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Rangers Vs. Canadiens: Hello Bad Puck Luck, My Old Friend

Notes from the Rangers loss to the Habs.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

- Alain Vigneault was reportedly "furious" after the game; claiming the New York Rangers got "schooled" and allegedly only generated five even strength scoring chances (according to the Rangers' internal stats department). I don't agree with any of the above -- well, except for AV being mad because I caught some of the presser and he was not pleased.

- The Rangers and Habs -- on paper -- played an even game in terms of puck possession. But through the first 40 minutes the Rangers dominated the game at evens and Carey Price was the difference. The third period saw Montreal battle back in possession but that probably had a lot to do with the Rangers pressing up top and giving up chances on the back end as a result. In terms of scoring chances (per War-On-Ice) the Canadians out-chanced the Rangers 19-16 but if you look at high quality scoring chances the Rangers had a 9-3 edge. That's pretty decisive.

I tweeted this last night but think it's important to add here, too. Sometimes the process is just as important as the result. The Rangers (in my eyes) did not play a bad game at all last night. If they play like that 100 times they'd probably win 90 of those games. Sometimes the puck doesn't go in (has been the case the past two games) and sometimes you run into a hot goalie (this has also been the case the past two games).

- The big question, of course, is how Vigneault is going to react. It would be very AV to cite the Rangers not having enough even strength scoring chances and then insert Tanner Glass into the lineup in the same breath. The lineup that "didn't generate enough" last night is the most skilled lineup Vigneault has in his deck so I'm not sure what his solution is going to be. If I were Vigneault I would give this group some time to gel. They'll be back to scoring soon enough.

- Jesper Fast was a -6 in corsi differential (worst of all forwards), Emerson Etem and Dominic Moore both came in at -5. That line, though, started in the offensive zone just 14% of the time. That's a brutal defensive assignment. So the fact that Etem didn't create any offense, or that Fast was the one who coughed up the puck on the Habs opening (read: very lucky) goal needs to be looked at with a giant grain of salt. They played tough, tough minutes and Etem handled them better than I thought he would have.

To my point yesterday about Etem and chances: If Vigneault judges Etem from what he saw yesterday I'm not going to be surprised but I am going to be deeply disappointed. Etem has high-end skill, but has never really been known for his defense. Again, I'd rather him play in that role than not at all, but you can't judge him after one game where he sees one offensive zone faceoff.

- Last Etem note: He played just 7:09. That's a joke. Seriously. I'm not going to complain that much because at least he played but why not use him a little more than that? If you really wanted a look at him (which he claimed he did) you don't sit him on the bench for 53 minutes.

- Like I've said: Judge power plays not by the result but how they looked. That 5-on-3 wasn't a bad power play because the Rangers didn't score. It was fine. Not great -- you'd like to see them move the puck a little quicker and generate more shots -- but those two Derek Stepan chances were golden opportunities. Most nights at least one of those goes in.

- When Rick Nash scores his first goal this year he's going to score a million. The floodgates will open. He's on a playoff-level of unlucky.

- In terms of top players: Ryan McDonagh had (another) rough game. Dan Girardi was a team-worst -7 in corsi. Derick Brassard had a tough night. Mats Zuccarello was nowhere to be found. Chris Kreider needs to find the back of the net and he needs to do it soon. Kevin Hayes had his moments but was mostly invisible. Keith Yandle had a great game and led the team with a +10 in corsi. Dan Boyle had his best game of the year.

- Oscar Lindberg was pretty good, I thought, but got 10 minutes of ice time so, yeah. I have no idea how a player THAT good in his own end can't earn extra time on the ice. He has as many goals as Nash, Kreider, Brassard, Hayes and Stepan combined. Maybe you should think about giving the kid a shot.

- Henrik Lundqvist -- for what it's worth -- was every bit as good as Price. That game, by the way, was the eighth time in nine games a matchup between the two ended in a shutout (not a typo). The Rangers have had two shutouts of those eight, by the way. Yuck.

- P.K. Subban is probably one of the nicest guys in the world off the ice. He's hilarious. Donates piles of money. He's easily one of the best players on the ice, too. That's why the antics drive me nuts. He pulls of Kreider's helmet and them gives him at least five punches to the back of the head. If the roles were reversed Habs fans across the world would have massed as though it were biblical times to try and find him or report him to the police. As they say, Montreal Typical.

- I say get back on the horse and keep their heads high. I bet Vigneault figures differently.