by Patrick Hoffman on 02/26/09 at 01:00 PM ET
I hope New York Rangers fans weren’t expecting the team to come out and fire in four or five goals last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs because if they were, they had to be disappointed.
In last night’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Leafs, the Rangers dominated the first 40 minutes of the game as they got to loose pucks, put pucks on goal, crashed the net for rebounds and played tight defense. However, due to John Tortorella’s attacking style, the team got tired and simply ran out of gas in the third period and the OT. This is obviously something that the team will need to adjust to if they want ot have any kind of success going forward.
As Tortorella mentioned in his post-game press conference, this team obviously has trouble finishing and it’s definitely hurting their confidence right now. When they get the chance to shoot it, it either gets blocked or they pass it off. They have pucks bouncing over sticks in front of the net, they’re hitting posts and they’re making every goalie look like the second coming of Patrick Roy.
Tonight, the team takes on the Florida Panthers it what will be yet another important game for the Blueshirts. The team currently sits in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 70 points, just two up on the Panthers and one behind the fifth place Montreal Canadiens.
If the team can learn to finish and keep on playing the same way defensively, they should be in good shape come playoff time.
I hope that it’s just not me thinking positively though.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.