Rangers lose wild one in Columbus

courtesy NHL.com

The Rangers dropped Sunday evening’s contest against the Blue Jackets in an overall entertaining gong show of a game. The game signaled the return of Sergei Bobrovsky for the Jackets after a short hiatus from the ice following an ’emotional’ game last Tuesday. Oddly enough, Alexandar Georgiev played the second of back-to-back games for the Rangers, as Henrik Lundqvist gets a ‘mental break’ and the fanbase has a mental breakdown.

There isn’t much to be said for a 7-5 loss, and we won’t be breaking down all 12 goals. A lot of them were sloppy and didn’t reflect particularly well on either the defense or the goaltending. Instead, some thoughts:

  • It’s a positive to see Mats Zuccarello producing offensively, as we have roughly six weeks to the trade deadline and he’s ramping up his value. What’s interesting is his production has ramped up since he’s opened up about the mental woes of being on the trade market, going 3-1-4 in 4 games.
  • I wonder what kinds of resources Zucc has had, and from whom he’s received support during a low time.
  • Speaking of trade chatter, I miss Kevin Hayes.
  • On an individual level, what is Brendan Smith doing? Is it possible that he’s Actually Bad ^TM and that he’s been handed a bad contract? Not like any other NYR defensemen have ever received bad contracts, right?
  • On a more macro level, nothing bothers me more than a team taking a billion penalties. NOTHING. The broadcast shared that the Rangers have the most PIM per game than any other team, with 10 mins per game being spent in the box. Riddle me this – is it easier or harder to score goals when you’re down a man?
  • So many of these penalties are stupid, too. Holding here, delay of game there, and it’s all because the team looks either tired, bored, or sloppy. I’m not one for the Grit or Compete/60, but for eff’s sake, please show up to work.
  •  I don’t love that Henrik didn’t play but I’m also not dying over it. Giving him a bit of a break in an abysmal season instead of hanging him out to dry and having to see him sad, sprawled across the ice trying to do the whole team’s job doesn’t do any good for anyone.
  • I tweeted this, but I exist for cuts to John Tortorella after the Jackets give up a goal. I did when he was the Rangers coach, too. He just screams exactly what fans of the team are thinking, and it’s usually not family-friendly.
  • Perhaps the most important part of tonight was the tribute to Rick Nash and the ensuing interview with John Giannone. Nash seems like the consummate professional, an absolute beast who did what was asked of him, didn’t complain about it, and had disgusting raw talent to boot. It made me so happy to see him getting some love after going quietly into retirement. I only hope the Rangers do something similar at the Garden.

We’ll have more to come on the Nash retirement in the coming days, but for the current Rangers, they’re back in action tomorrow night vs. a streaking Carolina team at the Garden. Fun note: tomorrow night is Pride Night at the Garden, which makes me proud to be a fan, even in this wasted season.

Share your thoughts on the game, or whatever, with us as always in the comments.