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Rangers Vs. Stars: About As Bad An Effort As You’ll See

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NHL: Dallas Stars at New York Rangers Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
  • First of all, I want to give a quick shout out to the entire staff here for taking care of things the past two weeks. For those of you who don’t know, my wife and I welcomed our first child (Kaylin Marie Fortunato) 11/30 and we’ve been a little busy at home. I’m mostly back in the action now, though. Thanks for not burning the place to the ground while I was gone.
  • In worse news: That hockey game. My word. Outside of the first 30 minutes again Las Vegas (back when Alain Vigneault’s job was supposedly on the line) I don’t think the Rangers have had a more embarrassing 30 minutes of a hockey game. The bad news? It somehow got worse. Look at the below statistics about just how bad that game was (compared to other Rangers games only):
  • The only reason the Rangers got anything out of this game (including not getting blown out about 9-0) was because of Ondrej Pavelec. He did about as good of a Henrik Lundqvist impression as you’ll ever see from a backup goalie. He made 40 saves on 41 shots, and by my estimation 10 of those saves were high profile. At least 10 actually.
  • Top to bottom, the Rangers were awful. TWO Rangers had a positive corsi last night: Pavel Buchnevich (who was pretty good most of the night) and Rick Nash (who was easily the Rangers best forward). Ryan McDonagh was the WORST Ranger by a mile with a -34 in corsi differential. That’s insanity level bad.
  • The Rangers got very Rangers by earning a point out of this game, but at the very least Vigneault was furious once things were over. He had a John Tortorella press conference that lasted about 40 seconds where he praised Pavelec and said the rest of the team wasn’t good enough. However, he did reward guys like Buchnevich, Nash, and even Jesper Fast in overtime, so we at least know who he thought was playing well (and who did play well).
  • That being said, the entire offense was about as bad as the defense. The Rangers finished the game with a semi-respectable 25 shots, but that’s skewed a bit. Six of those came in overtime (where the Rangers did a better job controlling the play) and nine shots in the third. The Rangers were out-shot 16-5 in the first and 17-5 in the second. That’s unacceptable to happen in a single period, let alone two of them.
  • Brendan Smith was the most noticeable Ranger by a mile on defense. Brady Skjei had his moments as well. Kevin Shattenkikr was mostly invisible (on a night like this that’s a compliment). McDonagh, as I said above, was not only bad, but noticeably bad. That’s not a good go-around for the Rangers defenders.
  • Not sure there’s much more to say on this one. Move on to the next.