The New York Rangers lost to the Vancouver Canucks 5-3. For a box score, click here.
The Rangers came into tonight on a five game winning streak, having scored five or more goals in each victory. The Canucks, on the other hand, were on a nine game losing streak. So the odds weren’t in the Rangers favor to begin with. Maybe the Rangers knew that so decided to get an early start on their upcoming road trip. Or maybe they wanted to get out of the country before the election results came in. Either way, they weren’t at MSG tonight.
I can handle losses where the team plays well but the bounces just don’t go their way. It happens at some point every season but you can see the positives in those losses and know the tide will turn eventually. There were no positives in tonight’s game. The worst part is the Canucks didn’t even outplay them. The Rangers just didn’t play. Vigneault put it best after the game:
From top to bottom, there is not one player I would call out as having a decent game. If I had to name someone, I would say the best players were Adam Clendening and Oscar Lindberg (and yes both sat in the press box). I can’t even say Lundqvist because he came in and looked horrible. To be fair, he was cold and it wasn’t an ideal situation but doesn’t matter, he still let up two goals on six shots.
Somehow the Rangers scored first on a goal I’m sure Markstrom would like to have back. The Canucks tied it on a goal the entire building could feel coming. But that was it through 40 minutes. Play one period and the Rangers would’ve squeaked out two points. Instead, they laid a complete dud for the final twenty.
It started with a power kill of epic proportions. In fact the power play was basically atrocious all night, save for the last one which we’ll get to shortly. Henrik Sedin came out of the box and scored to regain the lead for the Canucks. Two minutes later, Granlund ran over Raanta. Fortunately the Rangers goalie appeared to be okay and the Rangers would head on their fifth power play of the night. This one would connect as Rick Nash would get his 400th career NHL goal. Shortly afterwards, the concussion spotters would pull Raanta from the game. He would return with a little over five minutes remaining in the period but the damage had been done.
Honestly, tonight the Rangers looked like last years’ team. The team everyone knew was playing over their heads. They haven’t looked that way this year so I’m going to hope this was an off night. But it’s something to keep an eye on. Going forward I would like them to remember how to complete a pass. And I would be thrilled to never see another attempted drop pass again. But if they insist on them, which they clearly do, maybe make sure to let their teammates know before trying one.
Simply put, tonight was ugly. And they get to sit on this one until Saturday night when they start the dreaded western Canada road trip in Calgary. Hopefully they will watch lots of tape and be as annoyed with their performance as their coach was right after the game.
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)