The New York Rangers (44-24-3) lost to the Florida Panthers (31-28-11) by the score of 4-3 in a shootout. For a box score, click here.
1st Star – Road Rangers fans (The only Blueshirts fans who get to see a victory in person)
2nd Star – Florida Playoff Bubble Teams (The Rangers gave them four points this week)
3rd Star – The Irish (Happy belated St. Patrick’s Day)
Post Game Cocktail Recommendation
In honor of Jaromir Jagr (269 pts) passing Gordie Howe (268) for the most points by an NHL player after turning 40, let’s all have a Jager Bomb.
It’s real easy folks, this game came down to three awful defensive miscues:
First on the Jonathan Huberdeau goal, not only does Rick Nash turn the puck over in the offensive zone leading to the Panthers odd man rush, instead of immediately picking himself up after falling to the ice on the back check he decides to do a slip and slide into the Rangers zone until he finally gets back up & into the play (at a glacial pace I might add) which at that point is too late as he misses the stick check on Huberdeau by an inch.
On the second goal, Derek Stepan, who can’t have any worse luck in the offensive end, loses Jussi Jokinen on the backside for an easy layup…
And finally, the McDonagh Mess…
In McD’s defense it did look like he was off balance, but with how he played the pass it almost seemed like he wanted to help Jagr leap frog Howe for the points over 40 record similar to when Brett Favre basically handed Michael Strahan the sack title…
Tanner Glass Watch
To me, for Tanner Glass to justify his spot in the lineup he needs to be making a difference in every game he plays. Maybe that’s not fair, but when the rationale for your presence in the line-up over a far superior player is to provide a spark through physicality and you’re not doing it, well, I have a hard time defending the coach’s decision.
His presence in the line-up also didn’t stop this from happening…
BTW, I didn’t realize that getting sucker punched in the face wasn’t a penalty anymore.
Another game, another less than 60-minute effort. The Rangers looked like they were going to run away with this one early, then they just stopped playing. Not sure if the quick start lulled them into a false sense of security, but that kind of effort isn’t enough especially against a team playing for their postseason lives.
Weird game for James Reimer. While the three goals he allowed were absolute garbage, for the remainder of the game the Panthers goaltender looked like the second coming of Patrick Roy. So while I want to give credit to the Rangers for a quick start, if Reimer was able to make what were routine saves, the Rangers don’t jump out to a quick lead. Conversely, the Rangers had numerous chances to add on to that lead, which Reimer denied. Right Derek…
Besides the decision to play Glass over Buchnevich, not sure what AV was thinking splitting up the Miller-Hayes-Grabner line in favor of inserting Fast. AV deserves credit for all his success as a Rangers head coach, but good Lord his personnel decisions are baffling sometimes.
I’m really starting to warm to Brendan Smith. He’s not a first pairing defenseman, but the former Red Wing has been dependable in the defensive end since being paired with Holden. Plus those two identical passes on the Miller & second Zuccarello goals were things of beauty. If Gorton does decide to overhaul the Rangers defense this offseason, I very much hope Smith is part of the team’s future plans.
The Rangers need to acquire Eric Christensen, Nigel Dawes and Petr Prucha strictly for the shootout.
Watchout, the power play is starting to heat up as they’re 5 for their last 12.
Six straight loses at home. Inexcusable. After the game Nash alluded to the Rangers needing to play a more straight forward game at home, which is what they’ve done on the road. I have no idea what about playing at MSG would change that mindset, but AV and the players need to figure it out.
Right back at it tonight in Minnesota.