Rangers Week in Review: Turn Out the Lights, the Season’s Over

Rangers Week in Review: Turn Out the Lights, the Season’s Over

by May 11, 2021 0 comments

The 2020-21 season for the New York Rangers ended this week as they faced the Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins. There were some surprises in store for players and fans alike, and everyone seemed to be on board the Tom Wilson hate train.

New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals
Madison Square Garden
May 3, 2021

After back-to-back shutout losses to the New York Islanders, the Rangers were looking to make a statement but fell short against the Washington Capitals. It wasn’t a great start for the Rangers, letting the Caps get off to a two goal lead. Near the end of the first period, Mika Zibanejad got New York on the board to cut the lead to one goal.

In the second, the Rangers scored early with goals from Zibanejad and Kaapo Kakko. The game had made it almost to the midpoint in the period when the brouhaha occurred. Pavel Buchnevich was attempting to go to the Capitals net to jam the puck in, but he wasn’t able to, lost his balance, and was about to fall to the ice when Wilson came in and helped him go down.

Public Enemy Number One

Wilson then delivered a punch to the back of his head. Ryan Strome came in, attempting to get Wilson off Buchnevich. This sparked a melee which led to Wilson and Artemi Panarin fighting after Panarin was attempting to get Wilson off a teammate. Wilson succeeded in knocking Panarin’s helmet off and then proceeded to essentially head slam him into the ice, but it caught Panarin’s shoulder instead. He was then lifted off the ice by Wilson and slammed back down, almost hitting his head.

This was going while other players were fighting as well. Buchnevich and Panarin were each given two minutes for roughing. Wilson was given four minutes for roughing and a 10-minute game misconduct. Brenden Dillon was also given a two-minute penalty for roughing. The period continued on as the Rangers continued to lead by one goal. With less than two minutes to go, the game was tied on a goal by Garnet Hathaway.

In the third, it was all Washington. They were able to score three goals, and on the flip side, the Rangers only had five shots on goal. The sixth goal in the game was scored by none other than Wilson to add insult to injury. The Rangers would lose 6-3 to the Capitals.

1st Period

14:12 WSH: Nic Dowd, Carl Hagelin, Garnet Hathaway
15:44 WSH: Conor Sheary, Michael Raffl, Wilson
18:00 NYR: Zibanejad, Panarin, Buchnevich

2nd Period

02:30 NYR: Zibanejad, Strome, Panarin
04:35 NYR: Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere, Kevin Rooney
18:30 WSH: Hathaway, Nic Dowd

3rd Period

04:37 WSH: Daniel Sprong
11:41 WSH: Nicklas Backstrom, Raffl, Nick Jensen
18:34 WSH: Wilson, John Carlson

It was a disappointing game, and with this loss, the Rangers were out of the running to make the 2021 playoffs.

A Maelstrom Descends Upon the Rangers

Following the loss to Washington and the subsequent furor over Wilson’s $5,000 fine, the Rangers released a statement regarding their disappointment in the punishment meted out to Wilson. They also called out George Parros, the NHL Head of Player Safety, as being unfit for his position.

Related: Tom Wilson Verdict Shines a Light on NHL Inconsistencies

While fans were digesting that bit of information, they were hit with another surprise. It was announced that President of Hockey Operations John Davidson and General Manager Jeff Gorton were fired. Chris Drury was promoted from Associate General Manager to the position of President and GM, with Glen Slather as a senior adviser.

The firings were so close to what had happened to the game on May 3, and there was speculation as to why they were suddenly let go. As it turns out, it was mere coincidence or possible poor timing on owner James Dolan’s part. He clarified his reasoning behind the timing, wanting to have Drury in place for the exit meetings.

Conspiracy theories still surround this announcement, and the concern by Rangers fans over the future of the team has doubled or tripled. Dolan has left the New York Rangers organization alone for quite some time without too much interference; he’s usually too busy with the New York Knicks to pay attention. His sudden interest in how the rebuild is going is a cause of concern for fans, who don’t want to see anything near a Jerry Jones-type owner involvement. Only the offseason will tell us where the organization is heading.

New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals
Madison Square Garden
May 5, 2021

Everyone knew what might be coming in this game after what had transpired over the past two days. Fans weren’t disappointed as it quickly became “Fight Night at the Garden” with the drop of the puck.  Colin Blackwell, Rooney, and Phillip Di Giuseppe took on Dowd, Hagelin, and Hathaway. Forty-nine seconds later, Brendan Smith took on Wilson to earn some penalty minutes. Four minutes after that, more fisticuffs occurred between Strome and Anthony Bitetto against Raffl and Lars Eller. The chirping and fisticuffs continued through the rest of the first.

The second still had a few entanglements between the teams, but it was nothing like the first. Washington was able to dominate, scoring three goals to have a 3-0 lead by the end of the period. They were able to outshoot the Rangers 14-3.

