New York Rangers: Without getting shots off they aren’t going to win

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 25: Henrik Lundqvist (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 25: Henrik Lundqvist (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

If the New York Rangers aren’t going to get shots off they aren’t going to win many hockey games.

We have talked about this on more than one occasion but it seems that the New York Rangers are still having difficulty with this concept. It shouldn’t be a difficult concept but clearly it is one so we bring it up once again. It goes down as a fundamental piece of how to be successful as a professional hockey team.

You must shoot the puck in order to score and win. The Rangers don’t do that so well so they have a tough time winning hockey games. One might think that will all of the moves that have been made, these new players would be looking to just fire shots on the net and make an impression. New faces mean a new look for the Rangers, right?

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Not so fast as a lot of it has been more of the same. The Rangers did notch a three-game sweep of a Canada road trip but then it was more of the same.

Earlier in the week, the Rangers fell to the Jets by a score of 3-0. In that one, they were outshot early 16-9 and weren’t able to recover. That’s not even the greatest example to illustrate the point this afternoon.

Thursday night, the Rangers took on the Tampa Bay Lightning down in Florida. Looking at the box score it might not jump out at you as interesting. Heck, it was a run of the mill 5-3 hockey game right? Wrong. It was the epitome of what the problem has been.

In this game the Rangers didn’t record a shot on goal until they were down 2-0. The Rangers were down 20 shots to one before the shots going for New York. Henrik Lundqvist didn’t make it through this entire game, being pulled after allowing four goals total. Who can blame him? He’s taking rapid fire shots left and right. Even the King can’t make a stop on every single shot. He needs his offense to take over and give him a breather at the other end of the ice. You fire against anyone, eventually they are going to break.

20-1. Think about it. Henrik Lundqvist made 18 saves before the Rangers posted two shots on goal. That is as bad a performance as a hockey team can perform. The final shot totals were 45-30, but that early domination ruled the day as the Rangers were never able to close the gap. If you are going to come back you have to shoot the puck. It’s not hard to understand. Without firing the puck on net the team can’t score goals.

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Here is a way to put that game in perspective. It’s not as if Lundqvist played badly as he made 27 saves before being pulled. That’s the same amount of saves that the winning goalie, Andrei Vaskilevskiy, made in the game. The Rangers play tonight in Florida against the Panthers. They are going to have to start doing better, and that means actually shooting the puck.