The Rangers have fallen into a late Winter slump that you knew was coming. It will hurt if they slide too far down the standings. Are the Rangers tired? The grinding, forechecking, shot-blocking game they have played for five months and 67 games must be factor. Mentally and physically the Rangers have expended a lot of energy getting where they are. Tortorella, the disagreeable one, is going to have to find a way to recharge their batteries.
Riding Henrik Lunqvist all season is not an option. Lundqvist came out sharp and his great early save put them on the right path. But, he can't stop them all, especially the wicked deflections.
Here's a quick hashtag recap of this heartbreaking loss:
#SluggoStart – Rangers come out a step behind, the new standard operating procedure.
#ShuffleMaster – John Tortorella's private 'handle' for himself. His gut just knows what to do and no line shall go unchanged.
#ArtyTheOneManParty – Artem Anisimov's slick goal, his 14th, in the first period was a pretty piece of work off of the assist from Mitchell.
#ScottsMiracleGoal – Planting John Scott in front of the other team's net and having him score a goal.
#OnTheForecheck – The Rangers had their forecheck going, but the Blackhawks did onto the Rangers one better.
#SameOld – Rangers powerplay went 0-3.
#McDonagh – Great game.
#Callahan – Still not at 100%. He was a -3 for the game. As goes the Captain, so goes the team.
#BackBreaker – Surrendering two goals in 1:02, after taking a lead in the 3rd.
#EmptyNetter – Again.
#BickelonBickell – Stu Bickel from the Rangers versus Bryan Bickell of the Blackhawks. The wrong Bickell came out on top.
#7GameHomeStand – From this Sunday, March 13th, versus the Islanders, to Friday, March 23rd, against the Sabres the Rangers play seven in a row at MSG.
#MarchofthePenguins – The Pittsburgh Penquins have won 8 in a row, 9 of their last 10, and are now only 4 points behind the floundering Rangers.