By Jon Gabrielle, NY Rangers correspondent
Less than a week ago after the Rangers hung 7 unanswered goals on the Columbus Blue Jackets, Vaclav Prospal, the Czech Republic native, uttered these words, “it just tells you the scoring is here.”
Really Vinny? If last night’s 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s any indication…perhaps not.
In fairness to the Ranger winger, he continued in the same vein, “we just have to find it on a consistent basis. It cannot be just one game.”
The Rangers are consistent…very consistent. In fact, aside from the Blue Jackets game, the team has scored only 12 even strength goals in their last 12 games.
So sorry Vaclav…it was just one game and it doesn’t tell me or any Ranger fan that the scoring is “here,” there or anywhere near Broadway!
Not so long ago head coach, John Tortorella said, “we cannot continue to score one goal a game and expect to win in this league.”
But the Rangers are scoring one goal a game as they did in Sunrise, Florida Wednesday night against the Panthers….and they did win. Albeit 2-1 in a shootout, thanks largely once again to their all-star netminder Henrik Lundqvist. The pressure and stark reality for the Swede is that he has no margin for error and has to basically “pitch” a shutout every time he takes to the ice.
After the Panther game, Tortorella said, “I thought we played well in all facets of the game.”
“All facets of the game, coach?” Perhaps a win, any win, has a way of blinding even the brightest coaches? His teams offensive woes must be wearing on him behind the stoic facade.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Rangers, in their last 125 minutes over the course of two games…and have zero 5 on 5 goals.
Another game without even a single even strength goal.
How long will this team continue to look ike Tom Renney’s of last year? That Ranger team scored by far the lowest of any playoff team, 210 goals, as well as ranking 26th in the 30 team league.
When and where will the scoring come from? And more importantly…which Ranger team is this? John Tortorella’s team that started the year 7-1 or the offensively anemic team we have witnessed since?
As the Rangers hover near the playoff bubble nearly a third of the way through this season, the answers need to come quickly. Because their coach is absolutely right. The Rangers cannot expect to win scoring one goal a game in the NHL.
Even if your goalie’s name is, “King Henry!”