Quick Hits – Rangers vs Flyers 1/25/17
Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images
Here is my Quick Hits recap of the Rangers 2-0 loss to the Flyers
Kreider-Stepan-Zuccarello – The Rangers most consistent line over the last six weeks was unable to generate any offense in this one. They had a bunch of chances, including a couple of posts and shots that barely missed the net, but they couldn’t solve Flyers goaltender Steve Mason. It was an off night for this line, which has been so good over the last month and a half, but they will be back on track after the all star break.
Brandon Pirri – One guy that Rangers GM Jeff Gorton brought in over the summer was Brandon Pirri. And he had his fair share of question marks. Could he stay healthy; could he contribute, would he be able to stick in the lineup. And to me, the answers to those questions don’t favor the Rangers forward. Yes he has been healthy for almost the whole season, but he hasn’t played at a high enough level to keep him in the lineup. He was brought in for his shot, and with only eight goals on the year, he maybe deserves to be a healthy scratch. And I don’t think he isn’t trying to score, but when you’re on a powerplay unit, and you have the hardest shot on the ice, you’ve got to shoot the puck. Aside from that, he doesn’t do a whole lot more at even strength that keeps him in the lineup from a guy like Marek Hrivik or Nicklas Jensen, who will grind and grind in the corners until they can hardly skate. Do I think Pirri has value? Yes. Do I think he has enough value to play every night, especially when his skill set is somewhat limited? Maybe not.
Special Teams – Special teams were the difference in this one. The Rangers power play went 0/3, and was only able to generate three shots on net. It looked like they were passing up chances to just get the puck to the net. And as a fan, that is frustrating. The old hockey adage of “it’s never a bad play to puck the puck on net” seems to allude today’s NHL. Everyone always looks for the perfect play, especially on the man advantage, and it usually ends up just wasting more time. Throw it on net, and score some “dirty” goals. It all counts the same on the scoreboard.
“It was all about our execution. You’ve got to handle the puck and we didn’t handle the puck.” – AV on Rangers PP
“Our power play has not been good enough lately. We have to take this break and figure out what to do.” – Zuccarello
As for the penalty kill, the unit was 2/3 but the goal allowed ended up being the game winner. After a penalty to Matt Puempel early in the third, the Flyers got a shot on net and the always present Wayne Simmonds put home the rebound. The Rangers PK is tied for 13th in the NHL, but it seems like when they give up a goal, it demoralizes the team. The last time they gave up a goal while shorthanded, which was last Tuesday against Dallas, the Stars would score the game’s next three goals, and put the Rangers in a big deficit. The Blueshirts need to get their special teams back to the level we saw early in the season.
Henrik Lundqvist – The Rangers netminder continued his resurgence with another solid night between the pipes. The two goals allowed came off of bad bounces. The first came off a scramble in front with the Rangers shorthanded, and the second was a Lundqvist save that bounced off the leg of Michael Grabner and into the net. Lundqvist made 24 stops on the night, and really deserved the victory in this one. He seems to be back on track to lead the Rangers down the stretch.
NEXT GAME: The Blueshirts are back in action on Tuesday night, when they take on the Blue Jackets. Puck drops at 7!
LETS GO RANGERS!