Rangers Vs. Ducks: Better Effort, Same Result
Notes from the Rangers loss to the Ducks.
- That was a much, much better effort than the last time these two teams met, no? The Ducks are a very good team, with a plethora of offensive weapons and an unknown goaltender who is apparently Patrick Roy. (How many times is that going to happen? Is it going to end anytime soon?)
- I tweeted it after the game, but I'll repeat it here: That loss is frustrating in a good way. The Rangers could have easily won, but ran into a red-hot goaltender and a little bit of bad luck. Which hasn't exactly been the case in most of the Rangers' losses so far this season. That wasn't a bad game, and it certainly wasn't a bad effort. Just a couple of mistakes that ended up in the back of the net and an offense that created but couldn't finish. It happens.
- Henrik Lundqvist was in beast mode again. That's really good to see. Really good.
- How many times is Derek Stepan going to get hit in the head without a penalty? There was the incident earlier in the year against Washington that didn't yield a call, and then two incidents on Monday that lead to ... you guessed it, no call. The first one was absolutely ridiculous. Stepan was upended, and hit in the head, without the puck being within 50 feet of him. What's worse? The official standing six feet away that apparently missed the entire thing. What a joke. I can also point to the missed too many men on the ice penalty that allowed the Ducks to score their first goal, but what's the point, right?
- That being said, the slashing call that got the Rangers their 10-second five-on-three was a joke as well. The penalty on Benoit Pouliot that effectively ended the game? The right call.
- Ryan Callahan coming back helped, and he earned an assist on the Rangers' lone goal. I think it might take him a game or two to get back into the swing of things, but he had a couple of chances himself to tie things up.
- I've been hard on Michael Del Zotto this season (internally, because I won't give you all the satisfaction of putting it on here :) ) but that was one of his better games. Goal aside.
- Brad Richards did not look good. He looked lost on the point during the man advantage, and on three or four occasions rocketed shots directly into an opponent's shin-pads which sent the puck out of the zone. He has to be better if he's going to be there -- and, to be fair, we've seen much more good than bad with him at the point recently.
- I loved Chris Kreider's game, and thought Mats Zuccarello was off and on. Stepan had a couple of glorious chances, but a bouncing puck thwarted his efforts. That line wasn't nearly as dangerous as it has been, but they still created some chances.
- I've said this before and I'll say it again: Derick brassard is never going to create offense with Brian Boyle (nothing against Boyle, he's been amazing this year, but his offensive instincts aren't exactly top notch) and Taylor Pyatt. If you want Brassard to start scoring or earning assists you need to give him a guy like Callahan, which Alain Vigneault did finally. Hopefully that duo stays together, I think they will work well together.
- Pouliot? Another one of his games where he floated to the moon.
- John Moore, Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi and Anton Stralman? Good games. Marc Staal? Beast mode.
- The power play looks so good sometimes you have to wonder how they don't put the puck into the net more. Then you get a couple of power plays like at the end of Monday's game and realize they still have a long way to go. Still, they look miles better than last year.
- I like Derek Dorsett a lot. I love his heart and passion. And the visual of Vigneault holding him back on the bench? I love stuff like that. The Rangers need more of that.
- I think this is an effort that's going to go a long way for the Rangers. They fought and they battled all game --aside from little spurts here and there. They lost. So what? It happens. Move on.
- I'd love to see what kind of a difference Rick Nash would make in a game like that.