Rangers Vs. Penguins: Notes From The Rangers' Loss To The Penguins
The Rangers lost another tough game. I bet you know what's coming next ... Don't panic.
- I'm going to put this right at the top. If you want to believe that this team isn't good, that the entire thing should be blown up and that they can't turn things around, that's fine. You're certianly welcome to your opinion. But when the New York Rangers turn things around, don't jump back on the bandwagon and pretend you believed in the team the entire time. This isn't about this site, just stuff I've seen on Facebook and Twitter. The panic level that jumps every time this team loses a game is kind of crazy.
- Thursday was one of those games where no one played well. Henrik Lundqvist was solid and Matt Gilroy was fine in his season debut. The rest? Range from average to bad.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins were the better team, no question about it, but the Rangers were a little unlucky, too. Two shots off the post, including one the Penguins took back to make a 2-0 hole turn into a 3-0 hole. One of those goes in and it's 2-1 and a different game. Didn't happen. Sometimes that's the way it goes.
- The officiating was putrid. How many times is Sidney Crosby going to get away with murder? The slew foot on Marian Gaborik was a joke. The official is five feet away. Dan Girardi crushes Sid at the whistle, Crosby goes back at him, another Penguin comes in to give Girardi a glove and the two minutes goes to Girardi? Give me a break. The worst was the Marc Staal / Evgeni Malkin incident. Staal pops Malkin after an extra poke at Lundqvist, and as Staal is riding him to the ice Malkin chops Staal's head with his stick and suckers him in the face. The call? Roughing minors for both. And don't forget Crosby running through Lundqvist (who is a foot inside his OWN CREASE). No call. Honesty it's hard to watch sometimes. Make the right calls.
- Not like the Ranger's power play was particularly effective. They need to fix it and soon. Spend an entire practice on it. Watch more film. Just fix it.
- My biggest concern with this team? Their inconsistency. Too many ups and downs. They need to level out eventually -- and I still chalk games like this up to the team still learning to gel -- but it's frustrating to watch. Especially at home. Like I said, they will figure it out, but something has to give. They're not the only talented team to get off to a slow start, either.
- John Tortorella is the one to blame for those bench minors. Yeah, the players are at fault too, but the Rangers have taken a ton of too many men on the ice penalties. The one Thursday cost them the game, giving the Penguins a 2-0 lead at the start of the third.
- Also don't forget that the Rangers were without Ryan Callahan and Chris Kreider. Go ahead and say that's just an excuse (and on some levels it is, because the team still shouldn't have come out so flat) but it obviously makes a difference. Callahan is a big player in all three zones and has two of the Rangers' power play goals (they have three on the year) don't tell me things wouldn't have been different with him out there.