals before they win four, I want Henrik Lundqvist traded. Not because Henrik Lundqvist isn’t good or because the Rangers’ failures are his fault or because I don’t like him, but because Henrik Lundqvist deserves to be traded because he deserves better.
Lundqvist stood on his head for 68 minutes on Saturday until a stupid Ryan McDonagh delay-of-game penalty and a Mike Green slap shot did him in. The Rangers lost Game 2 on that goal and now trail the Capitals 2-0 in the series and if they don’t win on Monday night at Madison Square Garden they might as well pack up the locker room and we’ll see you in October because only three NHL teams have come back down 3-0 in a series to win and this Rangers team isn’t going to be the fourth one.
One goal. That’s what the Rangers have produced in 128 minutes of playoff hockey. One goal. It’s embarrassing and would seem impossible for a team that boasts Rick Nash, but that is what this team has been about since John Tortorella took over in the middle of the 2008-09 season no matter the personnel. They are a streaky scoring team and when they go into one of these slumps or funks, there’s no telling when they might score again. To Rangers fans, offensive slumps are basically winters in Westeros: everyone fears them and no one knows how long they will last.
Offensively, the Rangers aren’t unlucky, snake-bitten or getting bad bounces. They are a bad offensive team, who not only can’t out the puck in the net, but can’t even put the puck on net. The Rangers managed just 24 shots in Game 2, minimal legitimate scoring chances and Braden Holtby told the media after the game that it was “an easy night” for him.
John Tortorella was short and snippy with the media after Game 2 and bluntly said, “Create more offense” in one of his answers to a question that should have been worded, “How do make your team suck less?” The media deserves to feel the wrath of Tortorella because it’s their fault that his team has scored one goal in 128 minutes, and I’m sure everyone with a Rangers press pass wants to watch Tortorella’s losing system for a living.
Here are the goals through games on Sunday for playoff teams.
San Jose: 11
New York Islanders 8
St. Louis: 4
Los Angeles: 3
New York Rangers: 1
There’s not much else to add about a 1-0 loss for a team that can’t score. Win on Monday and get back in the series or bring cardboard boxes with you to the Garden on Wednesday night.