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The Rangers have a one goal game problem

It has been a trend this season

After the public humiliation of the Flyers, many thought last night’s game against the Capitals would be much tougher for the Rangers. The Capitals are tops in the division and have scored the most goals in the division as well. Though the Rangers played well throughout the game, that was erased in a span of 3 minutes. The Caps got two goal mouth goals from Alex Ovechkin off of a rebound and a fortuitous bounce, and went home with the win. It was another of those one goal games for the Rangers that ended in a loss.

These have been a trend for the Rangers this year. To date, their record in one goal games is 3-6-4 or just 3-10 as a straight win-loss record. How different would we as fans be talking about this team if that record were say 7-2-1? Or even just .500? This season has been a struggle when it comes to the one-goal game. This could be a total fluke and next year the Rangers could be well above a .500 record in these games as they get more experienced. Talent wins of course, but this game, no matter what analytics say, no matter what eye test says, is a game of fortuitous bounces a bit of puck luck.

I mean it when I say I’m happy with the type of hockey the Rangers tend to play of late. They are one of the better defensive teams in the league, have an underrated mobile and offensively balanced blue line, and of course we get to cheer for Artemi Panarin night in and night out. It doesn’t mean though that the frustrations that come out naturally from watching this team game after game aren’t misplaced either.

We’ve seen what this team can be when they’ve played their better games. They can be well balanced and elite defensively. Now if only that could be every night, or at least more than once every four games or so. We might be looking at an actual playoff team this season. Games against opponents like the Capitals, Islanders, or the Bruins really show whether this team is close to making the jump. These are the best teams in this division.

Though the Rangers are 6th in the East Division, this team is closer than we think in the bigger picture. It begins with turning this goal scoring trend around hopefully as soon as next year. At mid-way through the season, hopefully the team starts to put the kids in more positions to grow since very soon it won’t be about “winning games”. At some point, finding ways to win matters, as these one goal games are going to grow for the Rangers. To take the next step, they need to win these.

Follow me on Twitter @TylerRichard93.

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  • The Rangers played well enough to win last night, hopefully they get the bounces tonight. Ovechkin now as a net-front presence? Could pay off for the Craps.

  • The way I see it the young Rangers have excellent potential. A small amount of mistakes have cost them quite a few games. They are not quite there yet, a few players short, and first year players developing. I’d like to believe that they are on their way.

  • They didn’t just play “well”, they played very well for 55 minutes — they were the better team throughout. Very disappointing, but we can focus on the big picture progress which continues.

  • Our 4th line last night was not a shut-down 4th line, especially with Howden on it, so they had no business being used the way they were late in the 3rd, on for both goals against. And again, the kid line sits because the coaching staff is afraid to use them. Meet the new coach, same as the old coach.

    • While the blame is laid on the forth line, there are five players on the ice. Fox actually was the one who failed to cover Ovechkin in the slot on the first goal.

      • How dare you criticize Fox when Howden was on the ice at the same time. Don’t you realize that everything that goes wrong with Howden on the ice is Howden’s fault – as well as half of what goes wrong when he is not playing. And Fox has not made a mistake in his entire Ranger career.

        • Anyone who watches the Rangers know how talented Fox is. But you are right, he does have difficulties handling big forwards in front of the net. Other teams know it.

  • Hate the Caps but can’t help but respect Ovechkin he’s the greatest goal scorer of all-time imo.

      • Gretzky is and will always be the great one. However it would be a fun exercise to think about how ovi and Gretzky would do in each other’s eras. Ovi would never have Gretzky s assists but I’m sure his goal totals would rival the great ones.

      • Gretz is the greatest player ever no question but considering one mostly played in the freewheeling offense crazy era and the other played in the dead puck era I go with Ovechkin as the greatest goal scorer.

        • Ovechkin would’ve been a more physical version of Brett Hull in that era. Or a more durable Cam Neely. Would’ve been a goal a game player for a few seasons.

  • The Rangers played a helluva game last night. I enjoyed it immensely. Let’s face it, Ovechkin is a deadly shooter and unless you somehow clear the big guy out of there or block his shot, he is hard to stop. Overall, however, it was a good effort. The Cap’s netminder played quite well too.

  • Nobody mentioned the fact that Georgie was completely out of position on both goals? He was closer to the corner than he was the net on both of Ovi’s tallies. The net was completely vacant. There’s no reason for it. He’s the goat for this game. Rangers were the better team.

    Although last night’s goals were gimmies, Ovi is the best player of his era. He’s older now, but when he was younger he could knock your teeth out with punishing checks and score a hatty. Never was a defensive stalwart, but who cares when he can intimidate you physically and scoring prowess. As a Rangers fan I hate him, but as a hockey fan I enjoy his style of play. Definitely a Mt. Rushmore hockey player.

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