After ten full months since the last regular-season NHL game took place, it’s safe to say the two rivals, the Rangers and Islanders, are eager to lace-em-up for the first time of the season. In their first of eight matchups this season, both respected teams have a lot to look forward to in this action-packed 56 game season. With a rivalry game kickstarting each team’s season, there’s no question that it will be interesting. The decades of fisticuffs will yet again spark a fire between these two teams and tonight’s game was certainly not an expectation. That being said, let’s take a look at this action pack season premiere game.
An Ugly First Period For The Rangers
Whatever preconception you had about how the Rangers will start the first period, I am fairly sure you threw that out the window. Just a few minutes in, Jack Johnson, who doesn’t have a good league-wide reputation, to begin with, took a costly high sticking penalty on Matt Martin. From there, it was all downhill for the Rangers. To kick things off for the Islanders Brock Nelson registered the first goal from the Islanders on the early powerplay. From there, to add to the snowball effect, Anders Lee cashed in just over a minute later. Obviously not an ideal start for the Rangers, they continued to spin their wheels when they let up another goal.
Basically what the first period came down to for the Rangers was a lack of aggression. It was obvious their rookies seemed nervous but for some reason that translated into an entire team playing timid. Regardless, sloppy play will cost you against top tier teams like the Islanders.
To sum up the second period in one word, it would be the word “penalties.” For the Rangers, when you head into a period down three goals, the last thing you want to do is give away your momentum with stupid penalties and that’s exactly what they did. Despite displaying some great opportunities in bunches throughout the period, the lack of cashing in on the powerplay continued to haunt the Rangers who were desperate to shrink the widening gap. Nevertheless, the Rangers could not muster together enough chances to light the lamp on a tight islanders defense. Furthermore, to add some more salt to the wound, Jordan Eberle scored the fourth goal towards the end of the second period leaving the Rangers still scoreless as they headed into the third period.
Similar to the storyline of this entire game, the Blueshirts could not jumpstart their ten-month sedentary team. While the islanders continued to plow ahead towards success, the Rangers spent the majority of their time out of position in their own zone. Even though there weren’t many positive things to take away in the third period, on the negative side, Rangers fourth-line winger, Kevin Rooney, appeared to have left with an upper-body injury after unintentionally colliding with an Islanders player in the neutral zone.
Finally, after a disastrous first game of the season, the Islanders defeated the Rangers by a score of 4-0. The good news for the Rangers is that they will have a shot at redemption in just two days. On Saturday, January 16th, the Rangers will attempt to get their revenge on their rivals with a fresh slate.
Takeaways From the Rangers Game
To put it bluntly, the Rangers did not do anything right to win this hockey game. The excitement rangers fans had to kick off the night quickly simmered down to sorrow and anger. As for the two Rangers making their NHL debuts, tonight is finally out of the way. While Alexis Lafreniere appeared relatively calms and collected on the ice, K’Andre Miller seemed nervous throughout the game. However, these two youngsters must put tonight behind them and move forward. There is certainly going to be a learning curve for the majority of these Rangers as we progress. However, I am confident with a little bit of time, the Rangers will find themselves back on track towards success.