There’s not much new to say. The Rangers, again, were out-hustled, out-worked, and out-played in a game that they should have won. Even without the injured Gaborik, Avery, and Higgins in the lineup. The Rangers were dominated in both ends of the ice, and seemed to lose the will to fight in the third period. The best players — and I am searching to find compliments — were Anisimov (+2) and Dane Byers (who netted his first NHL goal as a last minute call-up). Not exactly a list of the Rangers top offensive forces. I suppose Redden was acceptable. He did have a nifty pinch and shot on the Byers goal.
Other than the rash of losses, the two most troubling developments have to be the Rangers continued lack of effort and, perhaps related, their habit of surrendering late period goals. They gave up two more in this game, one at the end of each of the first two periods. The first off a horrendous turnover/failure to clear the zone by Brashear and the other when Staal lost the puck in the neutral zone after being forced horizontally across the ice — which is the same thing Dubinsky was benched for recently. (The third goal was the result of a bad backcheck by Parenteau.)
The Rangers are very lucky that the Yankees are still playing, the Knicks just opened, the Giants are good (theoretically), and the Jets are interesting. Otherwise they likely would be getting blasted in the local main stream media. But the baseball and football seasons will be over soon enough, and the Knicks won’t provide much cover the way they’re playing. The Rangers need to right this ship soon, both to avoid the media’s full wrath and to salvage what, at least on paper, should be a good season and playoff run.
Then again, they are 8-5-1, which is good enough for second in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. Hopefully this stretch of games behind us is the darkest it will get.
Random Other Game Notes: The Rangers, despite needing offense most of the game, were outshot 32-20…Neither team scored on the power play…Del Zotto led the Rangers with 24:01 of ice time…Prospal continues to be surprisingly good on faceoffs, going 5 of 7 in this game.