by Patrick Hoffman on 04/23/13 at 09:17 PM ET
That is what New York Rangers' fans must be wondering after watching their favorite team lost to the Florida Panthers by a score of 3-2.
After scoring 18 goals in three games, the Rangers' offense came up one short tonight in Florida. Panthers' goaltender Jacob Markstrom was solid in making 36 saves and him and the rest of his team was able to survive a late Rangers' power play and a late Rangers' goal by Derick Brassard.
Even though the team had 36 shots on goal, many of them were not of the quality variety. To beat a goaltender like Markstrom, a player needs to be patient and look for the holes because when it comes to Markstrom, there is plenty of room to score goals as he came into tonight's game sporting a 3.26 GAA.
One Blueshirts' forward who seemed to struggle tonight was Carl Hagelin. Hagelin seemed lost and took just two shots on goal.
The Rangers' power play was also a let down. With little time remaining in the third period, the Rangers' had the man advantage and just could not generate a quality scoring chance. Come playoff time, assuming the Rangers get in, this kind of play will be unacceptable.
For the Blueshirts, this has to be a let down. Coming into tonight's tilt, the Panthers were the worst team in the league and yet, were able to grab two points from the Rangers tonight to keep the team team from clinching a playff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Luckily for the Rangers, the Washington Capitals were able to beat the Winnipeg Jets tonight to clinch the Southeast Division. With the loss, the Jets remain one point behind the Rangers in the Conference standings.
As Bill Pidto mentioned on the post-games show tonight, all the Blueshirts need to do is pick-up just two points. With two more games remaining in the regular season against the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils, one would think that this is an easy goal to accomplish.
Given tonight's performance, however, clinching a spot in the postseason is still not a given for the Rangers. Yes, the team has scored 20 goals in its last four games and yes, the Rangers have won three of those games but those things will not mean anything if they cannot get it done on Thursday night against the Hurricanes or on Saturday afternoon against the New Jersey Devils.
If the Rangers want to get into the playoffs, they need to start playing like a playoff hockey team. That kind of team simply was not there tonight for the Blueshirts.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, derick+brassard, florida+panthers, jacob+markstrom, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets
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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.