First thing first: I hope all of you and your family members have a wonderful, safe and happy Thanksgiving. For those of you reading this overseas we appreciate your service in more ways than we can tell you. All of you should forget about last night's disaster and enjoy time with your family today (after you all read the site and Tony comments 1,700 times.) :)
- I don't care what some of the beat reporters, other Rangers blogs or fans tell you about last night; nothing was different between last night and most of the other 21 games the Rangers had played before it except the score. The Rangers got out-possessed (they finished up in evens corsi 39-34 but so much of that was the final 10 minutes of the third when the Rangers out-shot Montreal 17-12), out-chanced and out-played. Again. Again. Again.
- And, like I talked about the other day, the Rangers shooting percentage and save percentage dropped. What happened? The lack of possession turned into goals against and the Rangers couldn't score on their very few quality chances. The Canadiens buried their chances and, well, this is what happens.
- Still, there were mystified looks (well, tweets) about how the Rangers defense didn't play well and was out-worked. Again, this isn't new, the Rangers have had defensive problems all year and Hank has bailed them out. You remember mistakes that turn into goals and forget mistakes that end up in Lundqvist's glove, no matter how spectacular the save was.
- Rick Nash scored a goal late in the second to make it a 2-1 game and then Oscar Linbderg hit the post. Those are the two biggest offensive moments I can remember in that game. Woof.
- Not sure what it's going to take at this point to solve the defensive issues. Girardi was actually in positive territory in this game (again, third period had a lot to do with that) but was on the ice for three goals against and coughed the puck up on the game-winning goal. I know Nash lost his man in the slot but if Girardi is going to be sitting behind the net he needs to corral that puck. Inexcusable.
- And not for nothing, Keith Yandle and Kevin Klein played the toughest defensive minutes Wednesday night of any defender. Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan wore the "bad corsi" hats for the night, but none of them got a single offensive zone start the entire game, so that should put that in perspective.
- Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard had rough games at evens. Don't say that very often.
- I really don't even know what to write. The Rangers were bound to lose eventually so it's tough to complain about their record or their points, but this game has left a bad feeling in my mouth because, well ...
- OK here is my problem: 16-3-2 (now 16-4-2) record aside, the Rangers should have been alarmed with their own play regardless of the fact that they are sporting one of the best records in the NHL. But instead of trying to adjust their way back to a better possession game they very simply have just let things sit and fester and continued to hope for the best. Wednesday night is not a mirage, it's been happening all year. The mirage has been Lundqvist's extraordinarily high save percentage and the team's even higher shooting percentage. Those things will come crashing back down to earth (and maybe they are) and the Rangers won't have an answer for it because they've spent the last three weeks twiddling their thumbs doing the same things over and over again and hoping something chances.