Rangers Vs. Penguins: So Much For That Momentum

Justin K. Aller

Notes from the Rangers' loss to the Penguins.

- Ho boy where to begin? Seriously, where do I even start? That was about as bad of a first period as we've seen all year, and if it wasn't for a couple of big Henrik Lundqvist saves it easily could have been 4-0 through the first 20. That's been an unacceptable trend of a lot of losses this year, and it's hurting the Rangers big time.

- What positives can you come up with for this game? I can think of just a few. The first? The Rangers' power play (despite not finishing) actually looked very good. They made things happen and created some offense, although they obviously couldn't finish. The second? The game was very quick because of the flow of play, so we didn't have to sit through a three-hour destruction.

- Conor Allen was a bright spot, I thought. Looked really good in the first, and made a remarkable get-back-to-fix-a-mistake check that saved a two-on-one. I also like the offensive part of his game he brings to the table. He hasn't recorded a point yet, but he's a really smart player who jumps in at the right time. Nice to see. The Rangers need more of that.

- As was Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello. Those two never take a shift off, ever, and good things usually happen when they're on the ice.

- Zuccarello's goal was his 10th of the year. The Rangers have exactly two players (Kreider and Zuccarello) with 10 goals or more. Two players (Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin) have nine. The Rangers have played in 42 games so right now the team has just two players on pace to score 20 goals -- although it should be noted that Kreider has 10 goals in 35 games which is a 24-goal pace. That's sad. Although it's obviously great for Kreider and Zuccarello, who are playing really well.

- The defense was bad. The offense was worse. The goaltending was fine, although I'm sure some people will disagree since the Penguins hung four on Hank, but he wasn't getting much help. There was nothing anyone could have done about Sidney Crosby's goal (the fourth of the game), the third goal went off of Ryan McDonagh, the second was a complete fail by every Ranger on the ice and the first was a funky deflection that ran right to Chris Kunitz who buried it. What's Hank to do about any of those?

- Nine points in eight games for Derick Brassard. Nice to see him coming on. I thought he was good, actually, against the Penguins. Involved.

- How many Rangers players stood and watched the Penguins five goals? Marc Staal had one of the worst games I've seen him have in a long time.

- The Rangers showed some fight. But you could run that in the "too little too late" category and then saw Staal, Carl Hagelin, Brian Boyle and Anton Stralman stand around while the Penguins put the game away with their fifth goal. Unacceptable.

- Know what I've seen a lot of on Twitter? "Rangers will make the playoffs because they play in a terrible division so don't panic." They might, but they won't win the Stanley Cup like this, which is the goal last time I checked.

- I get the feeling the Rangers might be sellers this year. They have the pieces other teams would want. Will they? We'll see.

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