Game Wrap-ups

Rangers lose wild one in Columbus

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.

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  • The good: The Rick Nash tribute, great to see and unfortunate to see at the same time.

    The bad: Just about everything else. Faceoffs don’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things but when the %s are that lopsided then it does speak to the battle levels of each team.

    Maybe the media should interview the Ranger’s goalie after each game to let them state how the “effort” was on any given night.

    Zuc all of a sudden woke up, which means that he was dogging it (which I already knew and could see while attending the home games), even forgetting about the injury.

    Just trade all the vets and be done with it. I would rather watch kids lose but compete than this mess.

      • some players are mentally tougher then others. some see the deadline as an opportunity to showcase their worth and a cup run. Others are more mentally fragile and sulk just from being mentioned on the tsn bait board. Hayes the former, zucc the latter. ,

        “”Omg its the only team he ever knew ”

        You know what in the real world the avg person changes Jobs every two years . gimme a break.

    • Disagree with the idea that Zucc was dogging it. I do think that the mental/emotional state of the players has a significant impact on their performance. Can see it with a lot of them.

      • Zucc has also been injured. Maybe he is finally right.

        But it is also true that there is a big difference between not playing with passion and dogging it.

        • “But it is also true that there is a big difference between not playing with passion and dogging it.”

          Educate me as to what that difference is. Can’t wait to hear this Raymond.

  • Seeing Rick with his beautiful family just gave me a warm feeling. Sorry to say this but I’m glad he called it a day, too much to live for with that great group of kids!!!!!!!!!

    • Amen, Walt. A beautiful family and a smart guy, I’m glad he’s moving forward and hopefully will be able to minimize those symptoms he’s having.

  • Pretty sloppy last night again. Love your point about penalties. Under the premise of practice makes perfect; we should be great at penalty killing..with all the penalties we take..but we are not. Glad to see Zucc score a couple last night. It will help his trade value. Hayes not being in the line up sure shows us how much we miss him. Brendan Smith, if we are lucky he can be a throw in to a bigger deal. But may have to be demoted to Hartford or bought out. Demotion to Hartford is the best option.

    Hank not playing is OK for me. He’s not getting any younger and this team is actually getting worse most nights. (if that is possible) We don’t need to push him and we also don’t need the points. We ain’t making the play offs. I love Hank and I have a hard time seeing us finding a scenario to trade him or him leaving. But watching last night I thought, I could actually see Columbus move Bobrovsky and then swing a deal for Hank. Not sure how he was with Torts, but familiar face and JD is running the show over there. Not advocating for trading Hank at all, but when we face true reality. This team is not going to contend in what time Hank has left on his contract. He’s been great most of the year and that has actually hurt us in the draft standings. I’d hate to see him go but I’d love to see him win a cup.

    Nash made the right choice retiring. Wish him and his family all the best.

    • Can’t imagine any scenario that would 1) entice Hank to play in Columbus with that cannon (did you see him on the bench with earplugs in?) or 2) playing for Torts even though he is a far more mellow version of himself.

  • As much as I enjoyed watching the 2 games against the Islanders, is how much I disliked watching the Columbus game. The team almost looked liked they played “pickup” game where people were out there together, but they did not play as a line. What can I say about the defense that has not been said already. We need a top pair, Panarin, and lots of help on the forward line to even have a chance to be competitive in the future.

    Tony D is a frustrating player to watch, imagine coaching him?

    • SalMerc…. want some positives for the defense corps?
      1. Staal has only 2 years left after this.
      2. Smith has only 2 years left after this.
      3. Shattenkirk has only 2 years after this.
      4. McQuaid is done this year.
      5. Hopefully, Pionk and ADA improve over 2 years.
      6. Hajek, Lindgren, Nils, Miller, Ygor should be ready in 2 years.

      Patience everyone, LOL …. BUT I’m not getting any younger.

      • Remember that is 2 more years of very bad defense! I can only hope half of the problem children are not around next year. Also, while there will be rookies on defense (in the future), the problems might be different, but hopefully more solvable

        I would love to have Hajek play the rest of the year with the big club, just so he gets a feel for the NHL.

        On the offensive side, if our AHL club was tearing it up, I would feel that there is help coming, but that is not the case. We will have no choice but to augment our forwards with free agent acquisitions,

        • I kind of like the idea of bringing up Hajek and Lindgren, but I’m not sure of the ramifications that the 2021 expansion draft will have on that. Do we have to protect them for an extra year now?
          Regarding Nash, he was always the consumnate player. 100% effort, no whining, no bad mouthing other players, did everything that was asked of him, I wish him and his family all the best. I’m even wondering if he’d be interested in an off ice position in New York.
          As for the game, a tire fire on both sides. Enough said.

