I just had the double-edged fortune of watching my Broadway Blueshirts play live, this time against the Sharks in San Jose. Well, that didn’t go so well.
This was one of those classic NY Rangers games where, despite a herculean effort by Henrik Lundqvist to keep the team in the game, they refuse to do the necessary work. One of those classic Ny Rangers games where, despite being paid over $7 million in annual salary, Rick Nash contributes absolutely nothing. And the other overpaid, washed up superstar, Eric Staal, is just as worthless.
The Sharks had a season high 52 shots while we had 26. You will not win games if you cannot play effective offense. You cannot win games if your goaltender has to do everything because your defense will not engage. We were supposed to be favored in that match-up. The Sharks fans around us had an epic time and I don’t blame them.
There is a troubling trend of shifty defensive play that has been going on for a while now, but people are not calling it out enough. There is a big problem when we are spending this much money on the Defenders of this team, but they cannot be trusted to actually play defense. Dan Boyle is pulling down over 4 million, and he hasn’t been defensively reliable since he arrived. Yandle as well. Staal lacks any kind of grit, and Girardi… nobody wants to pay $5.5 million for his usual stat line (this game was a kinda normal -1, 2 hits, 1 block, 3 giveaways, 1 takeaway).
I was able to take a couple positives from what I saw. Our most overrated youngster, Kevin Hayes, continues to see smaller time on ice, which should continue to mostly benefit us. Hayes, while possessing great size and reach, plays a very small and very slow style of hockey that is often unsuited for playing against non-mediocre teams. We also saw good faceoff numbers from Stepan (79%) and Brassard (58%).
We’re sitting in 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division standings, once again on a course for playoff anticlimax. Unless, of course, people getting paid $5 million+ care to remind us why?