The New York Rangers (31-24-3) lost to the Edmonton Oilers (20-33-6) by the score of 2-1, tonight. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...it's not too often I'm right on this blog, but tonight had all the makings of a trap game, so I'm not completely shocked by the result. The players can talk all they want about not looking past a lowly team like the Oilers with the Penguins on the schedule the next day, but the effort tonight suggested otherwise. So did all the first period turnovers
...i know this wasn't the most physical game in the world, but zero power plays for the Rangers? Absolutely embarrassing that there was no call on the Jones elbow on Zuccarello. I guess I can't complain too much since the Oilers only had one extra man opportunity, plus the Rangers were the beneficiary of a quick whistle.
...speaking of that elbow on Zucc, you guys know I'm an eye for an eye fan when it comes to an opponent taking liberties with a Rangers player, but we're in February now. Can't risk taking a stupid penalty tied at 1-1 in the third period. I thought Klein dealt with it perfectly. He asked Jones if he wanted to go, and when the Oiler forward backed down like a little bitch, Klein got right back into the play.
...for the second straight game, Callahan was the best Ranger on the ice. But if he wants $7 million per year, he better start burying some of those opportunities.
...i know Klein was brought in to replace Del Zotto on the blueline, but I wasn't expecting him to also replicate the embattled defenseman's turnovers.
...Brassard easily has one of the most under-rated shots in the league. Probably because he doesn't utilize it enough. Shoot the puck, Brassy!
...Kreider-Stepan-Nash have combined for zero points in the last four games.
...even on a night where the Rangers don't have it, I still walk away from the game loving Zuccarello after he gives Perron the business after the Brassard goal.
...yes, the game had letdown written all over, but it's still not an excuse. If the Rangers want to continue to be considered a top team in the Eastern Conference this is a game they have to find a way to win. While the Blueshirts can be as dangerous as any team when allowed to skate, I'm still not 100% confident we can count on this team to grind out a goal or a win when necessary.
...not much time to dwell on this one as the Rangers are right back at it tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.
Post game talk...
It is so frustrating to watch Callahan not capitalize on these opportunities. I just wish he would lift the puck up high on those shots!
Agreed not a good effort by the team last night with a few exceptions. Nash has reverted to a perimeter player not wanting to get dirty again. Stepan was invisible again just like he has been for almost the whole season. Kreider is the only one playing on that line. Man Real glad at this point we only signed Stepan to a 2 year contract with reasonable $$$. -Brass and Zucc awesome again and Cally and Hags were good as well. Poopalot had a strong game. Richards is fast becoming the same player he was last year. -If you look at that first goal the pass Klein made was not all that bad. Boyles just muffed it. Yes it was close to his feet but it was a real soft easy pass. -Laughed my ass of when little Sam Gagner knocked Boyle on his ass. He is the epitome of a SOFT player x5. -Anyways, big game tonight. Would hate to go into the break with a 2 game losing streak.
Here's what I saw last night in MSG:
-- Kreider is effing fast! He came off the bench at one point and from a standstill at the blue line made it to the goal line in less than 2 seconds to forecheck. I was in awe!
-- On the flip side, he blew past a defender on the outside at one point in the 1st, had a clear path to the net and instead of shooting decided to try a drop pass...WTF??? Not sure if these guys are trying to get guys on their lines going, but if they have shots, they NEED to take them.
-- Pouliott did the same on a 2 on 1 with Zucc, electing to pass instead of shoot.
-- Richards was awful on defense and looked VERY indecisive with the puck. I think he's been good this season, but last night he was not.
-- Nash was less noticeable than the ads on the side boards, yet he spent just as much time on the side boards as the ads did! He was credited with 4 shots on goal. I believe every one of them was wrist shot from the blue line as he was backing up to make a change. I have no idea what he was trying to accomplish but it was embarrassing to watch.
-- The Edmonton D was making mistakes all over the place, but the Rangers couldn't take advantage because they had no forecheck and nobody was going to the net.
-- Scrivens was definitely good, but I don't know if he faced more than a handful of rebound shots.
-- Cally had 3 glorious chances. He needs to finish at least one of them.
-- After Zucc got hit with the elbow, which was totally visible for anywhere in the arena, you could sense the Garden buzzing because Carcillo came out on the next shift. Everyone was anticipating a big hit or a fight or something and I think the Garden would have erupted. I even told my daughter, "watch there's a fight coming up here from #13". And then....nothing. You could just feel the life drain out of the Garden after that. HUGE opportunity missed for Carcillo and very disappointing. I thought THAT was supposed to be his job.
