1. There is nothing positive that should be taken from this game. This cannot be viewed as a look at the Rangers’ resiliency or battling through adversity and nearly completing a comeback. There should be no positive light shed on this game, and it needs to be treated as it was – a disaster.
The Rangers were manhandled by the Stars for 40 minutes, and they looked absolutely lost on the ice. They were outshot 27-15 and surrendered seven goals. Henrik Lundqvist was not at his best but there were consistent defensive issues from the defensemen and the forwards, which did not help at all. The Rangers woke up for the third period and the Stars went into a defensive shell, which explains the 25-4 shot advantage from New York in those 20 minutes. Winning one period but looking pathetic for the other two does not warrant any praise. Treating this game as anything other than a failure would be to ignore the many, many problems that this team has.
2. To emphasize, this team has many, many problems. There needs to be a change, or many changes, but not at forward. It’s not a coincidence that the scoring has gone up with the return of Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich. This is the best, most complete forward group that the Rangers have had in quite some time and it’s a group of forwards that could win a Stanley Cup. Read the rest of this entry
It’s been addressed many times before, but there’s going to be quite a lot of changes this offseason for the Rangers. Alain Vigneault addressed it on breakdown day, and some of the players alluded to it as well.
This team as it stands has a lot of problems. There was the rapid decline of some of the players, seemingly a lack of a full 60 minute effort from the players on a consistent basis, and what Vigneault described as a “puck-moving problem.” All of that, coupled with the defensive breakdowns, atrocious penalty kill and lack of line chemistry was all evident in the team’s five game series loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round.
Part of the change the Rangers will experience will come in the form of a new lineup. There are A LOT of upcoming free agents, both RFAs and UFAs, and not a lot of salary cap space to sign all of them. Some tough decisions will have to be made, and it could potentially help shape the next era of Rangers hockey – for better or for worse. Read the rest of this entry
The Rangers were one minute away from walking into the locker room with a one goal lead after two periods in game three. Instead, Sidney Crosby deflected a puck over the outstretched leg of Henrik Lundqvist with 42 seconds remaining in the period to tie that pivotal game at one.
Pittsburgh would go on to win 3-1, take a 2-1 series lead and never looked back. Alain Vigneault called it the turning point of the series. Perhaps he’s right in some regard.
The Rangers season ended the second Crosby got a stick on that pass. Through a maze of ineffective Rangers penalty killers, Phil Kessel was easily able to make a pass to the best hockey player in the world, sitting wide open on the doorstep. It was a goal the Rangers couldn’t let up at that point in the game, series or season. Read the rest of this entry