Rangers Vs. Jets: That One Hurts
Notes from the Rangers' loss to the Jets.
- So we may as well put this at the top. I'm still not panicking, and I probably won't panic for at least five or six more games, but you can absolutely move me into the "concerned" category. The New York Rangers haven't put a full 60 minutes together since the beginning of the season, and it's costing them points. I loved the fight the Rangers showed in the third period, and I love the tiny burst of offense, but they need to find a way to not be chasing so much.
- Put the blame on this game on two things: The Jets' second period outburst (helped along by some of the Rangers' injury replacements) and a really bad goal by Henrik Lundqvist. We don't say it often, but the fourth goal of the game killed the Rangers, and it's a shot Lundqvist stops 999 times out of 1000. Tuesday night? He let it in, and it ended up being the game winner. That's tough, and you wish the Rangers would have bailed him out, but when things aren't going right they're not going right.
- I thought Derek Stepan had a good game, but the play where he didn't even get a shot off on the 3-on-1 was bad. Just plain bad. Yes, the puck sort of hopped on him, and yes, it did look like Ryan Callahan got in his way, but he was looking for the pass first. In that instance -- especially when nothing is going right for the team -- you just have to take the shot. Make something of the scoring chance. But, like I said, I didn't mind his game overall. He played nearly 27 minutes and was really one of the few Rangers making things happen.
- Another guy making things happen? Carl Hagelin. He really uses his speed to his advantage, and took seven shots in the game. The Jets kept him off the scoresheet, but at least he was active.
- I'm sure Marian Gaborik will get blasted for not scoring, but I didn't think he was bad. He made a few nice passes and had a couple of opportunities.
- The power play created chances, it just didn't convert. It's tough for me to get down on the power play late in the third. The Rangers had opportunities, they had scoring chances, but they didn't finish. A little unlucky? Maybe. But at least they were shooting. You still want to see a team pull through there, though. And they didn't.
- Chris Kreider played less than five minutes. Just send him down. He needs to play, and being up here isn't helping him. I don't understand why John Tortorella refuses to give him more leash, but if he's not going to just send him down. Less than five minutes a night in the NHL is a waste of everyone's time.
- That being said, I think J.T. Miller had his moments where he looked good, but he's obviously not ready yet defensively. He panics a little in the defensive zone, and he's had a few tough turnovers. Still, he hasn't exactly looked out of place, either.
- Steve Eminger played over 20 minutes in the loss. That's not a typo.
- What a game from Ryan Callahan. Seriously, he was all over the place. I think that's the best he's looked all year.
- One of the best games we've seen from Anton Stralman, too.
- This is a big slump for the Rangers. It's hit about seven games now, even though the Rangers have a couple of points sprinkled in there. They need to work their way free of this. They're still a win away from a playoff spot, but they need to find a way past this.