Rangers Vs. Bruins: Notes On The Rangers' Opening Night Loss To Boston
The New York Rangers didn't kick off the season the way we had hoped. Here's the notes from the loss.
- Why don't we start here: I know there will be some panic over the loss due to the fact that the season is nearly 50% shorter than it should be and every game matters that much more, but it really wasn't the worst showing in the world by the New York Rangers. Yes, they lost 3-1. Yes, things were sloppy for most of the game. But there were some positives and negatives. And to be completely honest, the Rangers were a little unlucky, too. It happens. Move on.
- Henrik Lundqvist was clearly the best player for the Rangers. It wasn't even close. Lundqvist got beaten twice on deflected pucks, and on the first goal he had no chance (although he did give up the juicy rebound). Regardless, he was in mid-season form, which is great to see. The Rangers are going to need him at his best this year, and he's off to a good start. He also made one of the greatest saves I've ever seen.
- I thought Rick Nash was easily the Rangers best forward. He showed off all the tools the Rangers saw when they made the move for him. He protects the puck well, throws his body around, goes into the corners, goes in front of the net (this is important) and makes things happen. He singlehandedly created the Brad Richards' goal, and earned his first point as a Ranger in the process. He also looked great on the power play, nearly scoring once and setting Ryan Callahan up for a great chance on the five-on-three.
- Speaking of the power play, that's the main reason why the Rangers lost this game. Their power plays generated some pretty serious chances, but they didn't manage to bury any of them. This was due to some sloppy play, the Rangers not shooting the puck enough and a couple of great saves. Still, the Rangers power play needs to get going and convert on those chances. If the Rangers score on the 5-on-3 then the game is tied.
- I'm not blaming the officiating for the loss, but that Milan Lucic hit should have been five minutes and the Brian Boyle double minor was a joke and set the tone for the first goal.
- The penalty kill was tremendous. Kept the Bruins out of the game and went 7-for-7 in kills. John Tortorella floated everyone on the penalty kill unit, but there was a lot of Rick Nash, and he wasn't bad there.
- Brad Richards scored a big goal, but was also 42% on face offs. That's a tough night for him, and he lost a couple of key ones in the Bruins' offensive zone.
- The Rangers can't think about this too long, they have to be back at it tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins.