Rangers drop road game to CarolinaOctober 29, 2016, by
The Rangers showed us last night that nothing gold can stay, as their offense fell (slightly) anemic to the Carolina Hurricanes in their home opener. Fun fact: this was the first home opener that the ‘Canes have won since the 2008-09 season, but I digress. This was also the first time we spied the Rangers without their offense, lifting the wool from our collective eyes to see what happens to our defense when they actually need to defend.
As you’d imagine, it wasn’t very pretty.
The game was on in my house, however I think the best way to describe the recap of this game is through the eyes of others. The eyes of those on my pals in my apartment. The tweets of those around us.
Let’s start with a positive note: Mats Zuccarello was on another level tonight, one that we’ve grown accustomed to but for which we should be eternally grateful. Zuccarello was responsible for the two goals on our side tonight, playing with the nonstop energy and seemingly huge physical presence. When I think of “grittiness,” I don’t think of blocked shots — I think of all five feet and seven(ish) inches of Zucc.
The rest was bad. It isn’t easy to point blame at any one person, but if we are going to, I’m going with Alain Vigneault for his consistent misuse of his hockey players. Why, why, why, why whywhywhy is Adam Clendening in the press box? If you caught the podcast from Tuesday, you’d know our great displeasure at how Nick Holden, probable 7th defenseman on most teams, is being set up to fail by our fearless coach (I mean that. AV clearly fears nothing based on his behavior this season and last). Tonight was a pretty eye-opening example of poor defensive play, as evidenced so succinctly in this tweet:
Someone please tell Nick Holden that he’s defensing wrong. pic.twitter.com/VJDnBFbZDo
— Beezer (@Angry_VBK) October 29, 2016
But really, actually, I need a megaphone to shout this from the rooftops of every building I know — WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING, NICK?:
No chance pic.twitter.com/lcJXo55N1A
— Steve Valiquette (@Vallys_View) October 29, 2016
And with that, our good friend Kevin DeLury broke the internet by retweeting several gems by Rangers fans everywhere, as shown in this small sample size below. I highly recommend Twitter searching “Nick Holden” for all of them:
All of this, of course, is unfair to Nick Holden, as we discussed before. But it sure as hell is funny, and Rangers fans deserve funny right now.
The rest of the game was surprising pressure with no ability to finish, however being pinned in the Rangers zone far more than we have been spoiled with so far this season. Henrik Lundqvist missed goals he hasn’t in the past, which spawned the ever popular “trade Hank” flurry of chatter, and Dan Girardi and (you guessed it) Holden were pinned in their own end because they were put on the ice with 1:32 left in the 3rd while the Rangers were down 3-2.
What I’m trying to say here is this: if you missed it, you’re lucky. It was frustrating and at some points downright ugly. The Rangers look to bounce back from the rare loss this Sunday night against the Lightning at the Garden.