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Rangers Vs. Sharks: Tick Tock Tick Tock

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San Jose Sharks v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
  • I find it hard to believe that we’re here. Seriously. I never would have expected -- even in my most pessimistic of views before the year began -- the Rangers would start their first 10 games with a 2-6-2 record. It’s almost unfathomable with the talent on this team.
  • However, old dogs can’t learn new tricks. Alain Vigneault continues to torpedo his own chance at keeping his job with poor lineup decisions, terrible asset management, and deployment concerns. He is lost behind the bench, plain and simple. I hate the term “lost the room” because it’s damn near impossible to prove, but Vigneault’s not doing things to help the team win. I mean:
  • Pavel Buchnevich -- who was blessedly removed from the fourth line deep in the third when it was too late and recorded an assist on the only goal — was misused the entire game. When he was on the ice, he made things happen, sporting a 62% corsi and a 58% SCF%. Why he isn’t playing more is beyond me. Why Vigneault elected to remove him from the Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider pairing is beyond me. Why he gets far less ice time when the Rangers need a goal than Jesper Fast is beyond me. But it is not new, and it is not surprising.
  • Tony DeAngelo played the least of anyone, because when Vigneault says 11F 7D he really means “I’m benching one of the defenseman I don’t want to play.” In his limited ice time he has an 81% corsi and a 71% SCF%. Why play that more than you have to?
  • My honest bet is DeAngelo goes down to Hartford at some point this week. The comments Vigneault made about him before the game (basically, we have to talk about what to do with him) isn’t a good sign. It’s also further proof that Jeff Gorton has blood on his hands here.
  • Now, part of the Rangers loss last night was unlucky. The team has a 4.55 expected goals to only notch one. They went 0-for-6 on the power play. They dominated possession -- although this was somewhat skewed since the Sharks had no need to take chances up four in the third. Still, the Rangers got shelled in the first, and the Sharks overwhelmed them at critical points of the game. Not a good look.
  • Everyone will remember the second goal by the Sharks (saaawwwfffttt) but then forget all the sames he made to keep things 2-0. He was a really big reason why the Rangers were in an arm’s length of getting something out of this game. Ultimately, people will forget that because they have recency bias, but it’s the way it goes.
  • Mika Zibanejad scored the Rangers only goal. At least someone keeps doing something right.
  • Rick Nash needs to see some type of wizard to lift the curse on him. I have no idea what he did but my word the man is snakebitten.
  • After the game Vigneault made this comment:

Which is semi-infuriating. Especially since, A) no one in the media seems to press Vigneault about himself or his deployment, B) this is basically him absolving himself. If Vigneault made a comment about how he has to be better as well, I have yet to see it. And saying “everyone in that room has got to be better than they are right now” is passing blame. It’s also what a coach who is on his last legs (or thinks he is) says.

  • How much time does he have left? Seriously. The Rangers are dangerously close to being out of a playoff berth by October. The three point rule exists and is very, very real and the Rangers are in danger of testing this theory. The longer Gorton waits on this the less time he’ll have to make an adjustment if he wants to. And I don’t think a center will fix things as is.