          • Both will need to be protected or be exposed in 2021 draft – whether or not they play in NY this year. The exemption is for players in their first two years of professional play.

          • I’m assuming that Staal and Shattenkirk ‘s contracts will be up by then and there’s no worries about protecting them and their NTC/NTM clauses? Am I correct?

          • The only players even signed past a 2021 draft are Mika and Skjei, neither of who as any clause requiring protection. Hopefully the Rangers will keep those clauses absent or minimal.

    • I don’t know if my perspective was off or what, but I thought that ADA played fairly well in comparison to some of the others. He wasn’t on the ice for most of the goals against. I thought Pionk and Smith were the ones having a tough game?

      Whatever, I expect young players like Pionk and ADA to be frustrating to watch at times. ADA needs to play regularly for the rest of the season to see if he can become a viable defenseman for the club. Benching him extensively in favor of vets who are not the future of the team seems counterintuitive to me for a rebuilding club.

      • Couldn’t agree more, ADA is great with the puck and defensively pretty sound all things considered. Wish he was a tad more disciplined and had a better (more accurate) shot though, if he did he would be a real handful. Hopefully one of the d’men gets dealt soon and he plays regularly.

        • One can hope he gets the playing time which would improve his decision making. I think that after the deadline he might, but it seems that there are no guarantees. He wasn’t the problem on the goals last night that is for sure. He was on the ice only for one goal against and that goal was scored off the face off.

          • I don’t have half as much an issue with his decision making as I originally thought I would. His passes are pretty pinpoint, even at long distances, and for the most part I think he’s got a knack for making the right play. Too bad he doesn’t have a healthy Grabner around to pass to …. and defensively I think he plays the angles pretty well, plus he has the willingness to get his nose dirty. A little more strength to go with his piss and vinegar attitude would be nice — and it will come in time. I really hope they don’t do something stupid and give up on the kid too early.

            He could have been harder on the puck off of that faceoff, but these are things you learn.

    • Frustrating? How? I think he’s been a very pleasant surprise. Just wish he was a tad more disciplined and his shot was a bit more accurate, but defensively he’s been sounder than most of our d’men (admittedly not getting 1st pairing matchups, but still).

  • Great points Emile. Although I would not be surprised if Shatty gets traded, Smith demoted to Hartford or bought out. But I think Stall will be around the next 2 years. Does not really make much sense to buy out Staal or Smith, with the future cap penalties.

    If the team can get rid of those 3 before the 2 years mark it should improve the timeline on the rebuild. to hopefully 2 to 3 years from 3 to 4. Two years is a bit optimistic on my count, but we can all hope.

  • In a rebuild year with a fairly unskilled team games like this are going to happen especially against better opponents. I don’t think it means the coach has lost the room or the guys are checked out. It means they are in a really tough portion of the schedule playing every other night with a bunch of youngsters unused to that schedule and pace and a bunch of veterans looking over their shoulder praying they don’t end up in Ottawa. I’m an advocate of not playing Hank into the ground for no reason so was happy Georg got the back to back. I thought they were wildly sloppy last night but I also thought they kept on fighting. Going to get a lot worse before it gets better in a year or two.

  • Not surprising. Look no further than the fact they took 5 penalties in the first 29 minutes of the game and 6 in the first 37 minutes the game before. They lost their mojo late in the 2nd period and for part of the 3rd but this was the type of game that just 2-3+ years ago they would have probably still won, now it looks like a relatively bad loss.

    Still though some positives. Chytil looks good and I continue to believe that DeAngelo needs to play night in and night out — I just love the way he plays with the puck … and defensively he doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb, something every other Ranger d’man does aside from Claesson.

  • I loved how Quinn bad mouth this team in every kind of way in his post game interview. I see the deadline and the summer as
    timeframes that will allow more Quinn type names to get on board. JG did state over the summer that Qinn would get the keys to the club and that included roster transactions.

    Captain Kreider? Lol yeah right

  • I don’t think that was Quinn saying he expected them to compete with CBj with this roster. I think he was more saying they are an example of how he envisions nyr being and need to work towards as an organization.

    • As I said, he bad mouth this team in every type of way that there was.

