A Rough Knight At The Office For Rangers
Saturday afternoon’s victory wasn’t how David Quinn and company drew it up, but the Rangers were able to skate away with the two points. Tonight, however, the Rangers didn’t have the same luck as they fell to the Vegas Golden Knights at MSG.
Brendan Lemieux – The lone tally of the night for the Rangers came from their tough-as-nails forward, as he redirected a hard Jacob Trouba pass into the net late in the second period. The goal was Lemieux’s fourth of the season, and his 11th point through 25 games.
Not So Special Teams – The Rangers weren’t able to get anything going on their power play in this one, coming up empty on six chances with the extra man. That’s six opportunities to, if not score, at least swing the momentum back in your team’s favor. But the Blueshirts weren’t able to do that in this one, now leaving them just 2/15 in the last four games combined.
As for the other half of the Rangers special teams, Vegas capitalized both times the Rangers were shorthanded, which now has David Quinn’s PK units 13/16 in the last four games combined.
All About The Start – They say you can’t win a game in the first 20 minutes, but you can certainly lose one. That was definitely the case at MSG tonight, as the Golden Knights scored two goals in the first 12 minutes of play, and, at one point in the opening frame, had a 13-2 shots advantage. The Rangers’ inability to “start on time” is not a new phenomenon for the Blueshirts, who have “shown up late for work” multiple times this season. It is something that should be inexcusable for the coaches, and has to change if the Blueshirts are going to be successful now and/or in the future.
Enough With The Passes – It may seem like the most simplistic way to think of a hockey game, but if you don’t shoot the puck, you can’t score. Yes, in order to get the puck into a shooting area you have to pass, that concept isn’t lost on this writer. Nevertheless, the Rangers seem to pass up a chance to get the puck to the net more than most teams in the NHL. In fact, according to the NHL.com stats page, the Rangers have the fewest shot attempts in the league this season.
This isn’t a call for the Rangers to shoot the puck every single time they cross the blue line. But, it is an appeal for the Rangers to shoot the puck more often. Making the extra pass and being unselfish with the puck is a noble trait, however, if the whole team is unselfish, then there’s nobody left to shoot the puck and score.
Henrik Lundqvist – He didn’t get much help from his teammates, and Vegas took advantage of a sloppy game from the Blueshirts to slot four pucks behind Henrik Lundqvist. Henrik did say after the game that he wanted the third goal back, a breakaway tally by Reilly Smith, but he probably will also want the game’s opening goal back as well. With just 90 seconds gone in the first period, Alex Tuch took a hard wrist shot that Lundqvist got a piece of. And with the puck fluttering toward the goal line, Lundqvist reached back to cover but inadvertently knocked the puck over the line. Lundqvist would wind up with 28 saves on 32 Vegas shots, but it definitely wasn’t one of the better nights in King Henrik’s illustrious career.
Next Game: The Rangers head to Nationwide Arena on Thursday night as Artemiy Panarin returns to Columbus for the first time since signing with the Blueshirts. Puck drops at 7!
LETS GO RANGERS!!