Game Wrap-ups

New Jersey Devils (6) / Rangers (4) Game Thoughts

Hells Bells

Another game, another 5+ goals against. Though the Rangers from January until the last week or so were playing really well, everything has changed since they lost Kreider. The defense seems to have regressed to early season results of miscommunication, sloppy breakouts, and no effort to break up the rush at the blue line but rather give it up. You cannot expect your offense to put up 5-6 goals every game in order to win. While the term “just win baby” has been thrown around, if we want them to make the playoffs and actually make a run, they’ll need a better system than what we’ve seen the last 5 games. Okay, let’s get to some thoughts.

  • Igor is back! Normally, you’d see a guy come back from a rib injury and think wow, but it was obvious that from the first goal given up that Igor is still feeling the effects of that injury. A shot from an impossible angle is something he would normally stop 99/100 times, especially when it was one of his first few shots against. He would eventually get pulled in favor of Henrik Lundqvist for the 3rd period after letting in 5 from poor defensive structure and slow reaction times from Shesterkin.
  • Gauthier in the first period played on a line with Chytil and they seemed to develop some good line chemistry. Gauthier received a pass from Fox, wrapped around the net, and threw the puck to the slot for a little one timer from Chytil. Just a beautiful play all around. Gauthier is going to be a beast.
  • Mika Zibanejad continued his scoring touch with another goal from Fox and Buchnevich, increasing his odds of scoring 50 goals this season. Pavel Buchnevich simultaneously matching his career high in points was also good to see him achieve. This line in particular though absolutely misses Chris Kreider. No offense to Phil Di Guissepe, but he’s just not Chris Kreider.
  • The ex-Ranger curse reigns supreme as Frederik Claesson gets his first goal of the season
  • Henrik chants when he was announced as the new goalie gave me some feelings…can he start against Dallas on Tuesday?
  • I know Panarin/Strome/Fast used to score a bunch when Panarin was on a scoring heater, but that line looks flat as a pancake the last 7 games or so. You wonder what it would take to get Kakko or Gauthier significant chances/ice time on that line. I love Fast’s diversity in a lineup, but he’s not an everyday top 6 winger at all.
  • Low event hockey in the third did not help the Rangers in getting the offense going. Way too much dumping and chasing the puck instead of trying to take it in and draw defenders in and opening up passing/shooting lanes.
  • Underrated part of this game was also that Kenny Albert was on the call for the play by play. I know Sam is THE guy, but it’d be great if Kenny could get more MSG time rather than NBC time when announcing for TV. I do genuinely enjoy how he calls a game.
  • With 3 minutes left to go and down 2 goals, Quinn actually thought it was smart to put Lemieux and Di Guiseppe out on the ice together to contribute offensively…I truly do not understand this coach at times.
  • This team CANNOT afford many more losses, let’s hope they get going on another run soon.

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  • Too many turnovers tonight by the team in blue. The Rangers need to move the puck quicker before they get stripped from the puck. No knock on the Devil’s who played well, but I thought the Rangers beat themselves tonight.

    • If only JT Miller was still a Ranger, eh Bloomer? He’d have picked the Rangers right up on his back….

      • JT is a player the Rangers could use right now. He is not only skilled but plays with a lot of jam and determination. But the organization prefers to draft European players who like to pass the puck into the net.

        And so another saga of the rebuild continues on.

        • JT Miller: 61 playoff games played, 3 goals scored.

          Yup, lots of jam, leadership, and grit there though, huh?

          61 playoff games played, 3 goals scored. What can he teach the Rangers? How to lose?

