This afternoon the New York Rangers played the San José Sharks in an East versus West matchup. Despite
having 2 Veznia trophy finalists up against each other this game had the make up of and up and down affair. In spite of this, it was a 1-0 shutout due to Rangers lack of finishing. You can start at the top when looking to hand out blame.
Martin St. Louis was brought in to provide offense that has been nonexistent since his arrival. This afternoon could have been St. Louis’s most anemic game as a Ranger. St. Louis put together a lackluster effort despite leading the forwards in ice time. In St. Louis’s 20:58 of ice time he managed zero shots on goal and at times looked lost. He floated for most of the night and still hasn’t found a line mate he seems to have chemistry with. Another sign St. Louis struggled this afternoon is the lack of possession and presence on the puck. St. Louis was only credited with one giveaway, one take away, and one hit. St. Louis, it seems impossible manage zero shots on goal when the Rangers as a team threw 41 at Antti Niemi. The Rangers are going to need St. Louis to have games like we saw him have in Tampa for the Rangers to have any success down the stretch. Let’s just hope this was not a preview of the larger teams being able to push St. Louis around.
Brad Richards did not exactly turn back the clock tonight to 2004. Richards was 50% on his draws and walked around by Logan Couture for the game’s only goal. Richards was credited with two shots on goal of the Rangers 41 and seemed to shy away from contact all night long. Richards was also credited with one giveaway, zero takeaways and even more eye-opening zero hits in 19:04 of ice time. Once again is this the case of a larger team being able to push the Rangers around ?
Henrik Lundqvist bidding for a franchise record 302nd win was stellar all night. Lundqvist was only beaten by a shorthanded back jacket breakaway goal by Logan Couture. Lundqvist was sharp all day long in stopping 28 of 29 shots; some of the spectacular variety. None was better than his first period save on a point-blank shot by Patrick Marleau. Lundqvist deserved better today; but then again it’s not the first time he has seen this.