- Based off some loose math, the New York Rangers will need to play at around a 100-point pace to feel good about a playoff berth. At 1-5-2, and with the three-point games that are rampant in the NHL, the Rangers are in a really bad spot. And we’re just eight games into the year. The rest of October is going to be critical. On the podcast I noted that Alain Vigneault would probably be fired if he didn’t amass four wins by the end of the month. You have the Predators up on Saturday, the Sharks on Monday, Arizona, Montreal (on the road), and Vegas to close out the month. Are there three wins for the Rangers in there? Playing like this?
- Again, we run through the same playbook we’ve been watching the past three years. Awful start. Early goal against. Team doesn’t do anything the next 40 minutes. Backs against the wall, they come alive late, only it’s too little too late. Rinse. Lather. Repeat. If things don’t look different three years later with an entirely new core? That’s on the bench boss.
- Let’s play the deployment game again. Pavel Buchnevich -- who was the team’s best offensive generator that wasn’t named Rick Nash — played the second least amount of ice time in the loss with under 10 minutes. That is insanity. Tony DeAngelo played less than all defenseman. Again, down two, why aren’t you running him as hard as you can? Vigneault gave him some minutes in the third (I thought he played a lot more eye test wise during the game) but woof. Woof all around to this coaching staff.
- Before you all try to murder me: Nash was an animal this game. Hit the post again, and is literally the most unlucky scorer in the world. Eventually he’ll get things going. I don’t want to hear about how he’s not good, honestly. Sure, finishing is important, but at this stage I’m going to take offensive chances however I get them. And Nash has been handing them out this year like Willy Wonka hands out chocolate at the factory.
- That Matt Barzal goal was awful, but I thought Henrik Lundqvist was very, very good ... again. The Rangers had continued breakdowns in their own zone, and he needed to stand tall. Not sure what else can be said about it at this point. Ryan McDonagh hasn’t been close to being good enough. Kevin Shattenkik and Marc Staal don’t work well together. Brendan Smith looks slow at times. I’m not sure if this is a chemistry issue or if these guys aren’t prepared for the way the Rangers try to run their defense. With more legs and passing abilities, Vigneault might want to shake things up. But ... well ... you know.
- Mats Zuccarello ... I love you. You know I love you. You know we all love you. However, I am now an advocate of the Rangers hiring a coach to slap you in the face every time you return to the bench after passing up a glorious opportunity at a shot on net for a 5% pass. This hurts me more than it hurts you.
- Not sure what else I can say here.