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Rangers Vs. Lightning: NYR South Dominates NYR

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NHL: New York Rangers at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
  • Well, that wasn’t much of a homecoming for Vladislav Namestnikov (the Rangers got dominated), J.T. Miller (played the least amount of anyone on Tampa and didn’t do anything), or Ryan McDonagh (didn’t even play).
  • I’m not even sure what to say about that game, to be honest. Adam called it the worst two-goal loss he’d ever seen, and I’d concur with that assessment. When Henrik Lundqvist was finally pulled, he had allowed four goals on 31 shots. That was midway through the second — despite being a line that could easily have been from an entire game. Alexandar Georgiev gave up a goal on 14 shots in the final 25 minutes of the game.
  • The Rangers’ defense has been bad all year, even when healthy, but the past two months it has been an unmitigated disaster. I don’t know how to articulate just how bad they’ve been. Give me the injuries excuse all you want, the coaching staff is at fault here, too. There’s no attempt to do anything differently, the player usage boarders on insane, and Lundqvist is consistently used as a scapegoat for this team’s issues. It’s hard to stomach.
  • That said, we all knew this was coming, and this is a good thing! The Rangers need to drop a few more levels in the standings to ensure that top-seven pick. So keep them losses coming!
  • When I make comments like that, people come out of the woods to yell at me about how “intentionally losing makes the room toxic.” I’m not telling you to lose intentionally. We spoke about this at length on the podcast (which you should give a rating/nice comment on iTunes, and listen to every week!), but the way you do it organically is by playing the kids more. Putting them under the fire and seeing what they do.
  • That means Vigneault needs to get Tony DeAngelo off the third pairing. On the podcast we talked about how John Gilmour might have just earned himself a role in the NHL next year, but DeAngelo is the more important “prospect” here, if only because he’s the NHL player back for Derek Stepan. Not that who he was traded for should raise his value, but the Rangers can’t just throw him away. They should be taking a harder look at him.
  • The Chris Kreider thing is concerning. He was held out after just 2:23 for “precautionary” reasons, and with the injury that he’s coming off of it’s something to be worried about. There’s a ton of speculation we could make about this, but without any knowledge it would be inappropriate to do so. Just remember that he could have been 100% and had something come back. It’s not totally uncommon for this type of an injury.
  • Ryan Spooner is a man who no longer cares about the shackles of a normal man. Nay. He is the hero we do not deserve, but we have anyway. In six games played he has two goals and 10 points. 10 points in six games played. He’s produced 40% of his production with the Bruins this year in just 15% of the time. It’s insanity. And it won’t last, but I’m enjoying every minute of it.
  • The “won’t last” thing isn’t about him putting up points, but the volume of points. Spooner may well be a 50+ point guy, and he’s showing a lot of those skills now, but scoring at a 136-point 82-game pace isn’t realistic for anyone these days.
  • Is there a reason Cody McLeod is still in the lineup? What exactly is his role here?
  • I’ve been on the train for a while, but the Rangers really should see what they can get for Jimmy Vesey at the draft.
  • Kevin Hayes is going to score 20 goals this year, and probably put up 40+ points in the worst conditions possible. Imagine him under a new coach? (Another podcast topic from this week, by the way.)
  • Thoughts?