Rangers Afterthoughts and breaking down the ugly in their first regulation loss in weeks
The Rangers lost last night. It feels odd saying it to be honest, but they did and it wasn’t pretty. After 2 plus periods of watching Tampa defenders keep the Rangers away from high scoring chances, Chris Kreider basically giving away a penalty shot, it was the 4th line that actually broke through to knot the score up.
Dominic Moore grabbed a Lightning turnover and converted quickly on Ben Bishop for a goal. It was a tie game late, and at least the Rangers point streak of 13 straight looked like a lock with a PP opportunity and less than 2 minutes on the clock.
That was until the continued over aggressiveness of the Lightning (who simply looked desperate for a win) caused Derek Stepan to make a difficult pass to Ryan McDonagh at the point. Not only did McDonagh have trouble accepting the pass, but he inexplicably froze causing him to rush back on a 2-1 and miss the pass across. There was nothing Lundqvist could do as it was blasted by him for a shorthanded game winner.
What a Gut Punch.
— NHL (@NHL) November 20, 2015
Now the Awful!
Keith Yandle committed one of the worst brain farts in recent memory on the Lightning’s first goal. Without any pressure in his own zone he tried to fire one up the middle only to have it picked off and blasted by Lundqvist. Want to see how gross it was? Here you go!
Yeah, like I said….disgusting.
Rick Nash also doesn’t get a pass with me in this game as my frustration level is reaching an all time high with almost 20 games played and 2 goals to his name. Last night, the Rangers needed special players to make special plays and he was invisible.
I watched how the Lightning played him and his linemates, with a concentrated effort to keep them outside. Sure from time to time he would try and penetrate the middle, but for the most part his efforts were weak. Rick Nash is going to need to get dirty and score some nasty goals to break out of this funk.
Please don’t show me his fancy stats and applaud all the “little” things he does on the ice when it’s the “big” things the Rangers pay him for. You want to see something fancy? Look at where his pathetic shots came from last night (via sporting charts).
The Good News
In a game where the Lightning scratched, clawed, hooked, held, obstructed (I could go on)… the Rangers almost walked out of TB with at least a point. Sure, there are no moral victories in a loss but I don’t see this as a sign the Rangers are going to “regress”.
Matter of fact, I can totally see them heading into Florida and blowing out the Panthers before I see them losing by one goal again. And as far as the lineup goes….same exact one that lost to Tampa yesterday will right the ship tomorrow night.
P.S. Alain Vigneault not a big believer in those fancy stats either!
Before the game, MSG aired the AV Squad and corsi came up in the conversation…here’s what one of my followers tweeted out.