King Henrik’s heroics can’t save the Rangers from themselves in loss to Vegas

Henrik Lundqvist was outstanding yesterday afternoon. It was basically him against Vegas, as the Golden Knights had repeated high quality scoring chances all game. But it was save after save after save. Even vintage Lundqvist, which is still current day Lundqvist, wasn’t enough to save the Rangers from their own terrible defense.

Let’s be real here. The team defense took the day off. It wasn’t just the blue liners. It was everyone. The number of chances from right in front or off Royal Road passes was so high I lost count. If it wasn’t for Lundqvist, this game would have been 11-3, not 4-3. It’s funny, though. The Rangers got dominated from start to finish, barely mustered any consistent offense, didn’t play defense, and basically mailed this one in, and STILL scored three goals. Imagine what this team can do if they ever figure out that half of hockey is preventing goals

Rangers 1, Vegas 0

Kevin Hayes read the pinch by Nate Schmidt and chipped the puck out of the zone to Pavel Buchnevich. Just look at this pass to Brady Skjei. Wow.

Vegas 1, Rangers 1

This is just a whole lot of bad luck. Colin Miller’s shot went high/wide, but ricocheted off the glass back behind Hank and it banked in off him.

Vegas 2, Rangers 1

Henrik Lundqvist did everything he possibly could in this game. He was on top of his game. But when the defense does things like this, like allowing that pass from Max Pacioretty to Paul Stastny, there’s nothing that can be done.

Vegas 2, Rangers 2

Mika Zibanejad sure can fire a slapper, can’t he? The Rangers moved the puck very well on this one and Zibanejad just let it rip.

Vegas 3, Rangers 2

Lias Andersson with the turnover. Neal Pionk overcommitting to the second pass after allowing the first. Just a terrible sequence.

Vegas 3, Rangers 3

Hayes forced the neutral zone turnover here, and got the puck to Chris Kreider for his usual speed up the wing and shot. And what a shot that was.

Vegas 4, Rangers 3

I love 3-on-3 OT. This time it didn’t work out. Alex Tuch tucked one inside the post off a nice pass from Stastny.

Shot Heatmap

This is ugly. Look at all that non-white spice for Vegas. The Blueshirts just hemorrhaged shots from everywhere, especially in dangerous areas. Just terrible.

Aside from Hank and Hayes, who keeps boosting his trade value, this is a game you just move past. I saw how the comments were all doom and gloom after the loss on Friday night, but this is a rebuild, folks. This is what happens. These are the types of games we are going to see as we go into January, February, and March.

"King Henrik's heroics can't save the Rangers from themselves in loss to Vegas", 5 out of 5 based on 3 ratings.

31 thoughts on “King Henrik’s heroics can’t save the Rangers from themselves in loss to Vegas

  • Dec 17, 2018 at 6:50 am

    When the opponent is allowed to:

    Accept a pass uncontested;
    Read a chapter or 2 of a really good book;
    Look around to see if a teammate is open;
    Take several seconds to wait out the goalie;
    And score a goal.

    Then you know the “effort” is piss poor. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen just once. But about 15 times during the game.

    Knights out-attempted the Rangers by 30 shots attempted yesterday. THIRTY.

    And yet, the Rangers got a point. I wonder how come…

    Memo to Pionk: STOP BACKHANDING PASSES IN FRONT OF YOUR OWN NET. My God, this is not rocket science, so please, no one tell me he’s a young player. He’s played hockey for 20 years and at no level of hockey is this acceptable.

    I was laughing, because I was listening to the post game radio show, and how all these Ranger players were “good” yesterday. Wow.

    • Dec 17, 2018 at 7:54 am

      Pionk and Skjei were abysmal yesterday. Lias too. Is it me or do the Rangers always lose games that start at 12:30?

      • Dec 17, 2018 at 9:12 am

        A pro hockey game should start at 7 – 7:30 pm,especially for the Rangers!

      • Dec 17, 2018 at 9:41 am

        LOL, they do not do well with afternoon games, for sure.

        DeAngelo was not good either. No D man was. A lot of standing around.

