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Rangers Vs. Lightning: The Best Of The Worst

Notes from the Rangers loss to the Lightning.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

- The score might have been really bad, but that was the Rangers' best game of their three losses to the Lightning -- at least at even strength. The Rangers penalty kill let them down and Henrik Lundqvist didn't have his best game. You're not going to get away with those two issues against that team more often than not.

- There are some positives however. Mainly: if the Rangers play like that at even strength every night they'll win far more often than they're going to lose. The penalty kill and Lundqvist especially don't have many games like that in their system anyway.

- And as much as Lundqvist had an "off" night, only two of the goals were really his fault. The Rangers' defense continues to fall asleep against the Lightning's forwards in the crease and around the net. Dan Girardi had problems moving Ryan Callahan out of the blue paint the first two games and it was catastrophic. Monday night Girardi couldn't clear a 35-year-old Brenden Morrow from screening Lundqvist. I mean, really?

- Since we're talking about the defense, before the season I was a big Marc Staal supporter. I thought he was over his injury and I expected a big bounce back year. I also worried about who the Rangers were going to replace him with if they did let him walk. Despite his replacement being a serious issue either way, I'm not so sure the Rangers should touch a long-term contract with him. His name might carry more value than his play and the Rangers should look into that.

- Not Ryan McDonagh's best game, either. He's still getting healthy, but he makes a big difference.

- The power play looked pretty good, although it's amazing how much of a difference Dan Boyle really makes. When he's not out there the Rangers don't have that roaming shot threat and opposing teams can really hunker down and clog the lanes. The best thing Boyle does is move the defense to tire them out, which makes moving the puck that much easier.

- The Rangers need more from Chris Kreider. A lot more.

- I'm not sure how much Alain Vigneault trusts J.T. Miller which I think is a mistake. Both he and Jesper Fast played less than nine minutes last night. I think Miller has the chance to become a player in this league if given the opportunity. Right now he's not being given it.

- I don't mind that Anthony Duclair is sitting so long as Tanner Glass isn't in the lineup. However, the Rangers need to make a decision with him. Either Alain Vigneault needs to trust him with the to-nine minutes I feel he's earned, or he needs to send him to juniors which I think everyone agrees is a waste.

- Problem is, I bet Glass is back in the lineup the minute he's healthy, And Vigneault is going to have to dress a good player in a suit to do it.

- Good news? No more Lightning in the regular season!