It was a tale of two different teams over the past three days for the Rangers. On Thursday, the Rangers were slow, passive, and bad. Tonight, they were quick, aggressive, and the far superior team. It’s amazing what happens when this team wakes up, isn’t it? They have the talent, but the experience and depth isn’t there yet for consistency. It was nice to see the Rangers shutout the Isles and really flip the script from Thursday’s disaster.
That said, the Rangers really impressed in this one. They jumped on the Isles early and often, completely dominating every aspect of the game. The big thing was the pressure and puck support. They pressured the Isles into turnovers, that we saw. But they supported each other with the puck and gave everyone options. That’s not something that shows up in a highlight.
- Surprise – it’s Ilya Sorokin in net, not Semyon Varlamov. Sorokin vs. Igor Shesterkin is supposed to be the New York goalie duel of the future. We shall see.
- The Rangers are much quicker to the puck in this one already – and they went the first five minutes without a penalty. Progress.
- Mika Zibanejad pressured Noah Dobson on that one to set up the first goal of the 2021 season. More neutral zone pressure this season please. They were awful at that last year, time to get more.
- Also progress – the Rangers didn’t give up the equalizer immediately after.
- A good point by Karly in the BSB chat – just start Alex Georgiev against the Isles. Always.
- Wow did the Rangers dodge a bullet on that second goal. They had no one on the cross ice pass and, to be frank, Brendan Smith got lucky there to intercept the pass. He did make a fantastic outlet to Artemi Panarin for the goal though.
- Death. Taxes. Brett Howden getting more time than Kaapo Kakko.
- Social media had a bunch of complaints about Brendan Lemieux on PP2. He’s good in front of the net.
- Dare I say that Ryan Lindgren-Jacob Trouba looks good?
- K’Andre Miller looks so much better tonight. Keep him off the top pair for now. He looks solid with Brendan Smith.
- Snipe city from Buchnevich – but Sorokin was off his angle on this. Regardless, good plays from Miller and Lafreniere before the Buch snipe.
- PP1 is interesting to me right now. Why isn’t Zibanejad in his spot?
- More neutral zone pressure. More goals. This time Kakko on a great rush following a turnover by Dobson.
- Still would like to see a game where the Rangers don’t take a bunch of penalties.
- And PP1 connects – this makes it a complete game.
- Lindgren-Trouba was solid, and if that’s the top pair, it sets the table for the other pairs. The trick is getting Jack Johnson out of the lineup. However Adam Fox did fine carrying him.
- Brendan Smith is just fine in a third pairing role, and K’Andre Miller really clicked with him.
- Kaapo Kakko, even without the goal, had a very strong game. Ditto Filip Chytil.
- Brett Howden, had a good game. I know I was upset at his powerplay usage, but he was good in this one.
- This is what happens when you pressure in the neutral zone and stop letting teams walk into the OZ with speed.
- Only one real gaffe in this one, and the Rangers lucked it into a goal for them. But even if that doesn’t go their way, they dominated from start to finish.
Can we all calm down now? Thursday was one game. The Rangers answered with a shutout of the Isles tonight. This was a complete-180. On to the next.