I wondered out loud on Twitter how the Rangers would react to the absence of their captain, Ryan Callahan. It was the second bit of adversity they'd face this season, the first being the third game of the season after dropping the first two.
Of course the Rangers are a better team with the captain on the ice, any idiot (including me) would know that. Perhaps it's what makes his presence so important, his heart that the Rangers seemed to leave in the locker room. I for one expected a lot more heart in his absence. It wasn't just the stupid penalties and it wasn't the deflected goals against....it was the lack of intensity. It was the lack of heart. Perhaps without the Captain there's not enough to go around.
I'm not suggesting that the rest of the players don't care or didn't try. What I am saying is that, that extra "thing" that gives one team the edge over another was missing tonight. Cally displays that extra "thing" with his every shift. It's why he was selected captain of the team. He personifies what coach Tortorella asks this team to be night in and night out. Win or lose, if that's on display you don't hear him or me complain. It was not on display tonight and that bothers me. It bothers me a lot for several different reasons.
Do I really need to explain?
The Pens have beaten the Rangers 6 consecutive times. They beat us in the second game of this season. The Pens have been that damned thorn for a while now. That in itself should have been enough motivation. Add to that that the Pens were ripe for the taking. They are not playing all that well. The Islanders beat them the other night because of that. The only reason they won tonight is that they are chock full of talent and that's what got 'em the win. It's not like they won because of the way they played...not at all.
Look, I'm not saying this team has no heart. What I'm saying is that they didn't display it tonight and that's frustrating. I can't think of any reasons why they didn't bring it. Can you?
Go ahead, ask Torts.....he'll tell ya I'm right. It'll be a long season if the Rangers can't get this addressed and I'm quite sure that the coach will be having a hell of a chat with the team before they hit the ice in Tampa. That's a team that keeps on coming at ya and if the Rangers aren't going to go to war it'll be another loss.
Aw hell, I need to calm down.........and down a beer. Perhaps I just just need to read a few more tweets from Jen who made me laugh on twitter tonight. Keep 'em coming Jen, I really appreciate it.