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Rangers look to rebound against the Sabres; Hellberg to backup Lundqvist, not Raanta

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Following an awful defensive effort against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Rangers (31-18-1) will head to Buffalo to take on the Sabres (20-20-9) in a nationally televised game.

The Rangers lost 6-4 to Columbus in their last start, not getting great goaltending but most importantly, suffering another defensive meltdown. Turnovers, poor puck management and more plagued the team yet again, yet Alain Vigneault will be rolling out the same defensive pairings tonight.

The Sabres also lost their last start, a 5-2 loss at the hands on Montreal. Dmitry Kulikov scored his first as a Sabre and Brian Gionta scored his 12th of the season, but that was after they were down 5-0. Like the Rangers, Buffalo is 5-5-0 in their last 10 games. Read the rest of this entry

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Rangers show no effort in 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The first game of 2017 was an absolute dud for the Rangers (26-13-1), showing minimal effort and playing a poor all-around game and falling to the Buffalo Sabres (14-15-8) by a final score of 4-1.

The Rangers were flat from the start, and never got anything really going whether it was offensively or defensively. They never recovered from early penalties and early goals against, getting totally outplayed and outworked by the Sabres, who were without some key players in their lineup.

There were some similar struggles for the Rangers, mostly the fact that they were losing one-on-one battles defensively in front of the net and along the boards, and that they struggled to move the puck through the neutral zone. Everything was off and the Rangers never recovered. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers begin the new year against the Sabres at MSG; Nash and Buchnevich back to practicing

Bobby Bevilacqua

JT Miller protecting the puck 12-1.jpg

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After a successful two game road trip, the Rangers (26-12-1) head back to Madison Square Garden to take on the Buffalo Sabres (13-15-8), the first of two games over the next two days before heading to Philadelphia tomorrow.

The Rangers took care of business last week, beating the Arizona Coyotes and the Colorado Avalanche, two games they were supposed to win. The game against Arizona was a lot closer than it should have been, but they beat the Avalanche handily in their next game, scoring six goals. Now with games against the Sabres and the struggling Flyers over the next two days, the Rangers have a chance to secure some points before the league mandated bye-week.

The Sabres dealt with some injuries to start the year, but it’s been a pretty disappointing start considering some of the signings they made this offseason. Buffalo enters the game tonight with the worst record in the Eastern Conference, and are just 1-4-2 in their last seven games. Read the rest of this entry

The Rangers’ brutal possession is a problem, and it starts on defense

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Dan Girardi had one of the worst games of his career in last night’s game against the Sabres. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Last nights loss against the Buffalo Sabres was yet another brutal game, continuing a stretch of poor play in recent weeks that is very telling about the true nature of the New York Rangers team.

The performance last night was poor in many aspects. Henrik Lundqvist played his worst game in years. Many of the forwards were lackluster, having little to no impact on the game. The defensive coverage was atrocious at times, with a few players especially standing out.

But a huge problem this team has is their corsi, or their possession numbers. I know a lot of people write off analytics and won’t acknowledge it as a way to evaluate a team, but it truly helps in this situation. Corsi and possession are literally just tracking shot attempts. If a certain player or the whole team is getting buried and shelled with shots, chances are they are not playing well. It just quantifies what you’re seeing on the ice. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers blow late lead in a disappointing loss to the Buffalo Sabres

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The Rangers (16-8-1) saw their team fall apart, giving up two late goals and blowing a lead against the Buffalo Sabres (9-9-5), dropping their fifth game in their last eight contests.

Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash and Marc Staal combined to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead after two periods, but it all eventually fell apart. Jack Eichel, in his second game back from injury, scored two big goals, including the game winner.

It was a game the Rangers never really should have won, because they were outmatched for the majority of the game. It was another concerning showing from the Blueshirts, one that has now become a pattern. Read the rest of this entry