What’s up everyone and blah blah blah. If you want the normal intro, check out the archives.
This will be a quick one, because as I type this, I’m following all the election coverage. Plus the Rangers didn’t try tonight, so why should I?
In case you missed it, I did three blogs yesterday. Here they are:
The 5 Goals-A-Game New York Rangers: How Long Can The Stanley Cup Bound Rangers Keep This Up, The Best Offensive NYR Team Since The Gartner Days, Papa Johns Sucks & More About The Most Impressive Team in the NHL
My Trip To Hartford: Taking in a Hartford Wolfpack Game, Whalers, Disappointing Dylan, Tanner “F’N” Glass, What Fans There Say About The Team, The XL Arena & More
My Trip to Boston: Rangers Give the Bruins a Beantown Beatdown, Deadly Uber Drivers, “Bawbby Awe & Nawm Petahson”, The TD Gardens & More
The Rangers dropped their ugliest game of the season to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night, losing 5-3. The Rangers came back down to earth. If you are looking for the bottom line reasons why the Rangers lost, it’s pretty simple. The Canucks had better goaltending and better wheels.
Do you remember when Coach AV said that Lundqvist was “the difference” when the Rangers won a 5-0 game? If that is true, then Lundqvist was a huge fucking difference tonight, as he lost the game for the New York Rangers. Even as someone who is not a Lundqvist fan, it wasn’t all on him tonight, as the Rangers looked flat. I thought only Jimmy Vesey brought his legs tonight, but ironically enough, Vesey was benched for most of the third period. I don’t know if that was an AV thing or an injury thing. Guess we’ll find out later tonight or tomorrow.
The story of this game was that the Rangers and Canucks were tied 2-2 in the third period. Markus Granlund skated into Antti Raanta, who started the game in net for the Rangers. Granlund was called for goalie interference, 4 minutes and 30 seconds into the third period, with the score Canucks 2 Rangers 1. Rick Nash would score a PP goal, tying up the game.
However, nearly 6 minutes later, Raanta was pulled from the game. Turns out the NHL in Toronto ruled that Raanta had to go through their concussion protocol. Lundqvist entered the game with a little more than 10 minutes to go. This is such a touchy subject. Yea, it’s great the NHL is looking after their players, but talk about the worst possible timing. Lundqvist had to jump into the game cold and Raanta looked fine. It turned out Raanta was fine, as he re-entered the game after Lundqvist gave up two quick goals like usual. In this era of lawsuits, I get why Raanta was pulled. It just was bad timing for the Rangers & it’s a shame the highest paid goalie in the league had to give up 2 goals in 4 minutes. By the time Raanta returned, the game was already lost. Lundqvist took a potential win away from King Raanta.
Whether you want to blame the goaltending or the NHL for the loss, the fact is the Rangers didn’t look very good tonight. I talked about this in the blog last night. I feared this could be a potential trap game. Everything pointed to the Rangers crushing the Canucks. The Canucks are one of the worst teams in hockey. They came into MSG with a 9 game losing streak. They played last night. They were starting their back-up goalie, Jacob Markstrom, who ironically had better numbers than his Swedish counterpart, Henrik Lundqvist, in the World Cup of Hockey. The Rangers came into this game as the hottest team in the NHL and were even a -300 favorite! Despite all that, the Rangers looked uninspired tonight, were sloppy and weren’t executing like they usually do.
I know the Rangers can’t win every game and would have to look bad and lose eventually. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the team to lose to. If they lost a one goal game to a quality team, like a Montreal or a Pittsburgh, that would be easier to accept than being embarrassed on your home ice to a bottom feeding team in Vancouver.
What drives you nuts is the Rangers had many chances. Vesey blew a two on one play with Stepan. Stepan missed an open net. That’s two potential goals right there. The Rangers were 1-5 on the PP. They let Vancouver hang around too long and once a cold Lundqvist came in, that was it. Good teams should always beat bad
Here’s the box score from ESPN.com:
1st Period Summary
|No scoring this period||0||0|
||Bo Horvat: 2 Minutes for Tripping|
||J.T. Miller: 2 Minutes for Holding the Stick|
||Nikita Tryamkin: 2 Minutes for Tripping|
2nd Period Summary
||Pavel Buchnevich (3)
Assists: Jesper Fast, Brady Skjei
||Loui Eriksson (1)
Assists: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin
||Luca Sbisa: 2 Minutes for Interference|
3rd Period Summary
||Henrik Sedin (5)
Assists: Erik Gudbranson, Derek Dorsett
||Rick Nash (7) (Power Play)
Assists: Pavel Buchnevich, Kevin Hayes
||Alex Burrows (1)
Assists: Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi
||Sven Baertschi (1)
Assists: Jack Skille, Michael Chaput
||Alex Burrows (2)
Assists: Bo Horvat, Brendan Gaunce
||Mika Zibanejad (3)
Assist: Pavel Buchnevich
||Henrik Sedin: 2 Minutes for High-sticking|
||Markus Granlund: 2 Minutes for Interference|
||Rick Nash: 2 Minutes for High-sticking|
With the game 2-2 and Lundqvist entering the game because of the NHL concussion protocol for Raanta, the game was up for grabs. Nash got the equalizer on the PP, after a beautiful pass from Buchnevich. Speaking of Buchnevich, he scored his third straight goal in three games. You gotta love seeing the new “Russian Rocket” turning it up!
