Well, Rangers came out flat in nearly every possible aspect of this game against the Minnesota Wild. From the forwards, to the defense, to the goaltender, no one wanted to play I guess. Alex Georgiev is in a tough spot playing for this franchise because he wants to be a starter, but no one will look at the kind of stat lines he’s putting up this season and think, “Yeah, that’s our starter”. I wish the best for him, he’s given 4 solid years of service to this organization, but the Rangers desperately need a backup who can actually, you know, backup.

Georgiev’s play this season does the fanbase no favors when you find out the backup goaltender is starting and the immediate thought is imminent defeat before the puck is ever dropped. There is no denying that this will most definitely be the final season of Georgiev in New York.

There are a lot of questions about this roster as currently constructed. For example, what’s going on with the top pair of Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren? Neither of them look like themselves at 5v5 since All-Star break. Both look banged up, winded, and have made some non-Fox/Lindgren like turnovers leading to grade-A scoring chances against. If they are banged up, hopefully a maintenance day will come for either so they can at least rest their bodies. The Rangers are going to need a full bill of health for their big guns if they are to go anywhere in the playoffs.

The current lack of forward depth, even before the Kaapo Kakko injury has also put the coaching staff in a bind and has brought on questionable in-game decisions at times. The Rangers need a top six winger. It’s glaring, it’s inevitable, it’s right there for the taking, they need it.

Related: Can anyone truly explain why Ryan Reaves should be anywhere near a top line for multiple shifts? Alexis Lafreniere hasn’t scored the last couple of games, but is that the expectation? That he’s to score every game the rest of the way to play on the top line? That move made no sense. The Rangers were down 5-2 a little under halfway through and it felt like Gallant punted the rest of the game. I understand you can’t win every game in an 82 game season, but is demoting your top pick, that you finally got through to, the best way to do it? I don’t buy that.

Wild 1, Rangers 0

There’s a minor quibble with the defense backing up a little too much, but this is one Alex Georgiev should have stopped. Funny enough, 10 seconds later he stopped one he probably shouldn’t have.

Wild 2, Rangers 0

This looked like a broken play, but Minnesota kept possession through the zone. Adam Fox went to the puck carrier, despite a man already there. That forced Ryan Lindgren to the man in the middle, which left the pass to Marcus Foligno across the slot line wide open. Joel Eriksson-Ek got his stick on the flubbed shot and deflected it in.

Wild 2, Rangers 1

Artemiy Panarin was able to clear the zone, trapping a pair of Wild players behind the play. That sprung Ryan Strome and Dryden Hunt, and that was just a perfect pass from Strome.

Rangers 2, Wild 2

Georgiev made up for the bad first goal by making a Shesty-like save on Eriksson-Ek while down a man. Mika Zibanejad eventually pressured Mats Zuccarello into a turnover –perhaps with a little hook– and then deked Talbot out of his skates.

Wild 3, Rangers 2

Chaos leads to goals. The Rangers couldn’t clear on the kill, and that led to coverage miscues. Kevin Fiala went unnoticed for the Matt Boldy pass. Empty net.

Wild 4, Rangers 2

Foligno got in behind K’Andre Miller and Jacob Trouba. This wasn’t the best defensive effort by the Rangers in this one.

Wild 5, Rangers 2

This is likely another one that Georgiev wants back, which is funny because he made a great save on Zuccarello 30 seconds prior. But don’t sleep on how bad the Rangers defense was in this one. That’s another uncovered man across the slot line. Two goals like that, plus a breakaway.

Shot Heatmap

The Rangers were not good in this one. Almost every chance was a good chance from the dots and in. Not sure how much Shesterkin could have done in this one, but Georgiev didn’t do them any favors either.

Game Flow

This was all Minnesota. The Rangers laid an egg.

If this game doesn’t immediately send a signal to the voters that Shesterkin is the clear Vezina and Hart winners, I don’t know what will. The Rangers more than likely don’t win this game even with Shesterkin in net, but it likely wouldn’t have been 5-2. Totally different mentality going into a period only being down a goal rather than three. We’ll never know though, and hopefully Shesterkin is right back in net against a team like St Louis who is struggling to get wins right now.


Mentioned in this article:

More About: