Everything went wrong for the New York Rangers tonight, and both Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh left tonight's game with injuries.
The first period looked like night and day, with the New York Rangers coming out strong in the first half of the opening period. They were getting pucks in deep, hard on the forecheck, and were generating solid offensive zone chances as a result. Although the shots weren't up there for the Rangers, they were definitely controlling a majority of the play throughout the period. Things started going wrong shortly after Marc Staal took a very suspect interference call, as he was technically being interfered with by Thomas Plekanec.
The Rangers had a solid penalty kill, and than stuff really hit the fan for the Rangers. Montreal's trapping game finally caught up with the Rangers, and they allowed three consecutive goals in the second period of play. The first goal came from Erik Cole, as the Rangers failed to get the puck out of the zone, and which eventually trapped them in their own zone. If you're looking for someone to put the blame on, it's Brian Boyle. Boyle failed to get the puck out of the zone way before the goal, where he had at least 30 seconds to make a decision with the puck.
Things really started to go wrong as later on in the period, Ryan McDonagh left the game after taking a vicious boarding call from Mac Pacioretty six minutes after the goal. Pacioretty clearly had McDonagh lined up, and lead his shoulder right in the numbers of McDonagh, and his face made clear contact with the glass. This is the exact type of hit the NHL has been trying to eliminate from their game entirely.
Alex Galchenyuk would put the Canadiens up 2-0 as he drove to the net, and the puck flipped over both Dan Girardi and Martin Biron. It's was terrible puck luck for the Rangers, but they were caught once again during the transition game, and had to defend against an odd-man rush. In the closing minutes of the third period, Lars Eller came away with his second goal of the season on the power play, after Marian Gaborik took a much expected hooking call, as the Rangers were pinned in their own defensive end.
If there's one period you want to forget about if you're the New York Rangers, it's that second period. What's also troubling to see is the lack of a response to the dirty hit by Max Pacioretty. This team has become very soft as of late. Last year? Pacioretty wouldn't have been able to skate another two feet before someone stood up to him.
It's also troubling to see such a lack of offensive production this season as well. I know the whole Rick Nash ordeal doesn't really help their case, but we have tons of talent to make up for his absence. I'm not dropping into panic mode right now, but there's no denying something is wrong with this team, and that something is pretty significant right now.
I'm not going to get much more into detail, because things go from bad, to completely worse for the New York Rangers. In the final minutes of the game, Dan Girardi sprawled out to block a shot from P.K. Subban, and was on the ice wincing in pain. Girardi couldn't put any pressure on his right leg, and needed to be escorted off the ice. So, now you're without Ryan McDonagh, and Dan Girardi for who knows how long. Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong, and some.
Whatever Rangers are still standing, will be around for Tuesday's game against the Winnipeg Jets. Maybe one of the 22 will show up.