Rangers swept in season series verses Islanders (but who cares)
The Rangers won this installment of “epic tank battle” in a slowed down version of NYI-NYR. The Isles took this one by a final score of 4-1. Oh no… what ever will we do?
This makes the Rangers path to the first wild card spot markedly clearer, which is good! Losing to the Islanders sucks, but in this case we could care less. The regular season hasn’t mattered in two years. This team is going to be judged by performances in May and June, not April.
The Rangers had a good first period and controlled play for the most part. There was not a noticeable lack of effort. Although I suspect they missed some open corners of twine intentionally, but that’s just me.
The Isles would go on to score three late second period goals. It was more than they’d need in this one. The Rangers controlled play and won the offensive zone time battle by a wide margin, but Greiss was good enough and kept the Rangers off of the scoreboard.
I have questions about the Rangers real determination in this game. Going into the second period they HAD to know Pittsburgh was up 2-0 on Washington. A Pittsburgh win would’ve taken the two seed out of the picture. That’s not to say the Rdogged it all night— they actually played well. It was clear when Antti Raantta came out to start the third period that AV was okay with the L on this night.
It’s unclear whether the Rangers had plans to not give 100% from the start tonight. Playing Florida instead of Pittsburgh is a good thing, and there is no debate here. It’s probably the easiest road for the Rangers to take to the Finals, which is important. The 1994 Stanley Cup Champion Rangers didn’t have to go through either of the powerhouses in the East at the time. The got to the Stanley Cup Final without having to face Detroit or Pittsburgh. In 2014, the Rangers played an upstart but mediocre Flyers team, a Penguins team with defensive and goaltending issues, and the Habs without Carey Price—easy as it’ll get.
There is nothing wrong about acknowledging the difference between the two potential first round matchups. Pittsburgh is playing like the best team in the NHL. The Panthers are good, but they are a young team getting their first taste at real playoff hockey. They’d be favorites against Florida, it’d be a coin flip at best against Pittsburgh.
If the Rangers do want to get relegated to the first wild card slot, they’re making the right choice. They play one more game before the real hockey starts—a Saturday afternoon matinee at the Garden vs. Detroit. The Red Wings will be playing for their playoff lives, tied in the standings with Boston, each team has one remaining game on the schedule.
Post game players went on record saying they had every intention to win the game and just couldn’t finish. Sure…
In any event, losing this game will be a blessing in disguise if they draw Florida in the first round.
The Rangers close out the regular season on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. against Detroit.
Posted on April 8, 2016, in Game Recaps and tagged Alain Vigneault, Brady Skjei, Casey Cizikas, Florida Panthers, Frans Nielsen, Henrik Lundqvist, Kevin Hayes, Kevin Klein, Madison Square Garden, MSG, New York Rangers, New York Rangers blog, NHL Playoffs, NHL standings, NYR, Pittsburgh Penguins, Rangers, Rangers blog, Rangers playoffs, Rangers vs Islanders, Thomas Greiss. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.