Rangers Vs. Kings: That Was Ugly
Notes from the Rangers' loss to the Kings.
- Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Kings was something of a trap game. Usually you see that phrase thrown around when a hot team goes up against a weaker opponent, which obviously wasn't the case on Sunday. But the New York Rangers were coming off an emotional 1-0 victory in Montreal and probably felt like they were rolling. Until they couldn't solve yet another backup goaltender.
- There wasn't much good so let's jump right into the bad. Holy cow the power play was terrible. Terrible. Does anyone remember how the Rangers won the game in Montreal? If you guesses a power play goal, you're correct. And how did the Rangers score said goal? They shot the puck. When you have a 5-on-3 you shouldn't be looking for the perfect pass and you shouldn't be looking for that pretty back-door goal unless it's handed to you. Brad Richards and Ryan McDonagh both had the puck at the point (with room) multiple times and chose to shuffle the puck off to Derek Stepan or Mats Zuccarello at the half-boards. Shoot. The. Puck. On a 5-on-3 that should be the only thought. If there is a lane, shoot. If there's not, quickly move the puck then shoot. This pass, pause, pass, pause does nothing but give the other team time.
- I also have no idea how the power play can look so competent against Montreal on Saturday and then look so bad on Sunday.
- Speaking of shooting the puck, how many chances did the Rangers waste because of horrible decisions? Zuccarello gets the puck -- thanks to a brilliant Stepan pass -- about seven feet from the goalie with no one around him and he elects to pass back to Stepan -- which of course leads to a Kings 4-on-1 rush down the other end of the ice. Derek Dorsett (who I thought was really good last night) is coming down on a two-on-one and instead of taking the shot tries to pass. Shoot. The. Puck.
- I knew right away Dominic Moore's goal wasn't going to count. And it shouldn't have counted. That's the right call. However, I don't see how that goal is any more different than the allowed goal Montreal got in the Rangers' home opener. And I absolutely have no idea how the call on the ice can go from goal to suddenly no goal before the official review. The call on the ice was a goal. Overturn it with the video.
- The one player who did stand out? Henrik Lundqvist. Again. I hate when he takes home those 1-0 losses. He does, too.
- I thought Chris Kreider looked good, too. A little invisible in the offensive zone at times, but he created some chances and was physical again. It's important that he impacts the game even when he's not scoring and that's what he's been doing, which is good.
- J.T. Miller looked pretty good, too.
- Tell you what, Justin Falk isn't showing me many reasons to pull him from the lineup.
- Rough game from Carl Hagelin. I didn't even see why he sat, but he did sit for about 10 minutes.
- And the Rangers are back at .500. The good news? The past few losses for the Rangers have all been games they could have easily won. That obviously doesn't help the Rangers in terms of seeding, but it's good to know the Rangers have been in these games. They still, even at their worst recently, look light years better than they did at the beginning of the year.
- Boy do the Rangers need Rick Nash back soon. They still shouldn't rush him back, though.
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