Rangers Vs. Flames: Yuck
Notes from the Rangers' loss to the Flames.
- That's a horrible loss. It really is. And it's not so much who they lost to, but it's how they lost. In a game when you score three goals in less than four minutes, take a 3-2 lead and suck all the air out of the opposing building, you need to win. When you take that 3-2 lead and have massive defensive lapses, get fancy in the opposing team's zone and then watch your goalie give up a softie? That's a bad loss.
- The good news is the Columbus Blue Jackets lost, too. I don't care about the Philadelphia Flyers winning, the Rangers are fighting for the "not wildcard" portion of the guaranteed playoff spots. That means the crosshairs are on Columbus, and while a win would have done wonders to keep pushing space between the Rangers and the Blue Jackets, a loss by both whitewashes the night.
- I saw a couple of people referencing this already, so I'll put it at the top. Martin St. Louis and Derek Stepan look much better than their flu-ridden game a few nights ago, but they still need some help. Stepan lost eight pounds (!!!!!!!!) with the flu and St. Louis was hit just as hard. It's no wonder the two of them look tired on the ice sometimes.
- The St. Louis situation hit a fever pitch when his goal was ruled a kicking motion and disallowed. That was the right call. However, all the other goals the NHL has allowed against the Rangers this year, that's another one you shake your head and say, "of course it went against the Rangers." Still, it's been the perfect storm for St. Louis. He comes to New York, slumps, has some bad luck, then he gets the flu that wipes him out for a couple of weeks and now he sucks? Do you people who think he's a bust really believe we went from being a point per game player to a nothing overnight? Give me a break, please.
- Henrik Lundqvist, I thought, was good until that damaging softie he gave up with 7.8 seconds left in the second period. The Rangers' defense did nothing to help him for most of the night, and he bailed them out on more than one occasion. However, you can't give up that goal. You just can't.
- The defense? Especially after the Rangers took a 3-2 lead and had control of the game? It was horrid. Just complete mental mistakes, followed up by lost coverages and confusion. That let the Flames tie the game and get back into things.
- And then the third period offense? Dreadful. The one power play the Rangers got? Worse than the John Tortorella era. Seriously. 1-for-22 on the power play. Want to know the one conversion? The Stepan empty netter to seal the win over the Devils. Yuck.
- Once again, the fourth line was the best offensive line of the night. Brian Boyle scored a big goal (and blocked seemingly every shot that occurred while he was on the ice). Dominic Moore was good. Derek Dorsett was flying. That trio held the Flames in their own zone for long stretches throughout the game, and they converted when the Rangers needed a goal.
Not much else to say. Thoughts?