Coming into this game, the Rangers (22-14-5) knew how big a test this would be. A little over a month ago, the Capitals (31-7-3) were looking up at the Rangers, but now they’ve blown by them. After a blowout 6-2 win over the Dallas Stars, the Rangers lost to the Capitals in overtime in a heartbreaker, 4-3.
Both teams traded chances early in the game and allowed few scoring opportunities by clogging up the neutral zone. The Rangers had the best chance early on as Kevin Klein came from behind the net and slapped a shot up high but was denied by Holtby, who is now an impressive 19-0-2 in his last 21 starts.
The Rangers first power play was a good one. Boyle did a great job screening Holtby but they were unable to convert on their shot attempts. Read the rest of this entry
The Rangers (20-14-4) hit the halfway point of the season today and continue their three game home trip as they take on the Washington Capitals (30-7-3), currently holding a one point lead over the Dallas Stars for the President’s Trophy with one game in hand.
This is the third straight game where the Rangers will play one of the elite teams in this league, having been shut out by the streaking Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Florida, before bouncing back with a dominant 6-2 win over Dallas at MSG.
Now they must take on their division rivals, a team they’ve faced so many times before, a team that’s 11-1-1 in their last 13 games, and a team looking for their 31st win in the first half of the season win. Two consecutive wins over the Stars and Capitals could be a turning point of this season, so the Rangers must be at their best tonight. 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
This better be rock bottom, because I can’t imagine things getting much worse.
The Rangers (19-12-4) embarrassed themselves in one of the most disheartening losses of the year, surrendering six consecutive goals and blowing a lead to the Metropolitan Division leading Washington Capitals (24-6-2) in a 7-3 loss.
It’s become a tired narrative. The defense is bad from the forwards and defensemen, the team is blowing leads, the goaltending isn’t as good, and they keep finding ways to lose. It’s been happening for the last 14 games.
I don’t know how to explain it. They’ll have leads and score goals, play well for stretches, and then fall apart. The team is fragile, mentally and on the ice, and it seems like nobody has the answer as to why it’s happening. Read the rest of this entry
The Rangers need this win. Badly.
After weeks of subpar play, poor decision making, defensive lapses and countless turnovers, the Rangers (19-11-4) find themselves trying to stay afloat while dealing with injuries and confidence issues. But they’ll face arguably their toughest team in a while when the Capitals (23-6-2) roll into town.
After an okay start to the season, Washington has been nearly unstoppable lately, winning 11 of their last 13 games following a 5-2 comeback win over Tampa Bay that saw the Caps erase a 3-0 deficit. They’ve jumped out to a commanding lead in the Metropolitan Division, sitting six points ahead of the Rangers with three games in hand.
On the contrary, the Rangers can’t seem to do much of anything right. A brief two game road trip amounted to no points, with back-to-back 5-2 losses to Minnesota and Winnipeg. They have just one win (1-4-1) in the last six games, and only three (3-8-2) in the last 13 games. Read the rest of this entry