Rangers Vs. Penguins: I, Uh, I Don't Know What To Feel
Notes from the Rangers' loss to the Penguins.
- In a lot of ways there should be mixed emotions from the past two games for the New York Rangers. On one hand, they've earned three of a possible four points, and have staged massive comebacks against their opponents to force both games to go to a shootout. On the other hand, those are two teams the Rangers should have had no problem beating. The Calgary Flames are not very good and the actual Pittsburgh Penguins are fantastic but those Penguins are not.
- So, yes, the Rangers showing enough fight to tie the game is a good thing. A really good thing. That's two games in a row where the Rangers have actually pulled their nails out and started clawing their way out of a hole. There was some nastiness there, too.
- But that comeback should have never had to happen. The Rangers did their whole "go missing for large stages of the game before turning it on when things look really grim" thing, and nearly lost the game. I mean, what is it going to take for this team to give a full 60-minute effort. Maybe, MAYBE, if the Rangers were on a 10-game winning streak and rolling you could forgive them taking an opponent lightly. But these Rangers? That should never happen. I'm also not saying it did happen, but it sure did seem like they were thinking "oh we can tie this game whenever we have to."
- Henrik Lundqvist was spectacular. One of his better games in a long time.
- Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh and Brad Richards are the Rangers most consistent sources of offense and offensive creativity on this team. Only two of those players saw ice time on the power play in overtime. Kreider didn't see a second of ice time in OT. Why?
- Another coaching question: Why does Alain Vigneault shoot first in the shootout? Home team gets the choice to go first or second. I believe the Rangers shooting first at home started with Tom Renney, then translated over to John Tortorella before now being continued with Vigneault. It makes no sense, it always gives the other team the last at bat. And while I agree Lundqvist is the Rangers' most valuable shootout weapon, you use that even more to your advantage by making the other team go against him first.
- Benoit Pouliot looked good last night.
- So did John Moore, who recorded two primary assists and finally has started looking like the guy he can become. He's still young, so I'm forgiving this little slump, but he can be a player.
- Derick Brassard has been coming on of late, too. That's a hell of a shot to tie the game.
- Either something is wrong with Rick Nash (concussion symptoms, maybe) or he's playing scared (because he doesn't want another concussion). Or he's lost a step. I doubt it's the last one, but he's been terrible.
- Not a great game from Dan Girardi. Michael Del Zotto had some major issues but stepped up bit in overtime.
- And this homestand that was supposed to see the Rangers distance themselves from the pack has actually seen them fall behind some of the pack. Life, eh?