The New York Rangers (45-25-4) lost to the New York Islanders (34-26-12) by the score of 3-2 in overtime. For a box score, click here.
1st Star – Current Playoff Format (Made back-to-back losses to bitter rivals meaningless)
2nd Star – New York Hockey (It’s always better when both teams are in the playoffs, hopefully the two points help the Islanders get in)
3rd Star – Rangers fans who attended the Feb. 19th home game (aka the last time the Rangers were victorious on home ice)
Post Game Cocktail Recommendation
What a disaster the move to Brooklyn has been for the Islanders. Let’s all have a Long Island Iced Tea in hopes they return, apparently with Dolan’s help, to Long Island.
Hit the Net!!!!!
Last night, the Rangers took a whopping 71 shot attempts. Unfortunately, a mere 36 made their way on net. So they missed the net almost as many times as they hit it. That’s not very good.
Here’s a few lowlights…
Beyond missing the net on their opportunities, too few of the shots that actually find their way on net are of the rebound variety or with traffic in front. This has been a problem the last two seasons and needs to be rectified before the postseason begins because that’s when ugly goals rule.
Tanner Glass Watch
A big hit, a fight and a clap to pump up the crowd. I think I like it.
I love the reaction afterward…
Look, when the Rangers fall one goal short it’s easy to blame the decision to play Glass over Buchnevich. But with the Rangers generating 71 shot attempts, finding offense wasn’t the problem, the offensive players in the lineup not finishing was.
This decision was also nothing more than AV making sure he had some muscle in the line-up against a team who has historically been physical against the Rangers. I wouldn’t get too worked up over it.
Send It In Rick!
Whenever Rick Nash takes it to the hole and scores like this…
I can’t help but think of this call from the great Bill Raftery…
Tough Night for Skjei
It hasn’t happened often this season, but Brady Skjei had an off night, as he’s caught puck watching on the Islanders first goal…
He also made this brutal turnover in the third period that led to a penalty and the Islanders ultimately tying the game on the ensuing power play…
Now, Skjei also had a 60% 5-on-5 CF% so it wasn’t all bad, but some rare growing pains for the rookie defenseman.
The penalty kill has officially relapsed into last season’s struggles. Somehow, despite getting Fast, Grabner and Nash back, the penalty kill has gotten worse the last few weeks. Could it be? No, it can’t. Maybe just maybe, the penalty kill misses….Dan Girardi.
When passing while upright has become mundane…
After the kid line was put together against the Wild, I mentioned that I’d like to see that lineup in Game 1 of postseason, but if AV isn’t going to feel comfortable with two rookies on a line going into the playoffs, it might be time to drop Grabner to what was originally supposed to be the fourth line along with Fast and Lindberg. Along with Grabner’s scoring drying up (1 goal in his last 15 games) it also drops Fast back to the 4th line (where he should be) and bumps both Vesey & Buchnevich up in the Top 9 (where they should be).
Losing to the Devils and Islanders back-to-back is beyond frustrating, but let’s be sure to keep things in perspective. These losses mean nothing (especially with Lundqvist out of the lineup) other than having a better chance of clinching the first Wild Card and an easier path to the Eastern Conference Final.
Thankfully the Rangers are getting away from MSG and heading out west for a game vs. the Kings on Saturday.