Game #36 Bad luck costs Rangers in latest loss to Blue Jackets in overtime

When you’re struggling to win hockey games, things tend to go against you. That’s precisely what happened to the Rangers in a undeserved 4-3 overtime loss to the mediocre lackluster Blue Jackets at MSG.

The first game following the Christmas break was very frustrating. If you caught the postgame interviews of Kevin Hayes and Henrik Lundqvist with MSG lifer John Giannone, their dejected looks and reactions told the story. It sucked. Normally, I don’t use that word to describe a loss with a young team. But I’m being brutally honest here.

Shame on the linesmen for a totally unfair draw that led to the Jackets’ only scoring chance resulting in Zach Werenski tying the game up. It was an absolute joke. The puck never even dropped to the ice, giving Hayes no chance. Before you knew it, Columbus took full advantage when Werenski had his lucky shot deflect off Marc Staal by Lundqvist. It was infuriating.

I’m a little fed up with the NHL and what passes for the current rule book. Even penalizing defensive players for icing pucks is starting to annoy me. There was a ridiculous shift in the second period where Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith got stuck out for 2:05. All due to this dumb rule the NHL instituted for more artificial offense. With goals way up, what’s the point of forcing the same five skaters to stay out for a defensive faceoff? The Rangers had the long change, and Smith couldn’t get off the ice. He was near out of breath twice by the bench after icings. It shouldn’t be.

Now, let’s get to the very tacky offside challenge. I understand the reason they have it. The four officials aren’t perfect. They do miss things. But some of these challenges are like grasping at straws. You have the refs and linesmen huddled up trying to tell if a player’s skate was up or flat while looking over a small iPad. It’s ridiculous. This is what passes for hockey now. It slows games down to a crawl and frustrates most fans. I bet if you took a poll, most would vote for getting rid of it. What’s the point of having the human element as part of sports if you’re gonna review everything? I’ve had ENOUGH!

As far as I’m concerned, the NHL can go fuck themselves. The games are no longer fun. When a good third period changes due to a silly offside challenge that negates a Ryan Strome goal off a nice feed from Vladislav Namestnikov, it’s ridiculous. That would’ve made the score 4-2. The way Columbus played, it would’ve been justified. The Rangers far outplayed them with John Tortorella letting his bench have it after they all watched Brady Skjei skate through four players with Chris Kreider getting his second of the game for a 3-2 Ranger lead.

It’s flat out embarrassing how bad the rules are. I feel exactly like the players do following that loss. The first period also sucked. MSG sounded like a library. That’s how it’s set up with a freaking wall blocking off the real fans upstairs from the bandwagon frauds downstairs. James Dolan built a wall which limits crowd noise and blocks fans from seeing the broadcast booth unlike the glory days. You can’t build a wall for illegals, but can separate fans in your own building at a game in the Big Apple. Who designed Madison Square Garden? That asshole Mayor.

Well, at least Vitali Kravtsov scored a goal and had an assist in Russia’s 4-0 win over Denmark at the WJC in Vancouver. Look for more on Hockey Prospects.


3rd 🌟 Michel Cormier

2nd 🌟 Derek Nansen

1st 🌟 Gary Bettman

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of Hudson administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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