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Rangers Vs. Blackhawks: It Was Going To Happen Eventually

Notes from the Rangers loss to the Blackhawks.

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

- Here's how I rationalize this loss: The Rangers deserved to score zero goals in their win over the Panthers on Sunday (they scored two) and they deserved to score more than zero goal in their loss to the Blackhawks Wednesday (they scored zero). So it balanced out.

- From a game perspective, the Rangers were eons better Wednesday than they were against Florida. Defended really well, kept Chicago to the outside for the most part and played good defense. Aside from the fourth line getting predictably roasted a few times and falling asleep on the game winning goal, it was't a bad effort at all.

- Cam Talbot was spectacular. What more can you say about him at this point? I really do think he's playing his was out of New York -- this is a good thing, it means he's too valuable of a trade asset to keep -- but what work he's done since Lundqvist has been out. He's 13-3-2 since replacing Lundqvist, who would have guessed that?

- The offensive well went dry, which is fun because everyone panics. The Rangers are still a top-five team in the NHL in even strength scoring and have gone through a massive power play slump. The power play wasn't horrible last night (well, the final one was) and the Rangers did hit a few posts and had an even strength goal disallowed for reasons that escape me (more on this in a minute) so, yeah, it's not so bad.

- As for that goal, I'm really not sure how you lose sight of the puck there. It was never even close to being covered, and it was pretty clearly lose lose -- otherwise Chicago wouldn't have been scrambling like that. Last year I felt every single goal review went against the Rangers. This year it's been a little better but the Rangers have still gotten the raw end of the deal a lot. Maybe that's just the way I'm remembering the situations in my head (the bad memories will always outweigh the good in this situation) but last night's incident should have never happened. Also, Chicago clearly touched the puck on that Derick Brassard hand pass at the end of the game, which is a massive momentum changer since the faceoff came out of the zone with very little time left. The officials needed to be better.

- Rick Nash played a beastly game. I love everyone freaking out because he's cooled off. It was bound to happen. He was shooting like a maniac earlier in the year and he'll bounce back. It happens to everyone. Brassard and Mats Zuccarello were quiet. Chris Kreider, I thought, was very noticeable and I liked Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller a lot. Carl Hagelin played really good defense and James Sheppard was predictably solid.

- If I see one more media member complain about how Keith Yandle isn't helping the power play I might pull my hair out. Seriously, the guy has NEVER been known to be a goal-scoring defenseman. Why would that change now that he's come to New York? The Rangers need to adapt to him running a pass-first option from the point, this shouldn't be hard.

- If J.T. Miller just watched Brad Richards dangle the puck in front of the net for 12 seconds before scroing the way Tanner Glass did how quickly would he have been benched? Glass was back on the ice the next shift.