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Rangers Vs. Blackhawks: Same Old Problems

Notes from the Rangers loss to the Blackhawks.

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

- Before we get into the fun that was last night another reminder/thank you for the support for the Bantering The Blueshirts podcast. You can listed to our most recent episode here, subscribe/listen to us on Itunes or listen to us below every story where I embed the most recent episodes.

- I think the most frustrating thing about a loss like that is the Rangers dominated, and I mean DOMINATED, the Blackhawks for most of the game. New York was on the right side of a 51-29 shot advantage, a 26-14 scoring chance advantage and a 14-7 high-danger scoring chance differential. The difference in this one was special teams, notably the penalty kill.

- Which is even more frustrating than the loss, if we're being honest. The entire Daniel Paille experiment was because he's been billed by this coaching staff to be the penalty kill specialist they needed. Last night he played a relatively critical role in two goals. The opening goal was possible because he couldn't suppress the pass from his man from the corner and in the third period he lost his man on the penalty kill (who then scored). When Rick Nash comes back Paille needs to be thrown down to Hartford. If the Rangers made any moves for a forward than Tanner Glass needs to be right behind him. Why the coaching staff believes Paille is a better answer than Ryan Bourque -- who is younger and better -- is beyond me.

- And then there's Dan Girardi -- who played a pretty good game overall last night with a +16 shot differential. But on the two third period power play goals Girardi was victimized. On the Andrew Shaw goal Girardi watched Teuvo Teravainen throw the puck past him into the slot (where Paille lost Shaw). On the game-winning power play goal Girardi followed Patrick Kane all the way behind the net (why?), went down on a knee and couldn't stop that pass through the slot and onto the stick of Artemi Panarin.

- And my biggest problem with this? Dylan McIlrath was punished and benched to the tune of 11 minutes worth of ice time. Is he really going to be that much worse than what the Rangers iced anyway? In true opportunities McIlrath has flourished, so why he's being relegated to the back burner -- and he'll certainty be benched when Marc Staal gets back -- is beyond me.

- Henrik Lundqvist didn't take as much heat as I thought he was going to, but he played a great game. The chances the Rangers gave up (that ended up going in) were zero chance saves. Just nothing he could do about any of them.

- Derick Brassard needs to start etching his name in the "one of the best shots in the league" category. And by that I mean: Derick Brassard needs to shoot the puck more. Yeah he got a little deflection on his goal, but he rifled that shot into the top corner.

- When was the last time the Rangers scored goals on both ends of a four-minute double-minor? I honestly can't remember.

- Kevin Hayes might have had one of the best games of the year. He's really come on of late. A goal at the back door and a beautiful pass to add an assist to his tally. Great work from him most of the night.

- Oscar Lindberg's pass to Hayes for his goal? Wizardlike.

- J.T. Miller (assist), Chris Kreider (assist) also had strong games. I saw a few people bashing Kreider, but I thought he was fine. Active in the offensive zone (did get an interference call against him on the Girardi no goal) but atoned with a fantastic backcheck to save a goal later in the game. Give and take.

- Keith Yandle's pass to Brassard for the power play goal? Awesome. He freezes the entire defense before he makes the pass (right on Brassard's stick) who then has space to move in a little before letting the puck go. Those are the little things people seem to miss. I don't know how the Rangers move on without him.