Rangers Roundup: Smith deserves to sit, Lundqvist tells it like it is, and more

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The Rangers last night held a 3-0 lead going into the third period in a game they had no business being in. They amassed that lead while scoring 3 goals on only 10 shots through two periods. All they had to do to win was play smart, defensive, and penalty free hockey.

Then Brendan Smith happened.

Early in the third period, after having already given the vaunted Jets power play 4 chances, Brendan Smith took a boneheaded cross checking penalty. What makes it so infuriating was not just the lapse in judgment, but the referee let the first 2 crosschecks go.

To Quinn’s credit, he benched Smith for the rest of the game but his comments afterwards puzzled me a bit.

So he didn’t bench him as a punishment but to give him some time to cool down and think about it? He also stated he was a very important player for the Rangers going forward. I will admit that Smith has had a few good games this year but if the Rangers are rebuilding, how can Smith be that important?

Update, Editor’s note: The comments made by Quinn, were about Brady Skjei. I mistakenly attributed them to Smith. In that sense, Quinn is right and the comments make sense. The final conclusion that Smith should be scratched stands.

The logical conclusion for me is that they need to build his trade value up in order to avoid a buyout situation. Regardless, Brady Skjei was benched for his play in Montreal and Smith should get the same treatment.

Lundqvist’s Efforts Wasted

Henrik Lundqvist saw a lot of rubber last night. Most of the shots were of the high quality and high danger types. Yet, saves like the ones below were almost routine through 3 periods and OT.

All that was lost because of the massive momentum shift caused by the PP goal early in the third. When asked about it after the game, Lundqvist let it all air out.

“What game were you watching?”, is what Lundqvist told the press in the post game. That was followed with “they owned us” and he was spot on. The Rangers need to get back to taking care of the middle, but last night showed why this team is just not on the level of top contenders in the league.

The Jets have size, speed, and lots of skill. The Rangers are lacking in all three but the most important one is skill and it’s not even close. It doesn’t help to be missing an entire line of scorers in Zuccarello, Buchnevich, and Namestnikov due to injury, but there’s no excuse for that third period.

Injury Update

Buchnevich – Broken Hand: Should be back within 3-4 weeks

Namestnikov – Concussion: Questionable with no specific timetable to return

Zuccarello – Groin: Is still day to day, but was at the Vic Hadfield ceremony and presented a gift.

Chytil Selected

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