2006_03_srangerslib.gifTom Renney sent the clearest wakeup call he could to his team, he benched his best goalie. The move worked to the degree that the Rangers played hard, but they didn’t win the game and after a 4-1 defeat find themselves two games from elimination.

Some will criticize Renney for panicking after the first game of the series, but Gothamist thinks he did about the only thing he could to motivate his team. With Jaromir Jagr, Darius Kasparitis and Jason Ward lost to injuries; the team could have been back on its heels and feeling sorry for itself. Instead, Renney gave them something else to think about; their lousy play cost Lundqvist his job.

It didn’t work and the coach has other things to fix now. Ozolinsh needs to be benched because he is costing the Rangers too much defensively. Nylander, Straka and Sykora need to elevate their games because they should be the best Rangers on the ice, not Betts, Hollweg and Ortmeyer. Most of all he needs to decide on a goalie for tomorrow night. Does he go back to Lundqvist or stick with Weekes? Weekes didn’t do anything to merit a demotion, but neither did Lundqvist. Playoff hockey returns to the Garden after nine years tomorrow night!