Rangers continue to alternate wins and losses this weekend

Lundqvist downed the Flyers (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Lundqvist downed the Flyers (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

W, L, W, L, W, L, W, L, W, L.

This has been the teeter-totter life of the New York Rangers since 12/22/15 OT win against Anaheim to today’s depressing loss to Washington. While it stabilized the bleeding of losing 9 of their previous 11 in December, this isn’t awe inspiring hockey.

After Henrik Lundqvist stole the show in Philadelphia, the Rangers parade to the penalty box against one of the league best PP units cost them dearly. A shootout victory and a regulation loss in front of their moms. The Rangers should be embarrassed.

POSITIVES

Chris Kreider scored once in Philly and twice in Washington! If you want a silver lining, this is certainly one of them.

Henrik Lundqvist was sharp…I mean really sharp against the Flyers and in essence stole two points. He did so by blanking all three Flyers in the shootout to boot.

Dan Girardi returned from injury and played well in Philadelphia. He was ok in Washington, but he and the rest of the defense had plenty of momentary to extended lapses in coverage. (This is probably a negative to some).

NEGATIVES

The Ranger PK is back to being passive and submissive. The Islanders, Flyers, and Capitals scored 4 PP goals on 9 tries in the last three games. Awful! Abysmal! Atrocious!

Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard look out of sync. They simply don’t seem to be reading each other as well or maybe defense are just keying on them more. Either way, they need to do more offensively.

Rick Nash…score a goal please.

Kevin Klein took a shot off the wrist in Philadelphia and missed the game in Washington. He’s probably our best defensive defenseman so this is very bad if he’s out long.

The Rangers Defense has more holes in it than swiss cheese. Time and time again the opposition just seems to get behind them and that basically is very bad hockey. Very bad.

OUTLOOK

Emerson Etem comes to town on Tuesday, so that should be fun. The way things are going he’ll have a hat-trick on 3 shots in 3 minutes of total ice time. All jokes aside, the Rangers need to build on the positive of Lundqvist and Kreider’s play.

While many scream to the heavens that Dan Girardi is the Rangers problem on defense (that’s ridiculous by the way), it really is a problem with the overall defense and not any single player. This is an issue with the entire team and they need to get back to basics on defense. Sometimes less is more and the Rangers need to simply start chipping more pucks out instead of looking to transition into offense all the time.

The biggest area they need to focus on is staying out of the box and being more aggressive on the PK. The Rangers are sitting back and waiting for the most part. They constantly seem to be finding themselves in “in-between” situations and it’s killing them. Go after the puck carrier and let Henrik bail you out of they can find the open man fast enough. Right now the opposition PP has enough time to make dinner plans before scoring.

Step up and get nasty against Vancouver or we may be looking at back to back losses for the first time since Dec 17th – 20th. For the record, that was a three game losing streak. Ugh.