What a difference a night makes, eh? Just 24 hours after getting absolutely shelled by the Maple Leafs for 5 goals against in the 1st period alone, the rejuvenated Rangers and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist shook it off and turned in a big-time performance, shutting out the visiting Montreal Canadiens, 2-0, in front of a raucous October crowd at Madison Square Garden Sunday night. Lundqvist made 34 saves, several of the spectacular variety, to post his first shutout of the season and a Ranger-record 62nd blanking of his storied NHL career on Broadway. 2nd year D-man Brady Skjei came away with the fortuitous game-winner when his sharp angle pass intended for Michael Grabner caromed off Habs goaltender Carey Price and defenseman Shea Weber late in the first period to give the Blueshirts a lead they never relinquished. Meanwhile, $5.4M man Mika Zibanejad – now 2nd in the NHL in goals (4) and 1st in PPGs (3) – continued his amped-up play as the team’s new #1 center by snapping home a beautiful behind-the-net pass from sophomore linemate Pavel Buchnevich to seal the win in the 3rd period. Read the rest of this entry
To say that Kevin Klein’s season has been a disaster is an understatement.
Last night was another awful game for the veteran defender, continuing his shocking regression from the last two seasons. Sure he scored a goal, his first of the season, but Klein is not here for his slap shot. The defensive part of his game this season has been a mess, and that’s what’s really important.
Poor puck management on the blue line is a continued problem 50 games into the season, and there’s really been no effort to try and change things up to improve transitions, breakout, and puck management. The same problems pop up every game and they are the main reason for why the Rangers have come up short in their losses. Read the rest of this entry
It’s no secret that for a large portion of the season, the defense has been the biggest issue for the Rangers. Sure, it’s been better over the last week or two, but the defensive deficiencies and inability to make three balanced pairings has been the biggest source of problems so far.
To recap: Dan Girardi hasn’t been much better than last season, Kevin Klein has been far worse than last season, and the other players haven’t been spectacular either. Ryan McDonagh has done his best to carry this team, but has had some bad games and is often dragged down when partnered with Girardi and Klein. Holden has been a steadying force, Staal is okay and Skjei has had an encouraging rookie season with the expected rookie mistakes and growing pains.
Regardless of what you think about the defensive corps, which also includes Adam Clendening, the bottom line is that they haven’t been able to get the job done on a consistent basis and have cost the Rangers more games than they’ve won. With Marc Staal out, the Rangers have been able to test out Clendening and while we’ve seen some good things from him, he’s not the solution to their problems. Read the rest of this entry
After an overtime win on the road against Detroit, the Rangers (30-16-1) are back at home to take on the Los Angeles Kings (22-20-4), closing out a back-to-back series and aiming for their third straight win.
The Rangers picked up their league-leading 17th road win of the season with a 1-0 overtime win against the Red Wings, with JT Miller scoring the only goal of the game. Henrik Lundqvist made 21 saves for his second shutout of the season, marking his 20th win of the year and making him the first goalie in NHL history to start his career with 12 straight 20 win seasons.
The Kings have not fared as well lately, and this season, dealing with some injuries, a struggling offense and inconsistencies. They’ve lost their last three games and are three points out of a playoff spot. This is the second game of a five game road trip, and they play nine of their next 10 games on the road. Read the rest of this entry
It was a slow game with not a lot of action, but the Rangers (30-16-1) picked up a shutout overtime win on the road against the Detroit Red Wings thanks to another game winning goal from JT Miller and a strong effort from Henrik Lundqvist.
The teams combined for a total of 40 shots through almost 62 minutes of play, but neither team was able to keep up sustained pressure for large portions of the game. The Red Wings had their best chances in the first period, but Thomas Vanek hit the post and Henrik Lundqvist made a nice glove save on Anthony Mantha. The other prime opportunity for Detroit came in the third period, where Henrik Zetterberg hit Lundqvist’s mask with his shot in the slot.
In overtime, the Rangers capitalized on a Red Wing falling in the neutral zone, giving Mats Zuccarello and JT Miller a two-man breakaway. It’s worth noting that Brady Skjei started the play with an outstanding breakout and pass off of the boards. Zuccarello faked a shot, froze Jared Coreau and passed it off to Miller for his 16th goal of the season and his fifth game winning goal. Read the rest of this entry