Game Wrap-ups

Depleted Rangers blanked by Isles in must-win game

There is nothing worse than having your season ended by your arch rival. The Isles did just that, effectively ending the Rangers season. The Rangers were shorthanded, without Jacob Trouba and Chris Kreider, and were basically walked in the first period. The Isles jumped out to an early lead, and a Barry Trotz team doesn’t relinquish leads often, or ever. Getting blanked by the Isles just adds salt to the wound for the Rangers.

This loss effectively ends the Rangers season. They won’t catch the Isles now, that we know. *Maybe* they can catch the Bruins *IF* the Bruins actually start losing games. That obviously didn’t happen tonight, so this more or less seals the deal for the Rangers. Time to call up Morgan Barron and Tarmo Reunanen.

Isles 1, Rangers 0 – Give up the blue line, allow cross ice pass

Giving up the blue line, even with the defensive triangles, is stupid. It opens up plays like this. Doesn’t help that Mika Zibanejad changed after getting beat to give up the blue line.

Isles 2, Rangers 0 – Offensive zone penalty

Josh Baily cut through the slot and dropped for Oliver Wahlstrom, who shot back the other way. Wahlstrom has a great shot, and if he’s given room, he will score.

Isles 3, Rangers 0 – Cross ice pass

Lose the faceoff clean, allow the cross ice pass to an unprotected guy in the slot. Always a good idea.

Isles 4, Rangers 0 – Empty netter

Mat Barzal empty netter.

Shot Heatmap – Did they get off the subway?

This is just bad. I don’t know how else to put it. This was a must win for the Rangers, and to lay an egg this badly is atrocious all around. Most of the team forgot they had a game.

Skater Results – Is Brendan Smith good?

When Brendan Smith is the only guy who is “good” that is a problem. Not much more analysis is needed here.

Listen, we all know this was coming. It would have been nice for the Rangers to continue this into the last week of the season, but it is what it is. For me, this is progress. The Rangers took their relevancy much further this year than last, which was further than the year prior. Progress is progress. Next year, it’s the playoffs. And hopefully less games when the Rangers get blanked by the Isles.

Charts from Natural Stat Trick and Evolving-Hockey.

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  • Losing to an experienced well coached team is understandable. No effort, no clue, no game plan is unacceptable. This team starts too many games with no effort or energy. They didn’t show up for a minute in a game to keep their season alive. That is a coaching failure. DQ must go for the team to get to the next level.

    • I agree that serious questions are raised after another game like this, where once again we are non-competitive against a well-coached, structured team in an important game. Start with the Carolina series last year, and move forward to our two recent clunkers vs the Isles, where we seemed unprepared from the start. We have too much talent to look this bad. Panarin was neutralized again — Quinn had all year to see if Chytil would be a good 2C fit with Panarin, and let the whole season slip by without even a look. Would have been useful to see the kids have Strome as a center, didn’t happen. Blackwell remained over-slotted to the end. Is this what management really wanted out of this season?

    • I slightly disagree. While it is the coaches job to get them pumped on a off night. A game like this with “Season on the line” no one needs to tell them how much energy to bring.

      And I didn’t necessarily see a lack of energy as much as I saw a game plan/game style that is suited for the playoffs vs one that is suited for a northern european style of hockey and a much bigger rink.

      The islanders shut down all time and space for our top players and those players had no answer to it. They had no ability to create space. Just like the previous game against the islanders.

      While East-West hockey at times is a amazing to watch. It doesn’t work in north american hockey. And until we come back to the age of referees calling interference penalties again. It never will work. That is why guys like trotz/torts will always have a head coaching job. Playoff hockey is a different style for better or worse. That is a discussion in itself.

      It was entertaining season and a lot of adversity was overcome so there is that. Here is to signing Mika to a long term contract just like Panarin’s, Kreider’s, and Trouba. I definitely think it is a wise move to put half our available cap in 4 players. 🤦‍♂️ Believe in Gorton he has a plan! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

      • You are confusing energy and lack of preparation and discipline. Not to mention any system or in game adjustments.

        With trotz/torts this team would utilize and develop the talent to the best of their abilities. The players would have known their roles and structure to play in.

        The best coach Rangers had and was ran out of town is now doing just great in Pittsburgh and he coaches to the strength of his players without missing much when Crosby and Malkin are missing

  • The Rangers have a lot to think about during the off-season as far as if their leading players are actually the right ones to build around.

    Mika, Strome, Kreider, and even Panarin tonight were no shows, although I think it’s a challenge for him to carry two anchors around

    • “The Rangers have a lot to think about during the off-season as far as if their leading players are actually the right ones to build around.”

      Hence why FO kept leaking out how they want to add more vet player’s. Add to the fact that long tenure CK can’t earn the respect to wear the “C ”

      Post ADA chaos, rumors started to fly across the web on how Trouba gaining the “A” was more of a PR move. The young guys supposedly don’t view him as a leader.

      I think Zib and Panarin are here for the long haul but expect to see new vets replace names like CK in a couple of years.

    • Too easy to play against….If we don’t get tougher, wont matter how much talent we have. Some of the upper tier prospects will have to be moved to obtain some rugged and hard to play against forwards..The faceoffs are a joke, the coach is stubborn, and JD needs to open his eyes and look at the overall picture here. What we have is a wealth of talented players and prospects, but no brains and brawn behind it all.

  • The kids played better than the vets, just like the last game against the Islanders. Kravs played well, but what he has to to get Blackwell off of that 2nd line is anyone’s guess — oh right, they have to be eliminated from playoff contention before that can happen.

  • The Isles have been in a slump and not playing all the well…Until they played the Rangers. Anyone who has followed the Rangers all season can see they are loaded with talent. But what they lack is that killer instinct that gives a team that drive to win.
    With the exception of a few players, they just didn’t look like a team tonight that wanted to win. Will they be better next year, I am not optimistic. Not unless the organization is prepared to shake things up.

  • We can’t make excuses for this loss. This team is extremely soft. The effort against a better coached much stronger Islander team was the reason the Rangers were shut out and lost another player to injury. The Rangers didn’t win the puck battles and Trotz system choked out their offense. Add Kreider, Trouba and Georgiev and the result would have been the same. If the team loses again on Saturday maybe management will wake up and start bringing in BIG, STRONG North American players that can win the puck battles and complement the large number of soft finesse players that they have. You can’t win without brawn in the NHL.

    • So the loss is on “soft Europeans”? Panarin, Mika, Buchnevich? The North Americans in tonight were fine? And the defense was ok too because they were mostly North Americans?

