After falling to the Bruins in OT Wednesday night, the Rangers looked to even the score Friday night in what turned out to be a tense, heated game between the two. Having lost their last two games and only scoring two goals in one of the last two games, the Rangers took to the ice to contend against their red-hot rivals, the Boston Bruins.
For the New York Rangers, everything seems to be going wrong. Without the Ranger’s star forward Artemi Panarin for Friday night’s game, the challenges they are facing seem to be increasing after every game. In a thrilling physical rivalry between the Rangers and Bruins, the Blueshirts found themselves with another “L” on the score sheet at the end of the game by a score of 1-0. Quite frankly, both teams played what looked like playoff hockey: hard, fast, skilled, and defensive. Unfortunately for the Rangers, those compliments don’t mean much when looking at the scoreboard. While the Rangers played a gritty game, the theme of tonight has to do with scoring.
In the Ranger’s past three games they have been shutout in two out of the three games. With such a talented offense, this stat leaves many fans pondering how they are still struggling to score. A key to understanding the Ranger’s lackluster offense has to do with their depth. To start the first period against the Bruins, the Rangers played a collective game. Their defense was strong against one of the best teams in the NHL, as well as their offense. Guys like Julien Gauthier, Kaapo Kakko, and Alexis Lafreneiere were playmakers from the puck-drop. After a solid first period by both teams, the score still remained 0-0.
The second period is where the Rangers started to lose some momentum. Although this period saw guys like Jacob Trouba, Pavel Buchnevich, and Brendan Lemieux drop the gloves, the Rangers were yet to find any twine. Unfortunately for the Rangers, an unlucky puck that found space between Sheshterkins pads and the post wound up being the difference-maker in a tight game. Thanks to Nick Ritchie, the Bruins, who are already a great third-period team, lead 1-0 after two.
With only five shots to Boston’s eight-teen shots in the second period, momentum was not on the Rangers side in the third. Although they had some good scoring chances and some powerplays, Boston’s superb defense kept the Rangers at bay for just long enough. At the end of the day, when the Boston Bruins take eleven penalties, you must score on at least one to win a hockey game. For the Rangers, that was not the case. Even though they showed great defensive poise, the lack of contributions is the difference between winning and losing.
Takeaways From The Game
Although this loss was yet another frustrating one for the Rangers, I would be lying if I told you that they aren’t going in the right direction. It seems that as every game goes by, the Rangers are adding another piece to the puzzle. Now that they somewhat have all the critical corner pieces, it is time to push forward towards the heart of the puzzle; this meaning blending the Rangers talents into one collective team. Now that their defense seems more secure and their forward lines are more stabilized, now is the time to add every piece to the puzzle, not just one or two. For David Quinn and the Rangers, their season depends on it more and more with each game.
Time is of the essence for the Blueshirts. This beginning of the season “test run” must stop now. K’Andre Miller and their defense look well rounded. As for the forwards, Lafreniere, Gauthier, Kakko, and the fourth line enforcers are beginning to understand their role. For the Rangers moving forward, it is time for progression, not regression. For they must put together the pieces, and complete the puzzle!