Rangers Week in Review: It’s a Long, Long Road Trip

Rangers Week in Review: It’s a Long, Long Road Trip

by October 24, 2021 0 comments

You might think that missing two of your top-six forwards would upset the delicate balance that Gerard Gallant has put into place for the New York Rangers. The absence of Kaapo Kakko and Ryan Strome is noticeable, especially when looking at the team’s offensive play. However, the Rangers still managed to win all four games on their road trip. The wins weren’t pretty, but they were essential to the team and the players in terms of confidence and group cohesion.

New York Rangers @ Toronto Maple Leafs
October 18, 2021
Scotiabank Arena
W 2-1

1st Period
13:49-Mika Zibanejad

2nd Period
01:36-Michael Bunting, Morgan RiellyJohn Tavares

3rd Period
No Scoring


03:48- Artemi Panarin & Zibanejad

The Rangers let Toronto have their way with them and have control of the game, and everyone wondered how the Rangers could have possibly won this game. The Leafs outplayed them at every turn and yet still managed to lose in overtime. The Rangers had 23 shots on goal and barely managed to win 24 percent of the faceoffs, while the Leafs had 41 shots on goal and were killing it with a faceoff percentage of 76. So how did the Rangers stay in this game? Igor Shesterkin. He made the difference for the Rangers. For a moment, you might have thought he was channeling Henrik Lundqvist with the way he was making saves. Shesterkin stopped 40 of 41 shots, and he’s now 9-0-0 when making 36 or more saves in a game.

In overtime, it was luck that Zibanejad won the faceoff, passing the puck to Panarin, who then buried it in the net to give the Rangers the victory.

New York Rangers @ Nashville Predators
October 21, 2021
Bridgestone Arena
W 3-1

1st Period
02:12-Filip Chytil, Sammy Blais & Alexis Lafreniere

2nd Period
07:01-Philip Tomasino, Ryan Johansen & Dante Fabbro

3rd Period
10:53-Lafreniere, Blais, & Adam Fox
19:54-Barclay Goodrow

This was a lesson in playing rough. Nashville had five penalties called to the Rangers’ four. Attempts at fisticuffs were there, but it really looked like two kids trying to fight it out in the schoolyard. May the best one win.

The Rangers are still attempting to make pretty passes during power-plays. No one wants to be selfish enough to get it on net. This has been a problem in previous seasons, and it’s bled into this one. This pass-first mentality gets the Rangers nothing. It becomes one big game of keep-away. Fans are frustrated because the Rangers had a five on three power-play, and nothing came of it. Shesterkin made another great 28 saves, and the Rangers got a win in Music City.

New York Rangers @ Ottawa Senators
October 23, 2021
Canadian Tire Centre
W 3-2

1st Period
00:41-Nick Paul, Tim Stutzle & Connor Brown

2nd Period
No Scoring

3rd Period
01:04-Joshua Norris
14:37-Chris Kreider, Panarin & Zibanejad
15:52-Ryan Lindgren, Fox & Kreider
17:57-Goodrow, Blais & Jacob Trouba

In his second start of the season, Alexandar Georgiev made 26 saves. He seemed a little rocky at different times, but he did an outstanding job of not letting the Senators score in the second period. Throughout the game, both sides had a witty, chirpy repartee. So much so there were 14 overall penalties between the two teams. Although it wasn’t quite like two kids in the schoolyard, it was like two siblings going at it in the backyard when mom wasn’t watching. Chirpiness aside, the Rangers didn’t seem to have any life until the third period was almost over. Matt Murray had to leave in the third due to being hit by Kreider after scoring and was replaced by Anton Forsberg for the remainder of the game.

Never a dull moment when the boys in blue make an incredible comeback late in the game.

What We Learned This Week

The Rangers surprised everyone with this strange concept of winning. It hasn’t been pretty, and at times they were their own worst enemy. But, despite inconsistencies in their game, they have yet to give up. So far this season, they have fought until the very end, which is quite the opposite of last season or the one before. The Rangers have shown us that anything is possible if you want it bad enough.

Will this spirit of never giving up continue? Only time will tell.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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