      Perhaps they would bring a better coach from Europe who knows how to coach hockey talent. We lost to much better coached and prepared team tonight who is not close compared in talent to ours. This is a starting point for anyone who defends this coach. If your team comes so many times unprepared at the start of the game you do not have to look anywhere further. No need to even to mention in game none existent adjustments

      • What are the causes in your mind to this loss? Them being a better coached team? Explain that in more detail. That is a very vague idea. How is Trotz a better coach? What does he do specifically better then Quinn? And don’t say they were ready to play from the drop of the puck, if I want mike milbury commentary I would watch this game on NBC.

        Sincerely I would like to hear it. I am no Quinn fan but I have my exact reasons. What you said was extremely vague so I would love to hear your real take. Was it his line combo’s? Was it his use of players? Was it his choice of goalies? Was it he lack of benchings on players who were not at their best?

        • You seem to be aggressive. And I have no problem with it. But let me say that I could have taken the same approach of putting you on a spot with your softness of European players. Seem a little too extreme when you generalize like that. I am sure you know many Europeans players tougher than North Americans.

          Now to your question about the coach. My response to you is I do not see any style, system or structure in Quinn. I fail to understand any of his decision making, his line combination, his special team units that he never changes. You want me to compare hi with Trotz? Ok. So Trotz is diametrically opposite of what I just said about Quinn. I did not say that I would like Trotz to coach the Rangers. But if I had a choice between these two I am sure you know what my choice would have been

          Hope I have answered your question. If not tell me the specifics you want me to answer for you

          • I am sorry just tired of hearing that same old cliche’. It is the coaches fault. But really not backing it up with anything other then vague statements.

            I will ask you specifically and give you options like a multiple choice quiz to make it easier and maybe inform you a little bit in the process.

            Quinn’s Coaching Style:
            Is it
            A.) Run and Gun
            b.) Trap
            C.) Man on Man
            d.) All of the above

            Quinn’s Coaching system:
            Is it
            a.) the same thing as his coaching style
            b.) broken into parts o-zone, d-zone, and neutral zone
            c.) Just a big jumbled mess and this is to complicated for you
            d.) Something he as the head coach delegates to his associate coaches.

            Quinn’s Coaching Structure:
            Is it
            a.) He relies heavily on veterans to guide the team
            b.) He relies heavily on screaming and yelling
            c.) He has no structure cause he is a idiot and knows less about hockey then you
            d.) Lets individual players dictate their time on ice with their play and tries very hard to be a fair coach within the limits of individual game.

            How you score on this will dictate my next response so please take your time and try to answer all questions correctly. As you could end up labeled as idiot like me! And god knows you don’t want that to happen.

            Personally I don’t like Quinn for his structure of relying to heavily on vets even when they are obviously underperforming. I just don’t know if I blame him or the front office on that particular matter. And I also dislike the way he handle shersterskin in the beginning of this season. I think there were a couple of games that got away from us because of it. I also depise that Blackwell got PP2 time over a kid, and gets consistently put out there with Panarin and strome but kappo and kravs don’t. I think there is more to that story and I just can’t totally blame him. I don’t think there is any player on this roster that is underperforming. I think pretty much everyone is doing what is expected if not better at this point of the season.

          • Let me answer you by my confession. He reason I did not accepted to Harvard was because I was terrible in answering multiple choice questions especially the ones that did not contain a choice of “none of the above”

            I can’t tell you anything specifically about Quinn style and system because I fail to recognize any. I know that does not answer your question but that is my honest response

            As far what and who he relies on, I would say that lack of veterans on the team and not much leadership in the lockers tells me that neither him nor Gorton understands the value of team chemistry. And it has nothing to do with just wearing C on the jersey.

            I do not like a lot about where this team is and could give you many different point of view. But at the end of the day it comes down to the team chemistry, hate for losing, personal sacrifice, toughness. As much as I do not like Quinn and I sense that you do not either, i do not think admin done a god job setting the team. They have all the talent, probably more than 30 teams in the league ad the excuse that there are too many young players playing now is a terrible excuse.

            I do not agree with you about Mika but certainly think that we need better centers so I am inclined to trade Strome and Chytil. Let Mika play for his next contract. Keep Buchnevich on a home discount deal. Bring veteran center and forth liners with toughness. Make special teams more dynamic which also means less predictable.

            Whoever thinks this tram will win next year with the same management and coaching and lines must be smoking something

          • You definitely made me laugh. So here is too you!

            Look we all agree Quinn is not the long term answer for this club.But the coaching was the least of tonight’s concerns. The game wasn’t even close. Coaching doesn’t matter in blowouts. It is easy to point fingers at a guy on the camera chewing his bubble gum. But who is the one that set this roster? Who is the guy who signed JJ instead the myriad of players who were available to fill those so called shoes? Who is the guy that signed and hasn’t fired this so called crap coach? Start asking more in depth questions. Instead of just regurgitating what you read from others.

            Oh and by the way I am smoking something and I don’t think that. I am a firm believer in we need a change at GM and now instead of later. I have all the faith in the world with JD. I think to his core he wants to see this team succeed and has the know how to do it. I am just not sure if his position is real or he is a figure head. If any other President comes into any other organization the first thing they generally do is fire the GM.

            And believe me Gorton should be long gone. Winning the lottery 2 years in a row shouldn’t be his saving grace.

          • I agree with you about Gorton. He has not done much to deserve this position and in any sport would have been fired with some terrible delicious ha has made. I also agree with you about JD. I am not sure what his position is but clearly as a hockey man with executive experience he should be able to come to the same conclusion. The fact that he he has not makes me think along the same lines with you

            I surely do not agree with you that my view or opinion comes from anyone especially not from anyone in this blog. I certainly has my view and not afraid to express it and stand against anyone view I disagree with including yourself

            Here is where I certainly disagree with you. Not sure of you ever have played hockey and I do not mean to offend you in any way. But your conclusion that the game was a blowout and no coaching would have made a difference is an absurd. You do not cliches but perhaps you might revisit some good ones. The hockey game is a game of momentum and each shift could swing momentum in a positive direction. Given the coach does not have tough players and you blame GM for it I am sure the coach participated in trade deadline sections as well. As in last year admin and coaching decided they had the team they could compete for the playoffs. They have not.

