Quick Hits – Rangers vs Canadiens 3/4/17
Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images
Here is my recap of the Rangers 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens
Chris Kreider – The lone bright spot on the scoreboard in this one came from Chris Kreider. After his initial shot was saved by Carey Price, Kreider picked up the rebound and fired it into the net. The goal gave the Rangers some life early in the third. But that life would be sucked out of MSG when Jordie Benn scored five minutes later. Kreider scored his 24th of the year, but that was pretty much the only positive from this game.
Adam Clendening – As I have said before, Adam Clendening as a defenseman is not a good fit on this team. Yes he can move the puck and put up points, but if he can’t play well in his own zone that becomes irrelevant. He was bumped off the puck multiple times, was on the ice for the first three goals of the game, and had the first one go in off of his leg. While that first one might just be bad “puck luck”, it doesn’t take away from the fact that he is not good defensively. You can argue all you want whether he should be in the lineup or not, but he hasn’t EARNED his spot on the blue line.
Henrik Lundqvist – The score may have been 4-1, but it could have easily been six or seven. Henrik made a few big saves, especially in the first with the Habs controlling, and early in the third with the Rangers looking to make a comeback. Henrik didn’t get a lot of help in this one, but he did look a bit frustrated with his teammates after the game. Specifically on the third goal, when the shot went off the head and shoulder of Lundqvist and went into the air, nobody yelled out that the puck was behind the net; which gave Andrew Shaw an open cage to deposit the puck. Hank will be fine down the stretch, but he won’t be able to get this team all the way to June by himself; his teammates need to give him some help.
Energy – If there was one thing that was apparent all game, it was that the Canadiens’ wanted it more than the Blueshirts. The Canadiens ran all over the ice, throwing their weight around and forcing the Rangers into turnover after turnover. The Rangers aren’t a big bruising team, but that doesn’t mean they can’t play physically. They lost a ton of puck battles, simply by not giving the effort or energy to go after it. They are currently in a comfortable position for the playoffs, with the next closest team 13 points behind them heading into this one. But that isn’t an excuse to take the foot off the pedal and take it easy. If the Rangers think that stumbling into the playoffs will get them places, they have another thing coming. They have been brutally outplayed by the Blue Jackets, Capitals and Canadiens, and they will face one of these teams in round one. They better figure out something quick, or it will be a longer offseason than anybody wanted.
“Their energy level doesn’t seem to be where it was (early in the season)” – Joe Micheletti
NEXT GAME: The boys will look to get back on track on Monday when they face the Lightning. Puck drops at 730!
LETS GO RANGERS!!