Sleepy game overall from both teams, but it's only 1 so no need to panic. I could totally see the Rangers taking it to the Pens tonight. LGR!!!
@TheNYRBlog RICHARDS SHOULD BE WAIVED
@TheNYRBlog NASH A NO SHOW AGAIN
@TheNYRBlog As the Iron Sheik would say .. it was fackin bullsheet! lol
@TheNYRBlog in my sleep deprived, post baby delirium I am predicting huge bounce back win against the Pens tonight. Did I mention delirium?
I'm not concerned. Let's be serious for a second, this team wasn't going to get its 6th in a row against the Pens in the 2nd night of back-to-backs. It just wasn't going to happen. Remeber when we couldn't string together 2 wins? At least we're not there anymore.
The boys need to strap the skates back on, realize tonight is the true measuring stick, and go into the break on the high note of a big win against the only team better than us in our division, and leave it all on the ice. How they play tonight will be what a lot of guys have to dwell on for the next two weeks.
I would much rather go into the break with a win against the Pens then a loss following a win against the Oilers.
Great writeup and yes no time to dwell on this game. Huge game tonight and then the olympics. By the way, I think the players will be so happy to return to the NHL after the olympics based on some of the pictures of those hotel rooms in Russia.
Ever since Kreider got that game misconduct I feel like he hasn't been throwing the body around as much. Wonder if he got told to tame it down. He used to blast everything in his way prior to that. Stepan really needs to step it up.
I'm bummed they didn't win but it happens. Its a little overwhelming to see a lot of people on here jump ship so damn fast from one game to another. First we are amazing, then we lose ONCE and we are back to the beginning of the season lol.
Can't sit here and say we didn't have opportunities to put that game away. Cally scores on that breakaway and the game is completely changed. Can't always get your way unfortunately.
ps livefyre sucks...is this blog ever going to work correctly on chrome?
Using Brown's horrible contract to justify giving Cally a similar one is the height of absurdity. That is like a seagull putting it's neck through a discarded plastic six-pack ring because another seagull is already caught in it. C'mon people at LEAST go back to the tired and worn out "heart and soul" BS. ( I suppose the Cally-fans are entitled to an off night too, huh?) Have fun everyone - hitting the slopes today. See you all for the game tonight (BTW - can't agree more with McPhee post below)
I'm really not worried about Kreider because he's working hard,getting chances and going to the net and I think the goals will come. Some guys are streak scorers like Gaborik, lets hope a streak starts real soon.The Rangers just can't seem to score on Scrivner in bunches. It seems every breakout pass to Stepan bounces off his stick right to the opponents stick and its right back in the Rangers end...Too many passes to nobody imparticular last night just shooting it away coming out of the zone or low percentages passes to forwards who were covered. or panic alley oop shots by Nash...Every time Richards falls to the ice the fans should yell"Richards Dow"n like the Flyers fans do with Scott what his name with the kinky hair who is alway flopping.
Freaking Direct TV went out....missed the end of the game.....and the game winning goal for the Oilers.
As for Klein....he's played well since he's got here. Was last night's game his best...no. had some turnovers. But hey...nobody's perfect. But don't start comparing him to MDZ, who from a positional standpoint, played a lot of his time on the ice like a chicken with his head cut-off.
We play the Pens tonight....back in my day...after being beaten soundly....and physically abused by them the last time we played...it would be a message game. This will be the last time we will play them....unless we meet them in the playoffs. The rough boys would be all dressed....and if you had to call-up another tough guy...you would do that too. All about sending a message. The 4th would be stacked...and ready to go. Well, with AV...no hope for that....so back to reality......
That elbow to Zucc's head.....well.....he better get used to it.....because its going to happen more and more to him...and to our other skilled players as well.
Boys and girls....after the Olympic break.....the time for pond hockey will be over. 24 Games or so left.......desperation will set in for clubs trying to make the playoffs. As I said last year, teams and coaches know weakness when they see it.....and our biggest weakness....physicality. After the break, playing clubs doing anything they can to make the playoffs....your skilled players will become targets. Space will disappear....you will see more runs taken at our skilled boys. Elbows...hits up high..etc..etc. They're going to work us over physically.....this is not speculation....this is a guarantee.
You know what every Coach is going to say when they play us....they're going mention names...like Zucc for example....and say..."I want a body on him all night".
