Rangers Week in Review: O Canada, Part Deux

Rangers Week in Review: O Canada, Part Deux

by November 20, 2021 0 comments

It has been a week for the New York Rangers. What should have been a three-game Canadian brawl-fest ended after only two teams, thanks to the Ottawa Senators getting protocoled. Instead, the Rangers had a couple of firsts this past week, with several players getting their first goal of the season, and one player, in particular, winning his first fight as a Ranger. Overall the Rangers played two good games; they just were not able to overcome the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are currently second in their division.

Hockey Fights Cancer Night

The Rangers will be hosting their annual Hockey Fights Cancer (HFC) on Sunday, November 21, at 6:00 PM against the Buffalo Sabres. If you are new to hockey or have been living under a rock, HFC is an NHL initiative that supports cancer patients and their family members. Along with the Garden of Dreams Foundation and the Northwell Health Foundation, the Rangers support those currently fighting cancer and those who are living proof that cancer can be beaten. As always, they will have special jerseys and tape on their sticks that will be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to the Northwell Health Foundation and the Garden of Dreams Foundation.

New York Rangers vs. Montreal Canadiens
November 16, 2021
Madison Square Garden
W 3-2

1st Period

15:46-Kaapo Kakko, Artemi Panarin & Ryan Strome

2nd Period

02:17-Christian Dvorak, Brendan Gallagher & Brett Kulak
03:50-Chris Kreider & Mika Zibanejad

3rd Period

01:56-Julien Gauthier
02:18-Josh Anderson, Dvorak & Chris Wideman

The victory by the Rangers was the 200th all-time over the Canadiens in regular-season play. Igor Shesterkin made 31 saves to help his team defeat Montreal. Throughout the game, the Rangers looked and played like the better team. They did allow the Canadiens to attempt a comeback in the third, as they have been prone to let occur all season. But, in the end, the Rangers were able to pull out the win and get two more points.

Rangers fans have been waiting for Ryan Reaves to drop the gloves, and finally, they got what they were hoping for. Ryan Reaves got into a kerfuffle with Michael Pezzetta, who took offense after he was hit by Reaves. It’s understandable that emotions would be high if he felt offended, but dropping gloves against Reaves was not the way to express his anger. Reaves quickly dominated Pezzetta during the scuffle, and it was a really great learning moment for the Montreal player.

Fans were excited to see Kakko get his second goal of the season. They appeared to be more excited at Kakko’s goal than they did at finally getting to see Reaves drop the gloves.

New York Rangers @ Toronto Maple Leafs
November 18, 2021
Scotiabank Arena
L 2-1

1st Period

03:41-Morgan Rielly, Wayne Simmonds & Michael Bunting

2nd Period

10:59-Rielly, Auston Matthews & John Tavares

3rd Period

03:30-Dryden Hunt, Strome & Kakko

Despite losing, the Rangers have nothing to be ashamed of. Toronto is a good team, and with players like Matthews and Tavares on the team, it’s a wonder that they did not lose by a more significant deficit. This was the third game in which Kakko tallied a point. It looks like someone finally remembered to flip the switch to turn on his goals and assists.

While attempting to hang in the game, the Rangers shot themselves in the foot by being awful at faceoffs, which reflects being almost last in the league in faceoff wins. The Leafs were the better team in this game. However, the faceoff issue combined with a middling second period is what doomed the Rangers to get the “L”.

On a positive note, Hunt scored his first goal of the season, and Kakko tallied another point for the season.

New York Rangers @ Ottawa Senators

A tip of the hat to COVID. Ottawa will either have several games to make up or possibly lose by default. It will be interesting to see how the NHL handles this. Things may not be dire for Ottawa if they are the only one of a few teams affected by postponed games. On the other hand, if more teams face postponement, then it’s possible the NHL might forgo the Olympics to make up games during that time period. Any way you look at it, it’s a stark reminder of what’s going on around the world.

What We Learned This Week
  1. COVID is still sucking the life out of sports at random times
  2. The Rangers still have an issue with not playing a full 60-minute game
  3. Third periods appear to be the worst for the Rangers when they have the lead
  4. Someone possibly flipped Kakko’s switch from off to on
  5. Strome’s assist in the Montreal game was his 150th point with the Rangers
  6. Hunt got an early birthday gift with his first NHL goal against the Leafs
  7. The Rangers are still being the Rangers, albeit with a better outlook than previous seasons
  8. Someone should probably hand Kreider a jersey with a “C” on it

As always, Rangers fans are never happy. If anyone had said before the season started that they would be 10-4-3 with 23 points after 17 games, that fan would have been roasted online everywhere social media is available. Now, fans appear to be unhappy with the line combinations, why they don’t have more wins, and other nonsense. Are the Rangers playing well? Depends on the night. Consistency is critical unless we’re talking about letting teams come back in the third, and the Rangers have that down pat. They’re not a perfect team, but they’re the team fans have at the moment. They are currently third in the Metropolitan, and they are three points behind the Carolina Hurricanes and two points behind the Washington Capitals.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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