1/4/17: New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers
Unfortunately, I missed a lot of the game due to a power outage, but from what I was able to watch, it looks like the troubles of yesterday were forgotten today. Let’s dive right into it.
Scoreless First, Hank Shines
While the first period was scoreless, there was a lot of good playing going on, which is a step up from yesterday where they hit the ice on the first looking as though they forgot to play hockey. Hank returned to King form to make several crucial saves, though I was surprised that he was in net again tonight. Turns out, with a 7-0-1 record against Philly, there’s a good reason he was.
The hottest 3 words you could ever whisper to me: “Save by Lundqvist”
No More Cutesie Passes
I hate the pass-first mentality, I really do. I’d rather see pucks fly at the net all. night. long. But for some reason, a lot of our players are generous, willing to share the spotlight. That’s great and all, but pass-first should be reserved for when you’re up by, oh I don’t know, let’s say 3 or more goals.
Fortunately, one of the notable differences tonight, is instead of a pass-first game, Hayes decided to shoot more and it paid off here:
Is it any wonder he got the Broadway Hat tonight? It also ended his scoring drought, which I’m sure is a relief for him and AV.
Also worth noting is Grabner scored two goals, also ending a drought of his own. Kreider has the other goal in the game, proving what an asset he is.
Despite the win, there does remain the lingering question of what’s going to happen with the defense? With so many (evident) flaws, it’s hard to say. While people seem to be stuck on Girardi, they’re ignoring the fact that Klein has seriously fallen off his game (and not just ’cause Hank tripped him). It can be summed up just like this:
Seriously, though, the defense needs work and with some critical offensive players out due to injury, the defensive woes are just too damning. This needs to be Gorton’s focus should they make no defensive moves before the trade deadline.
Overall Summary: Hank shines, defense struggles, Rangers face the red-hot Blue Jackets on Saturday. See you then!