The New York Rangers (43-31-5) lost to the Ottawa Senators (33-31-14) by the score of 3-2, last night. For a box score go to Yahoo! Sports.
…the first game home after a long road trip is always tough, so I wasn’t surprised to see the Rangers not have their “A” game, especially defensively. Someone needs to look up the record for worst shooting percentage in a season by an NHL team, because the Rangers have to be nearing historic lows. If they’re able to bury a few of their early opportunities that’s likely a different game.
…and that’s what happens when your team has the perception of being soft. Neil saw an opportunity to run Staal and knew either there wasn’t going to be a retaliation or he’d only have to worry about a guy like Zuccarello biting at his ankle. While it was nice to see the Hobbit and Pouliot finally coming to their teammate’s aid, it also presents the Rangers biggest problem. Without physically imposing players in the lineup, guys like Neil will never be deterred from attempting to the rough up the Rangers. Toughness doesn’t score goals, but it keeps the opposition from taking liberties with those players who do.
…and how disgraceful is Neil? Not only coming in high and hard on a guy with a history of concussions, but then waling on him in the head while the two or on the ice. I guess the code is lost on him. He’s exactly the kind of guy the Rangers are missing.
…got to the love when the smallest guy on the Rangers is the only one who realizes that it pays off to be around the net in the offensive zone. Also, Zuccarello’s playmaking ability is as good if not better than anyone’s in the league. Almost makes me want to forgive him for being on the ice for all three of Ottawa’s goals.
…so moving Boyle up to the third line not only didn’t magically get St. Louis to rediscover his scoring touch, it took away a lot of what made the fourth line so effective. To the point AV didn’t feel comfortable playing one of his biggest puck possession lines in the fourth period.
…AV’s next move to get St. Louis going has to be to get Richards as far away from him as possible.
…i’m not sure why every shot from the opposition isn’t glove side high on Lundqvist. While he’s gotten better, it’s truly his only weakness. You know, except for his stickhandling.
…since coming back from the concussion Moore has been very aggressive with his shot.
…listen, the Rangers are going to make the playoffs and likely avoid the dreaded Wild Card spot and a first round date with the Bruins, but they’re really missing the services of McDonagh and Kreider. The forward lines, which have been in flux since the St. Louis trade, have become even less stable since Kreider went down and without their number one defenseman the big defensive stands aren’t being made.
…off until Tuesday when the Rangers might have already backed into the playoffs and the Hurricanes are in town.
Post game talk…