The New York Rangers (33-26-4) lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs (33-23-8) by the score of 3-2 in overtime, last night. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...the Rangers haven't been anyway near as bad as they were earlier this season, but since the Olympic break you're seeing a lot of the issues that plagued them in October and November are creeping back into their game. Defensive breakdowns, Lundqvist not making the big save, the power play failing and biggest of all...not finishing. I mean, my beaten up 2000 Honda Civic has a better finish than this team right now. And I don't think it's any mystery that the Rangers inability to find the back of the net has coincided with the loss of Zuccarello. Hopefully he'll be back on tomorrow night.
...speaking of pint-sized forwards, that St. Louis guy has some offensive ability, huh? He was noticeable every time he was on the ice and even made Brad Richards look like he had some jump to his step. Can you say 2004 redux? Understandably, he did look nervous as he wasn't able to corral the puck a few times on scoring opportunities, but once he feels fully comfortable in his new surroundings he'll be just fine.
...you do have to like the resiliency of the Rangers to come away with a point, because after the Kadri goal, I thought the game was over. Hopefully, the players can use it as motivation going forward.
...i don't think that anyone can argue that Kreider-Stepan-Nash is easily the team's fourth best line right now. Which is a problem. Hopefully, with the addition of St. Louis, opponents won't be able to key on this line as much defensively and open things up for them.
...thought Stralman had his best game in months. Physical, sound defensively and good with the puck. Unfortunately, it was all undermined by an awful giveaway which directly led to the Kadri goal.
...i'd say it was weird not seeing Callahan out there last night, but we're so used to him missing games due to injury it wasn't all that strange.
...D. Moore is such a likable guy, I always have a smile on my face when he scores.
...not that I thought it was a good spot to fight because the Rangers were playing well, but is Carcillo going to run away from everyone who challenges him?
...remember when Lundqvist was unbeatable one-on-one? He's now 0-3 on penalty shots against this season. I never blame a goalie for being beaten on a penalty shot, but you'd like to see him stop at least one.
...Zuccarello can't get back soon enough, if for no other reason than to get Dorsett back out of the lineup. I know it's not easy to get back into the swing of things after an injury, but he's bringing nothing to the table right now.
...despite the tough post Olympic start, I'm still not completely down on this team. They've been skating real well and creating offensive opportunities. With the acquisition of St. Louis and the return of Zuccarello, the offense should start finding the back of the net with regularity again real soon. The one concern I do have going forward with the loss of Callahan is the lack of toughness and grit. The teams that are able to make successful playoff pushes and runs know how to grind out victories. I'm not certain this team, as currently constructed, can do that.
...back at it tomorrow night in Carolina.
...sorry for all the late recaps recently, been a little crazy on the home front.