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Rangers Vs. Blue Jackets: There’s That Tanking Spirit

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Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Rangers Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images
  • You might be annoyed at the Rangers being late to the party (game) yesterday, and the fact that they were pretty thoroughly dominated throughout the contest — attempts ended up being close, but the Blue Jackets doubled up the Rangers in expected goals at evens — but that was a banner evening for the tank.
  • Not only did the Rangers lose but the Islanders, Oilers, and Red Wings all won. The Rangers have some work to do to get themselves into safe territory in terms of the upcoming draft, but results like this help a lot.
  • Onto the game itself, I am constantly shocked at how good of a year Kevin Hayes is having. His 21st goal of the year, and 37th point. In 67 games that might not blow you away, but color in the fact that the Rangers have been awful and Alain Vigneault is forcing him into a defense-first role and it becomes far more impressive.
  • Chris Kreider, meanwhile, is on a 55-point 82-game pace. Even with the injury, and the pain he was in leading up to the injury, the man has 33 points in 49 games. Again, on an awful team. That’s a hell of a line from a guy that a lot of people don’t think is very good (they’re wrong).
  • And, of course, Mika Zibanejad, who potted his 25th goal of the year and now has 43 points in 63 games (a 56-point pace over 82 games).
  • Pavel Buchnevich also recorded his 28th assist of the year — and now has 42 points on the year. Buchnevich is at a 53-point 82-game pace despite all the nonsense he’s dealt with as well.
  • Buchnevich’s 42 points this year is good for third on the team in points. Just a point behind Zibanejad. Seven points behind Mats Zuccarello, but in eight less games.
  • Oh, are these line by line stats not doing it for you? I’m honestly not sure what to do with with these game notes reviews with the team being as bad as they are, to be honest. It’s been a while since I was in charge of this place for a year like this — where the Rangers were clearly missing the playoffs. Actually, I’ve never been in charge for something like this.
  • Did I tell you all Blueshirt Banter turned nine years old on Monday? It turned nine years old on Monday. Thanks for being a part of this for so long.
  • Even knowing the Rangers aren’t making the playoffs, knowing that the games don’t matter, and knowing that even an injury would have months to heal before the start of next year, I still got a pit in my stomach when Henrik Lundqvist got flipped over by John Gimour.
  • Ryan Sproul, Neal Pionk, Brady Skjei. What do they all have in common? They play for the Rangers, they are defenseman, they have two arms and two legs, aaaaaaaaaannnnnnddddd ........ they all had assists last night.
  • For Pionk, it’s his 11th point (all assists) in 19 games. Very impressive figures for him — especially since he’s getting that power play time Tony DeAngelo vacated due to his injury.
  • Skjei recorded his 18th assist, and just 21st point on the year. It’s been something of a “fall from grace” from last year, but, uh, yeah, the Rangers are terrible.