Well that was as boring a hockey game as I have watched in a real long time. Once again the New York Rangers made a game against a far inferior opponent too close. They came out with very little fire. Aside from one spectacular goal by Rick Nash, the Rangers looked flat and uninspired against the Buffalo Sabres.
For a team that is struggling to find consistency and that was just called out by their coach, you would think they would come out fired up and skating. But the Rangers once again looked sluggish against a really bad team. The Rangers got caught running around in their own zone too many times. If they are playing man to man defense, then I have a hard time understanding why players were left open in the slot or at the point. Isn’t the whole idea behind playing man to man to keep those areas of the ice protected?
On a positive note Henrik Lundqvist looked great in goal after missing two games. I expected him to play a great game to reassure people that the big contract he signed was well worth it. There is no doubt that he is the Rangers’ No. 1 goaltender and their best player. If it is not for Lundqvist, that game would have been a lot closer and might have even been a loss for the Rangers. Another positive is the play of Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello. Both players extended their point streaks. McDonagh made a beautiful stretch pass that led to Nash’s goal and Zuccarello snuck a sneaky wrist shot by Ryan Miller for the Rangers’ third goal.
There are certain players on this Rangers team that either don’t get it or simply do not care. Players like Taylor Pyatt and Benoit Pouliot just looked lost out on the ice. Alain Vigneault has to take Pyatt off of the line with Derick Brassard and Carl Hagelin. He is way too slow to be playing with two creative, fast players.
As the saying goes, a win is a win, but the Rangers looked sloppy in this game. They have to clean up some areas of their game if they want to get a win on Saturday against the New Jersey Devils.