The NY Rangers left a point in New Jersey yesterday with a disappointing third period. Up 3-1 in the third, the Rangers took many (soft) penalties, allowing the Devils to tie it. The Devils then won in overtime. This really blew a great performance by Igor Shesterkin, who had his work cut out for him all afternoon. The Rangers surrendered 43 shots on goal to their 34 against Vitek Vanacek–who did not have to make nearly the same caliber of save against the Rangers shooting.
— David 🏒 (@DaveyUpper) January 7, 2023
The Barclay Goodrow turnover really emphasized the sloppy play by the Rangers all afternoon. His pass to Jack Hughes directly contributed to the Devils having hope in the second period. Up 3-0 instead of 3-1 is a huge difference. The icing on the cake was Goodrow getting big third period minutes, despite that turnover and a bunch of other sloppy plays, over Vitali Kravtsov. You just gotta love hockey sometimes.
The Rangers powerplay is another problem lately for the Rangers, again producing an oh-fer on two attempts. For a top unit that continues to struggle, it’s surprising there has been zero personnel movement to shake things up. At the very least, you begin to wonder if PP2 with all the kids should get more time with the man advantage. The top unit is simply stale, predictable, and easy to defend. Until that changes, the Rangers will struggle on the powerplay.
Jimmy Vesey was one of the lone positives not named Shesterkin yesterday. He signseda tremendous value contract to remain in New York for 2 more years, and he responded with his new found stability with a great goal to open the game. Vesey is a great story in how the modern player redefines their game to stay in the NHL. He was a great scorer in college, that’s well documented. To come to terms and accept though that to get a job, he would have to make adjustments as a player and is now this fantastic shutdown forward is great for the Rangers.
What’s the going rate in free agency for shut down forwards? Certainly a lot more than the $800k that Vesey got. Just look at the Goodrow contract.
Despite the loss, the Rangers did get a point. They have a 3-game home stand coming against Minnesota, Dallas, and Montreal, which gives them a prime opportunity to get six more points. The Rangers could certainly use a home winning streak too, since they’ve struggled at MSG this season. We are at the halfway point of the season with 41 games left, and the Rangers are still on a 102 point pace. Despite all the drama.