Rangers Vs. Penguins: Inching Towards The Playoffs

  • As we talked about on the podcast Thursday night, we’re not really sure what the New York Rangers are going to look like come the playoffs. This team has seen enough injuries and these lineups have been swapped so many times that it’s almost impossible to get a solid read on them. What I will say, is the Rangers have six wins in their last 17 games.
  • I think there should be some concerns not about the Rangers being unable to win at home (I dispelled that on the podcast two weeks ago) but that this Rangers team is just ... going to lose games. Let me put it this way: If the Rangers get blown out in the playoffs it’s not going to be because they can’t win at home.
  • This game followed the recent mold of the Rangers edging the other team in shots, but losing the scoring chances and expected goals battle. The latter two are more important than corsi when boiled down, but together it paints a picture of a team that simple doesn’t seem good enough.
  • Now, no Ryan McDonagh was a thing. And like it or not that plays an enormous role in this. The Rangers defense was putrid Friday night, and Henrik Lundqvist needed to do unclean things to keep the Rangers within striking distance. That will be forgotten because he lost the game of course, but, yeah.
  • There are few moments as exciting as a last-minute game-tying goal. Obviously I’m about to speak on a different level of such things: But Brad Richard’s tying goal against Washington in the playoffs got a better reaction than Marc Staal’s overtime winner did. It’s just such an I. Can’t. Believe. That. Just. Happened. moment. This one was no different.
  • Somehow Brendan Smith, even without McDonagh, is still a third pairing defenseman. At least Brady Skjei played 26 minutes. Pavel Buchnevich? Oscar Lindberg? 10 minutes or under each. Woof.
  • These games don’t matter. They. Do. Not. Matter. I know Derek Stepan can’t “turn off” blocking shots but that was scary. No more of that if you can help it guys.
  • Short recap today. Things have been kind of nuts for me and like I said before, these games don’t matter. :) /