The New York Rangers should not be going home feeling happy about their 3-2 win over the Seattle Kraken. We are pretty sure that Coach Gerard Gallant will make sure of that. He was more upset after the win than after any game this season, and that includes some pretty terrible losses.
He started by calling the effort “awful” and went on from there. “I’m not happy. Today was disappointing to watch that after two losses. I expect a lot more from my group and didn’t see much of it….I’m disappointed in my team. We’re better than that…nine shots after two periods against a team over there that’s a hardworking competitive team.”
To sum up the game in one long sentence, the Rangers won on a last minute goal after the Kraken had tied the game on the power play with the goalie pulled in a game that the home team was badly outshot, outchanced and outplayed. The Rangers would have been lucky to escape with a point. To get two was a miracle.
To make matters worse, for the third straight game the Rangers blew a two goal lead. That is simply unacceptable.
How bad was it? The Kraken set a franchise record with 42 shots on goal. They had an incredible 78 shot attempts and at even strength had a 62-39 advantage. And six of those Ranger shot attempts came in one 27 second sequence in the second period when they ended up scoring.
We knew going in that the Kraken were good at shot suppression, but this was ridiculous. The 12 Ranger forwards had 13 shots on goal. The top line for the Kraken had nine shots. So did their second line.
The Rangers have had the uncanny ability to make mediocre teams look like champions and they did that in this game. We can make excuses citing injuries and shoddy refereeing, but in this game the Rangers had no excuses.
Mika Zibanejad did not paint a rosy picture. “It wasn’t the greatest game. We found a way to get the two points. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about it and move on. We shouldn’t ignore what happened today, but it’s a lot easier to look at the game when you get the two points…we kind of stopped playing, we back off a little bit and they have their pushback, but it’s not an excuse for us.”
Hero K’Andre Miller said, “Anytime you give up a goal late to tie it, it kind of kills you a little bit. But sticking to the game plan and knowing there’s time on the clock…it wasn’t our prettiest win, but we got the job done.”
But, and it’s a big but, they came away with two points on a day that saw the Penguins lose at home to the L.A. Kings. The Rangers leapfrogged the Pens into second place in the Metropolitan Division. It was yet another improbable win in an improbable season.