Baby Blueshirts not the problem as Rangers drop fourth straight one goal loss, beaten by Sabres 3-2

This is getting tiresome.

The New York Rangers lost their fourth straight game by one goal. This time defeated by the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. Another loss where they had a lead in the game but could not hold it.

It may be just 6 games into this season, but it already represents over 10% of games played. As the great Yogi Berra used to say, “It’s getting late early.”

New York Rangers kids not the problem

When you look at the Rangers, truth be told the kids are not the problem. That was highlighted last night by K’Andre Miller scoring his first goal of the season and probably the team’s best defenseman along with Adam Fox.

New York opened the scoring when the reunited KZB line looked like they’d reignite old magic all night long. Instead, we got one beautiful goal set up by arguably the Rangers best forward all season when Pavel Buchnevich found a streaking Chris Kreider. They weren’t very effective afterwards and David Quinn started juggling lines.

The Rangers simply need more from their best players.

We should also be fair, Artemi Panarin has 6 points on the year but just 2 points at even strength. Pavel Buchnevich has 5 points with 2 goals and 1 assist at even strength.

Chris Kreider has just 2 goals and no assists in 6 games this season, and had a bad night. He took an awful offensive zone penalty and made a bad pass to Kaapo Kakko who would’ve had an empty net if Kreider would’ve connected.

Mika Zibanejad is also having a rough go of it with just two points on the year, and only 1 point at even strength. Ryan Strome is struggling with just one goal on the season. That’s not enough production from your top two lines to win in this league. They simply need more.

On defense, Jacob Trouba struggled all night and has only one point on the year. DeAngelo has only played in 4 games, but has been regulated to PP2 and 3rd pairing with Jack Johnson.

Speaking of Jack Johnson, he was reinserted in favor of Brendan Smith and was an issue again. Johnson took the first penalty of the game and the Sabres scored on it. The game winner by Jack Eichel was on the PP also, and you can see Johnson completely out of position when he scores.

Remember, Johnson was brought in to help the Rangers PK and last night it was a large part of why they lost.

Productive Kids!

KAndre Miller
Miller having a nice start (Photo by Sara Schmidle/NHLI via Getty Images)

Back to the bright spots on the season. Adam Fox leads all defenseman in scoring with 5 points (1G 4A). Filip Chytil was the team’s most productive center before his injury with 3 points in 5 games.

Kaapo Kakko already has 2 goals on this young season, and I argue should be on PP1 over Ryan Strome. Alexis Lafreniere is still scoreless, but looks dangerous when he is on the ice. The floodgates will open for him soon.

Finally, what a start to the season for young K’Andre Miller. He has two points on the year and scored on a blistering shot. He also leads the entire team with a +6! The kid is looking more and more comfortable by the day, and we should see a rise in playing time…he deserves it.

On one final note, while the both Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev have not been great, they’ve also not been that bad. Yes, Shesterkin was shaky in the third period against the Penguins, but if the Rangers were able to bury their numerous chances, we wouldn’t be so concerned about a few bad goals.

Post Game Notes:

  • The Blueshirts registered 30 shots on goal in tonight’s contest, including 15 shots on goal in the third period. The Rangers have recorded at least 30 shots on goal in four of the last five games and have outshot their opponent in each of those five contests.
  • The Rangers held Buffalo to 24 shots on goal in tonight’s contest, including only two shots on goal in the third period. New York has held its opponent to 28 shots on goal or fewer in each of the last five games.
  • New York was credited with 24 hits in tonight’s contest. The Rangers have recorded 20 or more hits in each of the first six games of the 2020-21 season.
  • K’Andre Miller registered his first career NHL goal, recorded three shots on goal, and posted a plus-two rating. He was on the ice for each of the Rangers’ two goals in tonight’s game. Miller has been on the ice for eight of the Blueshirts’ 11 even strength goals thus far this season; he has been on the ice for more even strength goals the Rangers have scored than any other player in 2020-21. In addition, he leads the team in plus/minus rating this season (plus-six). Miller has posted a plus-seven rating over the last five games.
  • Chris Kreider tallied the first goal of the game, recorded three shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating. He registered his 159th career goal and his 318th career point with the Rangers in tonight’s contest; he tied Mark Pavelich for the third-most points by an American-born player with the Blueshirts in franchise history, and he is now one goal away from tying Cecil Dillon (160) for the second-most goals by an American-born player in franchise history.

*Post Game Notes courtesy of the New York Rangers

The Rangers will have practice tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY

Blueshirts next game is set for Thursday, Jan. 28 at Buffalo (7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG)

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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