Jake Guentzel Rangers interest trade
Pittsburgh Penguins' Jake Guentzel (59) backhands the puck over New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin for a shootout goal during an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Tonight marked periods 7, 8, and 9 in a row where the Rangers got smoked. That’s three straight games where the Rangers looked flat and uninspired. Yet they won two of them? Maybe this one was rock bottom though, as it had shades of Alain Vigneault’s Rangers. The Penguins completely outplayed the Rangers tonight and two nights ago. The fact the Rangers came away with a win the other night, let alone eight goals, is a borderline miracle.

We all know this game was a train wreck. So let’s focus on the positives:

  • Igor Shesterkin was very good again. This kid is going to be special. How spoiled are we with goaltending?
  • Adam Fox is going to win a Norris, or multiple Norris’. He’s the best defenseman we’ve seen here since Brian Leetch and Sergei Zubov.
  • I love Colin Blackwell. He’s polarizing only because of where the coach plays him. Dude plays his butt off every night and he’s getting rewarded. Love it.
  • Adam Fox is an elite defenseman.
  • Most of what has gone wrong the past three games is fixable with a simple refocus on the system that worked the last two months.
  • Adam Fox is very good.

Penguins 1, Rangers 0 – Bad angle

There’s not much else to say here other than what a bad angle by Libor Hajek here. Just terrible.

Rangers 1, Pens 1 – Powerplay triangles

Triangles triangles triangles. That was a powerplay triangle with Kaapo Kakko, Pavel Buchnevich, and Colin Blackwell. Notice that Blackwell took three steps in as soon as Kakko hit Buchnevich. That created a tighter triangle while getting to more open space, and Blackwell finished.

Pens 2, Rangers 1 – Failed clear, lucky bounce

This is what happens when you can’t clear the zone and get pinned. This time, Kris Letang’s pass went off Chris Kreider’s stick and past a moving Igor Shesterkin.

Pens 3, Rangers 1 – Triangles work against you too

A quick powerplay goal for the Penguins here. This time, they used their own powerplay triangle, isolating Ryan Lindgren on a give-and-go. The pass down low to Radim Zohorna forced Lindgren lower, opening up the pass back to Evan Rodrigues for the goal.

Pens 4, Rangers 1 – Horrible all around

Chris Kreider turnover at the offensive blue line. K’Andre Miller bad angle on the pass up the ice. Jacob Trouba backing into Shesterkin on the pass to Jason Zucker. This was horrible.

Pens 4, Rangers 2 – Adam Fox

Pavel Buchnevich with the great carry-in zone entry with speed, which forced the Penguins back. Then Adam Fox kept the streak alive by waiting out Tristan Jarry, then sliding a pass under him to the empty net. Kevin Rooney hit the empty net, unlike both Filip Chytil and Mika Zibanejad earlier.

Pens 5, Rangers 2 – Empty netter

Jankowski empty netter. Not much else here.

Shot Heatmap – U-G-L-Y

What the eff is this? And this is *better* than what it looked like after two periods.

Skater Results – How bad can it get?

This is AV type stuff.

This was by far the worst effort since the season opener. Just bad all around. The Rangers were outplayed by the Penguins from start to finish, much like last game. The difference was they didn’t score on every shot they took. No time to think it over, as they have the Isles tomorrow.

Charts from Evolving-Hockey and Natural Stat Trick.


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