The Rangers needed two points here, given the loss by Boston, but came away with just one in an OT loss to the Isles. This one stings, but they did get a needed point. The problem for the Rangers was right out of the gate, as the Rangers were dominated in the entire first period. It was actually laughable how bad they were. Slow starts are a trend with this team, and that is a problem.
That said, the kids dominated the second period and got the Rangers a point. Make no mistake, the point tonight was not because of the veterans. It was because of the kids. Play the kids. They are good, they are skilled, and they can put the damn puck in the net. While it is still unlikely the Rangers make the playoffs, at least they are fighting.
- The kids – they were good.
- Bodies were in front of the net regularly.
- Very few clean faceoff losses. I know a lot of people focus on faceoff wins and losses, but it’s about clean wins and losses. The rest don’t matter.
- Brendan Smith deserves all the credit he can come across. Dude has done everything this team has asked.
- Igor Shesterkin is 100% better than Ilya Sorokin. Yes I’m a homer.
- The kids – they are alright.
- Vitali Kravtsov is better than Oliver Wahlstrom.
Isles 1, Rangers 0 – Death to the puck over the glass rule
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) April 11, 2021
After a delay of game to Chris Kreider, the Isles got one early. Brock Nelson got his stick on the initial Josh Bailey shot, which forced the rebound to be out of Igor Shesterkin’s control. It went right to Kyle Palmieri who had an empty net.
Isles 2, Rangers 0 – Speed through the neutral zone
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) April 11, 2021
If there is one takeaway from this season that I want you all to learn, it’s that speed through the neutral zone kills. Mat Barzal was given way too much room here, triangles be damned. Everyone was backing up to the tops of the circles, which allowed time for a cross-ice pass to Ranger killer JG Pageau.
Isles 2, Rangers 1 – The kids
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) April 12, 2021
Brendan Smith and Alexis Lafreniere pressured low to force the Isles into a turnover. This led to a Filip Chytil chance that was stopped. Kaapo Kakko got the puck back out to the point where Libor Hajek put one past Ilya Sorokin. Proof Shesty is better: He didn’t give up a goal to Hajek.
Rangers 2, Isles 2 – Mr. Smith is invisible
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) April 12, 2021
A clean faceoff win started this, but the key is Brendan Smith leaving the puck for Pavel Buchnevich at the point, then circling between the defense and the forwards in the high slot. He picked up the loose pick and fired it home. Vitali Kravtsov’s first point – an assist.
Isles 3, Rangers 2 – Cross ice pass
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) April 12, 2021
Ryan Pulock took the cross ice feed here. Barzal and Travis Zajac forced Buchnevich into the turnover, which led to the cross ice feed and the goal. Rough OT loss for the Rangers, but at least they aren’t chasing the Isles.
Shot Heatmap – Isles Control
There’s no denying that the Isles controlled most of the play in this game. A good portion of this game was in the Rangers zone, which is expected given how the Rangers were playing heading in, and how the Isles have played all season. This doesn’t include OT, naturally.
Skater Results – Not bad actually
Given how the game went, this could have been much worse. Usually we see the Rangers control more quality than quantity, but tonight it was the opposite. That’s rare for both teams, quite honestly.
Getting a point here does matter for the Rangers. Regulation losses hurt, but in a night where the Bruins lost, the Rangers gained a point in the OT loss to the Isles. It’s still a longshot for the Blueshirts, but a point is a point. They need to win all four against the Devils though. The next eight days will tell us if the Rangers are going to make a push.