Thirteen grueling days. Four countries. Two NHL games against quality Western Conference opponents in Sweden. Zero wins. That’s the Rangers European trip in a nutshell. Yes, the Rangers did make it to OT in both games and we’re given their charity points in the NHL’s “3-point game” system, but the bottom line is the team headed back to America without a win. And, if not for Henrik Lundqvist’s brilliance, they come with no points at all.
But it’s not all doom and gloom that should be on your mind today; there were some positives to take away. The top D pair of Dan Girardi-Ryan McDonagh has stepped up, showing they can shut down the opposition. Rookie Tim Erixon is staying with the team for the time being after a decent showing. The penalty kill is still very good and, along with Lundqvist, will keep the Rangers in tight contests.
The gap in between games will give the Rangers the chance to do something they desperately need, practice. A key area that struggled this weekend was the power play due from lack of quality practice time (different sized ice surfaces don’t help either). With the team now back in the Lower 48, prepping for Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders, the season now begins.
Continue below to get the Rangers news you may have missed this weekend.
Patrick Kearns discusses the Rangers’ game over the weekend, citing his pros and cons. [The Hockey Writers]
Jim Matheson poses an idea that some Rangers fans might think is a good idea considering his inconsistency; trading Michael Del Zotto to the Oilers. It’s not a new rumor, but it’s not a feasible one either with Marc Staal on the shelf. [Edmonton Journal]
Michael Gleich discusses the process of building chemistry and beckons the team to get back to what makes them good; their forecheck. [Bleeding All Blue]
Larry Brooks calls for the Rangers to bypass the extra revenue and shorten the schedule for the Rangers in future trips to Europe. Good luck with that, Larry. You’ll never say no to making an extra buck or 2. [NY Post]
Joe Fortunato would like all Rangers fans to back away from the ledge for a second. In reality, Rangers fans should never have been there to begin with; it’s only 2 games. Deep breaths are in order. [Blueshirt Banter]
The “Hockey Rodent” breaks down all you need to know that went wrong (and right) this weekend in Stockholm. If you’re not familiar with the Rodent, it’s guaranteed analysis you haven’t seen before. [The Hockey Rodent]
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