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Rangers Vs. Islanders: Home Woes Continue (Again)

NHL: New York Islanders at New York Rangers Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
  • I suppose let’s start here: I don’t care, nor am I worried, that the Rangers have lost seven in a row at home. It feels like a coincidence. The players and coaches might talk about how the Rangers play differently on the road, but I don’t see a big enough difference to be concerned. The Rangers are losing at home because they are going to lose games. Especially when they shoot themselves in the foot with lineup decisions. It matters not, the Rangers aren’t going to have home ice in the playoffs anyway.
  • Speak of lineups ... IF Pavel Buchnevich and Adam Clendening were actually injured (seems suspicious it’s those two specifically, but alas ...) then whatever. I don’t mind Tanner Glass playing that game because the results are mostly useless (the Rangers are taking the wild card) and he can add a little nasty to a game that might need it. Fine. But if he played over Buchnevich and it wasn’t due to an injury? I have a major problem with that. Again, not that Glass was playing, but that he was playing for Buchnevich. Play Buchnevich and let him season and develop. Sit Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello or any other veteran who needs a rest. Rotate in Matt Puempel and Brandon Pirri, too. These. Games. Don’t. Matter. But let the kids season with these opportunities. Give Vesey and Buchnevich top-six minutes. Give them crunch time. Let them develop when the final results don’t impact the end game. It’s a rare opportunity the Rangers are letting waste away.
  • As for questioning the two being banged up. I have no basis for that. I’m suspicious because of who it happened to, but don’t actually know. Just want to make that clear.
  • I know the Rangers lost to the Islanders so the world is ending, but they didn’t play a bad game. It wasn’t as dominant as the loss to New Jersey Tuesday, but the Rangers played well. Antti Raanta was good (although people are turning on him now, which is hilarious) and the Rangers did most of their possession damage late in the third when the Islanders were shelling hard.
  • What wasn’t good? The Rangers power play is bad and the penalty kill is worse. The overload penalty kill does. not. work. They’ve played it this way for two years and it’s getting progressively worse. The amount of ice they leave open is killing them although there’s been no adjustments. Nor have there been any real adjustments to the power play, either.
  • THAT is something you should be worried about. Forget the losing at home nonsense. Worry about the special teams where the Rangers have won and lost (mainly lost) a lot of games this year. Worry about that, because it’s something that will win and lose you games in the playoffs.
  • Back to the game itself, Nash is a monster and continues to be a monster. He only has 20 goals on the year so he’s not worth his contract and we’ll ignore all the other things he does that make such a big difference to complain about him.
  • Stepan still can’t buy a goal. Mika Zibanejad still looks snakebitten. Zuccarello is actually shooting the puck, and scored a goal!
  • Marc Staal had a bad night. So did Brady Skjei. Skjei had his back turned on the first goal against and Staal was more worried with being physical than he was with stopping the pass on the game-winning goal. The Rangers did get a little unlucky in this game but they also didn’t do themselves any favors.
  • Jesper Fast in the top-nine is still not working. Don’t see that changing, though.
  • I think I understand why Brendan Smith doesn’t score a lot. I do like him as a defenseman, though.
  • Thoughts?