- In the game of tanking the Rangers are as good as they are at regular hockey ... which is not very good. The Rangers played a pretty good game last night, out-shot and out-chanced the Capitals, and generated a good amount of offense, but they still relied on Henrik Lundqvist and a couple of posts to do a lot of the work for them. As always with this team, things looked better when you didn’t dive too deep below the surface.
- That said, the Capitals did tie things up late, and then won in overtime. For those of you who keep saying things like “it’s bad for the team for them to lose,” or “it’s bad for the kids” (which is ironic because simply being around AV in general is bad for kids), let me remind you the Rangers are already out of the playoffs. Like, mathematically this time. Winning a few extra games for “morale” at the expense of, say, an 8th overall draft pick is insanity.
- Speaking of insanity: Before the game Vigneault made the below comment:
AV on the Rangers being eliminated: "Everybody said that we were a bubble team going in and I believe, and some other people also believe that we would have gotten in. But a tough decision was made for the long term future of this organization and you have to respect it.''— Colin Stephenson (@ColinASteph) March 28, 2018
This is the line of someone who is utterly delusional about the state of his hockey team. And as I replied to this on Twitter, it’s exactly why he needs to be fired, because it means all the moves he’s made and had been making were (in his view) how to win a hockey game. There’s too many examples to list here, so let’s just move on.
- Lundqvist was the only reason the Rangers got anything last night, and he was on from the first drop of the puck. The Capitals may not have been out-shooting the Rangers, but their bigger chances were far more dangerous. Hank was there. The first goal went off his own defenseman, the second goal was scored in the crease without a defenseman on his own team within three feet of the guy (think about that), and the game-winner in the 3-on-3 overtime. Doesn’t mean the Hank-truthers won’t be out in force about Alexandar Georgiev or something.
- I thought this was another really good game from Filip Chytil, who generated chances and made some great defensive plays. Chytil only played 14 minutes, but he had another four shots on net — giving him 10 shots in 28 minutes through the two games. There is something really special about this kid.
- Lias Andersson recorded his second career point (this time an assist) but still saw just over 10 minutes. I’ve thought Andersson has looked pretty good as well, although it’s clear he’s never going to have the flash or pop Chytil does (and that’s OK).
- Neal Pionk had two enormous errors, but outside of those he was a beast all night. Played over 26 minutes, and was easily one of the best defenseman on the ice. I’m maintaining that this explosion of offense isn’t something we should be expecting long term, but I do think he’s secured a place on the team next year.
- Ryan Spooner scored a goal to record his 15th point in 15 games with the Rangers. Rick Nash had six points in 11 games (and now may miss the year with a concussion), Michael Grabner has four points in 15 games with the Devils, Ryan McDonagh has three points in eight games with the lightning, and J.T. Miller has 13 points in 13 games. Nick Holden has four assists in his 13 games with Boston. That’s a hell of an add by Jeff Gorton, no?
- Chytil got a little time on the power play (at the tail end of their runs) but I’m not sure why him and Andersson didn’t get more. Not like the power play is really doing anything as it stands.
- I see the crazies are now turning on Vladislav Namestnikov now. Why not, right? No one is saying Vlad is going to be a 40-40-80 guy on the Rangers. But if Namestnikov is a 20-20-40 guy (or some variation of 40 points) added to all the little (tangible, statistically-driven) things he also does on the ice is more than enough for me. Like I said above, Miller has 13 points in 13 games, he’s going to put up a career high, meaning he’s going to be damn expensive for the Lightning. I don’t think Vlad is going to cost as much for the Rangers, and I do think that played a role in this as well.