Rangers Recap: Vegas Flu

It seems we are in a Jekyll and Hyde time period with the Rangers. What started out so promising in Vegas, outshooting and controlling play for the first 9 minutes of play, abruptly turned into a fire drill. The Rangers allowed 2 goals in the first and simply could not get it together.

The offense dried up, Igor Shesterkin did not make a big save when needed, and the Rangers took way too many penalties. These are the kinds of losses that just are unacceptable, especially when the Golden Knights were missing Jack Eichel, Shea Theodore, and William Karlsson.

The losses are starting to become a concern, as the once comfortable lead the Rangers had in the Metro has shrunk to virtually nothing. The Flyers are 2 points behind the Rangers for the division lead, but the Rangers do have a game in hand. The boost Kaapo Kakko gave them faded in an instant.

Perhaps the biggest concern is Shesterkin, who appears to be in his own head in some games. He couldn’t make the big save that we are accustomed to and now he is allowing soft goals in droves, including two last night. Making matters worse, per Steve Valiquette, Shesterkin has the worst save percentage in the entire league when down by 2 goals or more.

The Rangers lone goal on the night was on the power play by Mika Zibanejad. The lone goal in these blowout games being on the power play is becoming too common a trend. It’s great that the talent on this team can convert with the man advantage, which will give them a boost in the playoffs, but they also need to find a way to score 5v5.

The team has been getting goalie’d far too often during this stretch for it to be a run of bad luck, and you see that “oh no, not again” feeling in their body language. Reinforcements will likely arrive soon, hopefully in the form of a legitimate 3C, but those characteristics of this team are becoming a theme and it needs to stop if this team is going to be a serious contender. Cup teams work, even when the cards are stacked against them.

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