Talbot not sharp as Rangers dropped by Blue Jackets
The Rangers walked into a buzz saw last night in Columbus. Spirited by the incredible Nationwide Arena crowd, the Blue Jackets were in total control all night.
Rangers 2 vs. Blue Jackets 5
We expressed concern over Cam Talbot in our preview yesterday, and 6:24 into the period he let in a long range shot to Artem Anisimov. Talbot didn’t look sharp in the preseason and it carried over into last night as he finished with a .825 save %.
The “5th Line” as the fans are known in Columbus were loud all night. Nick Foligno was asked what was the difference after the game, “the fans.” He may be right, but it was really Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky who stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced. Many of those shots were high quality, including a robbery of Marty St. Louis on a cross ice feed from Nash.
Whenever the Rangers broke down defensively, which wasn’t often, Talbot couldn’t come up with the big save. The Jackets 2nd and 3rd goals (Foligno/Atkinson) were of no fault to Cam. However, at 3-1 with the Rangers buzzing and leading in shots 24-19, Talbot took a harmless shot and redirected the rebound right to the slot. Young Marko Dano made no mistake and buried it into an empty net.
Rick Nash would score to make it 4-2 off a beautiful feed from Anthony Duclair but it was too late for any comeback. Tonight the Rangers look to rebound at the Garden for their home opener versus Toronto.
1. Anthony Duclair, put on a show and notched his 1st NHL point on an assist. Lee Stempniak buried a Duc feed in the 2nd period for the rookie. Duclair got his second point on Rick Nash’s late tally. In 14:19 of ice time, he had 2A and was +2. He was also the Rangers best player.
2. Lee Stempniak, was skating hard and competing for pucks. He was hitting anything that moved and was agitating players like Scott Hartnell. He scored the Rangers 1st goal last night and looks like a bargain for 900K.
3. Ryan McDonagh, on a night where he was -1, you wouldn’t think he belongs here. However, he was a force and looks more and more comfortable with the puck. On one particular penalty kill he intercepted a pass in front of Talbot and rushed it up ice for a partial breakaway. It was shades of Brian Leetch, he just needs to bury it.
1. Derick Brassard, and his line is off to an atrocious start. He was a -3 last night and ould not generate any real offense from the middle all night.
2. Mats Zuccarello was a minus 4 and looks like a shadow of himself out there. Aside from some flashes of feistiness, the little guy with the big heart hasn’t been able to penetrate defenses and get quality chances.
3. Cam Talbot, .826 save % isn’t going to cut it. If Talbot can’t improve quickly, AV’s plan to only play Hank 60-62 times this year will go out the door.