    • Dec 17, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      I know you are a Hayes supporter Richter but just thinking out loud here…Is it just me or does he look like he has no enthusiasm or drive – seems like he just goes through the motions a lot.

      Imagine what kind of game he would have if he just gave a %$&#%$…..???

      • Dec 18, 2018 at 6:32 am

        I think that’s just his style pal, meaning smooth and easy. He’s playing great, probably the best hockey of his career.

        Fact: Evander Kane has had his best years, by far and away, in contract years. This is what I fear with Hayes. Kevin’s never broke 50 pts but now, in a contract year, is looking like a 60 pt player. How come now? Granted AV deployed him in defensive roles, so we have to consider that in assessing Hayes prior to this year.

        BTW, Kane got a 7 year, $49M contract, guaranteed Hayes and then Kreider when he is up for his contract, that this will be their ask. I think the Rangers pass on both and eventually trade both, unless they take discounts.

        I like Hayes a lot, but signing him that will not allow for upgrades throughout the team puts us in the situation that we are in now. And it’s not a good one.

  • Dec 17, 2018 at 7:08 am

    Poor Hank

  • Dec 17, 2018 at 7:38 am

    Evergreen game. Sell baby sell. I think a little more then a retool is in order. Lots needed here and in ahl.

  • Dec 17, 2018 at 7:40 am

    I realize the game of hockey has changed over the years, and that everyone is interested in high scoring games, but basic defense has been thrown out the window. If the opponent is allowed to park his ass in your crease area, and enjoy a cup of coffee, something is wrong. I look forward to the kid Lindgren coming up soon, he plays a physical game, instead of tiddlywinks!!!!!!!!

    It will be interesting to see when the Rykov kid, along with Miller, play together, if we see this kind of garbage being played???????

    • Dec 17, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      I’m not so sure it has been thrown out league-wide Walt – but it sure has been thrown out on this team….

    • Dec 17, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      Teams seem to play differently, but I don’t if there is any evidence that new style hockey beats old style hockey.

  • Dec 17, 2018 at 7:42 am

    It’s really amazing it was only 4-3 and we got a point(which is actually hurting us) The team this season in general has played harder than they did last season, but they still rarely if ever play a complete game. They were lackadaisical on D all day yesterday. The most troubling part about that is it’s a bit of a carry over from last season.

    I really think it’s time for bigger rooster changes. I watched Tampa vs Winnipeg last night and I can tell you this much; we are not even close to those teams on talent and compete level. They’re some of the top teams in the NHL and they are light years ahead of us.

  • Dec 17, 2018 at 8:25 am

    Yes, they got out played, that is for sure, and Hank kept it much closer that it deserved to be.

    The neutral zone play by the forwards is what has not been to good recently. When your defensemen are faced with a two or three on one where they have to choose their poison when deciding to defend the pass or the shot, it ain’t gonna be pretty. Pionk and Skjei had some rough moments, but the defenders in general were often defending against rushes that were set in motion by the forwards not defending well.

    Year one of the rebuild is going to have games like this. Patience required!

    • Dec 17, 2018 at 9:42 am

      This game has nothing to with rebuild my friend. EFFORT, it was not there at all, except for in goal.

  • Dec 17, 2018 at 8:34 am

    I have to pin this loss on the coach. The team quit on him yesterday, and needs to figure out why. Sure they didn’t play well, but maybe the practices this week were not good. Maybe he is too tough and maybe he is too easy – I don’t know, but they came out of the lockerroom unprepared to play.

    Of all the moves we need to make, none is bigger that acquiring 2 solid defenseman. We just cannot continue to be so poor in our own end. We keep saying it is youth, but Pionk is the only rookie back there. The rest of the defense is just piss-poor. Go get me a good defenseman, not a second round pick.

    • Dec 17, 2018 at 11:40 am

      This is a another year that’s showing why Kreider won’t ever be captain of the NYR. I know it’s cool for him to be the last guy off the ice for meme’s, so people like Dave could say ” see captain material “. I just don’t see or hear of any natural leaders on the bench or on the ice.

      Winning this season and showing that the Rangers have fight and heart in them can go a long way. I’m Eric Karlsson might test the market and if so than NYC could be on his radar. Free agents will not just flock here because it’s NYC. They’re going to want to win right away.