            The game was played in MSG so the coach had the last change. He never took advantage of it. In the third goal he put lineup that was right after face off out of position resulting in an easy score. There were absolutely no energy no tempo in the game. And with the talent we have this surely goes to the coach

            I also disagree with your view on Mika. He is one of three soft centers the team has and should not have three of them. I’ve can surely afford one finesse center but have Strome and Chytil and keep insisting how great they are and we should pick them over Mika is very strange argument to me

            But we agree that the rebuild starts from the top and until we have solid GM with a vision we will have the same coach and same lineups and same arguments next year

          • Great answer. Honestly. I think maybe you and others get this feeling like coaches have a larger impact then they do because of your history in the sport. And your so called interactions with a coach in a sport.

            And at the amatuer level I would agree wholeheartedly that a coach can have a huge impact on a team and a individual’s overall performance. But once you get to the big time in any sport the parameters change drastically. Major motivating factors become less about team goals/players holding each other accountable. And more so about individual statistics. Hence Buchnevich’s amazing increase in play this year. Shockingly it coincides with a contract year. And I can almost guarantee that this same trend will happen with Mika next year.

            So what I meant by it was a blowout, was this outcome was inevitable regardless of the coaches actions at this point in the season. You could clearly see a lack of effort from the drop of the puck from our top 6. They knew they were going to lose. And from my point of view that starts and stops with those players at this point in a season. Those players have to have the desire to win. And while yes a better coach could have had them in a better position at this point in the season, this outcome was a forgone conclusion before the puck even dropped. It’s why you didn’t see any major changes in the roster. Or different line combo’s. Whether the reason is they don’t like playing for Quinn, or they are just soft players, or they just didn’t think it mattered. We will never really know and all we can do is speculate.

            I believe quinn is to blame for a large part of the season but individual efforts at crunch in the big time game situations reflect a lot less on a coach and more on those players. You don’t think when the game is on the line and crosby is on the ice the opposition is doing everything to stop him? But he rises above and makes the play to be a difference maker. That has absolutely nothing to do with coaching. That is completely the player make up. His absolute will to win. That desire to be the difference in a game of magnitude. Whether it is a game to keep the teams playoffs hopes alive or game 7 in a stanley cup final.

            That is what I see missing from mika. Strome in my eyes is a non factor. Easily replaceable. Not even worth a conversation over. Chytil I see that same attitude from and is very concerning to me. It is something I think dubas and shanahan noticed in Toronto and have brought in vets like spezza and marleau to teach the matthews and nylanders that aspect and what it looks like to compete at the highest points in a game. Just that overall determination to get the puck. Be the difference.

          • Good and respectful debate. Appears we agree as much as we disagree with each other. We have already gone thru agreeing portion . Let’s focus on disagreement part

            I certainly put a lot more value in coaching than you do. I am not sure about your point in difference between school, college and pro but let me start addressing why I put much more capital into coaching trade than you do.

            Let’s take couple of examples from pro hockey. How many SC Ovechkin won before trotz? How many he won after trotz? I doubt you can call Ovi soft European and his supporting talent cast always has been at the top talent list. It took trotz to get Ovi to back check and defend and elevate his leadership team beyond his C on the jersey. Huge mistake for Caps to let trotz go. Now since you mentioned Sid. The same question – how many SC he won prior to Sullivan? And his supporting teammates certainly were even better than Caps.

            I will also add few other examples of great coaching. One is Herb Brooks. I recently read the memoirs. Do you think if that team played 100 times against USSR with a different coach they would ever win a single game? I am willing to take any odds that would have never happened. That team was built not with best hockey talent but with a vision on character, chemistry and filling the particular roles.

            Now from more recent days, I hope you would agree that Scotty Bowman was probably the best coach in past years. I recently watched documentary – Russian Five when Scotty said that when he saw those Russians playing together he was watching in awe and would be scared to interrupt their play. He knew who needed his coaching and who had to be left alone. This is a mark of a great coach

            With al of the examples above I would still insist that each team had the leadership that is indispensable these days. Here is a “chicken and an egg question”. Do you think the Rangers was built not to have any leaders in the locker room or that in last 4 years they were not paying any attention for the team chemistry? This is being widely ignored everywhere

            Another point that is being widely ignored is “toughness” Every time this word is used people think about Mohamed Ali on ice. There is certainly a big value of having physical players and I am for it. But I would push for mental toughness. My daughter is a professional singer and a huge Rangers fan. She experienced a lot of ups and downs in her career. Few years ago I asked her to check Hanks mental preparation to the game, Hank is her favorite of course. She started with meditations and her career has changed drastically. She established high level of confidence which enabled her to perform at the level she always had been capable. Our players should read more about Hank and other top athletes

            Now to your comment about that supposedly professional hockey players are not like college players. I do not know any professional hockey players but I do not know what the difference is? Just because Panarin makes $11.5 million he does not need coaching or feedback and direction? We are all human and praise and encouragement and direction goes a very long way.

            Regarding your blowout comments. I wholeheartedly disagree with you. The team came unprepared. Took two stupid offensive zone penalties (no accountability for any of those penalties. I do not care if it was Panarin and Butch. Make them accountable). The coach literally did not provide any value. Perhaps he is not as emotional as Torts and its fine after all we got rid of Torts not a long time ago. But what was the coach for? The team is a reflection of the coach who has been displaying lack of consistency, coaching styles, in game adjustments, questionable decision making. So why would the players play hard for him? They played better with the same cast for the interim coach. Small sample but still they played against better competition and managed to do well

            I honestly do not know what positives Quinn has done? In any sport franchise when you have two top draft choices in a row and they have not developed as fast as Kakko and Laffanier then whose fault it is? I read somewhere that Sullivan and Quinn were teammates at BU. So Rangers got rid of a great coach and hired super mediocre one. So to your question about last night game any respectable coach from above (and I am not in favor of any of them) would have been at very least embarrassed by that loss but Quinn was in a business as usual mode. And the reason why because he has no accountability and job security.

            Remember what they say – “A fish rots from the head down”. In order to fix it and therefore to content for SC this chain from down up has to be addressed. And there is nothing wrong with Mika. Not sure why you see him as a major issue. Let him play out next year and earn his next contract

          • I am not arguing that Quinn has to go. Neither was my initial point way before all of these diatribes started. It was that cliche statements like “this was the coaches fault” need to stop. It is a shallow response to a much deeper problem on a organizational level. And changing a coach will only be a temporary fix to a having it’s legs blown off.

            Gorton hired this guy and while he has had his opportunity, it has become abundantly clear he is a not the guy for the job. But yet he is still here and most likely will be after this offseason. Just like Gorton himself. There is no accountability to this organization’s higher ups. And the players see it also.

