- The Rangers fell 5-2 to the Nashville Predators last night; it was their second loss in a row and fifth in the last five games. Through two periods the team has eight shots on goal, and it was just an overall lifeless performance that is surprising to no one at this point. The Rangers now have only three regulation wins in their last 18 games. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Not only did the team lose on the scoreboard, but they also lost Marc Staal and Jimmy Vesey to injury.
- Marc Staal was taken out by Alexi Emelin via a nasty hit into the boards. Emelin, if you recall, is the same player who tripped Chris Kreider in the 2014 Eastern Conference Final which resulted in him crashing into Carey Price.
- Here’s two good looks of the Staal hit, and I really hope he is okay considering he has a history when it comes to concussions.
Concern for Marc Staal, previously thrice concussed in NYR career, who is done for night (at least) after taking uncalled Emelin head shot.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) February 4, 2018
- Vesey was later bloodied on a reverse hit from Filip Forsberg, which was pretty unnecessary and late. The puck was off his stick and Forsberg had no business making that type of contact.
- He later left the game as a result of the NHL’s concussion protocol.
Vesey going off for concussion protocol? pic.twitter.com/SZVCHv7LHU— Tom Urtz Jr. (@TomUrtzJr) February 4, 2018
- Brady Skjei eventually dropped the gloves with Ryan Johansen because he clearly had enough.
Skjei isn't happy about that hit on Vesey, fights Johansen pic.twitter.com/rbs8esqgyt— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) February 4, 2018
- Good on Brady for standing up for his teammates, but isn’t this what Cody McLeod was acquired to do? Was he not picked up on waivers to be an enforcer who adds toughness and the ability to stand up and protect his teammates? Since McLeod’s been in the lineup, they’ve now lost Buchnevich, Vesey, and Staal to injuries that his “presence” should have deterred.
- The Rangers are a battered and bruised team. They are without Pavel Buchenvich, Chris Kreider and Kevin Shattenkirk and that obviously is impacting the on ice play from a talent perspective. No one is expecting the team to be lighting it up, but for there to be no tangible response to the Staal and Vesey hits is unacceptable.
- After all, McLeod did take Vinni Lettieri’s roster spot and pushed Paul Carey into the press box as a healthy scratch vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs. It isn’t like a fight would have made a difference, but physicality is what Vigneault pointed to as a reason for his claiming. He didn’t explicitly say it, but noted he brought a dimension different than what the team had. If he’s going to play over other deserving players, he just can’t look the other way.
- Overall it was just another frustrating game to watch, and after the game Ryan McDonagh let the officials hear it.
- On a positive note, the Rangers scored two power-play goals against the Predators. The first was scored by J.T. Miller on a subtle tip from in between the circles.
- The other goal was an absolute laser from Mika Zibanejad, his 15th of the season.
- The Rangers’ next game is on the road vs. the Dallas Stars on Monday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.