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Rangers vs. Devils: A Frustrating Yet Unsurprising Result¯\_(ツ)_/¯

New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
  • The New York Rangers lost 5-2 on Thursday to the New Jersey Devils, and will take on the Washington Capitals tonight in D.C. For a full recap on the loss you can click here.
  • I think it is fair to say that this was a game many expected the team to lose given how bad things had gone for the Devils this season, and in many ways the game played out as expected.
  • It was a weird game for the Rangers, and one heavily impacted by special teams, and it makes me wonder how different things could have been had the game been primarily played 5v5, because the team did post some good results, although New Jersey was without top center Nico Hischier.
Chart by @hayyyshayyy
  • But it wasn’t, and therefore we can only talk about what was. The Rangers scored twice, one from Tony DeAngelo, the other by Jesper Fast, and both were each player’s first goals of the season.
  • The Rangers conceded three goals after scoring first, and the Devils’ second goal was particularly egregious.
  • It was a power play goal scored by Kyle Palmieri, and it something that really shouldn’t have happened.
  • Staal dropping down here didn’t make much sense given that Palmieri is a right-handed shot, and he was able to pull the puck to the right side while being on his forehand. Had the shooter been a lefty, I wouldn’t argue with Staal trying to force them to their backhand.
  • It is also fair to say that Georgiev went down early, and doing so gave Palmieri time to really place hit shot just under the bar.
  • The Rangers pulled back within a goal when Fast scored 2:22 into the third, but from that point on they failed to capitalize on opportunities, and the Devils would ultimately scored their fourth and fifth goals of the game, the last one being an empty-net goal in the final minute of the period.
  • In terms of ice time, Micheal Haley — who was in the lineup for Brendan Lemieux whose scratch was a coach’s decision — logged 5:39, took a penalty and finished the game a minus-one.
  • Greg McKegg — a roster filler forward signed this summer to be fourth liner/13th forward — skated 8:08.
  • Every other player logged double digit minutes, with Lias Andersson skating 12:46, of which he spent 3:52 killing penalties. The usage of Andersson is certainly curious, because he’s seemingly responsible enough to be in defensive situations where his sole priority is to prevent goals, but he’s not good enough to get more ice time 5v5 and show what he can do offensively. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • I am still not sure what David Quinn’s plan is for a team whose primary goal this season should be developing the youngsters so the team can identify areas it needs to address going forward, but it has only been four games so I am not going to lose much sleep over it yet.
  • Jacob Trouba led all skaters with 27:14, including 7:30 on the power play and 5:23 on the penalty kill. Libor Hajek had the fewest TOI among defenders with 11:55, and Brendan Smith was slightly ahead of him at 13:43.
  • Smith did spend 3:26 killing penalties, but he also was on the ice late in the third while the team was trailing by two, and I hope it was a situation where the Rangers didn’t want to make a line change and risk giving up possession of the puck. If he was out there purposefully, that’s an issue.
  • Zibanejad led forwards with 25:31, and he logged 8:21 on the power play while also skating 4:34 killing penalties. He was kept off the board for a second game in a row, but he did register six shots on goal, including some chance on the power play.
  • Since I brought up power play time, it is baffling that the Rangers went 0-for-6 on the power play vs. the Devils, considering that New Jersey had allowed nine power-play goals prior to Thursday’s game.
  • There were moments where it looked like the team would score, a shot by Zibanejad on a feed from Panarin.
  • Some of the near misses could be explained by the team being a touch out of sync given the shitty NHL schedule to date, but it isn’t something that can be used as an excuse. Primarily because the team is about the enter the flip side of that with Thursday’s game being the first of five in eight days.
  • It will be interesting to see how the team responds vs. Washington, and what lines and pairings Quinn uses. It looked like Ryan Strome was promoted back to the second line for stretches vs. the Devils, but that could change.
  • With that said, the Rangers need to simply turn the page and play their game. Some things were done well 5v5, and if they continue to do that and are able to execute on the power play, they will win some hockey games.
  • It is important to remember the team has played four games up to this point, but the next few weeks will give us an opportunity to see the team actually play, and it will be easier to see how players produce, and what chemistry develops.
  • But for now we wait until the team plays again, which is tonight at 7:00 p.m. on MSG. Be sure to visit the site later on and participate in group therapy our game thread. :)