            Last nights loss was more of a reflection of management then it was on the coach or the players. I am not happy with the players, but I can accept their effort because it is nothing different then what they do against the devils. It is a roster make up in my eyes. Just as it was the determining factor in Ovi winning the cup (Trotz’s system didn’t change from year 1 and 4.) and just as it was with Crosby winning his two cups. (Not arguing that a coach doesn’t play a role in it…I totally agree with your points)

            But blaming the coach is like blaming the weather on why you crashed your car. While it seems logical that you couldn’t stop cause of a snow…why were you driving so fast to begin with when it was snowing? Why were you out on the road to start with during a horrendous blizzard. Why do we have 3 centers that essential play the same style of game? Why are we paying close to 40 percent of our cap to 4 players and we are not even making the playoffs? Why do we have over 14 million in dead cap space? Why have we consistently drafted defensemen over and over in the top 2 rounds even though there is a glaring deficiency at center.

            The more you learn about something the more you realize that outcomes are predetermined way before that resolution comes to bare. Based on a wide variety of factors and decisions you made ages ago. It is the age old saying the more you know about something the less you truly know.

          • I have already acknowledged the problem with Gorton. But what you fail to recognize that in all the same blame points for Gorton you dismiss Quinn. There should not be any denying that Quinn participated in promoting evaluation and signing of Trouba and Kreider. The assessment the last two years that the team was ready to compete with the existing rosters. Not any even minor trades in case of injuries which is exactly what you are witnessing now when Trouba got injured. Didn’t they know that they had no replacements? So it cannot be just on Gorton

            Last night game blame is only on Quinn. Who else? You might not like the cliché so I will add another one for your dislike – “fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me” How do you call fool me many time more than twice. Everyone knew what Isles game plan would be. Not only the team came unprepared for it but showed nothing to adjust. I know your tendency to blame Mika or Panarin. But you, I and the coach know their games, you cant ask them to become physical players. That is where we differ.

            You said that that the game had been decided before the puck was dropped. And I agree with you. Because the coach made dumb calls with lineups and came unprepared. Everybody complains about East West game and yet only one of the few players who plays North South game was not on the lineup. For some reason people in this blog keep repeating that Gauthier is not a good player. I completely disagree with it. From what I have seen from a small sample he surely fits the need for big powerful wing that unlike wingers last night would have been effective in that game and with some creativity presented something that Isles were certainly not prepared for.

            Who else would you blame for that game? Shocking but the coach agreed with you during his conference call. I certainly disagree with you and him. The team would have had a better chance last night if they had played without a coach

        • I will take a crack at answering your questions Laff. The answer is yes at the end of the day, the performance of the team resides with the coach. The coach has the power to decide who gets to play and who doesn’t. He determines who will be on the specialty teams, what the line combinations will be and how much ice time his players will receive.

          The coach sets out his expectations to his players and communicates how he wants them to play. If they underperform, he can cut their playing time or sit them in the press box.

          After tonights debacle, Coach Quinn needs to make some roster changes. And I not just talking about the 4th line.

          • I really don’t think that is the case. Maybe hockey is different in that way, but I know baseball coaches consistently get fired for playing guys the GM doesn’t want being played or vice versa. So far as it made it’s way into a mainstream movie in Moneyball.

            I believe the sole reason we are a better team defensively is because of Jacques Martin. And the PK is a direct reflection of him and not so much Quinn. Moving Buchnevich to the pk I think was completely martin’s idea. No way do I think Quinn would do that.

            I agree he controls the lines and icetime seen in a individual game, but if you look those stats up for the forwards…. he has done a very reasonable job splitting up 5 on 5 icetime so much so that Howden has gotten only 3 minutes less then mika a night in that category. Which is a fair coach. Someone I wouldn’t mind playing for.

            And while I agree on the roster changes. I think he truly is handcuffed by cap restraints and the expansion draft.

            I am not saying this, but let’s say Quinn felt Panarin was just awful tonight and his effort was totally unacceptable. What is he going to do? Sit a 11 million dollar forward? Demote him to the 4th line? I mean there is only so much a coach can do. I think that was the final straw for buffalo’s coach. He sat Jeff skinner for poor play and 3 days later he was a goner. And I completely agree with the benching. But that is how GM’s and Owners think. Don’t show the fans I made a absolutely horrible move. How dare you show me up. So unless Quinn wants to get fired realistically he only has so many things he can change.

          • What he should have done was get Blackwell off the line and insert a bigger and younger winger just for starters.

          • I don’t think that those type of moves are simply just plop the guy in and lets see how it works out.

            And while it happened and Kravs saw 3 or 4 minutes of ice time with panarin. It is too little to late at this point of the year. Wasn’t going to change the outcome of the game.

            That is where this argument is flawed. Two months ago or at the start of the season sure. Maybe we make the playoffs. Force Kappo to work it out with them, now who gives a rat’s A$$. 2 Months ago Krav’s wasn’t here. He was still playing in the KHL. So it was either Kappo or Blackwell and initially Blackwell had the better results.

            It is futile. That game was won before the drop of the puck. And to be totally honest that line had better stats then any other line in possession for the exception of the one shift Quinn put mika at center with them. That shift was just abhorrent. And might go down as one of the worst single shifts in NHL history.

    • Absolutely agree priority should be to sign Doug Glatt, Oogie Oglethorpe & Carl Racki ! That line automatically makes Rangers favorites for the Cup.

  • Once again no fire. No one pissed off at losing, boys need to grow into men but I don’t think that can be taught.

    I see a lot of videos of players laughing at practice And laughing when beating the Sabre’s having a jolly time.

    Nothing about this team seems serious, tough or built for a playoff run. Need someone badly to set the tone. Does that That someone include A need for veteran players, yes. A Coach, definitely.

  • first time poster, long-time lurker… not to go all Larry King here with the sporadic thoughts but here goes:

    -Ken Dryden could have been in net for this game and the result was going to be the same (still, would have liked to have seen what Georgiev would have brought; guessing we’ll see him next game.)

    -I’d love to believe that the imprisonment of Julien Gauthier is due to staff/mgmt not wanting him exposed to the exp draft. Again, I’d love to believe. The realist in me knows he likely got lost in the shuffle. Is slotting Goat into a regular L4 role the cure to what ails the current configuration? No; however, he’s a north-south winger with size (something the team sorely lacks) and I’ll dance a jig if next season’s L4 gets a makeover that includes him.

