Jan 19, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46) during the third period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

Not The Opening Night We Were Hoping For

Well that’s not how you want to kickstart a new season. The Rangers were simply outplayed in all departments by the Bruins tonight and paid the price on the scoreboard. I have some thoughts on the game below.

  • Rick Nash’s debut. He showed some handy stick work, some nice moves, and was a huge presence out there. He got on the scoresheet with an assist that he probably shouldn’t have been credited with, but he was definitely one of the better forwards on the ice.
  • Henrik Lundqvist was fantastic. He kept the Rangers in it for as long as he possibly could. That save on Krejci was one of the best I’ve seen in his career. Whether the puck crossed the line or not doesn’t matter, the fact that he even got to the puck was unbelievable. What athleticism from the guy.
  • Stu Bickel and Michael Del Zotto. The pairing was a disaster for most of the night like I thought it would be, and I hope Eminger gets a chance to play tomorrow. Bickel did have a nice fight though against Campbell and definitely won the bout.
  • Overall the Rangers were sloppy and were outworked 80% of the time. They didn’t do the little things that you need to win games. They took a too many men on the ice penalty which in my mind should never happen in pro hockey.
  • Tukka Rask didn’t even have to really work this game. Most of the Rangers shots were from either too far out, or from poor angles. Richards got pretty lucky his found the back of the net.
  • The power play was horrible. I see nothing’s changed from last year even though we have another 30+ goalscorer on the team now.
  • It’s hard for me to severely criticize some players just because it’s too early in the season, so I’ll hold off on that for now.

I really hope the Rangers come back to MSG tomorrow night fired up. They need the full two points and can’t afford to fall back in the division this early on. Yes the Rangers got a very hard schedule to begin the season but there’s no excuses. They need to at least play .500 hockey in January. I’m saying .500 hockey because of the difficulty of their January schedule. February gets a lot easier for them and hopefully by February everyone is on the same page with each other.

One thing though that annoyed me was that the Rangers showed very little sense of urgency the entire game. It was only after Boston went up two goals did the Rangers start pressing, and they stopped pressing immediately after Richards scored. Once Boychuk scored Boston’s third goal the Rangers stopped caring and that’s something we didn’t see much of last year. Let’s hope it doesn’t continue.

I do think though it will take some time for our team to build some chemistry. Every line from top to bottom is different, and the only way you build chemistry is by playing. That’s a process that can’t be sped up and I think Tortorella will give the players time on their lines to build some kind of trust with each other.

Rangers take on Crosby and the Pens tomorrow and be sure to check out my five questions pre-game post.

You can follow me on twitter @Bluelinestation.

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Tags: Boston Bruins Brad Richards Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers Rick Nash

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