Rangers analyst suggests chances of winning the Stanley Cup are diminishing: ‘It’s time for a players-only meeting’

New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) warms up before a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Fans who stayed up late to watch the New York Rangers Thursday night are probably regretting their decision, as the Blueshirts once again collapsed in a game that should have been an easy victory. It’s not surprising at this point that the team took another beating, as this 5-1 blowout loss puts the Rangers at 4-5-1 in their last 10 games.

Following this defeat, Rangers analyst Steve Valiquette broke down these recent struggles during the postgame show on MSG Network. Based on his analysis, he appears to believe that the Blueshirts are losing their status as Stanley Cup contenders. 

Valiquette says it’s time for the Rangers to hold a players meeting

Something has gone seriously wrong for the Blueshirts, and Valiquette has suggested that the players need to address it immediately. He explained what is considered “the spine of the team” — the center ice position, the defensive position, and the goalie- and how all three were off their game against Vegas.

“It’s time for a players only meeting.”

Steve Valiquette of MSG Network h/t @welcometorangerstown on Instagram

Valiquette did not shy away from calling out Igor Shesterkin during his post-game analysis, claiming that the Rangers’ goaltender has been outplayed in six of the nine games of 2024 thus far. He’s not wrong on this matter, as there has been a significant decline in Shesterkin’s play over the last few weeks. It isn’t the only problem, however, as the entire team has failed to look like a legitimate contender for a long time.

The Rangers’ chances of winning the Cup are rapidly fading away

As Valiquette pointed out during the postgame show, teams that win the Stanley Cup typically only lose roughly 22-24 games per season. The Rangers are now at 16 after Thursday night’s blowout- a game that easily should have been won.

The Golden Knights were playing without seven of their regular players, and the Blueshirts were nearly at maximum strength minus Filip Chytil. The Rangers had the chance to capitalize on this advantage and steal a win on the road, but somehow, Vegas outplayed New York in practically every aspect of the game. 

As Valiquette pointed out, this was not a game that the Rangers should have lost. The Blueshirts’ lead in the Metropolitan Division has diminished to just two points, and assuming the race will stay close, this loss to Vegas will certainly have meaning down the line when playoff seeding becomes a point of discussion. 

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