Rangers Week in Review: Lean, Mean, Game Losing Machine

Rangers Week in Review: Lean, Mean, Game Losing Machine

by February 14, 2021 0 comments

After a winning week, it’s back to the same old New York Rangers. It is as though one is holding a stick, poking the team, and asking them to do something. The problem is that they do it and then it is back to the apparent normal for the season so far. The team is just not clicking on all cylinders yet.

Keyword: yet.

Many fans question whether coach David Quinn understands what is not working and if he is attempting to remedy it. To those outside the team locker room, it may seem like he doesn’t, and at times it appears the team might not understand what is not working, either.

Anyone can see by looking back over the playoff games last season against the Carolina Hurricanes and watching this season unfold that something isn’t quite right. The team is playing well, but it’s just quite good enough to eke out wins against their opponents.

So what’s the problem with the Rangers?

New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders
Madison Square Garden
February 8, 2021

Losing a game against a rival like the New York Islanders is always a hard pill to swallow, especially when it’s a shutout. Semyon Varlamov was able to keep the Rangers from scoring, playing great inside the crease when he needed to. The game was fairly mundane since there was no scoring until the third period. The Rangers were able to generate many scoring chances, having 30 shots on goal, but Varlamov was solid and kept the Islanders in the best position to win.

And win they did, 2-0.

The Islanders were able to score two goals in the third period. Casey Cizikas got the first goal a little over midway through the period, and almost two minutes later Matt Martin was able to score his first goal of the season. The Rangers could not come back from this deficit, despite the Islanders’ last-minute penalty with less than a minute to go in the game.

Overall, it might be considered more of a defensive game between both teams. The Islanders were able to capitalize on the Rangers’ mistakes, and that makes all the difference in a game.

New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins
Madison Square Garden
February 10, 2021

Going up against the leader in the division will always be a tough match to end up with. The Bruins came into this game with 18 points to the Rangers’ 10.. Boston scored :36 into overtime and came out of the game with two more points, and New York got their one.

In the first period, Julien Gauthier scored his first goal, the assist being credited to  Brendan Lemieux. Not only was it his first of the season, but also happened to be the first goal of his NHL career. The second period gave us a goal for the Bruins by Chris Wagner, tying the game and showing that the Rangers have difficulty holding on to a lead. In the third, Anders Bjork‘s goal gave the Bruins the lead, but about three minutes later, Kevin Rooney snuck one in for the Rangers, tying the game. The assists for Rooney’s goal were given to Lemieux and Ryan Lindgren.

All of this led to overtime, and it seemed the Rangers were doing well staying alive in the game. However, the overtime lasted just 36 seconds before Brad Marchand put the nail into the coffin, giving the Bruins the 3-2 win.

New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins
Madison Square Garden
February 12, 2021

Just when fans thought it was safe to watch another game, New York would face Boston again. The first period was scoreless in this one, with both Jaroslav Halak and Igor Shesterkin doing an outstanding job in the net. The game’s only goal happened a little over midway into the second period when Nick Ritchie was able to get one past Shesterkin.

The second period also brought some old school hockey, with fisticuffs occurring multiple times. Lemieux took on Trent Frederic halfway through the period, and shortly before the second ended Pavel Buchnevich was taking on Jeremy Lauzon.

The defense for the Rangers looked improved, and the team appeared to play better in this game. However, New York was not able to turn any of that into goals. They had six chances throughout the game to get a power play goal but were unable to do so. Their offensive struggles were put on display in this game, losing 1-0 and putting an exclamation point on their current situation of only four wins in its first 13 games (4-6-3).

The Continuing Saga of Tony DeAngelo

Even though everyone knows the drama revolving around DeAngelo has merely quieted down and not gone away, it has been brought back into the public by Larry Brooks, writer for the NY Post. Brooks interviewed the defenseman, putting out an article hitting on not only all of the issues that were said or done following the incident, but in it we are offered a glimpse into what DeAngelo thinks and feels. It allows fans and critics to read for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

Back to the grind

Overall, the Rangers not capitalizing on their chances and netting no goals on power play opportunities has given fans only disappointment. It makes New York hockey fans realize that there is a lot of work still left to do before the Rangers are able to make a name for themselves instead of being the punchline for a joke.

It might appear to most that the players are all in with believing in the team that is the New York Rangers but are allowing issues like self-doubt to stand in the way of becoming something great. If that’s the case, then Quinn and the rest of the coaching staff have a lot of work ahead of them.

The game scheduled for February 14, 2021, with the Philadelphia Flyers has been postponed due to three Flyers players being put on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. The Rangers’ next game on ice is against the New Jersey Devils on February 16, 2021.

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