Rangers Roundup: Grabner also to blame for tying goal and Holden deserves a seat

Mtl ties it late

The Rangers fell in OT to the Canadiens in a game they were 17.3 seconds away from taking a 2-0 lead in the series.

In the aftermath of the tying goal late in the third, the easy to blame scapegoat was Nick Holden, and deservedly so. He’s struggled in his own zone for two games, and foolishly broke his stick on a Habs player in front. He followed that by inexplicably dropping to his knees attempting to block a pass to only be the object the goal was banked in off of.

Correction: it appears the puck just missed Holden…still shouldn’t have been down.

Then anger shifted to Alain Vigneault for having the pair out there to begin with. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it was their shift up and AV had no timeout after using it to rest his group off an icing earlier.

Update: AV appears to have skipped Smith/Skjei late…he deserves some heat.

Lost in the anger was how with 55 ticks on the clock, Marc Staal moved the puck up to Grabner who delayed just a split second to make a play up ice instead of clearing it. That caused a block and kept the puck in on a tired group until the eventual goal happened.

Like I’ve said countless times before, it isn’t always obvious whom to blame for a goal against. If Grabner whips it out immediately, the Rangers may be coming home up 2-0.

Holden Needs To Be Scratched

Nick Holden has made one really good play in these playoffs and it came last night when from behind the net he hit Jimmy Vesey with a long pass. The rookie then hit Nash for the 2-2 tally. Besides that Holden has committed some egregious turnovers and has missed defensive assignments as well.

Marc Staal hasn’t been that great either, but not nearly as bad as Holden. At this point, I don’t see how AV can walk away from the game film and justify not making a change. For game 3, Kevin Klein will likely be reinserted with old partner Staal.

Klein, who is rested, can bring some offense as well. As far as our defense goes, he has the hardest shot in the group. The concern is his issues in the defensive zone this year. Were they made worse by his back issues? Is he healed enough to return to last year’s form? The questions beg to be answered, because at this point Holden has shown that AV needs to find out.

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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