And to us Dmen who play it rough and nasty....we know what Coach wants us to do.....we get that player(s).....along the boards.....we're going to hit you...hard....give you that extra shot. Use our sticks....rough slashes...tough cross-checks....border-line high hits...sneaky elbows....any thing we can get away... we will do.....because our playoff hope are on the line. And if I'm on the ice....and its between my team making the playoffs and taking out a player like Zucc with a shoulder under his chin.....well....Zucc better fill out a change of address card with the Post Office.....because he's moving to 1212 Queer Street Lane. I wouldn't hesitate in the least... to knock him into next week.
Our 4th line...playing well..Boyle Moore and Carcillo. Only problem...not a deterrent among them. We need to get a DETERRENT IN HOUSE.
That Zucc elbow....is only the beginning. Pond hockey time is over....desperation hockey....hit or be hit hockey....do whatever it takes to win hockey..... starts after the break. You better have adequate protection for your skilled players....if not....the big hits will come.....along with the injuries.
@TheNYRBlog TRADE EM ALL
You were right about the trap game, Kevin. Unfortunately, when losing games like this, the Rangers prove they still are pretenders for the Cup and nothing more. Don't get me wrong. The team usually is a blast to watch and I love watching all of the skating and passing. It's beautiful to watch. However, if we're talking strictly Cup here, the Rangers still are not a top tier team. Tonight is big. Would hate to see back-to-back losses going into the break.
Love Brass and he's going to pass Stepan on the points list.Great skills.Him and Zucc are deadly together. Nash not too concerned about-he's streaky-but Stepan and Kreider I'm watching.not much production lately from them. Stepan has to be better. What would have won this beside putting the put in the darned net is more physical play from the Rangers- knocking those young guns off the puck would have put them off their game.Hags is a good playmaker but now he has to work on shooting more and raising his game level-Callahan-whats with the stone hands-he was missing Grade A chances-with AV's system hitting those chances is the game plan-have to make those.Ritchie is a darn good player he has the right idea-shoot shoot and shoot-this year.but we still have to buy him out-he can be seen slowing down even tho he's good.All in all, have to be better-need some extra somewhere.Expect a good game in Pittsburgh but I'll be surprised if it is a physical game.
The Sharks are the third best team in the West and they got shutout by the same team. One game is not a be all end all. Entering tonight they won 8 of last 10 including 4 in a row. Im sick of this, if they are going to be considered a contender they need to win X game. The Penguins lost to the Senators a few days ago, and the Sens have been rather mediocre.
On any given night any team can beat any team in this league. you will lose to inferior opponents once in a while. Off nights happen but we should have been smelling blood tonight. The killer instinct has been lost in NY for years, even with that great year under Torts we didn't put games away when we had the opportunities, and in fact we usually let them back into the game and won by 1 goal. This is no different. You need to be relentless no matter who you play. .
"Shoot the puck Brass!" is something I've been yelling since last March. It's funny how you start scoring when you start shooting, especially when you have a shot like that, and it opens up passing lanes when the defenders stop automatically thinking you're going to pass every play. Very clever Brass (from Zuccarella). Last year Step made his line mates better, this year he makes them worse. WTF??? And Nash is playing cautious again. Was nice to see him play for a while but I guess that's done till after the Olympics. And Kreids is quiet. Maybe playing with a center who's always 2 steps slower than you is a problem?
We're better but not complete yet but until reinforcements come we have to play harder and use what we got to win games like this. LGR
@TheNYRBlog They're flying under the radar. :)
Rangers aren't a top team in the East. People are telling me it's no big deal but that's bullshit. This game is bigger than the Penguins game because the Oilers game was more than winnable, the Penguins game is not
No I hear yeah but I was thinking the same before I read your post before the game tonight. It's safe to say if we don't get the first goal we lose.
There are a lot of areas that we could go into, but I am going to stick to one. Tonight is the first night where I think the Nash trade was a loss for us. Through his ups and downs I have still thought Nash was a great player but tonight was an absolute disgrace. Go back and watch his 18 minutes on the ice. He didn't move his feet didn't try to touch the puck, basically did nothing. You know why that is... its because he is playing to not get injured for the olympics. He was the worst player on the ice tonight for either team, and when you are making 7.8 a year that can never happen (he was less efective than Dan Carcillo). I am not saying Cally should get paid the money he wants, but no matter what kind of game he is playing that night he is never the worst player in the arena. If a guy comes to the ice with that low level of passion for any professional game, it shows why he cannot succeed in the playoffs. He has always been a streak player for us, but tonight really hurt my belief that he is an elite player... And even with the goals, someone mentioned it in the game blog... he has 1 assist in his last 20 games... for a guy making 7.8 million a year that is PATHETIC.