  • Understandably Shesterskin rusty after layoff(did injury persist ?).They have no alternative,he’s the man.Game for me turned on cross ice pass on Ranger blueline that Pavel (the matador)Buschnevich pathetically waved at.It set off sequence that 30 seconds later led to tying goal and momentum change.It is time to stop mollycoddling players like “Mr Happy”..he will never be a TWO WAY PLAYER.Undisciplined play,stupid penalties,woeful percentage on faceoffs,inexcusable non efforts in their most important games.A team of marshmallows with no drive and zero character.Defense sucks in the crease.They “back-in” way too much in their own zone.Gone on all season.Lindy (the relic)Ruff has to go.Give Gregg Brown a shot.David Quinn has blind spots,can’t imagine Herb Brooks mollycoddling the routine offenders under the pretence of “teaching”.John Davidson:the data is there..jettison the players who cannot play a two way game.Season is already over.Not with this team.

    • Is this some sort of coded telegram? It doesn’t make much sense to read straight through. Love it when people pick on a Ranger who had 2 points in a game—this team’s defense is pathetic and the coach is a chowder-sipping favorite-playing fool.

      Really glad the team put pressure on Shesterkin to come back. The season’s over, give the guy time to heal up.

  • They played tonight like mikas 5 goals was their Stanley cup. With a few more efforts like tonight it ultimately may end up being.

  • Welp. that was completely unacceptable, from top to bottom.

    Maybe Igor should have gotten a game in Hartford first, eh?

    That “effort” last night was brutal, forgetting about how Shesty played.

    Like I said, Gauthier can play. The coach needs to stop “relying” on guys like Di G, Fast and Howden. Although there was no compete battle in them at all last night, so it probably didn’t matter anyway.

    Very disappointing game, given the circumstances.

    • In the post game wrap up, you heard Dave Maloney say that he said before the game, the Rangers had better be careful, even though the Rangers are playing a team that is not play-off bound, it still can be a “trap” game for them…… and lo and behold, it WAS.
      Hate to say, but “good job” by the Devils – after 10 minutes or so in the first period, they took over the flow of the game: they were fast, had crisp passing and were the better team. Rangers were sloppy and seemed disinterested/not motivated. The Devils are definitely playing the role of “spoilers” going forward.

      • I give the Devs plenty of credit. They always play the Rangers tough, no matter their record.

        And I would have given then even more if the Rangers decided to show up and win a puck battle or 2.

        The Rangers not being prepared for this game was a disgrace. And not playing Shesty in Hartford for a warm up game was incredibly stupid, and put Shesty at injury risk, on top of it.

        You mean to tell me that our HOF goalie cannot be trusted for a game or 2? And they trust an injured goalie over him too? Ridiculous.

  • Love Jesper but get him away from the Bread Man. Put him on the 4th line where he belongs . GiG is not a first line winger ,try Gautier Kakko or even call up Kratsov this is supposed to be the final year of the rebuild , so see what you have . Hopefully Smith and Staal ,Haley are gone or Staal is a 7th D next year . Fast and GiG are 4th line players ,surly you can get a cheap C to play with them. Strome has been riding Panarins coat tail all year . Think just how good the Bread Man could be if he played with Z all year.

  • I know Kreider going down has hurt the club. But he is not at fault for the d-men seemingly forgetting how to play, or throwing away everything that has helped them in their latest run. The D seems to be back to their early December form, not horrible/not great either. This is on the coaching staff, IMHO.

    I thought they looked good last night until Mika scored. They seemed to relax right then… maybe assuming he’d be unstoppable again. But all those good feelings from the Caps game evaporated last night, as they are in a tricky spot again in the standings.

    I agree that DQ needs to play Kakko in a larger role and take the leash off the poor kid. Sorry, but I remember how he looked at the World Championship last summer against NHL players. He is a shell of himself now. I think Quinn has been all over the poor kid and trying to coach him way too much. We have not really seen even a flash of the player he was last summer. And I think DQ has bottled up his skill set this year and gotten into his head. Even when he has given him ice-time, Kakko looks too afraid to do anything skillful out there. Let the kid have some fun and make some creative plays out there, and I think you’ll see a rejuvenated Kakko again. DQ seems to have pushed his skills to the back-burner and teaching him to be more like Brett Howden.

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