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Rangers Get A Thumping Out West

New York Rangers v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
  • I missed last night’s game, so you’re going to get an overall notes to the West trip that saw the Rangers go 1-1-1. On the surface that record probably doesn’t seem that bad, but take a look at the the results: Dominated by the Kings but manage a win, get blasted by the Ducks in the third period and can’t hold a lead against the Sharks. The Rangers have not put forth a 60-minute effort many times this year, and yet there seems to be no adjustment to fix that other than to add players who aren’t very good into the lineup.
  • Speaking of: Another game where Pavel Buchnevich was sat for no reason. This time for Matt Puempel (who did record an assist). Again: Buchnevich should not be sitting. He should be playing in these games that mean nothing to develop. He should also be playing in these games because he’s better than half the forwards out there. But alas ...
  • The only game they weren’t out-possessed was in Anaheim, and part of that was the shell the Ducks went into to put down the landing gear. In that game the expected goals was 3.45 to 2.01. Woof.
  • Dan Girardi has played in two of those games as a top pairing defenseman. The game against the Kings was one of the worst games in NHL history from a possession standpoint:
  • He was better (not by much and it would have been near impossible not to be) against the Sharks. I don’t understand why he needs to play as a top-pairing defenseman with Ryan McDonagh. Why isn’t he allowed to be sheltered on the third line where he can be sheltered and be more effective?
  • The power play continues to be just as bad as it is good for the Rangers. Brady Skjei, at least, is seeing more time there and had a monster night Tuesday with three apples. He now has 38 points on the year and might hit 40. So much for me not thinking he would be able to hit Yandle’s offense.
  • When the Rangers offense comes alive they’ve had issues holding onto the leads they do get. Antti Raanta was 3-3-1 before Henrik Lundqvist came back, and while the record doesn’t tell the whole story, the Rangers whole-team defense is letting them down continuously.
  • Of the past 16 games, the Rangers have won six of them. That should be a very scary relative for a team heading into the playoffs, wildcard or not. But the Rangers have a good record so we’re not allowed to talk about it.
  • There was an expectation this western swing would help the road-warrior Rangers, but that was clearly not the case. As I talked about on the podcast last week, I couldn’t care less about the home record the Rangers have. The Rangers are losing games because of bigger issues, not because they can’t play at Madison Square Garden.
  • The Rangers get two days off before they go to the Igloo in Pittsburgh Friday night. I’d talk about how it’s going to be tough for the Rangers to get out of this swing of things, but again, the record doesn’t matter right now. I fully expect Tanner Glass to be in the lineup and Buchnevich to be in the press box. We’ll see what things look like come the playoffs.