I'd like to take you back to last June for a moment. In an interview with Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Mark Messier divulged his thoughts on a what he believed the Rangers needed to do that offseason in order to win a Stanley Cup.
"…teams that win the Stanley Cup get stronger as series move on, so for us this year the big thing is to add depth so we don’t have to use as many players as much as we did.
“The more depth you have, the less chance of wearing players down and having injuries.”
Depth. The ability to roll out all four lines, have them be effective in all three zones and spread the ice time around. The depth the team dearly coveted. The depth Glen Sather utilized to acquire Rick Nash. The depth the Rangers desperately needed when they traded Marian Gaborik midseason.
The depth that is severely lacking as the team faces an insurmountable 3-0 series hole against the Boston Bruins, who ironically, have incredible depth.
From the naked eye, the Bruins' bottom six of players is handedly outplaying the Rangers' top six of players. Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell, and Daniel Paille will never be confused with the GAG line. Their chemistry and ability to dominate in the offensive zone down low and along the boards, however, is something to behold.
The Rangers simply have no answer for it. It's also a marker of how deep and cohesive the Bruins run.
Everyone on this blog underestimated just how good the Bruins were. Yes, they play similarly to the Rangers and try to win games the same way. However, Boston has the right players and execution to deliver results. New York…simply does not. Keep in mind the Bruins have two rookies playing defense at the moment and playing well.
The Rangers? The farthest thing from cohesive at the moment. Examine their "fourth line." It's a mishmash of spare parts. A young player still in need of major development in Chris Kreider, a mercenary looking as if he's lost the ability to play hockey in Brad Richards and a watered-down version of Arron Asham. It's a bad combination and it has been exposed through three games.
The team is clamoring for Ryane Clowe and Marc Staal to return to give them a lift, but their injuries will most likely prevent them from playing another game this season. It's on the players remaining to find a way without reinforcements and, after their Game 3 performance, it's tough to find signs that the Rangers will find a way back.
The Rangers' depth has been an issue—one that will cost them a chance at a Cup this season.
Follow on Twitter @TheWrage. E-mail: Jwrabel9@hotmail.com