Rangers Vs. Canadiens: Montreal Typical

Bruce Bennett

Notes from the Rangers loss to the Canadiens.

- Montreal typical for a few different reasons. Number one? The Canadiens have had the Rangers' number for the past few years. The Rangers can't beat them in Montreal and have a hard time at home, too. Not scoring against the Habs isn't new, either. The Rangers haven't scored against the Canadiens in over 200 hockey minutes.

- Reason number two? The soft calls. My word it's mind boggling. The roughing call against Brian Boyle? So, so soft. The phantom interference call against Chris Kreider that negated a potential 2-on-0? With no exaggeration that might be the worst call I've ever seen in my life. Especially because it wiped a power play midway through the third period in a one-goal game and a Derick Brassard breakaway. Horrible, just horrible.

- I want to address something I saw on Twitter about Alain Vigneault not having enough passion behind the bench. Look, I get it to an extent. You're sitting at home watching the game, see an awful, potentially game-changing call like the Kreider penalty happen and you want to run out and scream at the first official you can find (doesn't matter the sport). Especially when the officials take no responsibility for what was a horrible call. Plus, deep down, plays like that make you miss John Tortorella screaming in an official's face and tearing into the officiating in the press conference after. To a degree, that helps us get our anger out too. But does it solve anything? What happened happened regardless of what anyone says or does. The only thing it does is make officials more likely to screw over said attacker's team on 50/50 calls. It shouldn't happen, but it probably does. And don't take Vigneault's lack of yelling as a sign that he doesn't care. It's not true.

- We all knew the second goal was going to count, right? Not saying it should have, just saying we all knew it was coming. Was it that much different than the disallowed goal in Philadelphia?

- There were some positives from the game, even though the team couldn't score to save its own life and lost to fall to 3-7 on the year. The Rangers looked good in the first period, had a few chances (the biggest being Kreider's shot from the slot that hit the pipe) and played well as a unit. That wore off a little in the second, with Montreal converting on the soft penalty to go up 1-0.

- The offense did create some chances, they just didn't finish any of them. Petr Budja should get a lot of credit for standing on his head. It's not like he wasn't tested, but the Rangers have a habit of allowing backup goaltenders to look like Patrick Roy.

- Chris Kreider was the Rangers' best forward without a shadow of a doubt. He was dominant all night, skated and was one of the few Rangers making something happen in the offensive zone. I said it before I'll say it again: I don't think he'll see the AHL ever again.

- J.T. Miller had a strong game too.

- I thought Henrik Lundqvist looked good when he was needed. Not much he could have done about either goal.

- Brassard was alright. Derek Stepan was invisible in the offensive zone. Mats Zuccarello looked better, but didn't create much. John Moore was OK. Not much more going on from anyone. Didn't see much of Brad Richards, either. Benoit Pouliot was OK in spurts, invisible in others.

- I think the defense is starting to get a better grip of the team's new system. They look more intelligent out there. Not sure if intelligent is the right word, but they look like they're comprehending where they're supposed to be. That was going to take time to sink in and it seems like it's starting to.

- The offense? Forget about it. Some of it is luck (three or four bounces went against the Rangers that could have been golden scoring chances or goals) but most of it is just tough. I don't know if the boys are gripping the stick a little tight or what, but it has to get better. And fast.

- I've been blasted on Twitter a lot because I keep reminding people that missing Rick Nash, Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin hurts this team's offense more than people realize. The biggest response I get? "Three players don't make that much of a difference. The Rangers should be better than this without them." And while I agree with that, realize that if you insert those three players into the lineup tomorrow most of your second line is suddenly your third line and so on and so forth. It rounds out the entire roster and makes the team deeper and more dangerous.

- Don't have to sit on this one long, as the Rangers take on the Islanders tonight. Not sure if that's good or bad, though.Thoughts?

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