If the final score were in favor of the New York Rangers against the Boston Bruins Tuesday night, it possibly would be considered their best and most satisfying win of the season. Alas, the Rangers lost 2-1 in a game they absolutely deserved to win. Once again, the team’s major fundamental flaw reared its ugly head: they simply cannot score. It is very easy to say this was a frustrating loss. But the missed opportunities and inability to put the puck in the net against an elite team make this loss the most disturbing of the season.
First, let’s give credit where credit is due. The Bruins capitalized on bad turnovers by Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi to score both their goals. Tuukka Rask was brilliant in goal, recording 21 saves and robbing the Rangers on several golden opportunities.
That all being said, how many more of those chances could the Rangers have buried? Let’s list a few: Chris Kreider‘s missed penalty shot, Mats Zuccarello passing up yet another wide open shot and Anton Stralman hitting the post late in the third. They outshot the Bruins 44-22. They beat them on every physical battle, beat them to almost every puck and simply outworked them all night. The Bruins spent most of the game with only five defensemen due to an injury to Dennis Seidenberg, and it still wasn’t enough. Oh, and they got Rick Nash back from injury, yet the offense remains anemic.
To thoroughly outwork one of the elite teams in the NHL and arguably the best in the Eastern Conference yet only come away with one goal is a frightening result for a team certainly trying hard to climb their way to the top of the standings. It also doesn’t mean they should hit the panic button in mid-November. If anything, this game underlines the fact that the Rangers need reinforcements, preferably finishers, if they want to contend. After losing a game they deserved to win, these moves are now of a more urgent matter.