Well, they did get a point.
Against the Isles, the Rangers found the missing 10 minutes from the Boston game and played what were 10 of the best minutes of the Rangers season. Great work goal line work by Carl Hagelin and Rick Nash (who else?) led to a Dan Girardi clapper that beat Evegny Nabakov 3:36 into the first to get the party started. The Rangers doubled their lead when Ryan Callahan forced an Andrew MacDonald turnover at the blue line and the NYR broke in on a hapless (up to that point) Islander defense. Marian Gaborik flipped a rebound of a rebound of a Brad Richards shot by Nabokov for his 7th of the season.
The Rout is on.
Laugher in progress.
Eh, not quite.
The Blueshirts took the ice for the start of the second period against a different Islanders team. At the drop, they lined up against an in their prime Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier (the player not the clueless coach with strong cursive skills) and Denis Potvin, or so it least it seemed. The Fishsticks cut the lead in half just 29 seconds in, when their 4th line cycled through some terrible Rangers D coverage. Colin McDonald’s pop was quickly followed by a Tavares goal on a 2-1 that occurred when Franz Nielsen picked Anton Stralman along the wall. JT’s marker came after the Isles killed off another hapless Ranger 5-3 power play. The power play is killing the Rangers and someone should lose their job over this, but more on that later. As good as a player as JT is, and he is very good, this was a soft goal. Martin Biron got beat under the arm with a shot he should have stopped. 40 seconds later, the Isles, now pouring it on the Blueshirts upped the lead to 3-2.
Brad Boyes scored off a 4-2 when the Rangers simply refused to skate or play any D. Despite coming off an odd-man rush, Boyes’ goal was also soft and should have been stopped.
The Rangers were able to even the score on a power play goal, yes a power play goal. Like the last power play goal (by JT Miller against the Islanders last week) due not to strategy, or setup, or coaching. Hagelin’s PP goal (confirmed after much review) was a bit of a fluke. Gaborik flipped a shot/pass knuckler on net that Nabakov had trouble handling and was pushed over the goal line by a flying Hagelin. The speedy Swede who has found his game and been on fire, (since meshing with Nash) was all over the rink against the NYI with a goal an apple and seven shots.
When, the game still knotted at 3-3 after overtime, went to a shootout, the Rangers were done.
Martin Biron is a solid NHL backup goaltender, and well liked by his teammates and coaches. And if those teammates and coaches had any semblance of a power play, especially a 5-3 power play, Biron would not have been put in the situation he found himself last night. Overmatched. Biron looked like he had no chance and/or clue versus Nielsen or Tavares and his protruding hair. When Gabby couldn’t beat Nabby and Nash tired to beat the Isles goalie with a shot, it was all there black and white, clear as crystal! The Rangers get nothing (well a point.) They lose!
Good day sir!