Disclaimer: I suggest to read this article before you start pulling out your hairs.
After a four month lockout the New York Rangers (0-1-0) lost their season opener against the Boston Bruins (1-0-0) by a score of 3-to-1.
The Rangers were out shot 34-21, had 10 giveaways to the Bruins 1, and won just 23 of 58 faceoffs.
The Rangers were also 0-for-5 on the power play, including a crucial 5-on-3 early in the 3rd period. The Rangers had the 23rd ranked power play last season.
Brad Richards scored the only goal for the Rangers on a knuckler from the point after a failed pass attempt bounced right back to him. Rick Nash and Dan Girardi had assists on the goal.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31-of-34 shots including the best save of the young season.
Things I loved:
- I loved the performance of Henrik Lundqvist. He was zoned is from the drop of the puck and was really only to blame for the huge rebound on the first goal. He already threw his name in the hat for “Save of the Year” with his robbery of David Krejci in the 3rd period. In all honesty I thought the puck may have crossed the line but there was no conclusive view and his effort alone deserved a reward.
- I loved the presence of Rick Nash in his first game. He was arguably the only noticeable Ranger in the offensive end and had a few nice scoring chances. The way he uses his size is reminiscent of Jaromir Jagr and wouldn’t it be nice if he can do in his first season with the Rangers what Jagr did in his first season with the Rangers. He did not score, but still found the scoresheet with an assist.
- I did not love the six penalties the team took, but I love that they went 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. After losing key members of the PK over the summer the Rangers did not miss a beat with Jeff Halpern, Carl Hagelin, and Rick Nash stepping up to shut the Bruins powerplay down.
- I loved former Ranger greats killing it tonight. Jaromir Jagr had two goals and two assists, Artem Anisimov had a goal and shootout goal, John Mitchell got the Avalanche going, and Alex Kovalev had a goal and two assists.
Things I Did Not Love:
- I did not love the lack of effort and physical play. I would have hoped the team was rearing to go after such a long lay off but it was evident they were not playing with the same level of intensity fans have grown accustom to seeing. They looked lackadaisical most of the game and failed to sustain any pressure. They did out hit the Bruins, however, they recorded a very “soft” 34 hits. Aaron Asham should be able to help that out. It is still just the first game so I am willing to chalk it up to rust.
- I did not love the sloppiness. The two penalties by Hagelin and the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by Boyle need to be avoided moving forward. Not to mention the line changes were just pathetic. In no way, shape, or form should a professional team have too many men on the ice when the goalie is pulled. Seven men at once, really? However, these are things that should clear up as the season moves forward.
- I did not love that in a game when the refs were calling any and everything, Gaborik was blatantly picked off at the top of the circle leading to the third goal. I have no problem with the refs letting that play go but when you are calling everything you better call that one as well.
- I did not love Anton Stralman wearing #6. Too much bad voodoo with that number.
- I did not love Stu Bickel. He hit Campbell with a nice shot but had two giveaways in his five minutes of ice team and needed to do a better job picking up the winger on the first goal. There was also an instance or two where he got caught but I have grown to expect those moments.
Other than Nash and Hank there were not too many positives to come from this game. Del Zotto did a nice job and Girardi was a rock, but was Chris Kreider even on the ice? I did not notice him once in the first period and barely noticed him in the other two.
Hopefully the Rangers leave this game in Boston and bring strong effort with the crowd behind them against the Penguins.
After the game the Rangers announced that Brandon Segal was sent down to Connecticut to clear room for Asham. The official press release is below:
Brandon Segal has been assigned to the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League (AHL). Segal was credited with one blocked shot in 5:21 of ice time while making his Rangers debut in tonight’s season opener at Boston.