    -I read a little ways up where someone said to let Mika play for his next contract; this season is a Mulligan for #93 but seeing repeatedly only show up for the AHL Sabres/Devils and the putrid Flyers, I’m not in love with him getting 9mil AAV long-term a la CK. That said, with C’s being at such a premium league-wide–especially top six–the franchise needs to play the hand it’s been dealt down the middle.

    -I think Kreider on L3 is a fine fit. Hopefully he’s not back on L1 to start the season.

    -The Colin Blackwell experiment is over, or should be.

    -89’s game has dropped off; I could stomach 5.5mil x 5 years but have a feeling he’ll get 6mil x 5. .

    -Not a Hajek hater but him being given a 6/7d role and not Tarmo (who had a decent albeit brief showing yet wasn’t given a second look?)

    -During the halcyon days of the Jack Johnson era, I maintained that DQ is the right coach for this transitional squad; but after seeing how this team jumped for KK, coupled with how woeful the Rangers have been vs. the Isles these past two games, I wouldn’t mind seeing an upgrade (I will be very surprised if this happens during the offseason but it probably will occur if the team is struggling to string together W’s by Christmas.)

    -It’s time for Barron to get a look.

  • So, hopefully this ends the Tom F-ckery that is going on at MSG. Hopefully JD and JG spent less time at the buffet line last night to witness a replay of the Canes’ series, last night. Another demolition of a team that has a core group of players that can’t handle better teams, with a totally over matched coach.

    So, what’s going to change next year? What is Jack Eichel going to miraculously fix? Again, career years for the top Rangers the last couple of season, and yet, here we are. Beating up on the Devs and Sabres and coming up empty against the better teams.

    And trust me, I love to dump on the coach, but saying the goalie choice had anything to do with last night’s loss, I’m sorry, anyone believing that is as clueless as the coach. Was it Shesty’s fault that the puck was in the Rangers’ zone for 75% of the game? Even when the Isles went into cruise control after it was 2-0, the Rangers still couldn’t do anything productive. I sweated more than Varly did last night, waiting for the Giants’ first round pick.

    I will answer my own question: Nothing will happen, as long as this coach is here, and unable to come up with anything to offset the opponents’ strategies against their best players. We need a real NHL coach, anyone will do at this point.

    And what’s with the players? A total no show in another big game. At least show some pride and TRY to compete against the opponent. man, they left Shesty out to dry, just like Hank was, so many times. I was optimistic about next year, not now. Not the way things stand now. The same ole will be wash, rinse, dry, repeat.

    • I will say I always generally agree with what you have to say. One of the few reasonable voices on this site. While others disseminate that blackwell or howden are the reasons we lose these games, you tend to come with a more in depth analysis.

      And it looks like the general consensus take on last night’s game was the coach was the largest and most definitive reason we lost. With thoughts like the team was unprepared, and had no counter strategy, just looked flat and no effort, etc. etc.

      Last year’s take was …quinn has such a horrible defense and should be fired. Our defense is sloppy and inconsistent blah blah blah. Then we hire Martin and let go of ruff! Now all is good.

      I am sure you see my point about mika. I am sure you can see the battle level is not there. And his style of play doesn’t translate to NA hockey for a 1C. Board battle after board battle the opposition comes away with the puck. Faceoff after faceoff he just doesn’t tie up his man at all and they get a clean win. I mean if you look at the possession metrics…Zibanejad was only out done by Hajek last night in the piss poor area.

      CF% 38.46 2nd worst
      SF% 26.6 Dead last
      xGF% 31.67 3rd Worst
      Scf % of 33.3 Dead last

      This just can’t happen from your number one center. And this is consistently the case against the elite teams of the division and league.

      And while I can agree that the coach has something to do with this. Where was his pride last night as a player? His numbers didn’t get better as the game went along. Matter of fact they got worse. Would a Gallant maybe get more out of him on a nightly basis? Sure I can agree to that. But will that change the fact he gets bullied around the ice all game and never fights for his ice or the puck? That remains to be seen.

      Just an idiots take.

      • You can disagree with me, but calling me an idiot is not nice, lol. But, let me address what you are saying.

        Let’s go back. It is a fact, not opinion, that NO Ranger forward star has done well in the playoffs, in the last 25 years, EXCEPT FOR Jagr. He’s the only one. Nash, Gaby, Zib, Panarin (Canes’ series), etc., have done zilch. Nash, if he has half the playoffs he does in the regular season, then the Rangers win the Cup in 2014. Do we agree on this?

        So, systemically speaking, the org is messed up as far as what it takes to put the proper product on the ice to win a Cup. This is point #1.

        Point #2, for whatever reason, the Rangers were a much different team under Knob this year. Coincidence? Who knows? But forgetting about wins and losses, the players’ body language was much different, than under Quinn. Again, small sample size, but it did happen that way. Even the one loss to the Caps during that time period, the Rangers dominated the game, but just did not finish for the win.

        So, points 1 and 2 lead to what you’re saying above. If you re-read my post, I CLEARLY said that the players were awful last night. Totally unprepared to play the most important game of the year. Again, that has zero to do with quality of play, as opposed to just showing energy and competitiveness. Put some pride into your play, and combat the opponent.

        But here’s the thing, I refuse to believe that this is simply a bad group of players and that this is all a lost cause. Make no mistake, you don’t want to blame the coach for individual losses? Fine. But in the aggregate, he’s an awful coach. One that has no business being in the NHL. And when the MSG marketing machine tells us all how wonderful everything is, do you think that the players have caught on? Do you think the constant line changes and very questionable deployment and strategy has resulted in doubt and lack of confidence in the coach? I would bet a lot of money that the REAL answer is “yes.”

        Then there’s this, the Isles pre-Trotz were the worst defensive team in the league. Now, one of the best. Coaches matter. Yes, the players have to play but they also need someone to lead them in the right direction, no matter how many years of hockey they’re played. Baseball players who have played 20 years of baseball still do not hit the cutoff man. “He’s a rookie.” WHAT? lol. To me, you put Trotz as our coach, with this exact same group, I bet $10,000 that the Rangers are a legit playoff team. With the exact same players.

        So, in conclusion of a long rant, I believe that the Rangers’ issues are systemic, from the top all the way down. Players included. You can’t fire the players, but you can fire the coach. And that, to me is step one to having confidence in JD and JG: That they RECOGNIZE the issue with the coach and do something about it. Because if they don’t, then we are screwed for years.

        Feel free to disagree.

        • I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said.

