Another week, another loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. This time 6-3. Ben Bishop is now 8-0 in his career against the Blueshirts. Lucky for the Rangers, they won't face them again for the rest of the regular season. The beat writers LOVED the "Lightning Strike Thrice" headline. Oh they loved it. Had it all queueueued up and ready to go.
The Rangers actually outplayed the Lightning for large portions of the game last night. Glaring gaffes in the defensive zone and an off night from Henrik Lundqvist did them in. When playing a team that scores just a tick under 3 goals per game at even strength, you really don't have much room for error. And that is why the Lightning are true contenders. [Blueshirt Banter] [Raw Charge] [Ledger] [North Jersey] [NY Post] [Newsday] [NY Daily News]
Martin St. Louis was honored at MSG last night. It was nice. He is good. I hope he keeps playing here for a few more seasons. [USA Today]
The #NYR Organization presented @mstlouis_26 with an engraved stick for reaching 1,000 points. pic.twitter.com/Jnp78hLqy6— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) December 2, 2014
The #NYR team gave @mstlouis_26 a new ping pong table with these custom paddles! pic.twitter.com/MmbNFAIXVN— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) December 2, 2014
Nice pre-game ceremony for Martin St. Louis #nyr #tblightning pic.twitter.com/AmTuCRJfhr— Shnarped Hockey (@shnarped) December 2, 2014
Steven Stamkos went in for the smooch. Marty did not look pleased. I love Marty.
When you see Steven Stamkos lean in to kiss your wife pic.twitter.com/QzAdXxCEyO— Austin (@austin__burnett) December 2, 2014
The Lightning provide a harsh barometer for the Rangers' success. [NY Times]
Henrik Lundqvist is one win shy of tying Miikka Kiprusoff for 23rd all-time on the wins list. He will have to wait until Saturday to try again. [The Hockey Writers]
Larry Brooks says that Henrik Lundqvist's "regression" is "head scratching." [NY Post]
Let's stop for a second right here. First and foremost, you regress toward an existing average or mean over a sample. So regressing to a better version of himself would be the connotation of using that word there. Doing so, also, would not be very "head-scratching."
Now that we have that in order, go ahead and read the article, I guess. Basically, Lundqvist hasn't been as good as he can be. But his numbers will be there at the end of the season. From October 16th until last night he was sitting at ~93% SV% for that span of time. That tells you he had a few blowup games outside of those dates. Last night was one of them. That's all. It is simple math in a small sample size. So stop panicking. He is still the King, and will be there to bail out NYR's incredibly porous defense more often than not.
Keeping with the NY Post, who apparently was on a roll last night and this morning, Dan Boyle is still out with a "mysterious illness." Or, call me crazy, he has the flu and went to the hospital to get checked out, and...uhm...has the flu. [NY Post]
Team Canada's junior team is hoping for some NHL-caliber help to fill its roster spots. One name high on that list is Anthony Duclair. Could the young winger be loaned to them for the World Juniors, which Canada opens on December 26th? Yes. And it would be a great experience for him to participate. [North Jersey] [The Hockey News] [Daily News Blog]
Just as old friend Brandon Dubinsky is readying for a return from injury, the Columbus Blue Jackets lose former Ranger Artem Anisimov for several months due to a torn triceps. Ouch. I guess the silver lining is...Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. [The Hockey News]
And Tanner Glass still has the mumps. Good morning, folks.