Am I the only person who thinks the main story with the Rangers 6-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators is not the blown delay-of-game call with 2:55 left in the third period?  I guess I  must not be getting it or I watched a different game.  The story is not about how the Rangers gallant comeback was derailed by four officials.  The story of this loss is about 20 players who did not earn their paychecks for two-thirds of a hockey game.

Okay, I know I am taking the glass-is-half-empty outlook but, in reality, what other outlook should we take?

Coming off their fourth straight loss to the New York Islanders, the Rangers responded to coach Tom Renney’s verbal lashing with indifference.  Losing is part of the game.  Playing like you don’t have a care in the world is a different story – and that is the story of the Rangers loss.

Jed Ortmeyer had it partially correct when he spoke to Sam Weinman of the “Journal News” following the game.

“‘You learn something from every loss, and this is something we have to keep in the back of our minds that we can come back when we’re in that situation,’ said forward Jed Ortmeyer, who had two assists in the final period. ‘But we don’t want to be in that situation to begin with, either.’”

In order to really hit home the point, Ortmeyer needed to address the part about not being in that situation FIRST and then add that the team learned something from the loss.

However, did they really learn anything from that loss?

The Rangers’ season has been one big rollercoaster ride after another.  There is the hot streak followed by the inevitable losing streak.  The only consistent thing about the Rangers this season has been their inconsistency.  While that is sometime common for middle-of-the-pack teams like the Rangers, what is not common is the number of times the Rangers have appeared to phone in games.  That is a practice that must stop.

It would be real easy to put all of the blame Renney or Glen Sather.  Granted, they do share some of the blame for continuing to give ice time to players who are ineffective, but the bottom line is that the players must step up.

Wolf Pack goaltender Steve Valiquette might have hit on the Rangers problems when describing how the Wolf Pack have rebounded from a disastrous start to the season.

Valiquette told Bruce Berlet of the “Hartford Courant”, “But it’s also a credit to the players to be willing to learn and be able to accept things. We’re fortunate to have those kinds of players because if you don’t have that, then what do you have? You just have coaches who are talking to the wall….”

Perhaps it is time for Messers Renney and Sather to dig down to their farm system for a couple of those players who are willing to learn and accept things.  It would definitely serve as a wakeup call to those Ranger players who insist on sleepwalking through parts of games.

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