      “I don’t think that was Quinn saying he expected them to compete with CBj with this roster”

      ^ I don’t know where you got that from but it certainly wasn’t from my original post. I didn’t say anything close to what you’re trying to say here but okay..

  • Some save percentages this year:
    Lehner .926 (tops among 39 tenders who have played 20+ games)
    Lundqvist .921 (up to Dec 2)
    Fleury .911 (median of 39 tenders)
    Lundqvist .907 (season stats)
    Georgiev .895 (season stats)
    Smith .889 (last among 39 tenders)
    Georgiev .889 (after Dec 2)
    Lundqvist .879 (after Dec 2)

    Georgiev’s post Dec 2 number was above .900 before yesterday, so his numbers don’t really indicate a team in decline. The collapse has basically occurred in the games Lundqvist has played.

    There is no question that Hank was brilliant in the first phase of this season and has been abysmal in the second segment. He needs the time off to collect himself.

    • We asked hank to leave and he didn’t . You reap what you sow. The less he plays the happier I am. You can’t develop players on the bench.

      I predict he retires a Ranger this year.

    • Tried to post a link to a tweet from Sean Tierney (@chartinghockey) here but it got put in moderation. He has a chart for GSAA for backups – Georg is next to last right above Mike McKenna at -9. Hank, despite his last 3 outings giving up 15 goals, is still on the positive side of the starters ranking 17th overall at a +2 GSAA. Prior to those last 3 games he was 6th overall among all starters. So the idea that Georg has somehow done a better job is just not correct. Hank has certainly struggled in his last 3 starts but Georg has only had 1 truly above average start in his last several.

      • King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!! says:

        Isn’t Georgi one of or if not the youngest goalie in the NHL ?

        • He is. And I think he’s a good goalie and an exciting prospect. But let’s not kid ourselves. This defense stinks and neither the grizzled vet or the baby faced rookie is going to have good numbers in front of it…

          • King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!! says:

            I think maybe one goal last night he wanted back but that was after Duclair pulled Shitty’s pants down first

          • Agreed. #7. Otherwise his team let him down. Like they do to Hank over and over. This level of lousy is not due to the goalies. Roster, inexperience, no truly elite players. Kreider and Mika are close but nowhere near the caliber needed. And the defense is just … oy.

          • Mika’s play has declined with the absence of Hayes, same for Kreider. The lack of depth caused by Hayes’ being out of the lineup is very noticeable. I may get slammed for this, but I think Hayes and Mika compliment one another up the middle. Both are better when the other is playing as well. For that reason I think signing Hayes makes sense, for now.

            Our future centers (Howden, Chytil and Andersson) are no where close to being ready to handle top 6 minutes night after night.

          • Yo Tanto, Zib hasn’t crossed over the 44% in the circle since Hayes has been injured. No bueno…

      • If you look at the whole season, by most measures Hank is having a better year than Georgiev. But Hank’s problems are not the past three games, but the past month and a half (almost). There was a whole string of games in December where each game there was a “Hank would have liked that one back”. I don’t know precisely how Hank is rated +2, but my guess would be that he was something like +16 through the December 2 game and -14 since.

        If one gives Hank an extra five points on his save percentage to compensate for the weak defense, his October and November play was competitive for best goalie in the NHL and his subsequent play competitive for worst starting goalie.

        Incidentally, while I like Georgiev and want to see what he can do, I think the jury is still out on whether he is (or will be) really a solid NHL goalie or not – and he has not particularly impressed this year. But I am with you on the idea that Lundqvist should get a breather so that he can get his head screwed back on correctly because right now he is not doing either himself or the Rangers any favors.

        And the Rangers have a potential logjam next year with Lundqvist, Georgiev, Shestyorkin and should get all the information they can now to figure out how to handle it.

        • Hank’s December games were less crappy than you might think Ray. He was top 3 in GSAA through November but still top 6 or 7 through December according to Charting Hockey. It was the 3 games where he gave up 15 goals to start 2019 that dropped him like a lead balloon. Many of the games in December where he gave up 3 or 4 he lost no ground because that was also the xGA. So games like Florida and Tampa where he gave up a couple of softies were matched equally by games like Winnipeg and Vegas(?) where he gave up 4 but xGA was 5 or 6. He does indeed need to get his game together but overall the man is still propping up this team and far more so than Georg.

  • King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!! says:

    I had the Columbus coverage being down here in the South. Seems Rick is staying in the Columbus area. Wonder if he will have ties in the BlueJacket’s system. Wish him the best going forward. Great two way player when we got him.

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