The New York Rangers came into this game knowing that it could be a preview of the first round matchup of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they didn’t play like it was. A lackluster effort, combined with Lundqvist not being on top of his game sent the Rangers off the ice with a 4-1 loss. The Canadiens swept the season series with the win.
After a strong start to the first period, the Canadiens took a 1-0 lead a little over half the period in. Off a faceoff, Shea Weber took a shot that was deflected in front by Adam Clendening. The original shot was going wide, but Clendening accidentally deflected it past Lundqvist.
The Canadiens had a second quality chance with about five minutes left in the opening period. The puck trickled behind Lundqvist and in, but the whistle had already blown, so it stood only at a 1-0 lead. Read the rest of this entry
Following a loss in their first game out of the bye-week, the Rangers (28-14-1) are on the road to close out their back-to-back series when they take on the Montreal Canadiens (26-11-6) for the first time this season.
The Rangers were sloppy in the 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs last night, with some poor defensive coverage and decisions as well as some shaky goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist. Chris Kreider and JT Miller scored to make it closer, but Toronto had control of the game from the early stages.
The Canadiens were dominated in their last game, a 7-1 loss at the hands of the Minnesota Wild. Carey Price allowed all seven goals and it continued a trend of the team getting scored on a lot lately. Montreal has allowed four goals against in each of the last three games, and they’ve surrendered 21 goals in the last five games. However, their nine point lead atop the Atlantic Division makes things a bit more comfortable for them. Read the rest of this entry
It’s been extremely tight in the Eastern Conference, and in a tight push the playoffs, the Rangers recognize how important these points are. John Giannone mentioned before the game that Stepan said the Rangers just want to enjoy the games and play them with passion. They did exactly that, winning big over the Canadiens by a final score of 5-2.
And on a night where both the Islanders and the Penguins picked up wins, tonight’s win was crucial. The Rangers remain four points ahead of Pittsburgh and five ahead of the Islanders.
Just three minutes and four seconds into the game, Keith Yandle recorded his 38th assist of the season as JT Miller gave his team the lead with the game’s opening goal. Derek Stepan took a hit to make a play, and was able to make the pass to Miller to send him flying up the ice. He put the puck on his backhand and slid it past Condon for his 21st goal of the season. Read the rest of this entry
After securing two solid home-ice wins this week, the Rangers (42-24-8) are back on the road for one game, taking on the Montreal Canadiens (34-35-6) at the Bell Centre, one of the toughest stadiums to play in the NHL.
Most years, this would be a battle between two playoff teams. But the Canadiens have had to deal with injuries, a falling out between players and coaches and lackluster play, putting them in the midst of one of their worst seasons in recent history. Carey Price hasn’t played since November and that definitely hurt the Canadiens, but that injury shouldn’t affect the play of everyone else.
The Rangers are in a much better position than Montreal, winning their last two games and having the Penguins and Islanders lose on their off-days. Both teams have a single game in hand, and the Penguins and Islanders are four and five points behind the Rangers, respectively. With just eight games to go for the Blueshirts, every point is important. Read the rest of this entry
Welcome back to Quick Hits, a series where I talk about anything and everything around the NHL. The NHL is approaching the halfway mark of the season, and there are some really interesting storylines. The Panthers are in first place in the Atlantic, the Ducks are one of the worst teams in the league, and the Canadiens can’t win without Carey Price.
If there’s anything you want me to talk about in the next edition of Quick Hits, leave it in the comments section below.
The Florida Panthers are legit
Before the season started, I predicted that the Panthers would make the playoffs as a wild card team. I didn’t foresee the Canadiens falling off without Carey Price, or the Lightning struggling, or Detroit playing around .500 hockey.
So to the surprise of just about everybody, it’s the Florida Panthers that lead the Atlantic Division. Dave Tallon has constructed a team with an excellent blend of youth and veteran leadership, constructed through the draft and some smart offseason acquisitions. Read the rest of this entry