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Ranger's winning streak ends at 8; Miller in but Fast out; Taking MSM to task; WJC update

Bantering Points for Tuesday, December 30, 2014.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

I guess it had to eventually happen.

The New York Rangers had their 8-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Dallas Stars on Monday night. They didn't play particularly well. They didn't play particularly poorly. Some mistakes and funky bounces off the Stars' live boards aside, the Rangers let another surging club take two points from them in a winnable game. They didn't get many quality chances in the second and third and never really dictated tempo while down a goal, despite score-effecting to a decent shot attempt differential. The last 3 minutes were particularly painful to watch, as the Rangers looked gassed and out of sorts.  [Blueshirt Banter]  [Defending Big D]  [Blackout Dallas]  [NY Post]  [NY Daily News]  [Newsday]  [NY Times]

On the bright side, J.T. Miller played, and scored off a beautiful feed from Mats Zuccarello. I have to think he will stay in the lineup for at least another game, but who knows at this point.  [NY Post]

John Moore also played his second in a row. Not sure if I would rather have Hunwick getting more time or just be happy to have a more consistent lineup than that timeshare. Moore played poorly against the Stars, getting turned often and puck-watching all game. But then again, the entirety of the defense had issues. Dan Girardi looks like he is slowly forgetting how to skate.

Jesper Fast sat for Tanner Glass and Lee Stempniak played. Stempniak was pretty bad all night, to be perfectly clear. Don't think I am giving him a pass. But Tanner Glass was in the box for one goal against and on the ice misfiring cylinders on another. He is terrifying to watch on the PK because he floats into irrelevant space and never turns his head to see what is happening around him. He has horse blinders on to the rest of the action that isn't the puck itself. Oh and he only got 20 seconds of ice time in the 3rd, thereby squeezing the lines as well. For such a "meaningless fourth line member of the team," he sure seemed to have meaningful negative impact, as is often the case with him. [Blueshirt Banter]  [NY Post]

This has to stop. Right? I would guess Stempniak will draw the short end of the stick against the Panthers. But why isn't anyone asking about Glass? Why is there no accountability with him, AV or the media who should be doing the asking? Joe is much more forgiving of beat writers, as noted in his piece linked above. I happen to strongly believe that the vast majority don't understand the game they are reporting on, and don't bother to ask difficult questions because they assume the answer won't be noteworthy. If AV says "I trust Glass and he is staying in," it doesn't mean it's a dead issue. Journalistic integrity and the tenets of investigative inquiry dictate otherwise.

I don't give anyone a pass. They are failing just as miserably as AV when he sets his lineup. And the answers that hold both parties accountable are at our fingertips.

Here are AV's post-game remarks:

Dan Boyle is going to want another crack at this one:

Honestly that is a tough one-timer to pick a corner with and Kari Lehtonen came across with his glove perfectly stacked over his left leg in the half-butterfly sprawl. A Finnish technique that is tailor-made for such spectacular saves. Give credit where it is due, and don't jump on Boyle for "missing" that one.

This is kind of funny. [SI]

The Rangers will stay in the Dallas area to practice before boarding their charter to Sunrise, FL to take on the Florida Panthers. [Newsday]

The Panthers do not have a hotel close enough to the rink to efficiently hold a morning skate because the rink is in nowheresville and there shouldn't be a damn team in Sunrise, FL. Stop this nonsense. On the bright side, I am sure that the snowbirds will come out to support the Rangers and it will feel like a home game. An AHL home game, given the crowd size.

Pierre LeBrun wrote yesterday that the Rangers are beating their "playoff hangover" and showing off their scoring touch and depth. Not sure the early struggles were related to any hangover as there were some self-evident problems with injuries and poor defense. But a decent read nonetheless. [ESPN]

WJC: The Canadians remained undefeated as the top line of Anthony Duclair (1g, 1a), Buffalo Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart (2g), and Arizona Coyotes prospect Max Domi (2a) dominated Finland en route to a 4-1 victory. They took 14 of Team Canada's 36 shots on net. Full video highlights linked here  [TSN].  Full box score linked here  [IIHF].

In yesterday's other game, Sweden slipped by Russia 3-2 to also remain undefeated in round-robin play. Pavel Buchnevich had an assist and threatened several times.  Full video highlights linked here  [TSN].