Lundqvist came into the game and pulled a Lundqvist, meaning he gave up a quick and easy goal. He was flopping around on the ice like a fish out of water, while Alex Burrows laughed and got his first goal of the season. Less than four minutes after that, big bad Sven Baertschi made it 4-2, with only 7 minutes remaining in the game. Lundqvist was quickly pulled for the cleared Raanta. However, the game was pretty much lost. Hank skated to the bench and made his angry faces, akin to last years playoffs, where he was pulled in nearly every game.
As much as I would love to shit on Lundqvist for the next 1500 words, as I said above, the Rangers weren’t doing much on offense. I know Lundqvist has said in the past, “Give me two goals and I got this”, but we know those words are as useful as a Patrick Ewing guarantee. This was a team loss and an ugly one at that. It really is unacceptable.
Many Ranger fans had this team going to the Cup, having parades and in the middle of a dynasty after the recent win/goal streak, and I said you have to calm down, it’s November. What concerns me is that the Rangers can beat the good teams, but play to the level of the bad teams. They’ve lost games now to two horrible teams in Vancouver and Carolina. The Rangers need to beat these doormats and get fat on those easy points.
The Rangers have three days off, before the Western Canada swing. The Western Canada loop, which they swept two years ago, only to look terrible last year on the same trip, features Calgary on Saturday, Edmonton on Sunday and Vancouver on Tuesday. I think the Rangers have to take at least three points on this trip to keep pace. I hope Lundqvist draws the Edmonton game, as I’m sure I’m not the only Ranger fan who wouldn’t mind seeing Talbot vs Lundqvist II!
From the New York Rangers:
New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has acquired defenseman Steven Kampfer and a conditional draft pick from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Dylan McIlrath.
Kampfer, 28, has skated in 134 career NHL games over parts of five seasons (2010-11 – 2011-12; 2014-15 – 2016-17), registering nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points, along with a plus-eight rating and 60 penalty minutes. Kampfer skated in 47 games with Florida in 2015-16, tallying four assists and posting a plus-four rating. He also skated in one game with the Panthers this season, recording four penalty minutes.
The 5-11, 192-pounder has played in 206 career American Hockey League (AHL) games over parts of six seasons (2009-10 – 2014-15), registering 23 goals and 66 assists for 89 points. Kampfer established an AHL career-high in goals with eight in 42 games during the 2014-15 season with the San Antonio Rampage.
The Ann Arbor, Michigan native signed with the Rangers as a free agent on July 1, 2014, and he was acquired by Florida from the Blueshirts on October 6, 2014. Kampfer was selected by Anaheim in the fourth round (93rd overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
McIlrath skated in 38 games with the Rangers over parts of four seasons, registering two goals and two assists for four points, along with 84 penalty minutes.
I talked about McIlrath in my Hartford blog. However, I wasn’t expecting to see him traded today. It’s a bittersweet trade. I was a fan of McIlrath, as many of you are, but the reality was he was never going to make this team. He will get a fresh start in Florida and hopefully grab the 6th D-man spot there. McIlrath will have to play 30 games in a Panthers jersey for the Rangers to get the conditional draft pick.
McIlrath is a victim of playing in the wrong era. The Rangers in 2010 went with McIlrath over guys like Fowler, Schwartz, Tarasenko and Kuznetsov. Unfortunately for McIlrath fans like myself, McIlrath will be considered another Glen Sather failure. It’s just a shame. Best of luck to #6 in Florida.
Here’s McIlrath’s reaction to the trade. Quotes are from his twitter page:
“I’d like to thank the
Rangersfor giving me the opportunity to be a part of their first class organization!
I want to thank the fans, coaches and especially my teammates for an amazing 6 years! Made memories that will last a life time.
That being said, extremely excited to join the
@FlaPanthers organization! Looking forward to this new journey!! “
From one Ranger fan to McIlrath – “thank you and give them hell.”
The Rangers look to rebound this Saturday in Calgary. I plan on watching UFC 205, which is on at the same time. I’m not sure if I’ll get a review up of that game, unless I can watch both at the same time.
I gotta cut this blog short, there’s bigger things going on in this country right now. I’ll be back over the weekend sometime, unless something major happens from now until Saturday.
Chalk this game up as an ugly loss and try to forget about it. Cups aren’t won in November anyway.
Trump vs Clinton! This is like a Game 7!
@NYCTHEMIC on twitter