Seems like only yesterday that the Rangers were riding high on
what seemed like a franchise-record five-game winning streak, but
then again just yesterday Bill Clinton was impeached.
Looks like the Blueshirts are truly feeling Wild Bill's pain or
at least that's the way they're playing. After a demolishing 7-4
loss at the hands of Toronto, the Rangers had rung up four losses
in five games, with only the ever-dangerous Calgary Flames
conquered in that stretch.
The trouble lies in the defense. The third pairing of newcomers
Stan Neckar and Chris Tamer has been nothing short of horrendous.
In the loss in Toronto, three shifts, three goals against. Tamer
totaled five shifts for the game and gave up four goals. Neckar
had nine shifts for the same outcome. Now you know why
Pittsburgh was so willing to throw in Tamer in the Petr
Nedved-Alexei Kovalev deal.
And the forwards aren't helping out either. Todd Harvey has
been hampered by a severely bruised thumb, but other than Adam
Graves and Mike Knuble, there hasn't been much forechecking or
Together with the fact that Mike Richter, understandably and
inevitably, succumbed to the weight of having to erase so many
mistakes in front of him, and you can see why they've lost four
out of five.
Coach John Muckler has screamed, yelled, and drilled them in
practice but has yet to see results. The day after the big loss
in Toronto he made them do sprints for 45 minutes without pucks.
"I just about died," Harvey said. "I think it was a little wake-
up call. We didn't talk about it much. We knew what was
And dropping in the standings a mere two weeks after you were