Fights take center stage in Rangers loss to Caps

Six fights in the first four minutes to start this Rangers/Caps game. A cross check to the face. A bunch of misconducts. It’s amazing what happens when you don’t suspend someone when they should be. The NHL brought this game upon themselves and made the first four minutes of this game a mockery. Things settled down until Pavel Buchnevich cross checked Anthony Mantha in the face.

As for the actual game, the Caps are better. That’s all there is to it. The Rangers were depleted because of injuries, and then were even more depleted because they sent the NHL a message. The Rangers were absolutely dominated in the hockey portion of this game. But I don’t think many people care about that.

It was good to see the Rangers send a message. Tom Wilson, the coward he is, was held out for two periods due to an “upper body injury.” Which is a total crock, since he was fine. Someone said keep him off the ice. I very rarely want vengeance, but I’m glad Buchnevich, who 100% deserves to be suspended, knocked out some of Mantha’s teeth. Eye for an eye.

Caps 1, Rangers 0 – Caught

K’Andre Miller got caught on this, trying to anticipate the pass from Brendan Dillon, and that sprung TJ Oshie on a 2-on-1. Adam Fox took the pass, and Oshie took the shot.

Caps 2, Rangers 0 – Not much else Fox could do

Adam Fox played this well. Not much else you can do here. Tap your stick and move on.

Caps 3, Rangers 0 – Screens

Faceoff win. Screens. Good hockey goal. Again, tap your stick and move on.

Caps 3, Rangers 1 – Chytilmania

Nic Down turned the puck over at the blue line, and the Rangers turned it. Filip Chytil gained the zone, got to the slot for a good chance, then got to his own rebound. He knew Alexis Lafreniere was just waiting across the crease.

Caps 4, Rangers 1 – Oshie Hattie

I like Oshie. I really do.

Caps 4, Rangers 2 – Morgan Barron’s First

Vanecek probably should have had this. But Zac Jones gets his second pro assist on Morgan Barron’s first NHL goal.

Shot Heatmap – No bueno

The Rangers got dominated. They were missing half their lineup in some way or another.

Skater Results – Wow that’s bad

What else is there to say?

This game was never about the hockey. It was about sending a message. The Rangers sent a message to the Caps, the NHL, and to the Department of Player Unsafety by triggering six fights to start the game. The rest of it, to be frank, didn’t matter. They sent the message. In a drama filled year, this needed to be done. I’m as new-school as they come, but tonight was needed.