          But in a larger view are we really winning anything with the present day roster makeup? If Trotz or Torts or Sullivan is here, what chances do you place on us making past the first round? Me personally, I place them at 10%.

          But you are right that we will never know as long as Quinn is the coach. To me that is why this season is a huge disappointment. Cause we still really have no idea of the players we have. We have a inkling of it, but we need to see more proof to make a wise decision. And that proof only comes in the form of playoff battles.

          Thanks for the response. As usual you didn’t let me down.

          So what would you do with Mika? Do you gamble on him for the long term or do you try to sign him for a bridge type deal and see the performance you get out him like Gorton did with Hayes? I really think his value will never be higher and it could set us up for a very long time if the right deal presents itself.

          • Do we win a Cup with this group and a good coach? No, definitely not.

            But we are within the 10% margin of teams that are capable of winning a Cup. And then with a few tweaks, it could happen.

            The best team in the league in any given year, does not always win the Cup. In hockey, that holds true for some reason.

            I’ll tell ya, Mika is a tough one. 28 going on 29 and looking for 7 years at $10M per, or something like that? Maybe that’s why the Rangers pursue Eichel, but I think that’s a big mistake. And I am even hoping that the Kings offer 2 top young centers and the Sabres can’t resist. The Rangers would not be able to top that, if Jack is even being offered for trade.

            As for Mika, that’s a pass, I think. The Rangers can’t do that IMO.

            “To me that is why this season is a huge disappointment. Cause we still really have no idea of the players we have. We have a inkling of it, but we need to see more proof to make a wise decision.”

            This statement you made? That is 100% exactly where I am right now. Total waste of a season. So, after all is said and done, the Rangers really do not know what they have in these young guys going forward, even to next year.

            Replace Zib? Sure, who is making up for a pt per game? Replace Buch? Sure, who is making up for almost a pt per game? And Kreider’s 25+ goals per year? Even Strome.

            Which is why I say, all elite level pt productions, and we are still no better than a .500 team. The vets’ production only goes down from here.

            So, it’s not about one big trade, it’s about a transformation of the coaches and the players (and maybe even the FO mindset). BTW, Martin and Benoit can stay.

          • yeah I know right? lol I couldn’t possibly make a statement like that.

            I’m again on the same page as you. Eichel is a waste. I really focused on Eichel in his games against us and he is less defensively responsible then buch was 2 years ago. Still has growth potential but that injury is extremely scary. Possibly career ending. Hard pass.

            Barkov I am way more inclined to pursue as a armchair gm. I would give Barkov those salary terms in a heartbeat. I would trade Mika heads up for him in a drop of a hat today.

            The underlying point with mika is he is a huge risk. One as a franchise we have done so many times just to have it take a huge dump on our chest in 3 to 5 years from now. And for now panarin has out performed his cap hit in my eyes…..I don’t see that same result with mika in a long term contract. But where is trouba? I think he is taking a big fat smelly one on us so far. And that is not to say I don’t like him. He is a great defender just not worth his contract.

            I am okay with losing mika’s production in the short term for the long term gains. I said it in another post…think Duchene level deal. Get the media pumping it all off season. Mika wants out blah blah blah. I take Chytil Strome and say Barron or Howden. And then add a low risk high reward center for the 3rd line next year this upcoming summer.

            I mean barron is only a year younger than howden so we are going to know pretty quick if he is legit. But he was a 6th or 7th round pick so I am honestly not expecting too much from him.

            We have the cap space. But if they don’t test the market it would be a crying shame. Who knows maybe you can sign Nugent Hopkins for a high salary but short term deal. Like 2 or 3 years. By that point that contract is up ….. maybe you get a asset or 2 that has blossomed and you can easily move on from him. Or he goes absolutely nuts on our roster and we sign him long term. Cant lose.

            I feel we have a real good bead on who mika is as a player at this point. And when the games matter he can’t elevate his game. He has proven he can dominate the devils/sabres/philly but against the crosby’s and bergerons he is a shell of a player.

            I like kreider I think his game works with the playoffs. Strome is a little soft but I also think that comes from mika’s lead role. Buch is soft but I am again ok with it for a winger. Pots the odd goal come playoff time. He certainly has the compete level in him. And really doesn’t back down when he gets pushed around. Just needs to drive to the net more but that is still relatively adjustable with a new coach/system.

          • Justin Williams.

            Not a household player name, but one of the most important to any contending team. This type of player is a must to win a Cup.

            2019, TB gets smacked around by Columbus, after getting one of the highest regular season point totals in NHL history. Then wins the Cup the next year, after taking notes from the 2019 playoff loss, and learns from it.

            You don’t have to beat up opponents, but shielding opponents from the puck, good board play, and keeping a consistent presence in front the net, is successful playoff NHL hockey.

            The Rangers have virtually none of this, save for Kreider.

        • Agree. I feel your last paragraph is truly your first. I will go one step further, it starts with ownership. Mr Dolan and the board of Directors, whomever they maybe, just really don’t care about the Rangers. Think Steinbrenner, think new ownership of Isles (especially their GM and Coaching choices) they want(ed) to win! Even the new Devil guys want the Cup worse than the NYR ownership. Its the reason why my confidence in the Ranger direction polls has never been above a 5. I used to own season tickets, I use to follow the team on cable….now I watch 2 1/2 men repeats.

          • LOL!

            I am heading in that direction myself. I am going to wait and see what happens this offseason. If Eichel is signed I probably am going to stop watching games. It is just rinse and repeat with this organization and honestly I am growing exceedingly tired of it.

    • Hey Pal! I agree with you on the coach at this point. It took me a while but I am definitely there now. However, it won’t matter who coaches here until JD and JG realize that the core vet group is mostly soft and not competitive against heavy tough teams. Panarin’s anchors have finally worn him dow too because he has also been a no show in big games. Eichel will help because he isn’t a permitter player end of you pair him with Panarin, it will open up space for the Bread Man and Eichel will score 50 goals playing with him. Strome must be traded and they really need to go and speak with CK about how he plays ( he doesn’t ! He just floats) Mika isn’t a number one center and really needs a tough winger to play with him in my view. Buch generally shows up but didn’t yesterday so I think he is fine. Chytil isn’t a center in my view and doesn’t have good hockey sense despite his immense physical tools. Definitely would trade him in an Eichel deal.

