Nine games into the season, the New York Rangers are 6-2-1. It is better than most fans were thinking, and gives hope to possible postseason action. Fans just cannot get ahead of themselves just yet. It’s still a long road ahead for the team. After a road-trip winning bonanza, the Rangers came back home victorious with the spoils of their victories. Spirits were flying high, only to be crushed underneath the boot of the Calgary Flames. It must have been the road trip blues… or a case of the vapors.
The boys in blue then fought their way back to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets in a spectacular 4-0 shutout at home. It was then time to pack their bags again for another road trip. The first stop was the west coast, with the Seattle Kraken as their sparring partner. Fortunately, the Rangers (or should we say Igor Shesterkin?) stole that game from the Kraken.
New York Rangers vs. Calgary Flames
October 25, 2021
Madison Square Garden
It was Ryan Strome‘s first game back from the COVID-19 protocol list; he and the Rangers looked ready to take on the Flames at the Garden. It appeared to be going great at first, then Ryan Reaves seemed to re-injure his left leg.
Calgary was not a team to be trifled with, and it looked like they came to play. Finally, it looked like the Ranger might be getting back into the game in the third period, cutting the lead and making it 2-1. However, it was not meant to be. Igor Shesterkin tried his best, making 32 saves, but it was not good enough to overcome his teammates’ giveaways. It was like the Rangers had jet lag and could not figure out how to play the game.
New York Rangers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
October 29, 2021
Madison Square Garden
01:19-Chris Kreider, Panarin & Fox
11:23-Kreider, Fox & Panarin
It was not a bad game for several players. Lundkvist was able to snag his first NHL point with an assist on that first goal, Fox had his first multi-point game of the season, and Shesterkin has his first shutout of the season. In addition, Panarin also had his first multi-point game of the season and his three assists tied his New York career-high.
Despite the slow start, the team made more of an effort to play a full 60-minute game, more than they did against the Flames. They looked confident and patient. New York kept pushing, and Columbus wasn’t able to keep up or adjust. It’s a game to analyze and to look at it as a blueprint of how the Rangers need to play going forward this season.
New York Rangers @ Seattle Kraken
October 31, 2021
Climate Pledge Arena
3:38-Kreider & Barclay Goodrow
New York started the game out strong in the first and appeared to be in control. However, when the second period started, the Kraken came out to win it. The discrepancy in play was noticeable. Seattle looked solid in this game, starting in the second period. It did not help that the Rangers were playing slower than they did in the first period. New York looked a little better in the third, but the Kraken were still in charge.
Shesterkin made great saves when he needed to. Overall, the Rangers are lucky to win, since this game was certainly not a full 60-minute effort. Being outshot 32 to 18 speaks volumes for both sides of the puck.
What We Learned This Week
Road trips can be a blast, but the aftermath is not so great sometimes, as the Rangers found out in their game against the Flames. We also learned that the Rangers still have issues with faceoffs and shots on goal. In addition to all that, New York still has a problem with stupid penalties. It was great to hear that Reaves didn’t re-injure his leg. Though he was placed on Injured Reserve, he is with the team on the current road trip.
Last but certainly not least, Shesterkin’s place as a thief was securely cemented with the game he stole in Seattle. All hail the Czar!
Follow Liz Pendergraft on Twitter @lizzibear824
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images