My 3 Rangers stars
- Igor Shesterkin did it again, making the important saves when he needed to. He seems to rise to the occasion, especially playing against other Russian goalies and if anyone saw the look on his face when they had pulled him against the Islanders for the extra attacker after being bested by Ilya Sorokin, you knew he would not lose to Vasilevskiy. One even strength goal in two games, Shestorkin is back.
- You cannot hold Mika Zibanejad down. Let him take that one-timer from the faceoff circle and he is lethal. Their number one center is determined to take the Rangers to the next level and he did it this night.
- Jacob Trouba gets the third star for yeoman’s work on defense and for scoring that important first goal. Trouba has stepped up and taken his game to another level this season, embracing Gerard Gallant’s offensive system, a system that is allowing him to contribute to the offense more than he had in his first two years in New York.
- Honorable mention goes to Artemi Panarin for that sublime pass to Zibanejad for the game winning goal. There are not many players who can make that pass and for all of the criticism he takes for passing the puck and not shooting, when it works, it works.
The official 3 stars
- Igor Shesterkin – Rangers
- Andrei Vasilevskiy – Lightning
- Mika Zibanejad – Rangers
A television rant
The Rangers improved their record on national tv to 8-4-0. That’s all well and good, but let’s just say that the folks at ESPN and ABC had better get their act together before the Stanley Cup Playoffs because their productions are dreadful.
The most egregious offense is the use of the floating skycam at the most important moments of a game. Whenever there was a power play instead of using a camera close to the ice they switched to this high overhead shot that is always moving.
It’s nausea inducing and makes it almost impossible to track the puck. Hopefully someone at ABC and ESPN looks at Twitter because if you search on ABC and NHL you will find hundreds of tweets complaining about the use of that camera.
It’s a case of a television director compelled to make use of a new toy. That camera has no place in an NHL arena and anyone who knows the game should know that. Then again, if ABC spent thousands of dollars installing that camera, they must feel that they have to use it. We implore them to save the money and don’t even bring it to their next game.
They also use a split screen when talking about certain players. Do we really need to see Brandon Hagel sitting on the bench in a split screen so the action is barely viewable while they talk about his trade to Tampa?
The announcers on ABC are better than the ESPN team, but they still talk incessantly, mostly NOT about the action in the game we are watching.
We have to hope that someone at ABC/ESPN realizes that hockey fans want to watch the game and the best way to satisfy them is to actually show the game from the best possible angles.
The telecasts have improved and we are actually seeing more replays (though they completely missed the Hedman puck over the glass penalty). The ABC studio team is more at ease than the TNT threesome, but someone should tell Chris Chelios he doesn’t need to wear a tie.
There’s no rest for the weary as the Rangers take on the team with the third best record in the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes. It will be Alexandar Georgiev in net as the Rangers play the second game of this three game road trip. The Rangers lost badly, 6-3 , in Carolina in their only meeting this season.
The Hurricanes have lost three in a row and Nino Niederreiter will be serving a one game suspension. The Carolina offense is struggling a bit and they have scored three goals or fewer in their last 10 games.
It’s a short turnaround as puck drop is scheduled for 6pm. The telecast will be on MSG+ and the live stream will be on ESPN+.