How far will the Rangers get this season?

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Brassard with OT winner in game 1

Derick Brassard (New York Rangers)

Derick Brassard (New York Rangers)

Yo New York Rangers if you are still in the mood to end negative streaks there is one big one your fans would you guys put an end to with a win in game 2. Yes that would be that ugly NHL record 12 game losing streak the team has when it comes to holding a series lead.

Boy it was so nice to hear the shock in the voices of the NBCSN announcers when the Rangers scored their “twin” goals in overtime to earn a 3-2 win in game 1 over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pierre McGuire and his “that was no goal” call from that spot between the glass showed what a waste putting people there is.

That the Rangers won despite a horrible 2nd period and an officiating crew that isn’t good enough to call “drop in” games at the local ice rink was a bit of a minor miracle. The Rangers can take a lot from the lessons they should have learned in game 1 and realize that if they work hard in every game for every minute then they should beat this Penguin team.

Columbus provided the blueprint to how to beat the Penguins so it is up to the Rangers to follow that blueprint. Get bodies in front of Marc-Andre Fleury and you can score as seen not only by the Brassard/Pouliot twin goals but Brad Richard’s goal in the first period.

If I am Coach Alain Vigneault then I would show the team the video of those goals and ask how come they aren’t doing this on the power play? That Brassard and Pouliot scored goals was not a surprise as they along with Mats Zuccarello have been the only Rangers who have attacked the net all season long.

The 4th line of Boyle, Moore and Carcillo also attack the net but they haven’t been as good at finishing plays as the 2nd line has been. If the Rangers could ever get the Nash line to do this on a more consistent basis then writers like myself would not be able to put out that Nash in 24 post season games has all of 2 goals.

But the Rangers won and they should have won this game in regulation if the officials had done their job correctly. The Penguin’s 2nd goal should have been disallowed if not for goalie interference then slashing Henrik Lundqvist should have been the call.

And just wondering didn’t the NHL put in a rule outlawing someone facing the goalie and waving his stick? Think it is called the “Sean Avery” rule but the sad reality is there are 2 sets of rules; one for the Penguins and one for the other 29 teams.

And while it wasn’t a perfect game there were some positives to build on starting with a penalty kill that killed off 4 Penguin power plays, that the Rangers were only called for 4 minors while playing under Penguin NHL rules is also a positive and a great job on the giveaways with only 4 for the entire game.

They even had a good job on faceoffs which especially in the 2nd period saved the Rangers as only Derek Brassard was under 500 for his faceoffs and he was 9-10 while the other 3 Ranger centers were 500 or better at 26-22. Like I said there were a lot of positives to take away from game 1 but none this will matter if the Rangers don’t follow this up with a strong solid effort in game 2 on Sunday.

I honestly believe if the Rangers can get to Fleury early in game 2 and stay on him that they will force Pittsburgh Coach Dan Blysma to make a change in goal. Those Pittsburgh fans as one could tell was not happy with their team’s effort in the first period which also helps the Rangers.

Even better is that if the Rangers can come out of Pittsburgh up 2-0 in the series then it would be a huge difference maker on Monday night back in New York City. But it is going to require the Rangers to break that 12 game losing streak.

It can be done if the 18 skaters and 1 goalie all show up ready to play.


Posted by Jess Rubenstein | May 3, 2014 at 04:38 am

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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 3 0 0 - 3
Blackhawks 1 1 0 - 2

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