New York Rangers vs Toronto Maple Leafs – 1/13/17 Recap
In what turned out to be an emotional night for the fans, players and media alike, the Rangers weren’t able to pull it together enough to secure the win. They hadn’t played for a week…and it really showed.
Return of Nash and Buchnevich
The return of Rick Nash from his groin injury and Pavel Buchnevich from his back injury has got the Blueshirts with an almost healthy roster. All they need is Mika Zibenajad to return and if rumor has it right, it should be as early as next week. What will happen is left to the imagination for right now, but one thing is clear: the team really missed Nash’s two-way play and Buch’s swift passes that cleanly make it to their mark (most of the time).
First Period Struggles
The first period got off to a rocky start, and to be honest, it’s completely par for the course where the Rangers are concerned. I don’t think any of us were surprised at the lack of even footing considering it’s been a few nights since they played last.
Nylander, an old street hockey buddy of Hank’s, opened up the scoring in the first, putting Toronto up 1-0. Nearly 13 minutes later van Riemsdyk made it 2-0.
Kreider Scores in Second
A really gassed up Chris Kreider worked hard to get the backhand shot above Andersen’s pads as he sprawled out while making saves.
While play did improve a little bit in the second, the defensive woes did not get any better. Add the fact that the Rangers kept finding themselves in the penalty box and it was a recipe for disaster.
Too Little, Too Late
Miller managed to score the Rangers’ second goal of the night, but he did it with only 1:25 remaining in the third, which basically gave them no time to rally and tie it up. While I know it’s hockey and anything can happen, their performance on the ice tonight did nothing to instill hope.
The main thing to keep in mind is that this team has had five days off, and while it’s no excuse in the land of the NHL, it certainly is a factor in how they played tonight. I’m hoping for a better performance tomorrow vs Montreal, and we’ll likely see Raanta in net.