Well, what is there to say about this one?
Just 47 seconds into the game Michael Ryder slipped one past Martin Biron and that was the only goal the Habs would need to walk away with two points in this game, but the Habs decided to score two more just because they knew it would make us all really, really sad. Montreal got a second goal in the first period when Plekanec slapped one by Martin Biron on a two-on-one and the third and final goal of the game came on the powerplay in the second period when rookie Brendan Gallagher buried his 11th of the year in a scramble near the crease to bury the Rangers in a hole they would never dig themselves out of.
The Rangers looked flat tonight. They looked uninspired. At some point someone in the locker room has to stand up and start throwing things around and wake the team up out of this funk. The inability to score has gone from something that we were all anxious about after a slow start to something that is now a serious, serious problem. The Rangers are dead last in goals for and have been shut out five teams this year. Five times. It is inexcusable for a team with the offensive talent that this one has to fail so miserably at something that is so essential to winning hockey games.
In my opinion, Biron had a shaky start to the game but came up with some big saves when the defense left him stranded on several plays. There is no excuse for how many odd-man rushes the Habs had against the Rangers and that is why I'm not going to make any. The team did manage to outshoot their original-six rival 34 to 26 but Carey Price stopped everything that was thrown at him tonight. Despite the amount of shots Price faced he never really looked like he was fighting anything or under any kind of duress.
Much like watching a traumatic event I don't fully recall all the events or how they took place... I seem to remember Marian Gaborik having a breakaway on the powerplay and going for the five-hole but Price stopping it as if it was Bickel shooting the puck. The details are fuzzy but I am pretty sure Miller hit a post and a crossbar tonight and the only thing Rick Nash did all game was crash into Carey Price once or twice. Nash had only one shot this game which is more or less unacceptable for him. I don't know where his game has went the last few games but the Rangers need it to show up again immediately.
Silver linings... let's see, let's see... Mats Zuccarello was a stand-out for the Rangers in his season debut tonight. Zuccarello injected skill, creativity, and vision into the lineup tonight and was, in my opinion, the best Ranger on the ice. Zuccarello also had six hits this game which was the most of any Ranger tonight.
Montreal's speed and superior system beat the Rangers tonight, but really the Rangers found a way to beat themselves. The list of players who were "invisible" tonight is almost too long to list so I won't bother reeling off any names. This game revealed something that should have been obvious to this team before going into tonight's game. The Rangers must play with desperation and they must play every game like it is the one they need to win to make it into the playoffs, because that is rapidly becoming the case.
I apologize for the doom and gloom but there aren't a whole lot of positives to take away from this one. Hopefully the Rangers can find a way to turn things around and show up for the April 1st game against the Jets, a team that has beaten the Rangers twice in two meetings this year.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend and Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it.