      Fox looks a little spent and so did Lindgren . Howden has gotten lots of chances and ice time because he hustles but is clearly not worthy of so much rope and isn’t tough enough to be a 4th liner in the way you and I understand a fourth liner needs to be. B Smith is the only player on the team along with the kids who plays with passion and brings it in big games just like he did in those playoffs when we first got him. Bring up Barron already and the Austin whatever his last name is tough kid. Let’s see what they have . Hell we can also bring in Tarmo and Will Cuyle too. Why the hell not

      They have many issues to go through during the off season and fix or this rebuild is in serious danger from going off of the rails fast.

      • Hey bro, I hope that all is well.

        It’s exhausting, lol. To have a total no show last night is just unacceptable. Do you think that the FO noticed?

        Fox is definitely being worn out. Way too many minutes, in all situations. For sure.

        It will be interesting to see how they’re going to try and fix it.

        • All good. My little one brought the Covid beast down here to Naples from NYC but we all got over it pretty quickly .

          I hope the FO noticed last night and the other half a dozen or so other nights that the “leaders” arent showing up. But clearly this vet group isnt good enough so I hope somne changes are coming.

          We will most likely be picking in the middle of a weak draft so I am not holding my breath for a good center. Maybe they find a Tom Wilson type player who isnt looking to injure people just knock them on their ass and drop the gloves when needed. should be an interesting off season.

          • The Rangers have done an awful job with the center position, the most important in the NHL.

            More to the point, they have ignored it.

    • “So, what’s going to change next year? What is Jack Eichel going to miraculously fix?”

      ^Dude have you ever played sports growing up? Seriously?? Studs that can play, help the team in so many ways, add to the fact that Eichel would probably gain captaincy within months in NY.

      You drastically underestimate what Eichel could do physically and mentally for this team. Star players especially a elite center can alter a PP and 5 on 5 offense becomes 10/10 lethal at any given moment ( even when it’s down ). That is 100% better than banking on the KZB and Strome’s chemistry with Panarin for a top 6.

      Iv’e seen a top 500 football player from Florida get dropped at a dinky town. That team ended up going to Syracuse dome because of him. I wouldn’t have had a 29 goal and 57 point campaign in my senior year without my underclassman stud centering me.

      As long as Krav, Fox, Zib, Panarin, Nils, Laffy and Ignor are here after…. JG should 100% pay up for Eichel. The draft picks, Chytil, K. Miller and yes Kakko all can take a hike at a chance to add a elite center who still has 2-3 years before hitting his mid 20s. The only issue is CK and Trouba’s 14 mill in what already feels like dead cap.

      • I played high school football, basketball, and baseball.

        So, Chytil, Kakko, Robertson, and a #1is a no brainer for JE? especially after a neck injury?

        • Hockey and Lacrosse for me through high school. Great days Tony! If only I could run or skate like I used to 50 years later.

          I worry about Eichel, because of his contract, his injury and I am not sure about his emotional makeup. He is a skilled center, and young, but a cervical disc herniation at such a young age has to be at least a warning flag. My gut tells me to stay away from paying the acquisition cost of some very good young players + $10 million a year.

          • I did not have lacrosse at my school back then, but I wish that they did.

            Honestly, unless Jack is replacing Zib, then I don’t know what the point will be. A team needs a complete team, not 2 lines.

            So there’s the cap hit, the trade cost, and the neck injury. If Jack is shopped, I hope the Kings offer 2 centers and be done with it.

  • Good teams can play more than one style of hockey. The Rangers are not a good team. They are devoted to their talent instead of their effort, they are impatient, and they are easily frustrated by this version of the islanders.

    Good coaches adapt, innovate, and inspire. The Rangers have a truly awful coach instead, committed to a “system” that has led to more losses than wins in 3 seasons. This team’s record in big games under Quinn is atrocious.

    Good coaches get players to listen to them. There doesn’t seem to be much of that going on. This feels like Quinn’s last days are here.

  • As i said all year long…the Rangers weren’t making the playoffs.

    They aren’t built the correct way, something that i maintained all year long.

    You can’t have 25 scoops of the same ice cream.

    We are very young and fragile and that is ok…what is not ok is…having the same 25 scoops of ice cream.

    I would think JD is aware of this because what he was a part of in Columbus and St. Louis, had a lot more truculence then what has been on display here. In his first true draft with the Rangers he did target size and snarl, which is encouraging. The scouting department has done a awful job of recognizing or scouting players who play with snarl.

    I continually read how we need centers more than anything else…IMO, we need to draft more kids who play angry…until then u will continue to witness the Rangers beat soft teams like themselves because of the superior talent but get manhandled by the big meaner teams.

    I know we have beaten the Caps a few times this year but if we had to play them in a playoff series and our only tough guy is Smith…we would be done in 4, maybe we would squeak out a win.

  • of course this site is riding the injury excuse. did mika or buch play last night(again)? also why id be very wary of investing mega dollars in to our so called “top line”.

    I dont think this is the coaching staff to take this group to the next level. still too much of a one trick pony.

    ps. this loss was for gordie clark who passed on wahlstrom. no im not over that esp when he scores vs us.

  • We are not a well coached team, and it reflects on the ice.
    It’s not the motivation aspect of it, it’s the X’s and O’s part. As an NHL player in the most important game of the year,you shouldn’t need to get motivated by someone else to play the game you love and getting paid handsomely doing it.
    If JD and JG are keeping DQ here they need to find him a new set of coaches in DQ’s his ear as Oliver and brown need to go.
    As I said before we are too much of a finesse team, how many times do we go into the corners and come out with the puck,or out battle the D in front of the net.. (less than 50%).
    Yourgoing to be successful or win in the NHL.
    Someone said we need some big North American players here?
    How about some big grittier nasty players here, I don’t care where their from.
    I know we played like crap last night but what bothered me was during the scrum last night in the corner their was 1 more Islander joining the fun,and Jones was just standing there just watching.

    It’s time to play and Bring the kids in. And let’s see what we have.

    • Yep. You can just say make better decisions. If there is a consistent theme.. Systemically something is off. And I’m not sure they are the right ones to figure that part out.

      • Someone has to right the wrong, whether Mgt tells him to prepare better or Mgt needs to find him better coaches to strategize or we need to go in a different direction.pronto!!

  • This game wasn’t about preparing your team, it was preparing for what the OTHER team will do. You had to know that Trotz was going to neutralize Zibby and Panarin. DQ needed to have a prepared plan to address that, and he did not.

