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Rangers Vs. Islanders: A Good Kind Of Loss

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New York Rangers v New York Islanders Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images
  • Where have we seen this story before? A team has a 61% corsi for at evens, a 2.39 expected goals against the other team’s 2.13, and out-shot the other team 50-38 ... wait, what? Those were the Rangers’ numbers? How strange. Well, yes, the Rangers sort of dominated this game from start to finish, and still managed to not put a goal on the board. Sometimes it’s not your night.
  • The thing is, results like these are objectively the best for the Rangers. The kids played well, the Rangers played well, and the loss moved the Rangers ever-closer to the Rasmus Dahlin lottery pick that’s probably still out of reach.
  • It’s an awful way to look at the season, especially before the Rangers start selling, but you have to look to the future. Losses are good for the team right now, a higher draft pick coupled with whatever else they get for guys like Michael Grabner, Rick Nash, Nick Holden, and maybe Ryan McDonagh, Mats Zuccarello, or more will help boost the re-build even quicker. It is what it is.
  • As for the game itself, the Rangers did a lot of really good work generating offense. The biggest difference that I could see was the team doing a better job entering the zone with possession and working the puck into space. It’s such a simple strategy, but it’s not something the Rangers have done a lot of.
  • And the kids are still good. Neal Pionk led the defense in ice time, and right behind him was Brady Skjei and Anthony DeAngelo. DeAngelo continues to prove that he should probably have gotten more time to season in the NHL this year, but too little too late. Adam brought up that DeAngelo only has one primary point 5v5 in his 20 games, but what opportunities has he had at evens? Until the past week or so when he was at the NHL level he was being used like an AHL callup. So, yeah, I’m going to reserve judgement on this one.
  • That said, I’m not at all surprised that Vinni Lettieri is only able to play a single second (literally) more than Cody McLoed even though the organization has raised the white flag on the season. I’m not sure why Alain Vigneault refuses to, even now, make room for kids who might be able to show something, but this is not a new problem.
  • (This also makes Lettieri the new Pavel Buchnevich. Enjoy it, kid! It is awful.)
  • There are people who lit into Henrik Lundqvist last night, which is hysterical. The Islanders were smart enough to put their skill line out against McLoed, who was wholly overwhelmed (as expected). But he has to dress for toughness or something. Don’t want to get another look at Boo Nieves, no sir.
  • Lundqvist, also, doesn’t seem to accept the fact that the team is re-building. Did you see him lay on the ice after the second goal? This has to be so frustrating for him on so many levels. That he himself is choosing to stick it out speaks volumes about him and his love for New York. It might cost him his name on the Cup, but his number will be retired when all is said and done.
  • Not sure what else there is to say about that one. The Rangers continue to show some good things, while they keep losing games. The NHL trade deadline is in 10 days. Buckle up.