Rangers goaltending nothing short of brutal

Lundqvist: must do better. (Bennett/Getty)
Lundqvist: must do better. (Bennett/Getty)

Henrik Lundqvist seems to have forgotten how to control rebounds, and his decision making around the net has been abysmal. Martin Biron can’t even stop a shot from the blueline.  Every aspect of the Rangers (Brad Richards aside) has been awful to start the year, but it has to start and end in net, and the Rangers are nowhere near good enough in goal so far. It’s been that bad that maybe Glen Sather is reducing his next contract offer to Henrik Lundqvist as we speak.

To be fair, the Rangers defense has been almost as bad; coverage has been terrible, positioning and decision making even worse, and the Rangers goaltending tandem have had opposing players open in front and have often faced far too high a quality of shot. That said, it comes back to your goaltender giving you a chance and neither goalie has done that so far.

For all the teams other issues this team current has the Rangers goalie combo have already let in far too many ‘soft goals’ at this stage of season. No goaltender is perfect but when your starting goaltender earns close to $7 million (and is looking for a max contract in his next deal) it is fair to expect more – especially when the team in front of him is in a period of transition.

After just five games and a whopping twenty five goals conceded, the pressure is mounting for the Rangers, for Alain Vigneault and the goaltending situation. The Rangers still have a great goaltending situation but until Lundqvist and Biron start actually stopping some pucks with regularity the awkward questions will start to get asked with more regularity.

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  • My only comment with Hank is that hopefully the Hank we saw in the 3rd period last night (the typical Hank) is what we see from here on out.

    Not sure what’s going on with Marty, he looked pretty good in the preseason. Does he really need a job challenge for motivation?

  • This blog is finally coming around to seeing Hank for what he really is: he is like what Torts said about Joe Thornton, he’ll “go down as one of the better players in this league to never win anything.” 16 goals against in five games is not Vezina caliber.

    • He already won the Vezina! That’s nothing? The Man Coverage AV employs is not exactly pumping out superstar goalies. His Canuck teams were decent defensively but never got the saves in big spots. Today’s players are just too quick and creative to stay on him man to man. Zone coverage in the scoring area is the way to go. The thing is most goals against are on or off the rush by mistakes on the part of the defenseman.

  • Agree the goaltending had been bad but with the D is the glaring problem. The Rangers All Star defenseman have bee terrible so far. Staal looks so far from himself that it’s scary in a way. The Rangers keep getting beat off the rush. That coverage has nothing to do with new coaches or system changes. Mac let Perry go right around him and Staal forgot how to cover. Both looked like they were standing still and didn’t care. The way Marty played, I won’t have a problem giving Talbot a look as backup. He can’t be worse than Swiss Marty!

  • Hank will automatically improve with a stout backup. Marty ain’t it my friends. At least he hasn’t been it since 2 seasons ago. I am not just expressing frustration about last night. I enjoyed the game and their compete level.

    The frustro came in when I saw the SL goalie doing what normal goalies do, stopping scoring changes and our guy standing there like a dunce, at least 2 or 3 times on highly stoppable shots.

    And again, this is not a one game knee jerk sample. Marty has been anywhere from okay to shaky to flat out non-functional in net for over a year now.

    I like the guy, but realistically he’s not that good and hasn’t been for a couple years. IMO I guess.

  • Seems like every day there is a new problem to fix.

    Now the D that was supposed to be our strength seems like Swiss cheese. So many blown coverages.

    Bottom line is changes need to happen in personnel.

    Here’s my take”
    OUT IN
    Del Zotto Byfluien
    Pyatt Powe
    Pouliott Clutterbuck
    Asham Mashinter
    Brassard Kreider
    Fast Hagelin

    What ever happened to the team that no one wanted to play against 2 years ago? Was Prust that much of a force? Cant say it was Dubinsky – cause he was hurt 1/2 the season. Cant say it was Anisimov cause he didnt hit.

    It was attitude…and then the got tired of Torts.

    Unfortunately, Slats picked the wrong coach (well planned / well thought out, but wrong choice).

    We needed Messier!!!

    Wow…we are deep in dregs.

  • Don’t tell me, let me guess, the Rangers need to get rid of Lundqvist as soon as possible. Did some of you come over from the Giants’ blog after typing they need to get rid of Eli Manning? The Rangers’ defense looks like an ECHL team. If you put me in front of the goal with no defenders around for five minutes, I’ll score. That’s what it looks like.