    It is games like this that you replace Strome with Chyitl and move Buch down to the 3rd or 4th line to spread out some offensive punch. DDQ failed to do that. Yes he could have expected more grit from his team, but not with the bottom 6 they have. I too echo the sentiment to have some bigger bodies to punish the opposition once in a while. It can’t happen with the D that played last night.

    Our top 2 lines can only produce if 3rd and 4th lines are threatening. Once Trotz shut down Zibby & Panarin, the 3rd line needed to score and they didn’t.

    • excellent point. maybe in college its more about what your team is doing and learning how to play. but in the NHL to be in the upper part of the league its about what your opponent is doing and being able to adjust. this team as presently constituted cannot do that.

    • “You had to know that Trotz was going to neutralize Zibby and Panarin. DQ needed to have a prepared plan to address that, and he did not.”

      In order to talk about X’s and O’s, one must know what they’re seeing. Trotz and the Isle team don’t have to lock down ANYBODY, they control the skill zone where Zibby likes to play with the puck. The zone system takes care of that for their dz scheme. Hence why they are always there for the shot block or passing lanes. All of that is what kills the momentum for Panarin’s game near the left dots. Btw they also play a similar nz scheme, AGGRESSIVE, that Quinn likes. Hence why the Isle own the neutral zone boards so dang well.
      -You need to know what you are seeing before you claim otherwise.

  • Rangers are young. DQ is just okay. They made some strides this year in a tough division. Lots of positives, especially in penalty kill. Fox is a stud and Shesty is very very good! They will figure it out and compete for Cup in the next 2-3 years. Let’s see Barron and Gauthier on the same line at least this year. They really need Schneider on future D to get tougher. Chytil might be a better winger as he has problems winning face-offs, but they should keep him. He has signs of becoming elite. Tough off season decisions. Not sure on Eichel as he comes from a losing organization, opposite of when we acquired Messier.

  • btw, we may have lost being in the playoffs early in the season on those losses when Rangers continued to play Jack Johnson. That one is on Gorton and the whole coaching staff!

  • Off-season shopping list for Gorton: (1) center who dominates FOs and plays a 2-way game, (2) grit for the 4th line and (3) Galant or Boudreau to replace David Oliver as offensive coach. Look what Jacque Martin achieved this year!!!

    • Sam Bennett and Kurtis MacDermind or Keegan Kolesar. Gerard Galant. Rangers need those three types of moves to happen.

  • I very much wanted a different result last night as we all did. But, I was not surprised in the least at how things went. The Islanders are a disciplined hockey team. Trotz has them playing like Torts might, being defensively responsible first and looking to capitalize on mistakes. They’ve also been getting good goal tending, which combined with good defense can shut down other teams. That is what they did to the Rangers last night. I don’t think that the Rangers were not motivated, I think they were just outplayed.

    Whether it is that the coaches don’t make in-game adjustments, or if it is the team not executing, I don’t know. But the Rangers were not able to figure out any tactics to counter the Isles. Yeah, it looked like the Canes against the Rangers from last season where they bottled up the top two lines.

    So, in the end, the Rangers are a young team. They have a lot of talented and very young players. Now the task is to mold them into a team that can win when faced with what they faced last night. Whether Quinn is the man for the job remains a question mark. I don’t expect guys like JD and Gorton to cut Quinn loose easily. That doesn’t seem to be the way they do things. So he probably gets another year at least to see if he can bring the team to the next level. That maturation of their young players will of course be a big step toward that next level. I see them competing in the playoffs next year.

  • The solution is simple. Install an experienced NHL coach In the off season and rebuild the 3rd and 4th lines with fearless players that know how to play “in your face” hard physical hockey using brute force instead of what we have now playing with cowardice.

  • Apparently, DQ can show he is assertive during time outs, but not when his team make it obvious they are about to lose to the fish sticks again, and stinking up the ice to the level of the Fulton Fish Market. Understand the team lacked some starters last night, no emotion (except for Smith), but Shester, who as usual made some great moves, and is a kid, but hopefully has some Hank type “I got it guys” games in the future. Have I mentioned how irritating it is to lose to the scaled ones without a better effort.

    • Then they should have found ways to lose to the Devils and the Sabres. If this is their plan to get rid of DQ, it isn’t going to work.

  • Everyone is disappointed with the effort and looking to make some wholesale changes … perhaps in a couple of weeks when the dust settles we’ll all stop overreacting and zero in on the “tweaks” that need to be made. That said, the attitude and tone exhibited throughout the game was disconcerting … especially the vets that should know better.

    1) It wasn’t Blackwell’s fault, but it’s time to remove these crutch-like players from DQ’s arsenal. The young kids have shown more than enough ability to take on greater responsibilities — time to give them the opportunity to start proving their mettle,
    2) If DQ isn’t the right psychiatrist for this team, then it’s time to get a new one — we have no clue as to what went on in between periods, but clearly there was no response after the 1st period and no response after the 2nd … sure that on players’ as well, but even vets take their cues from the coaching staff,
    3) Say what you want about Tony D, but he would have stood up for himself and the team … I’m not saying that he should be brought back into the fold, but we need some attitude adjustments. Next season I would be taking a long hard look at kids like Schneider and Robertson —- a kid like Jones is nice, but I’m not sure he adds what we need (trade bait),
    4) Again, no blame on the 4th line, they played well … but did they play the way we needed? Not really, we need a grizzled and pissed off vet for the 4th line — like a Pat Maroon. We need to drop guys like Blackwell, PDG, Rooney in favor of guys who LOVE to bang. The BIG skilled kids, like Kravtsov and Kappo need to be playing up in the lineup,
    5) Get a friggin’ skills coach that can work with the Centers (the whole unit actually) on faceoffs. How many times does this need to be brought up? It’s not a hard skill to learn, I would actually suggest it’s one of the easier skills to improve on as opposed to skating, etc. It’s clearly been an Achilles heel for this team against EVERYBODY, and
    6) One of the Top 6 vets needs to be replaced — no reason to panic here because the Top 6 looked soft against the Islanders, but a little shaking up of that mix might help. Let’s face it, it’s not going to be Panarin and I doubt it’s Mika … Kreider has an NMC, Buchnevich does too much … so my vote is for Strome. I like the guy and he’s talented, but let’s see if we can replace with a “harder” player and one who can win faceoffs — in the alternative, take the leap of faith and move Chytil up to the 2C and get a hardnosed 2/3C type.

    Aside from #2 and #6 above, these are easy fixes ~ 2 and 6 require more “thought” … but some displeasure with the whole situation needs to be evidenced … and a few choice actions (not a wholesale panic) will speak louder than words.

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