Notes from the Rangers' loss to the Devils.
- Let's put this right at the top: The New York Rangers need to fix the power play right now. I don't care how they do it. Maybe John Tortorella needs to remove the control from Mike Sullivan, maybe Tortorella needs to bring someone else in. I don't care how it gets fixed, but fix it, now. The power play has cost the Rangers in all five of their losses. All of them. New York had four power plays in the first period. Score on any of them and it's either 1-0 Rangers or 1-1. Instead? The Rangers allow a late goal from David Clarklson and lose 3-1. Fix it.
- Tortorella threatened jobs during his interview with the media after the game. Good. Players need to start being held accountable. He said the younger players would take the jobs of those playing tentative. I still don't feel any pressure or any panic, but if the Rangers keep treading water we might start seeing some changes (no, no one getting fired).
- With that out of the way, what a game from Martin Brodeur. He made a couple of huge saves when the New Jersey Devils needed him, and he preserved the win for the Devils. The Rangers played really, really well in the second. Didn't score a goal. They played OK in the third. Scored one. But Brodeur was great.
- Obligatory excuse note: The Rangers were without Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan. Don't tell me that doesn't matter. Callahan has two of the Rangers' power play goals, Girardi is a solid 25 minutes every night. It matters.
- I'm still not panicking, but I'm getting concerned. The power play is a tremendous issue. Faceoffs are a big issue, too. If either of those get solved (faceoffs kind of play into the power play) things will get better. My other main issue is consistency. This team just came off their best win of the season, came out a little slow, got in a hole and couldn't climb out. They have to string something together eventually.
- J. T. Miller looks good. Like, really good. He was smart in all three zones, used his body, got in front of the net, played with energy and even showed off his playmaking ability. I like this kid. I don't know if he sticks for more than five games (at which point it would burn a year off his ELC) but I loved what I saw.
- Best game from Chris Kreider this year. He obviously wasn't himself (he still needs to get into game-shape) but he looked good. The goal he scored was jaw-dropping. What a shot. One of those "did he really just do that?" goals.
- I have said it before and I will say it again: The Rangers haven't been lucky this year at all. The puck simply hasn't bounced their way. Derek Stepan has the puck roll off his stick with a yawning cage, Marc Staal is stopped by Brodeur in the first even though he had no idea where the puck is, Rick Nash misses an open net as he cuts across the crease, Nash knocking the net off the moorings costs the Rangers a goal. Eventually those bounces will go the Rangers way. So far? Nothing.
- The Devils proved what a competent power play can do. Put a game away. Rangers should take notes.
- I will say one thing (again this isn't here): I'm sick of seeing Rangers fans celebrate players they don't like doing badly. In my opinion, if you're rooting for a player to fail, you're not a fan. I'm sorry. But if you want to see a player you don't like fail more than you're rooting for the Rangers to win there's a problem. Again: Not here.