Rangers Continue to Forget How to Kill Penalties: Stewart Makes them Pay
October 18, 2010 3 Comments
For the second time in three games the Rangers would take what was a game they very much had a chance to win and turn it into a loss by being outplayed in a 3rd period. Against certain teams and certain players you can get away with leaving a man wide open in front but a player the caliber of Chris Stewart is not going to miss those chances and he didn’t netting his 2nd PPG of the game, 5th of the season. I said early in the game that I love Chris Stewart’s game and New York along with a national audience that didn’t know about him before got a lesson in the skill he has. His first goal was a play where he outmuscled Marc Staal getting to the front of the net and converted with a beautiful deflection on the John Michael Liles shot. The third goal was purely academic as it never felt like the Rangers were going to get a 2nd tonight.
Specialty teams were awful tonight as they gave up 2 PPG’s (both Stewart) on 3 kills and the powerplay went 0-5. The PK is now down to 70% having only killed 14 of 20 chances against in the four games thus far. When you are going to struggle to score goals without your star on offense you have to be sound in all the specialty areas to stay in the games. Until the point the Rangers remember how to kill penalties the offensive struggles wont really matter. We can talk about Gaborik and any other offensive person over the last 3 years but it is the Ranger penalty kill that has kept them afloat more than anything else and it is not there right now.
That the Rangers would struggle offensively without Marian Gaborik in the lineup would not be deemed a shock to anyone, even if for the most part he hadn’t had a huge start to the year. The thing about star players is not just what they personally do, but also the attention they take not only on the ice but how the matchups change when they are not in the lineup. The Dubinsky-AA-Callahan still showed flashes and Brandon was the best offensive player tonight in my opinion (though he must finish chances), but the attention they got was still altered by Gaborik not being available. Craig Anderson looked very shaky early, but the Rangers could not make him pay missing the net a lot and hit the post a few times.
- Torts timeout in the first was huge, too bad he couldnt get a 2nd one
- Yes, Frolov scored which is good and while I will not complain about how he scored let us realize a goal like that will not turn confidence
- Watching the offense tonight moves clearly need to be made in terms of callus with MZA at the top of the list
- Cant help but think Tim Kennedy never should have been sent down. He is not a savior but at least he brings energy with some skill
- I know it feels like I say this every game, well not really after Toronto but Eminger needs to be benched
- Sauer has been very solid in his own end and he can help on the PK.
- Marc Staal and Rozi did not play well tonight. MDZ got away with some chances.
- Most curious thing was all the talk of being defensively responsible and I cant remember a game where more pinching of D happened.
Rangers next play in Toronto on Thursday.