    Blaming the back-up goaltender? Seriously? Did someone write that Hank will play better with a competent back-up? Do you really have that little respect for Lundqvist? One of the top 3 or 4 goaltenders on the planet? And what’s the back-up goaltender’s role on the team? Getting ju-ju-bees for the guys at practice?

    You’ve got to be kidding.

    • I wrote that. What I meant was that it is a confidence thing for Lundquist and the team. A backup who can keep Henrik rested and win us some games will sturdy Hank’s mental and physical health late in the season and take some pressure off.

      I know he thrives on that stuff, but he’s not getting any younger. Whatever, all I know is I saw a traffic cone standing in net last night and with Marty I’ve seen it too many times now.

  • Staal leading the team in giveaways, with 7.
    Is he having problems seeing the the puck? McDonough has like 4, Del Zotto 3, Girardi 2, Stralman & Moore 1 .

    Time on ice- Girardi 28.8, Staal 26.8, Del Zotto 25.4, McDonough 25, Stralman 23.8, & Moore 19.6

    McIlrath with 2 goals @ Hartford was outpointed in fight with 7rd pick 20 yr old RW Derek Mathers of Phila’s Adirondack team

    Dorsett is one penalty minute machine- ZERO hits,
    3 minor penalties.

    Derek Dorsett 8 hits, 32 PM this season.
    Matt Martin 20 hits, ZERO PM.
    Zack Rinaldo 26 hits, 13 PM
    Dale Weise 12 hits, 2 PM

    Got to believe Dorsett is out of here soon.
    Got to believe McIlrath will be here soon;
    upside 6th or 7th defenseman/policeman.

    Rangers could have picked up on waivers 24 yr old defenseman Ryan Stanton 6-2, 205 who is now with Vancouver. Stanton can fight some, play defense, pretty solid guy compared to McIlrath.

    Vancouver management real good at picking up low cost, young utility guys (ie. Weise) that are physical, sound defensively FOR NOTHING

  • Any contract offer to lundquist should be tabled upon further review. The same goes to garardi. Hockey is a business and their market value is plummenting.

  • Girardi is a top 2 pairing defenseman who has NEVER missed a game in the NHL. Letting Girardi go only makes sense if the Ranger’s farm system

    Ryan Stanton is a right handed semi tough defensive defenseman @ 24, 6-2, 205. Rangers passed on him, Vancouver did not. Stanton is definitely a top 6, best case in a couple of years top 4 defenseman.

    Lundquist is one of the top 5 goalies in the NHL.
    It would be sad for Lundquist to go and RICHARDS STAY NEXT SEASON.

    Anything is possible with a Sather at the helm.

    • Lundquist is demanding to be paid the highest salary of any NHL goalie in history. He is still a very talented netminder but as we saw in last years playoffs, he is not the best out there.

  • I think it boils down to the system. We are using more of an overload, conceding the cross ice pass

    We’ve never been good at stopping those. Torts tried to implement the same type of system when he came in. He toned it back because of two things if I remember right

    1. Odd man rushes which hank couldn’t stop. Position ally sound but reflexes not so great. Not subpar but not like some tenders glove.

    2. Deflections and one timers. Conceding the cross ice pass opens this door. Hank has never been stellar against these two types of shots. It’s his positioning that makes his save Its hard to get square on the shooter when your slidin cross crease and trying to stop the puck.

    Torts never tried working through these problems he altered the system to cover those up . To his credit.

    Now can av implement the same type of system and get the guys rolling without Turtling up.

  • Reading troll comments where impatient fans, or fake fans, ridicule a team and season 5 games in and call for heads makes me angry, and also makes me realize why we live in a society of fads.

  • Mike Richter was a fabulous goalie and fans got down on him too. But in those last few years he played behind some of the most putrid defences ever. Right now the Ranger D do not seem to be adapting at all. Hank is not Jesus you know, he can’t do it all himself and I think he needs to relax because he’s trying to do too much to lift the team but the D are leaving him defenceless.

    • Defence can make or break a goalie. But those wrist shots throw at the net from the blueline can’t go in, that just piss poor netminding.

  • Both Kreider & Lindberg are -1 for their first 4 gms. Kreider already has 14 PM, no fighting majors

    Miller has 4 goals in 3 gms and a +2.
    Kristo has 5 pts, 4 gms,+1
    McIlrath has 2 goals, +1.

    Hrvik & Jean have been benched and are invisible.

    Mashinter doesn’t have any goals, but has 3 assists in 4 gms and is a +0.

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