For the Rangers, Every Loss Means the Sky is Falling

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The good news for the New York Rangers is that they played 20 minutes of near-perfect hockey against a team that has a host of bona-fide superstars and is desperate for every point to remain in the playoff hunt. The bad news is that the hockey game was 60 minutes long. Some costly turnovers and poor defensive structure in the second half of the game allowed the Tampa Bay Lightning to prevail, 6-3.

Predictably, Rangers Universe is reading the tea leaves of this potential first-round playoff matchup (if the regular season ended today), and it is…not good. For the fans of bubble teams who sweat every single minute of the regular season while looking enviously at the Rangers and their secure playoff spot, let me assure you that the view from the top is not all it is cracked up to be.

Every period of hockey, every shift it seems, is subject to the same level of scrutiny as those on-the-bubble teams, with the added vinegar of believing that anything less than a Stanley Cup in this dreamlike season will have been a waste. Tuesday’s thrilling victory against the Eastern Conference darling Florida Panthers, the one that many were calling the Rangers’ most complete performance to date, was forgotten in 30 minutes of hockey against a perennial Cup contender in need of all the points they can wrangle.

What is a level-headed fan or analyst to think? Today, the “Mika Zibanejad is not a top center” diatribes are back after a two-day respite. The fourth line is awful without the player no one had heard of two weeks ago, and the heretofore lauded third line is garbage. The sky is falling this morning in Ranger-land, and the Chicken Littles are everywhere.

What does one game in an 82-game season even mean? Especially late in the season, with one team having secured a spot in the playoffs and the other very much on the bubble. How are we to parse the collapse of the defensive structure and the turnovers, oh, the turnovers?! When is a loss more than a loss?

Answers are hard to come by this time of year, with so much still to be decided. Complicating matters is the expectation that the Rangers are primed to make a long playoff run. Bearing the weight of expectation is a challenge that many teams are facing this year. Right, Devils fans? Sabres faithful? Not to mention fans of the very team that the Rangers played last night, the Lightning. Every team has their cross to bear, it would seem.

For the Rangers, the eight-game schedule in 13 days may be just the tonic the team needs. Another opportunity to wildly swing back to “Cup Watch” mode awaits on Saturday, another on Sunday. Regardless, it seems that the Rangers are in for a long Spring…unless they can find a way to win every single game. Sometimes, the view from the top isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Guest Jack : Playoffs on the Horizon Ranting Rangers: A New York Rangers Podcast

In this weeks episode Jack comes on to breakdown this Rangers team, with the playoffs being less then 2 weeks away.For more from us, visit Inside The RinkHow to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITRThanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Guest Jack : Playoffs on the Horizon
  2. All Time High Vibes
  3. Guest Josh Khalfin
  4. The Encouraging but Injury Concerning Backend
  5. Guest Tyler McGillick

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