Oh the irony of it. The Rangers have stood up to some of the league’s toughest team. Ottawa. Philadelphia. the Islanders. It’s the weak teams the Rangers have problems with. The Atlantas. The Buffalos. The Pittsburghs.
Yeah. That’s right. The Rangers couldn’t hold off Pittsburgh. They dropped a must-win game 3-1. And did I mention Mario Lemieux didn’t play? And did I mention Pittsburgh skated into this game without a victory in 16 games. And did you know the Rangers needed to win this game to keep their playoff hopes alive?
It’s ridiculous. The Rangers are such a talented team, yet so lazy. Their best line tonight? The one with Alexei Kovalev? The one with Mark Messier? The one with Eric Lindros? Nope. Try the Ted Donato—Dan LaCouture—Sandy McCarthy. They were the only three guys working hard.
Everyone talks about salary around the league. The Rangers are proof that exorbitant salaries act as their own handicapper. Because the Rangers overpay so many players, the players don’t feel they have to work. So while just about every other team in the league spends less than the Rangers, just about every other team works hard. So the whole thing balances out.
The saddest thing about all this? There’s nothing the Rangers can do to get better. Who are they going to add? Gordie Howe? Superman? The Rangers are an amazing team. There’s very little that can be done to improve them. They’re just lazy as hell. But the skills and talent are all there. They’re more than there. No one knows how to tap it, though.
So for all practical purposes, the New York Rangers are about as threatening as the Penguins. Maybe even less so.
Salary and spending really mean nothing.