Flyers Outlast Rangers In 7-4 Goal-Fest

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Here is our recap of the Rangers 7-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Offense Isn’t Everything – The Rangers were not done in by a lack of scoring, as they netted four goals against their rivals from the City of Brotherly Love. Kevin Hayes got the scoring started deflecting a Ryan Sproul shot past Michael Neuvirth to give the Blueshirts an early 1-0 lead.

After the Flyers tied the game at 1, Rick Nash corralled the rebound off of a Brady Skjei point shot and put the puck into the net on the backhand. As much as Nash scoring for the Rangers is nice, it just means that his trade value is going up more and more as we head towards next Monday’s trade deadline.

After the Flyers scored twice to take their first lead of the game, Mats Zuccarello tied the game with a shorthanded goal off of a beautiful pass from Peter Holland.

For the fourth and final Blueshirts goal, Peter Holland put in the rebound of a JT Miller point shot.

These were just the positive blips on the radar of poor play that the Rangers showed throughout the game. Blown coverages, miscommunication and for lack of a better term, brain farts, are what cost this team not only this game but countless others this season.

Henrik Lundqvist – When it comes to the future Hall of Famer, there are a couple of things that stand out about his play this season. First is that the only reason the Rangers are “in playoff contention” is due to the play of Henrik Lundqvist. After a brutal October, which saw Lundqvist start and win just three games, Lundqvist backstopped the Rangers with a 13-5-2 record in games that he would finish.

Second is that there is no denying that after his performance in the 2016-17 campaign, there wasn’t really anywhere for Henrik to go but up. And even though he’s stepped up his performance compared to last year, he is struggling mightily in certain aspects of his game. For starters, pun intended, he has not been very good at the start of games and/or periods. The Rangers as a team are just 9-20-4 when giving up the first goal, something which falls partly on Lundqvist, and partly on the defense in front of him.

Speaking of the guys in front of him, Henrik has not had much help from his blue line warriors this season, or last for that matter. Forgetting for a second the injuries to Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal, and Kevin Shattenkirk, the Rangers defense has been subpar at best some nights, but downright brutal on most nights. Even legendary goalies like Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, and Dominik Hasek needed a competent defense in front of them before they had the respective successes that brought them into the Hall of Fame.

Alain Vigneault – If this team is really going through a rebuild, then why not just fire the coach now?! Especially when he is running his team into the ground. He has slowly but surely eaten away at the mental and physical energy of his star goaltender, by starting him in 50 out of the team’s 60 games this season. In 2015-16, Vigneault started Lundqvist in 64 of the team’s 82 games, and last season, the Swedish netminder started 55 of 82 games. And when your head coach is blaming the goalie for the team’s struggles, he isn’t just being delusional, but it is even clearer that he has lost the room and a complete grasp on his team.

This is, of course, forgetting the odd defensive system that the head coach employs; being one of the only NHL coaches that plays a man-to-man system. He says the same thing after every game, “we had good looks,” which has become a bit of a meme on the Rangers Twittersphere. This man needs to be out of New York in a New York second, and with the deadline a week away, there is no reason why the team can’t “survive” the end of the season with an interim coach.

As for next year, they need to fire the whole coaching staff and start completely fresh. Scott Arniel has been at AV’s side for this whole mess and has done nothing to truly help this team. Lindy Ruff is from the same “old school” style of coaching and with a team that will be full of young guns with speed and skill, they will need a younger, next generation coach. Maybe a guy from the NCAA or AHL, someone like Chip Kelly was for the Eagles who will bring a new philosophy and idea to how the NHL game should be played.

Next Game: The Rangers will be off until Thursday when they face the Montreal Canadiens at The Bell Centre. Puck drops at 7:30.


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