by Patrick Hoffman on 02/17/09 at 11:45 AM ET
With the way the New York Rangers are playing, it’s hard to believe that they still hold a playoff spot. Currently, the team is tied for the fifth place with the Montreal Canadiens in the tight Eastern Conference.
The truth is that they really don’t deserve to be where they are right now. The team had the benefit of an easy schedule in the regular season, which allowed them to pick up a ton of points and build a solid cushion. Most fans and pundits alike figured that this cushion would be enough to help the team to solidify a playoff spot.
Unfortunately, they were wrong as the Blueshirts are currently up just five points over the ninth place Carolina Hurricanes, a lead that is quickly evaporating as the team continues to drop games left and right, much like they did this weekend with losses to the Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers and the St. Louis Blues.
Uh, Houston, we have a problem.
The team can’t score, hold leads, convert on the power play, prevent shorthanded goals and most importantly, close games out. This is a team that head coach Tom Renney has built on playing solid defensive hockey and right now, as much as it helps the club’s goals against average or hold them in games, it is killing their offense.
So, you ask, what needs to be done? Does the team need to bring up Sean Avery (if they can claim him off re-entry waivers) sooner rather than later? Does the club’s star players need to be benched? Does Renney need to be fired?
These are all important questions as the team heads into the stretch drive. Hopefully, we’ll know more about this team in the next two weeks.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: carolina+hurricanes, eastern+conference, florida+panthers, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, sean+avery, st.+louis+blues, tom+renney
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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.