      • Dec 17, 2018 at 11:48 am

        i’m all for losing a few more this year if it will keep karlsson off of the rangers’ blue line for the next 7 years at $10M cap hit or whatever crazy number he will get.

        • Dec 17, 2018 at 12:17 pm

          He’s worth it and even though I’m bias, San Jose doesn’t deserve him lol but Hank does. There are so many plays he can do with or without the puck. He will breakup a good forecheck with his vision, skating, passing or willingness in taking a hit. He has a active stick throughout the DZ and NZ which will get very little praise. His skills to aim for deflections are unreal. When he enters the skill zone with the puck, he becomes a top 20 forward. If I had my choice than OEL would have been the guy to sign but if Karlsson wants in than I hope the Rangers sign him up.

          • Dec 17, 2018 at 1:17 pm

            Karlsson’s off to the worst start this season that he’s had in years. It figures you’d offer him a contract, Mint. Why not start at $80 million for 8 years, and watch NYR slide into even more salary-cap sponsored mediocrity??

            Karlsson will burn the team that signs him almost as badly as the David Clarkson contract burned Toronto, mark my words.

            • Dec 17, 2018 at 2:45 pm

              “Karlsson will burn the team that signs him almost as badly as the David Clarkson contract burned Toronto, mark my words.” ^ Start that out as a thread in Reddit. You’ll sure get burn for talking like that.

              Anyone who signed up for Clarson’ s career high of 46 points was destined to get burned. That contract is on par with someone like Cally with it being two grinders who overachieved within their playing styles.

              Karlsson is a top 3 defenceman in this league and you’ll pay for that service. When he’s 34 yrs old, he’ll still be one of the fastest skaters who can put up 46 points. Your hypothetical of a 8 year comtract really set the tone for this discussion. Have a nice afternoon

              • Dec 17, 2018 at 5:07 pm

                Reddit? Really? Why is it not surprising at all that you’re a redditor? Maybe because they’re all idiots over there? Yup, I think that’s it.

                As far as the numbers: 8 years, $80 million was what Ottawa offered Karlsson. He turned it down, probably because he badly wanted to leave—but that’s your starting point in terms of public offers for Karlsson’s next jammie. See? These are facts. Not the imaginary BS you and your fellow tinhat-wearers specialize in over at Reddit.

          • Dec 18, 2018 at 12:51 am

            I’d give a jack eichel the 8x$10M. Not an Erik Karlsson and certainly not at this stage of the rangers rebuilding cycle

      • Dec 17, 2018 at 7:06 pm

        You can keep Eric Karlsson, he is softer than Carvel!!!!! I see how he is tearing up the NHL this year, even with all that talent on the Sharks. Treat him like the plague, and run like hell!!!!!!!!

  • Dec 17, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Agreed they are just totally outclassed in the defensemen category. May even be a bigger issue then the forwards right now.

    + They keep throwing $ at what I think are bland defensemen. just because they can skate doesn’t mean u hand over 5 mill. Can they do anything else? A slapshot perhaps?

    I think the coaching change was more of a fresh voice … To me this idea that you can teach pros to be 10% better… Is very Utopian.

  • Dec 17, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Interesting question I think because there seems to be a difference of opinion to some degree:

    To the extent you can separate the causation out, were last night’s deluge of shots due to blue liners or the forward group?

    I’ve already said earlier that I thought some of the forwards were too soft last night. For example, Kreider started going hard later in the game and had 8 hits. Lias Andersson and Namestnikov had 3 each, Strome 2. But of the rest, five forwards had none and a few had 1 hit. While hits don’t tell the whole story because it doesn’t include things like a defenseman tussling around the goal or players fighting for the puck along the boards, it gives you some idea about who is being aggressive defensively. I think the coach was on them about that too?

    While Pionk and Skjei were particularly not very good in this game, can we expect a couple of defensemen to defend against the rush when the forwards don’t make it hard for the other team in the neutral zone and along the boards?

  • Dec 17, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Vegas is a team we should match up against. They have a lot of tenacity, but no one I would say is an elite player. They stick with a system that collapses to provide their goalie with good support. There is no way we should have been so outplayed. I also think that we were out-manned in our own zone, so I would say that is at least o combo of poor defensive play and poor back-checking.

