Rangers Vs. Devils: Another Backup Goaltender Shuts Down The Rangers

Notes from the Rangers' loss to the Devils.

- There seems to be this emotion that comes over New York Rangers fans when the Rangers lose a game they should win against a hated rival. I don't really know what the emotion is, but it basically conjures up every single irrational though that fan has ever had. Sometimes this power overcomes me too, although I will say I didn't get hit with it last night. There isn't as much panic here (I would like to think we have a knowledgeable community -- and our comments section is a trillion times better than the average cesspool the Internet tends to breed regardless of the topic) but the panic on Twitter and Facebook was bad. It's OK. The sky isn't falling. It's a tough loss. The bounces weren't going the Rangers way, they'll move on.

- The bigger issue? The Rangers next game is Montreal. As if that's not bad enough it's in Montreal. I'm not going to lie, that's the first thing I thought of when the Rangers went down 3-2.

- Anyway, onto the game. Like I said above, the bounces weren't really going in the Rangers' direction. Right after the score was knotted at one Chris Kreider has a glorious chance in front of the net and the puck bounces over his stick. Mats Zuccarello bats away at a puck in the crease but a whistle stops the play. Brad Richards has a sitting puck with half the net open an opts to pass (OK, maybe this one wasn't luck). Derick Brassard has a breakaway (where he scored) whistled down because the puck had hit a Devil in the head seconds before (which was the right call by the official). The Devils' third goal is a combination of bad and horrific luck that leaves the puck at the foot of Dainius Zubrus for an easy finish. It happens.

- What wasn't bad luck? The Rangers power play reverted back to John Tortorella style and couldn't get anything going. When the Rangers power play is clicking, and the boys are confident, they're lugging the puck into the zone and setting things up. When they get frustrated they start dumping in once they hit the neutral zone and then things get ugly, which is a lot of what happened with Torts at the helm. 0-for-5 in a one-goal game is the biggest reason the Rangers left those two points on the table.

- Remember when a lot of people (this did happen here) wanted Zuccarello out because he obviously "didn't have what it takes" anymore? Yeah, my guess is that opinion changed. He's been one of the Rangers best forwards.

- Same goes for Kreider. So many people called this kid a bust. He's been anything but. I Tweeted this last night, but Kreider has been incredibly snake bitten in terms of scoring. Yet he's still racking up points and impacting games. Two assists for him on the night, 17 minutes of ice time, a bunch of chances created and some physical play.

- He needs to be careful with his strength, but I love what Kreider is doing physically. He sticks up for his teammates no matter what. And while it might cause a couple of penalties (see the one he took in the third period against Florida) the Rangers need that. He started a scrum in the third when a few Devils hit J.T. Miller after the play, and I love it. It makes him that much more important to the team, and adds another dynamic to his game.

- Henrik Lundqvist was great, minus the second goal of the game which was about as soft as it gets. That happens, too. Carp talked about how Alain Vigneault raised eyebrows when he didn't heap blame on Carl Hagelin for not backchecking on that goal. I don't think (and note that I'm not in the room and didn't hear it in person) that's what he meant. I think Vigneault was more pointing out the fact that the shot came from the outside and is stopped 99.9% of the time. I might be wrong, but that's how I took it.

- Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal with big games again, regardless of McDonagh's "role" in the Devils' third goal.

- Martin Brodeur stood on his head, give the man credit where it's due.

- Miller played just five minutes. Brandon Mashinter played under three, Benoit Pouliot played under 10. Those are the three players who are candidates to be removed once Dominic Moore and Rick Nash come back and get healthy. My guess is the Rangers might send Miller down so he can actually play, but I'm not sure.

- Is Pouliot required to take a bad offensive zone penalty every game?

- Although it floundered, it's nice to see the Rangers' offense get goals from different people. Dan Girardi with his first, Staal with his second.

- I still think the Derek Stepan, Zuccarello, Kreider line shouldn't be touched. I love that line, and I love what they create.

- I love Derek Dorsett more and more with each game. I thought he played well.


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