@TheNYRBlog A breakaway and 2 glorious chances for Cally, 1 sog, 0 goals. If you want $7m, score.
@gravey94 Thanks for the insight on the Carcillo shift after Zucc elbow. Yeah, except for the Flyers game he's been Carcillo-lite.
@JustinRP37USA Hockey posted some photos on Twitter of the Women's Team in the USA house. Doesn't looke nearly as bad as what some of the media is going to have to tolerate.
I just hope Hank doesn't return with back pains from sleeping on one of those foot-wide mattresses. Probably worse than what I had in college.
@xxscaxx Works fine on Chrome for me, but don't worry an entire overhaul of the blog and its inner workings should be finalized in a few weeks.
My thought exactly George, but you and I have been saying this all year and so far Slats, who knows about toughness from his playing days has done little to address it.
@KreiderisTheChosenOne dead on about nash but even more right to bring up stepan. enough is enough is this guy a #1 center or what. i never saw it, i think they have force fed it to us and its just not there. doesn't have the physical ability plain and simple. not a good skater, not physical on the boards, not aggressive , not good on face-offs and a hold out. its like brad richards rubbed off on him. horrible
@KreiderisTheChosenOne While he's on this team to score, not set guys up, I agree that he needs to have a bigger impact on games. Tonight is an example when your elite goal scorer needs to take notice of his team's lack of energy and put them on his back.
@JCrivelli13 I agree 100%, but when the Rangers start the season as poorly as they need they can't allow two points like that to slip away.
@RSJem I thought he had a great game, but agreed. You can't ask for the money he's asking for and not score tonight.
@Kevin DeLury @gravey94Great, spot on analysis Gravey. thank you for this. Krieds has a stride that most would kill for. He has natural ability that matches virtually anyone in the league. His instincts are coming along but not there yet IMO. Maybe between Torts, the calls, the non-calls etc. his head has been messed with a bit. Maybe Step is too slow to be the right centerman for him. I think he has to figure out his role going forward, is he more the set-up man or the finisher. I think it's obvious that he is a scorer and not a big assist guy but he needs to figure that out and shoot first, then pass if a high percentage shot is not there - so he should be working on his hands each and everyday before practice or whatever to get the scoring touch sealed up. I think that with his speed he will open up opportunities, with his size he can get dirty ones by crashing or setting up in front of the net a-la your Avatar Graves or Vickers and with his physical presence and ability to crush guys he could wind up being feared the way Lindros was before his concussions. Exciting to watch him develop and feel he's destined for greatness.
Guys like Car-bomb got to take care of business. Your smallest player and top 3 forward just got elbowed. I don't care what the score is. do something about that!. McPhee wrote a long reply explaining what is going to happen if we don't get tougher and stick up for one another. The league knows Zucc now. He will get targeted, he's a nasty little fuck kind of like Verbeek was and has the guile to take care of himself but still the fighters and checkers need to watch his back as well as their other skill guys.. anyway I agree with all your points. thanks bro
Was really hoping to see Klein drop the gloves and just land bombs. Skating away was probably the smartest thing that Oilers player could have done. A good fight could have really woken up the Rangers and the bulding.
A properly called elbowing penalty for a PP could have, too...
Nash has always been streaky (self admitted, too). He noted a few weeks ago he wasn't going hard to the net, then he started to and he scored whatever, 11 goals on 10 games. Wonder if he's worried about trying to stay in one piece for the Olympics?
@NYrangers79 @Billfrom Brookhaven Yeah,goalies are getting better so 20 is pretty good...back in the day Greschner had four 20+ seasons and his highest total was 27 goals. Well before the 80 game season.One year due to a bad back he only played 42 games and had 16 goals and 48 points not bad foe a defence man .eh?
Also would put some blame on Stepan. Its a joke that he is a first line center still. Haven't seen him do anything useful in about 3 weeks or maybe even the entire year. Still think this team is a true first line center away from being a contender... The problem is they are near impossible to find for the Rangers
@TheNYRBlog yea, ugh 4 the way we have been playing u would think we would have a much bigger lead in the standings. But that's NOT the case