The Rangers are now 1-4 in Atlantic Division matchups and 1-3 on the road.
Early in the 1st period the Rangers turned the puck over in their own zone, started running around, and left Adam Henrique wide open in front of the net to snipe a one-timer past Henrik Lundqvist. Towards the end of the period the Rangers got caught running around in their own zone again and allowed David Clarkson to pick up the puck in the slot and rocket it past Hank. The Rangers had eight minutes on the powerplay in the 1st period, but failed to get anything going. After a scoreless 2nd period, Clarkson scored again in the 3rd period to put the Devils up 3-0. Chris Kreider netted his first goal of the season mid-way through the final period, but by that point the game was all but over.
What I Loved:
- I loved JT Miller‘s debut. Miller was easily one of the Rangers best players on the ice. He did not look overwhelmed, made some crisp passes, earned some time on the powerplay, and really worked the puck down low. There were some plays that he looked overmatched, but he is still just 19 and overall had a stellar performance.
- I loved Kreider’s snipe. That was a thing of beauty. He absolutely froze Martin Brodeur. Kreider looked tired early on, but got stronger as the game went along and had a fairly good day on the ice.
What I Did Not Love:
- I did not love the defensive effort. Collectively as a team the Rangers were dreadful in their own zone. Turning pucks over, leaving pucks behind, running around in circles, and so on. I guess this is what the D looks like when Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi aren’t on the ice.
- I did not love the powerplay. The powerplay looked good for 30 seconds in the 1st period then the Devils upped the pressure and started getting more chances on the PK than the Rangers had on the PP. I do not remember exactly, but the Devils had somewhere between 3 to 4 shots on the Rangers’ first couple of powerplays. Just think about that for a second. The Rangers inability to score on any of the four 1st period powerplays really hurt their chances tonight. Something needs to be done coaching wise to fix this issue.
- I did not love Rick Nash’s inability to finish. His miss in the 1st period is excusable because Brodeur caught him way off guard, but I still do not know how he missed that chance early in the 2nd period. All he had to do was just tap it in, just tap it in. He had Brodeur beat and a goal that early in the 2nd period completely changes the dynamic of the game.
- I did not love Hank’s shaky performance. Yes the defense was terrible in front of him, but Hank needs to step up. He has been a beat or two out of rhythm early in the season and was simply outplayed by Marty tonight. Fatso came up big in the 3rd period and Hank did not, letting Clarkson extend the lead to three early on. I am not going to worry about the King nine games into the year, but it is about time he gets back to his old ways.
- I did not love the fact that Girardi misses one game and it looks like everyone forgot how to block a shot. Cally was sorely missed in this department as well.