Quick Hits – Rangers vs Sabres 1/3/17
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Here is my Quick Hits recap of the Rangers 4-1 loss to the Sabres
Forecheck – 2017 got off to a very rough start for the Rangers offense. The team had 25 shots on net, though 15 of them came in the second period. In both the first and third periods, the Rangers didn’t record their first shot on net until at least the 10 minute mark. For a team in the tightest division in the NHL, a better effort shouldn’t be too much to ask for night in and night out.
Nick Holden – The lone bright spot in this game was the goal by Nick Holden. With the Blueshirts down 3-0 late in the third, Holden ripped a one-timer past Nilsson to put some life into MSG. Ultimately it didn’t mean a whole lot, as the Rangers came out flat in the third. Holden has been a pleasant surprise this year, particularly on offense, and should have career best numbers this season.
Team Defense – We all know that the Rangers defense is their main weak spot, and it was on full display in this game. Bad turnovers, men left wide open in front, and just an overall bad performance as a group. The goal by Girgensons was a miscommunication. The goal by Kane was a neutral zone turnover and a bad line change. The goal by Bailey was off of one of the worst turnovers I have seen in my 20 years of watching the NHL. And the goal by Eichel was after McDonagh cleared the puck off of his own skate and right into the slot. Jeff Gorton and Alain Vigneault are going to have to find a way to put together a better defensive group; whether it is by getting the guys motivated and playing well together, or if its by making a move outside the organization.
Effort and Energy – Watching this game was as enjoyable as watching paint dry. The Rangers were outworked, outhustled, outmuscled, and just completely outplayed. And yes, it isn’t easy for players to get pumped about playing the 28th best team in the NHL, especially after playing against teams 29th and 30th in their last two games. But points are at a premium in the NHL, and you can’t afford to “take a night off.” The Rangers may have been saving their energy for the game on Wednesday in Philadelphia, but you can’t give away points in this league, especially against a team you are supposed to beat. Hopefully the Blueshirts come out hard in Philly and get right back on track.
NEXT GAME: – The Rangers look to bounce back on Rivalry Night in Philadelphia when they take on the Flyers. Puck drops at 8!
LETS GO RANGERS!