The Sports Daily > NY Rangers Blog
Avalanche 4, Rangers 2 (Game 1)

The New York Rangers (0-1-0) lost to the Colorado Avalanche (1-0-0) by the score of 4-2 tonight. For a box score, click here.

3 Stars

1st Star – Semyon Varlamov

2nd Star – Semyon Varlamov

3rd Star – Semyon Varlamov

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the opposing goaltender and move on. So in recognition of Semyon Varlamov ruining the Rangers opening night with his 37 save performance, let’s all drink a Red Russian.

Gif of the Game

We feel you Zibanejad. We feel you.

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

When the Rangers signed Kevin Shattenkirk, they acquired a player with dynamic offensive ability. However, he’s also someone who can be exposed in the defensive end. Tonight, we witnessed a little of both.

On the Avalanche’s first goal, Shattenkirk was unable to tie up Duchene in front of the net…

Dan Girardi would have totally out-muscled Duchene there.

Shattenkirk was able to redeem himself later in the period as he set up Mika Zibanejad with the best pass I’ve seen on a Rangers power play in the last two decades…

You could tell there were some nerves from Shatty tonight, but damn that guy has skills and will be fun to watch this season.

Stepan Who?

One of the big questions this offseason was whether Zibanejad could take the next step in his development by becoming a legitimate #1 center in the NHL. I’d say that’s an affirmative…

It was a shooting gallery for Zibanejad as he finished the game with 8 shots on goal and probably should have had 3-4 goals. Oh yeah, DJ Zbad was also 18-of-24 (75%) in the faceoff circle.

Let’s Get Physical

I know many of us old school fans wondered where the Rangers grit and physicality would come from with the departures of players such as Tanner Glass, Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein. While the Blueshirts have dedicated themselves to more of a speed game, they still had a physical presence against the Avs…

Not to mention Rick Nash’s ménage à trois with two Avalanche players.

While I don’t expect this team to throw down very often, they proved tonight they can throw the body around when necessary.

Mini Recap

– I’m not going to freak out after one game. I’m not going to freak out after one game. I’m not going to freak out after one game. I’m not…

– While I don’t want to make excuses for the Rangers, you had to figure they might have a slow start as their last preseason game was nine days ago. Unfortunately, it took them 10 minutes to get their feet under them, which really put them behind the eight ball.

– Thankfully, the Avalanche started taking penalties which allowed the Rangers new and improved power play to jump start the team and it was all Blueshirts from that point on.

– Well, minus this…

– That was a bomb from Barrie, but let’s be honest, if the Rangers want to make some noise this season, we need more of this Lundqvist…

And less of the one we got on that Barrie snipe…

– Unfortunately, with all the special team play tonight, Filip Chytil saw his NHL debut reduced to just 7:40 of ice time. If that’s the case in the future, AV might want to find a way to get Chytil on the second power play unit.

– On a related note, any chance Matt Duchene didn’t get on the Avalanche team bus leaving MSG tonight?

– Tanner Glass was playing over Pavel Buchnevich last season. That is all.

– Sure, Shattenkirk feeding Zibanejad for one-time bombs all night will help a power play, but the key for me was the net front presence of Kreider and Nash. Nothing disrupts a goaltender more than havoc in his crease.

– Would I rather the Rangers not lose to the worst team in the NHL? Sure, but there were a lot more positives than negatives tonight, so no need to lose sleep over this one. New York Rangers Hockey is back, be happy!!!! Back at it Saturday night in Toronto.

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23 thoughts on “Avalanche 4, Rangers 2 (Game 1)

  1. Actually feel better now after reading your wrap up. Hank has too play better. He looks slower going post to post than he has in years past. Hopefully that improves and we are not seeing the wear and tear set in.


  2. Varlamov stole a game. That’s really all that needs to be said. Rangers looked solid offensively and like a bunch of baby deer in the headlights defensively. Not sure I understand the criticism of Hank from Rangers fans on either of the first 2 goals. Should have had the 3rd (nice shot though). Leetle Chytil is not ready for the big lights. Hayes and Miller seemed blinded by them…


      1. I don’t agree on the first one. Aggressively challenged the shooter and made a good first save. Shatty failed his coverage there. I’m not saying he played great. But he didn’t look “shaky” to me. Some terrific saves in 2nd and 3rd. Again, should have stopped 3rd goal. It was a mediocre performance in the first game of the war after not playing for 9 days. Varly in the other hand wasn’t dynamite.


    1. He seemed to struggle on a few routine saves, but unfortunately for Hank he’s the victim of his own success. If he’s not vintage Hank, we think he’s off.


  3. bottom line is their we didn’t convert the same percentage of chances they did…they had 7 legit scoring chances, and scored on 3, we had 25, and scored on 2…goalie play and poor finishing kept us from winning 10-3

    ill take that game every night, we didn’t lose on effort, in fact over commitment is what cost us, that can be dealt with, they were fast and strong all night, 82 of those please…

    i see some good chemistry already, Buch looks like an NHLer, the kid needs to shoot (that’s why he’s here) and give vesey grabner’s spot, its always nice to have an all american line…other than that, i’m very encouraged by last night’s effort



      1. Blaming my new phone. It doesn’t know my fingers yet… BTW so happy Rangers are back so we get to read your recaps! They are usually way more fun than the games…


  4. We were sloppy I thought.. there were lots of misassignments that were unexploited because, well, it was the AVs so most fans didn’t notice that but it’s a new team, all new defensive pairings and we really looked very good at times, especially on the O. This should be a fun team to watch. Hank looked shaky and slow… thank goodness he saw very few high quality chances and the ones he did face he only stopped about 60%… when he’s on he has a higher percentage against breakaways. I liked Duchene… he’s not Crosby but would be a nice upgrade from Step… will be interesting when he becomes a Ranger… just do me one favor Gorts… don’t cave in Kreider


  5. Good effort but it was the lowly AV’s we were playing. New season same results. We can’t finish,
    Fire AV!!! Hope he keeps playing the kids and gives them a real shot.


    1. With a healthy Varlamov last year Avs might have given up the “worst in the league” title. There is some talent on that team and they’ll be better this year if healthy. I agree that for the first game of the year there were more positives than negatives. Let’s see how we fare against a much better Toronto team.


      1. But it’s the timeliness of their goals that isn’t there. They never seem to get the big goal when it is needed most and part of that is not having a true goal scorer on the team




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