Game Wrap-ups

Eight Penalties Sinks Rangers Against Islanders

Well, last night’s game was the definition of a trap game, and the Rangers fell into that trap, falling to the New York Tavares’ Islanders 4-2 last night. There’s not much to really discuss from this game, so let’s get to the bullets:

  • John Tavares is really, really good.
  • That said, Tavares’ first goal was a product of the Rangers not clearing the front of the net. This is an issue that is going to plague the Rangers until both Mike Sauer and Marc Staal come back form injury. That could be a reason why they recalled Brendan Bell, who plays a bit more of a physical game.
  • Two Islanders goals were scored on the powerplay. Not surprising, considering the Rangers took eight penalties. Sooner or later it was going to bite them, and it did last night.
  • The refs were not to blame for that loss. The call on Ryan Callahan’s interference was a legitimate call, he was barely touched. Marian Gaborik also had a lazy penalty late in the third that killed any kind of momentum the Rangers could muster.
  • That said, there were some questionable calls, but you cannot blame the loss on the refs. Good teams never allow the refs to control their fate.
  • There are going to be games where the Brandon Dubinsky-Artem Anisimov-Ryan Callahan line has off nights. Last night was one of them. Ouch.
  • No powerplay goals yet. It’s still early, but that’s not a good thing. It’s not like Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik are playing poorly, because they aren’t. The Islanders didn’t have much of an answer for that duo and Derek Stepan last night. They just can’t seem to execute with the man advantage. No goals on the powerplay is an issue, but it’s not likely to last. They will click at some point, it’s only been three games.
  • That top line was pretty good last night. Stepan is a nice fit there. I forgot who it was on this blog that said it, but kudos to you. Seriously. Those top two lines are now set, and assuming the third line of Ruslan Fedotenko-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust stays together, it’s just the fourth line that will need some work.
  • Speaking of the fourth line, should we even bother calling it a line? It’s clear from the ice time that John Tortorella only rolls three lines.
  • Of course, the fourth line is a hodgepodge of crap. Mats Zuccarello, who was invisible for a third straight game, was demoted. Erik Christensen is, well, Erik Christensen. Mike Rupp doesn’t have anyone to mesh with because Zuccarello and Christensen are skill guys, he is not. The addition of Kris Newbury will give him someone who can grind it out with him. Personally, I’d like to see a Marty Reasoner type fourth line player as the last guy on that line. It’s clear neither Christensen or Wojtek Wolski are really needed with those top three lines clicking.

The Rangers have a tough road trip to Western Canada coming up, starting with the Canucks on Tuesday. In those four games (eight points total), I think they need to come back with at least five points, which is no easy task. At least it will be out of the way early.

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  • I basically said the same.Tavares has taken that next step,he is that good.Beside eminger misplay,the D was not that bad.But we need a crease clearer.Three bogus penalties,but good teams overcome.Gabby and Richards look good,Stepan looks like a good fit.So many PIM understand why no mins. for fourth.But Torts has to use more than 2 or 3 lines a night.Was suprised Isles not dressing goons,guess they actually have enough talent now to fill a roster.I always had a hatred for the Isles,but last year you could see this team was turning the corner.

  • On other sites,people are complaining about last night defensemen.I thought besides Emingers[looed like he went to block it,then turned to avoid it]misplay on Tavares goal,the D was decent.Del Zotto was fine in his own zone,and had some nice shot and moved the puck well.Woywitca didnt make any glaring mistake.Erixon was fine too.McD and Girardi were good.The only one I could say didnt have a good night was Eminger.What do some of you guys think?

  • Sorry Dave, but you’re said it yourself, this team will be successful when Boyle’s line is the 4th line, not the 3rd.

    As good as Stepan looked on the 1st line, they need him to anchor a 3rd line with skill players (not Rupp) to give this team another threat in the scoring department.

    Maybe the solution is to let Christensen play with Richards (I know, stop laughing, he’s here, may as well use his chemistry with Gaborik), give Wolski and Newbury to Stepan on the 3rd, and go from there.

    • I think Step is more of a playmaker and we are kind of a waste having him on the first line.Line needs a sniper.I think that Step on a third line with Zucc and maybe Wolski playing against weaker competition would gives 4 capable lines.We really need a left wing if Wolski goes to third.If we could trade for someone decent w/o giving up the farm great.we really dont have anyone in the system.The only one I would give a chance to is Hagelin.But he’s a playmaker too.I would like to see Torts stick Rupp in front of the net on the PP with gabs and Richards.For regular shifts we really need someone else.But I have to admit Stepan looked good.I like the idea of pushing Boyle to the fourth,maybe Torts would roll all 4 lines.I believe rolling 4 lines is the best way to go.There are so many tight games,maybe if our top lines were not so exhausted in the late stages of the game we would win a few more.

  • 3 games in and we are talking about the same things we were last year.

    Can’t take too many penalties, The first line needs to click. And the power play still doesn’t work.

    This sounds like a broken record. 🙁

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