It's all well and good to run over the hapless Maple Leafs but to come back the next night and fall to the Carolina Canes again is unacceptable. In three games the Canes have five points the Rangers two. With the Canes in ninth place, five points behind the Rangers and two games in hand the next and final game could be a critical game.
Gaborik was non-existent, a non factor. He didn't get any shots until the third period. Avery, who skated well, missed a gimmee in the first period that would have tied the score. Brandon Prust, playing on guts and fumes scored the only Ranger goal. In the process both Ryan McDonagh and first gamer Chad Kolarik got assists, their first NHL points.
Cam Ward did it to us again. He was outstanding with 39 saves and while Lundqvist stopped 35 shots it was no contest as Ward won the goalie faceoff. The Rangers who at one time were 9-0 in the second game of back to back games have now fallen to 10-3 in the second game. Also this was their fourth loss in six games.
The defensive effort if you could call it that left something to be desired. Could the excessive shifts and ice time be starting to take a toll on Staal and Girardi? I think there is that recognition by the coaching staff with increased ice time for Sauer and McDonagh.
But defense aside the big killer down the stretch is the inability to have a sustained attack and to score goals. Injuries can't be blamed for this as the problem has been there all year. There is too much reliance on one guy, Gaborik, and when he doesn't score, or worse doesn't show up offensively then the Rangers are in deep trouble. So instead of dreaming about a top four finish in the East the Rangers have to worry about finishing ahead of the on charging Canes for the final playoff spot. Meanwhile, the defense rests!
Lose the game, win two good fights.
Brandon Prust vs Jay Harrison -- Who won?
Brandon Prust -- 80.0%
Draw -- 10.8%
Jay Harrison -- 9.2%
(from 65 votes with an average rating of 6.6)
Kris Newbury vs Ryan Carter -- Who won?
Kris Newbury -- 84.8%
Draw -- 8.7%
Ryan Carter -- 6.5%
(from 46 votes with an average rating of 6.2)