    • Dec 17, 2018 at 12:30 pm

      Jonathan Marchessault>Kreider. A 27-30 goal scorer who has touched 51 points and 75 points in a two year span.

      Since people on here like to talk about career highs. William Karlsson>Zib. 78 points and 43 goals puts him in a different realm of production.

      LVGK have better player’s in their lineup like Ottawa and Buffalo do.

  • Dec 17, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    People talk about defense as if its an individual thing…it is not it is a team concept. Today in the NHL they want defenseman to push offense so your defense will suffer. If a defenseman is a stay at home Dman…he is somehow regarded as worthless…eh to win games you have to prevent getting scored on. Clueless hockey fans and since Bettman took over now dominate the fan base. They want to see goals. Most of them don’t realize that a 1-0 game is as intense. I have never seen fans leave a game early when its 1-0 and seen plenty leave when the score is 7-3. Incredible how so many Ranger fans harp at the skaters but Lundqvist gets a pass. Richter 94 said it perfectly, he is a Lundqvist apologist.
    Why is he that? Well Lundqvist was spectacular in his early days and has longevity with the Rangers, but skaters are quickly forgotten, case in point is #11 that we just raised his number to the rafters. We never heard Viv Vic Vic when he came back in a different jersey but we sure heard Eddie Eddie Eddie. People notice the saves but never notice the subtle plays that prevented a goal by a skater.
    We give up 3 goals a game…best defensive team gives up slightly over 2. That means there sure are a lot of awful defenseman in the league, give me a break…lol. Now on offense we score slightly under 3 goals a game and best offensive team scores almost 4 goals a game. Gee our offense is terrible…haha. The problem for us is we are drastically young and inexperienced
    Management must decide which direction we want to go, plain and simple. We do not have a #1 forward. To get one we must draft him for various reasons. Signing one has proven it doesn’t work time after time after time. How many failed signings do you want me to point to? Why is Vegas a contender? They play as a team from goalie to the 4th liner. We lacked that and Quinn needs time to establish that. If they give up a bad goal the player that caused it doesn’t get benched…he is out on the ice the next shift. Our players get glued to the bench. Young players especially defenseman will make mistakes and we have many now. We are and were a rebuilding team but that 9-1-1 run has made people think we can contend now, To me that was the worst thing that could’ve happened to us. Call it the a glass menagerie. We need to go back to rebuild mentality for this year and put to end that we are capable of contending for the Cup.
    We have a slightly solid foundation but frankly they need experience. Howden is being developed correctly but Andersson is not. Pionk and ADA are young defenseman that need to prove consistency yet Skjei is regressing by the game. Time to give up on Skjei? That’s a hard one but if a mid level first rounder can be had for him then I say yes or even better a solid hockey trade can fetch a good return then yes for his benefit as well.
    Bottom line is there was 1 Bobby Orr and now seems like the defenseman need to be that, i see them more like Ron Greschner and the reality is most are like Tom Laidlaw

    • Dec 17, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      Good comment, with which I mostly agree. I will say that the proper attitude for a rebuild is one player at a time. You can’t think in terms of creating a good defensive unit or a good forward unit – the Rangers are too far away. One just has to get some good players.

      Of course, as you say, one still wants coaching and a team that wins as many as their talent will allow.

    • Dec 17, 2018 at 7:18 pm


      As always spot on with the above post…………

    • Dec 18, 2018 at 6:40 am

      Hey bro, I don’t think Hank should get a pass, I think that he should get more tolerance from the fans based on what he has done for the team.

      The thing that gets me most, is that Hank could make 10 saves that should have resulted in goals, nothing from the fans, but then lets in a softy and the fan base rails against him.

      Which is where I have the problem. If there were kudos for those 10 great saves, then I would not be so annoyed when the King gets criticized. ALL goalies give up softies.

      And for the record, once again, the King is top 5 in the amount of high danger shots faced in the league, with an over .900 save % on those shots. He’s still got it. For how long this year before he buckles? Who knows? But it will happen, it has to.

      And then you and others here get to pounce. 🙂

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