There are bad nights, and then there are bad nights. After a closed door meeting that followed the second-straight loss to open up a nine game homestand, many Rangers fans probably assumed "it can only go up." (Heck, it's something Henrik Lundqvist even said after Tuesday night's game.) Unfortunately, things got worse in game three of the long stretch at Madison Square Garden, as the Rangers conceded four goals for the third consecutive game, and dropped a 4-1 tilt to the Predators. To make matters worse, the Rangers were bit by the injury bug. Here are your morning notes.
On days following a game, my first item in notes is usually recaps said game. But bigger than missing out on two points is the news that the captain, Ryan Callahan, will miss 4-6 weeks after he sprained his MCL during a collision in the first period of Tuesday night's game. [ESPN NY] [Blueshirts Blog] Callahan's injury will mark the third time this season he'll be held out of games (even if the first stretch was only a single game) due to an injury. The loss won't only be felt by the Rangers, but it also might impact Team USA (if Callahan is unavailable for the Olympics, which seems possible), and also, considering Callahan is in a contract year, this certainly complicates things.
Now, onto the game itself. After falling behind 2-0, the Rangers made a game of it with a Rick Nash goal in the second period, and the Rangers had 20 minutes left to play with a one goal deficit. Unfortunately, the Blueshirts wouldn't get any closer, and the result was another disappointing loss. [Blueshirt Banter] [Daily News] [NY Post] [The Record] [ESPN NY] [Blueshirts United]
In what was an expected announcement, it was revealed before Tuesday night's game that Marc Staal did indeed suffer another concussion during Saturday's game versus the Devils. [Blueshirt Banter] [NY Post] [Blueshirts Blog] [Rangers Rants] The only positive (a bit of a stretch) takeaway is that Alain Vigneault said this concussion isn't as severe as Staal's last, and the standout defenseman is 'feeling better.'
There's a difference between playing tough, and being tough to play against, and the Rangers need to find the balance as they attempt to toe that line. [Blueshirt Banter]
With a new head coach, the Rangers are lost in their identity search. [NY Post]
If you've been paying attention to the NHL as a whole lately, you've seen a number of incidents find their way to the Department of Player Safety, and noticed a number of suspensions have been handed out. But in those penalties, there has been no consistency, writes Andrew Gross. [The Record]
- Rangers Vs. Predators Recap: Predators Down Rangers For Third Straight Loss At Home
- Marc Staal Has a Concussion
- Rangers Vs. Predators Preview: Something Has To Give
- The Difference Between Being Tough To Play Against (Fighting) And Tough To Play Against (Skill)
- The grit question; Vigneault unmoved by players meeting