It was refreshing to see the Rangers defeat a team not named the Tampa Bay Lightning last night, but another one goal performance is just not acceptable.
Over the last 7 games the Rangers have scored a whopping 11 goals and if you take away the Washington game it is 7 goals in 6 games. Over that time period they also have had 4 games of 1 goal or less. In those 7 games Derek Stepan has 3 goals, Ryan Callahan 2 goals, Brad Richards 2 goals, Rick Nash 2 goals, Brian Boyle 1 goal, and Marian Gaborik 1 goal.
So the Rangers two 40-goal scorers have combined for 3 goals over the last two weeks… Just think about that for a second. Nash has at least had chances in most of those games, but Gabby needs a wakeup call. However, his struggles have been beaten to hell so I will leave my comments at that. But still c’mon son.
The Rangers issue has not been chances. They currently rank 8th in the league in shots, ahead of teams like Pittsburgh and Anaheim. Yet they also rank 27th in goals per game, while those teams are near the top of the league. The difference between those teams and the Rangers is the quality of shots. Out of the 36 shots the Rangers took last night I would say at least 10-14 of them were soft floaters taken from above the circles. They might as well have placed the puck in Ellis’s mitt. Fans are always yelling at the Rangers for “shots, shots, shots!” but it is a wasted opportunity when Steve Eminger takes a 50 mph wrist shot from the point, no one screens the goalie, and the goalie freezes the puck. The Rangers are just going to wind up losing the faceoff and letting the team escape their zone. When the Penguins take a shot they set it up with tremendous passing and make it count. Learn from them.
The other problem the Rangers have is no one crashing the net. When Carolina took shots last night they had four guys in front of the Rangers’ net and when the Rangers took a shot there was also four Hurricanes in front of their net and no Rangers to be found. The Rangers style demands guys crash the net and outside of Callahan and Stepan no one is doing it.
The Devils are right in the middle of the pack for goals all0wed and Florida is dead last, so hopefully the Rangers can get something going these next two games.