A very good 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday saw the New York Rangers play tight defensively and limit the Wild’s offense. They denied them scoring chances and used their good defense to create offense leading to four unanswered goals in the win.
Well last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the finale of the Rangers’ nine-game homestand, the Rangers tried their best to repeat their defensive success that they had against the Wild. And for the most part the Rangers succeeded.
Once again the Rangers only allowed one goal — and a very controversial goal at that — but that is beside the point as the Rangers would go on to beat the Maple Leafs in a shootout 2-1.
Regardless of who were the three stars of the game, in my opinion the two stars of the game for the Rangers were rookie goaltender Cam Talbot, who started back-to-back days, and the Rangers’ defense as a whole. Now their defense definitely played better against the Wild, as they did not allow many, if any, odd man rushes, and while the same could not be said last night against the Leafs, Talbot was up to the task.
Even though the Rangers would only score one goal, they got tons of scoring chances and once again allowed their defense to create offense. But Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier played an amazing game stopping 42 shots.
All in all, good defense and goaltending will lead to wins 99 percent of the time, regardless of how good or bad your offense plays. And since this current Rangers team does not have the offensive firepower to play run and gun, tight defense and good goaltending, whether Talbot or Henrik Lundqvist, needs to be the Rangers’ game plan if they want to turn this season around.