The Blueshirts were able to get on the board to make it a 3-1 game with a goal by Lafreniere. Washington would add to the score on a goal by T.J Oshie, and it would be a hat trick for him just a day after laying his father to rest. Morgan Barron would get the first goal/point of his NHL career. The Rangers went on to lose 4-2.

1st Period

No Goals.

2nd Period

00:12 WSH: Oshie, Brenden Dillon, Trevor van Riemsdyk
08:26 WSH: Oshie, Dmitry Orlov, Backstrom
14:48 WSH: Dowd, Carlson, Orlov

3rd Period

01:15 NYR: Lafreniere, Filip Chytil, Zachary Jones
18:20 WSH: Oshie, Hagelin, Orlov
18:44 NYR: Barron, Jones, Libor Hajek

A total of 141 penalty minutes were given out to both teams, with the Rangers having 85 and the Capitals getting 56.

New York Rangers @ Boston Bruins
TD Garden
May 6, 2021

Earlier in the day, the Rangers organization was fined $250,000 for the statement they had released about the Wilson incident. Commissioner Gary Bettman indicated it was regarding what they deemed demeaning personal comments made publicly about Parros. Buchnevich had a player hearing with the Department of Player Safety and was suspended for a game due to the cross-check against Anthony Mantha. According to some New York fans, it was a display of hypocrisy at its finest.

The Rangers looked lifeless, like they didn’t want to be there or just dialing in a performance. The 4-0 shutout showed the team was not ready to face a good Boston Bruins team after the week they’d had. It was a pitiful sight to see, with the Bruins having more shots on goal than the Rangers. It was a staggering 34-15 shot differential.

Boston got a goal seven minutes into the first and another near the end of the period. The second was the worst in terms of shots on goal for the Rangers. Boston outshot them 19-3 and scored a goal to put them up 3-0. The Rangers attempted to come back in the third and had two more shots on goal than Boston, but they couldn’t get the puck in the net. Boston knocked another one in past Igor Shesterkin, making it a 4-0 shutout.

1st Period

07:11 BOS: Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand
18:35 BOS: Charlie McAvoy, Marchand, David Pastrnak

2nd Period

14:01 BOS: Jake Debrusk, David Krejci, Taylor Hall

3rd Period

01:07 BOS: Brandon Carlo, Krejci

Throughout the game, players such as Jonny Brodzinski and Timothy Gettinger, who were called up from the Hartford Wolfpack, played just as poorly as the rest of the team, possibly showing that they don’t belong in the NHL yet.

New York Rangers @ Boston Bruins
TD Garden
May 8, 2021

Going into the last game of the season, the Rangers were on a five-game losing streak. The scene wasn’t looking too good for the Blueshirts, and for a while, it appeared they would make it six straight losses.

There were no goals from either team in the first period. The Bruins had more shots on goal, but Keith Kinkaid was able to keep Boston from scoring. The Rangers kicked off the scoring in the second period on a goal by K’Andre Miller approximately six minutes in. The score also gave Justin Richards, who was recently called up from Hartford, his first NHL point. Boston would tie the game 1-1 with less than two minutes left in the second. They would have significantly more shots on goal than the Rangers, outshooting them 19-5. Kinkaid did an outstanding job of turning away all but one of the shots.

Finish Like a New Yorker

New York attempted to fight back in the third period, and both teams had the same amount of shots on net with 11. Boston regained the lead on a goal by Pastrnak only a few seconds into the third. Zibanejad tied it back up, and then Lafreniere put the Rangers back on top 3-2. A few minutes later Vitali Kravtsov would make it 4-2 over the Bruins. Kinkaid sustained a lower-body injury and Shesterkin took over in net with a little over ten minutes left in the game.

Boston was able to get closer on a goal by Marchand, making it 4-3. With less than two minutes left, Zibanejad knocked another one into the net, making it 5-3, and a few seconds later Boston would make it a one-goal game again. The Rangers were able to hold off the Bruins for the rest of the period and would win their final game of the season 5-4.

1st Period

No Goals.

2nd Period

06:21 NYR: Miller, Richards, Chytil
18:12 BOS: Nick Ritchie, Debrusk, McAvoy

3rd Period

00:21 BOS: Pastrnak, Marchand
05:22 NYR: Zibanejad, Buchnevich, Strome
07:26 NYR: Lafreniere, Anthony Bitetto, Buchnevich
09:36 NYR: Kravtsov, Strome, Jones
14:08 BOS: Marchand, Krejci
18:07 NYR: Zibanejad, Buchnevich
18:39 BOS: Bergeron, Matt Grzelcyk, McAvoy

Zibanejad and Pastrnak both scored their 200th NHL goal in this game.

Rangers News

Adam Fox was named the Rangers Most Valuable Player
Lindgren wins the Players’ Player Award
Smith wins the Good Guy Award
Rangers sign Lindgren to a three-year deal

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