After a playoff clinching 4-2 victory over the Blue Jackets Monday night, the Rangers faced off for the first time at home against Tampa since Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last season. The Lightning have been playing without former Ranger, Anton Stralman, Victor Hedman, and top forward Steven Stamkos for a while, and the Rangers played without Ryan McDonagh. He is out indefinitely and will miss the rest of the regular season. In his absence, Brady Skjei and Dylan McIlrath saw ice time. Lindberg also replaced Hayes. They helped their team to an amazing come from behind 3-2 victory.
Tampa started out fast, as only 2:42 into the game, Namestnikov fed an open Andrej Sustr. He was wide in front of the net with absolutely no one on him. This is an example of the poor coverage the Rangers had to start out the game.
Shortly after, Tampa went on the power play. They had the worst power play in the League coming into this matchup, but they were able to convert on Brian Boyle’s deflection. Ondrej Palat took a shot that was saved by McIlrath’s skate. However, Palat got his own rebound, and Boyle’s stick deflected the shot past a misplaced Lundqvist for a two goal lead very early into the period. Read the rest of this entry
Four days ago, I wrote a speculative article about how the Rangers should go out and acquire the recently ousted Jonathan Drouin, who made his trade request public this week.
The day after that article went up on the site, the NY Post published an article that stated that the Rangers “are in big time” on Drouin, according to sources close to the paper and Larry Brooks.
Blueshirts’ GM Jeff Gorton first contacted Lightning GM Steve Yzerman when the Rangers were in Tampa Bay for last Wednesday’s 5-2 Rangers win. That conversation came before the trade request went public. Read the rest of this entry
In the offseason, the Rangers made a trade with the Anaheim Ducks in order to help manage against the salary cap. Fan favorite Carl Hagelin had his RFA rights traded to the Ducks, and Gorton got young prospect Emerson Etem’s rights.
Emerson Etem had been buried in Anaheim’s system for a while, and when he did play on the NHL team, he was usually relegated to the fourth line. A trade to the Rangers presented an opportunity for him to finally get his opportunity to breakout and cement his spot on an NHL roster.
But a horrible training camp and preseason set the tone for the season, and Etem has not impressed the team or management throughout the season. In 19 games this season, Etem has tallied just three assists and a minus four rating. Read the rest of this entry
The Rangers (21-13-4) looked to end their eight game road losing streak sating back to November 21st, and they succeeded. They controlled most of the play, despite a few penalties and skated off the ice victorious with a 5-2 win over the Lightning (21-13-4).
Coach Alain Vingeault sent a message before the game, benching young forward Kevin Hayes for his lack of performance. He expected more out of him to this point, and Hayes knows it, too. Maybe after being a healthy scratch last night he’ll recognize that he’s got to up his game to keep a spot on the roster.
The rest of the Rangers must have gotten a message because right off an offensive zone faceoff with just under two minutes into play, Keith Yandle made a great pass from the point to Dan Boyle, who was open at right circle. He didn’t hesitate as he slid the puck past Bishop to notch his fifth goal of the season and give his team a one goal advantage. This goal was also his third in the past five games, as he remains on a hot streak. Read the rest of this entry
Bobby BevilacquaThere are a lot of former contenders around the league struggling to live up to the lofty expectations set by the fans, the experts and reporters, and even the team itself. The Rangers (20-13-4) and the Lightning (18-15-4) are two of those teams.
Last year, the Rangers and Lightning squared off for seven games, battling for the title of Eastern Conference Champion. Things could hardly be more different now.
The Rangers have dropped to third in the Metropolitan Division behind Washington and the Islanders, winning just four of their last 16 games. Last year’s Presidents’ Trophy winners are struggling to score goals, losing their fundamentals, and failing to play the same style that helped give them so much success over the last two seasons. Read the rest of this entry