The Rangers have hit a speed bump in their season, dropping three straight in ugly fashion to the Sabres, Jets, and Penguins. While losing to the Penguins is par for the course for the Eastern Conference, the Rangers had four points slip through their fingers against Winnipeg and Buffalo. While everyone is hellbent on blaming the coach, Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, Glen Sather, etc, let’s look at the real reason why the Rangers have hit this skid.
We have two goal breakdowns to look through from these games (we could not write one for Winnipeg, although I do remember how most of the goals were scored), and there’s a common trend in the goals the team surrenders. The Rangers are simply not fundamentally sound, and not winning the battles in the dirty areas. Those dirty areas are the boards and the front of the net.
Let’s start with Pittsburgh. The first goal the Penguins scored was because Taylor Pyatt lost a battle at the boards and failed to get the puck ...