The NY Rangers have lost four games in a row, starting with a San Jose Sharks team that started off 0-5. Their latest loss came about last night after getting shut out by the NY Islanders. So what’s going on with the Rangers?
The problems so far this season, although still early, are a lot of blocked shots by the opposing teams and not creating plays. They did so a couple of times, but this isn’t enough.
During the Rangers’ game against the Sharks, the Rangers did do a couple of things right. First of all, both of their goals were due to opportunities the Rangers took advantage of. Filip Chytil scored after Luke Kunin loses the puck in the neutral zone, giving Chytil a great chance, which he got and scored from it.
The Rangers’ second goal in the Sharks game came about when the Rangers got the puck in a two-on-one situation. There was great passing that took place, making it hard for the goalie to follow what was going on. He couldn’t which is why the Rangers made it 2-1 at this point.
Their two goals against the Colorado Avalanche were due to great passing.
This is what the Rangers need, but they are not trying hard enough to make more plays. The opposing teams have 60 blocked shots so far against the Rangers and this is only for their four losses.
Stop trying to force the puck where it won’t go and stop being fancy. You make plays by getting open, not by just passing it back and forth to each other hoping for the best.
In their last four games, the Rangers are 1/15 on the Power Play (PP). Their opponents are 2/10. This is just ridiculous. One goal out of 15 tries? Really? They should just stick with 5-on-5 play. They score more this way. That is sad too because last year they struggled with this.
Another thing to add is that the two goals that were scored against them during their game against the Avalanche were a PPG and a short-handed goal (SHG). The Avalanche won 3-2 in a shootout, but think about that for a minute. The only goals scored were on a PP and an SHG.
First of all, the SHG was on Igor Shesterkin. He misplayed the puck entering the zone. The Avalanche player was coming in fast and Shesterkin went to get the puck to clear it but fumbled it. He then had to quickly get to the net and the Rangers’ defense just failed at that point in trying to play catch up.
The Rangers need to do better. It is as simple as that.
The Rangers have given the puck up 44 times in a four-game span and they wonder why there is no offense for them. It is rather hard to create scoring chances when the puck is being taken from you.
The opposing teams have 25 giveaways in the same time period. It is my guess that the reason the Rangers’ number is higher is either because they lose the puck battles or try to be too fancy. It is getting old fast. Just stop.
The Rangers have had some good moments from the start of the season. I am just basing this on the past four games. It is easy to like a team when they are winning and it is easy to see all the positive things a team is doing right on a winning streak. The same can be said for a losing streak. Also, the Rangers did not lose four games straight at all during the regular season. Not once (they lost four straight during the playoffs against Tampa Bay Lightning).
Some will argue that it is too early to be saying much of anything with how the Rangers have been playing. There are going to be those who think it is stupid to just base opinions and stats on four games. While this is true, it is also good to note that the Rangers are one of the teams expected to be a contender for the Stanley Cup. Does this look like a team that even deserves to be there? No.
Unlike the great comedy show “Whose Line is it Anyway”, the points DO matter. This is the NHL and every point matters. It is time for the Rangers to look back on all they did right in their games so far and all they did wrong and figure out what they need to work on and keep. They started off good, but it all went downhill, starting from their loss to the Sharks and they need to do something about that.
What do you guys think? It is still early in the season with only eight games in, but what areas do you think the Rangers need to work on? What changes need to be made? Where do they need to improve? What shouldn’t they change?