Rangers drop home opener again, maybe they need Michael Del Zotto???

The night was filled with hope for the Rangers to start 10/12/14 (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The night was filled with hope for the Rangers to start 10/12/14 (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The last time the Rangers won a home opener was on October 3, 2009. They beat the Ottawa Senators 5-2 and the game winning goal came off the stick of (sound the horns) – Michael Del Zotto.

On that night, Vinny Prospal opened the scoring, Dubinsky scored twice and Marian Gaborik gave NYR fans hope of real sniper. Where are they all now?

Oh! Henrik Lundqvist was in net for the win. Last night, Henrik probably wished he was back in Sweden.

Maple Leafs 6 vs. Rangers 3

Rick Nash's play was a lone bright spot last night 10/12/14 (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Rick Nash’s play was a lone bright spot last night 10/12/14 (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

New York was feeling alive. A day of festivities on “Blueshirt Boulevard” had fans buzzing. The Rangers came out to all the pageantry you expect with a home opener and the Garden was ready to rock.

Still, with all the optimism surrounding the opener, NY had issues going into the game. It was revealed late that Kevin Hayes would make his debut for the Rangers and Jesper Fast would sit.

 

Pump the brakes.

 

A last minute change would see Zuccarello scratched and Fast reinserted. Of course, Zucc had to be banged up from his accidental collision in Columbus on Saturday. He left the ice for a moment favoring his shoulder.

Rick Nash’s wife was going into labor and he was almost a scratch too. He wound up playing and scored the Rangers 1st goal of the game, that’s now 4 goals in 3 contests! That’s pretty much the only real bright spot in the game as the Rangers fell apart and broke down constantly in front of Lundqvist.

“Disappointing,” is the word Lundqvist used. As usual, he laid it on himself on a night where he was often left out to dry. “I have to be better,” Hank finished saying, but the whole team needed to be better.

NYR vs TML 10/12/14 via ESPN

NYR vs TML 10/12/14 via ESPN

 

McDonagh and Girardi had a night to forget. They were a combined -7 until a late and meaningless goal by Brassard buoyed by an earlier Nash tally turned it into a -3. JT Miller had another terrible night going -3. As for the kids, Duclair was strong again finishing +1 with 3 shots. He did not look lost on the top line. And Kevin Hayes was impressive as well to start but faded like the team going -2 on the night.

 

 

Also let’s be clear, Hank did not pull himself out. Talbot had his gear on after the 5th goal and Lundqvist saw that. So when the 6th went in, he already knew what AV wanted to do.

Let’s be honest, you can’t lose your #1 center (Stepan), a top 4 defenseman (D. Boyle) and your leading scorer from last year (Zucc) and expect to waltz over an NHL team.

Remember, the NHL season is a marathon not a sprint. If you didn’t learn that from last year, there is no helping you.

Raging Rangers

1. Rick Nash, well we projected that this year he would flirt with 40 goals and he’s off to an amazing start. Nash left the game early to be with his wife as they gave birth to their 1st child. We want to congratulate the Nash family and hope this continues to be an amazing year for Rick.

2. Anthony Duclair, his name keeps showing up here which is a good and bad thing. He is only 19 years old and is basically out playing everyone not named Rick Nash or Marty St. Louis.

3. Marc Staal, in a game where the team looked like an absolute mess, Staal continued his solid play and finished with an assist and a +2. Thus far he has 2 assists and +1 on the year. Quietly getting it done.

Reeling Rangers

1. Derick Brassard, yes he scored last night (finally), but he finished with a -1. If the Rangers are to survive with Stepan out, this guy needs to find another level.

2. JT Miller, one bright spot for JT was going 5 for 8 on the draw last night. However, he looks lost out there and he’s playing with Stempniak who is carrying him. If not for Stepan’s injury and the shortage at center, JT would be in the stands.

3. Matt Hunwick, I understand it was his first game, but the knock on Hunwick is turnovers and being out of position. Last night, those knocks showed themselves. He played 18 minutes and was a -1 with a turnover. Call up Conor Allen anyone?

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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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