Rangers Week in Review: New Year, Not So New Rangers

Rangers Week in Review: New Year, Not So New Rangers

by January 31, 2021 0 comments

If you were thinking, “Hey, it’s great that Rangers hockey is back, even the pandemic couldn’t stop it!” you are not alone. However, it seems that even into the third week of games, the Rangers still think they’re trapped in the bubble of last season’s playoffs. Despite an improvement in their play, there’s just something there preventing them from capitalizing on it. If you want to add insult to whatever mental injury the team has, it’s not gone unnoticed that the rookies are having a slightly better season than the higher paid veterans.

The Rangers have gotten out to a not so bad start in the games this week, but they cannot control the game and the scoreboard. They’ve let their opponent come back, score, and win in three of the games. The Rangers were barely able to eke out a win in overtime against the Sabres.

It’s saying a lot when people notice the best line is not the first or second.

New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
PPG Paints Arena
January 24, 2021

After losing to the Penguins in a shutout, the Rangers appeared to have a good start to this rematch. Colin Blackwell started the Rangers off in the scoring, getting his first of the season with assists by Adam Fox and Brett Howden. The Penguins tied it up, naturally, with a goal by Bryan Rust. Ryan Strome got the Rangers back on top late in the second period, and it was his first goal of the season. The third period was not so great for the Rangers as Jared McCann and Jake Guentzel scored on Igor Shesterkin.

Shesterkin was able to make 16 saves, and Tristan Jarry was able to stop the puck 24 times to help secure the win for the Penguins. Amazingly, the Rangers had no penalties for this game, but they could not capitalize on the two penalties Pittsburgh took. Including this game, they’ve had 21 opportunities to get a power-play goal but have only had four of them go their way. The Rangers still need to work on not passing the puck so much and take more shots. It’s been a point of contention with fans over the years, and as of right now, it looks to be on a similar track.

New York Rangers vs. Buffalo Sabres
KeyBank Center
January 26, 2021

This loss to Buffalo is their fourth straight game lost by one point, and it’s heartbreaking because the Rangers had many chances. Yet again, they had more shots on goal than their opponent, but it still wasn’t enough to make a difference.

Chris Kreider kicked off the Rangers’ scoring in the first period with his second goal of the season, giving Pavel Buchnevich another point to add to his growing pile. The Sabres were able to tie it up with a power-play goal from Dylan Cozens on a cross-checking penalty by K’Andre Miller. Later in the first period, Miller was able to get the puck in the net for his first goal of the season and his first NHL goal. Colin Blackwell and Brendan Lemieux are credited with the assists for Miller’s goal.

The Rangers allowed Buffalo to come back in the second period on Tobias Rieder and Jack Eichel‘s goals. The third period seemed to be no better for the Rangers despite having 15 shots on goal to only two for the Sabres. Buffalo was able to keep their lead and hold the Rangers to no goals.

Despite an outstanding first period and a good performance overall, the Rangers did what they appear to do almost every game; they blew a lead.

New York Rangers vs. Buffalo Sabres
KeyBank Center
January 28, 2021

This game appeared to be a continuation of the Rangers having the lead and then blowing it. The team looked good overall, playing well and also out-shooting the Sabres. It started with a goal by Strome, with assists from Artemi Panarin and Buchnevich. Eichel was able to tie it up near the end of the first period.

The second period was looking great for the Rangers, with Panarin scoring an unassisted goal. The team was able to keep the Sabres from scoring and outshot them nine to four. They found a way to outplay Buffalo all night long, but they did end up taking five penalties. One of those penalties ended up being a power-play goal for Sam Reinhart in the third period, effectively tying the game and sending it into overtime.

Alexis Lafreniere was able to be the hero of the game, clinching the win with a goal in overtime. It was an exciting way to get your first NHL goal and get the Broadway hat.

New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Madison Square Garden
January 30, 2021

After the triumphant win over the Sabres, it looked as if the Rangers were a little off at the start of this game. They allowed Pittsburg to take the lead with a goal by Jason Zucker. Lemieux was able to tie it up with assists from Phillip Di Giuseppe and Ryan Lindgren. Then the Penguins were able to get the lead back later in the first period on a goal by Brandon Tanev.

During the second period, Kevin Rooney snuck in a short-handed goal with Miller and Strome’s help. Kasperi Kapanen gave the Penguins the lead again, only to have Kreider tie it up again less than a minute later with a little help from his teammates, Jacob Trouba and Miller. Near the end of the second period, Panarin scored a power-play goal, giving the Rangers their first lead; assists are credited to Buchnevich and Tony DeAngelo.

The third period began with a 4-on-4 due to penalties in the closing minutes of the second period by both teams. The Rangers let the penguins dictate the game in the third period, which eventually led to the game tieing goal by Guentzel. Overtime showed the penguins were firmly in control, and with the Rangers unable to change players, eventually, Sidney Crosby was able to grab the game-winning goal.

The Rangers are currently last in the division at six points with a 2-4-2 record, and in the league, they are 28th out of 31. Any hopes they had of making the playoffs are dwindling rapidly and will eventually be nothing if something doesn’t change.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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