Rangers Vs. Canadiens: Notes From The Loss

Al Bello

The Rangers lost to the Canadiens, here are the notes from the game.

- Why not start with the icing that wasn't an icing that lead to the Montreal Canadiens first goal in their win over the New York Rangers? There's obviously nothing the Rangers can do about that, and it stinks that it happened, but it doesn't escuse their poor play. That goal should have never happened, but neither should the way the Rangers came out and played in this game. Just because the other team plays a defensive, trap-style system doesn't mean you have to play it as well. The Rangers got caught, and it cost them.

- I think the loss, and the lack of offense, can be attributed (at least a little) to not having Rick Nash on the ice. You can't replicate what he does in his own zone and the neutral zone, but you absolutely can't replicate what he does in the offensive zone. He simply makes things happen. And last night, very few Rangers were making things happen offensively.

- I liked Drek Stepan's game all things considered. A very pretty assist on the Rangers' only goal and a couple of scoring chances. He, Marian Gaborik and Carl Hagelin were the only players doing anything, really, in the offensive zone. I know a lot of you always come back at me and go "I didn't see anything he did well last night" but the proof is in the ice time for me. Stepan played over 22 minutes on Tuesday, you think that would be happening if John Tortorella didn't like his game? Stepan has been good for a while now. It's nice to se.

- The Rangers were 4-0-1 walking into this game, but to lay that big of an egg is a little concerning. Again, this team is jus starting to find it's swagger, but a game like that should never happen. Especially against a former teammate.

- Speaking of Brandon Prust, how many Rangers fans would root for him in a fight now? I'm glad the guy got his money, he deserved it, but if he played like that every game of his career then he would have been worth the contract he signed with Montreal. Again, good for him, he's a great guy and a solid role player, but he simply wasn't worth the money in New York.

- I have a gripe here. Why is Tortorella benching Chris Kreider at the end of the game? At that point Kreider was one of the only Rangers who was actually shooting the puck. I didn't mind him on the power play and I thought he was pretty effective on the forecheck. I also love the chemistry he and J.T. Miller have together, I really do think those two can combine to be something really special. But while Kreider is up -- I think he proved he was a better option than Brandon Mashinter (under five minutes of ice time) -- I think he should be playing in those situations.

- I really do think it's time to take Brad Richards off the power play. Give him some time to think about his game before putting him on an man advantage that already has issues. Twice Richards took bad shots that got blocked out of the zone. I think the pressure is starting to get to him. Move someone else to his spot, let him focus on his game 5-on-5 and when everything gets sorted out put him back on the power play. It's not a shot against him, these shortened seasons are tough on everyone, but I think there are better options on the bench. Or at least take him off the point.

- Henrik Lundqvist was good. Can't be blamed for either of the two goals he conceded.

- Last point: I won't go in depth about this too much, but the Rangers did get a little unlucky. Brian Boyle hit the post with a chance to tie it at two shorthanded, Carl Hagelin had his shot into a wide open net get blocked, Michael Del Zotto mossed an open net coming around the side towards the end of the game. The Rangers had their chances. And had they potted one of them to steal a point or even get a win Rangers fans would have been talking about this team's resiliency and mental toughness. Last night (again, not here) pure panic. It can't work both ways. It was just a bad game, take it and move on.

Thoughts?

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