Rangers: 3 players who stood out in the 7-3 loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs

New York Rangers right wing Blake Wheeler (17) skates with the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at Madison Square Garden
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The one word to describe tonight’s performance by the New York Rangers is aggravating. It was a poor performance where the Blueshirts were terrible in the first and third periods of the game, resulting in a 7-3 loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

3. Igor Shesterkin had another off night

This was probably Igor Shesterkin’s worst performance of the season as some of the goals were easy saves and he also made some mental errors as well tonight. Shesterkin was so bad that it was a shock that he was not pulled in the first period.

He was solid in the second period, but when it got to the 3rd period, it was too late for the team to come back and the Leafs kept scoring. While his defense did no favors, it is clear that there is a confidence issue going on with Shesterkin.

2. The Rangers’ defense got embarrassed

The main reason this team lost was how the Rangers’ defense performed. Shesterkin had a bad night, but the defense dropped the ball more tonight and it has been a noticeable weakness the past few games, even with Quick in the net.

As for today’s game, almost the defensive corps looked unprepared during the first period and straight up quit in the third period. The only defenseman who performed well was Adam Fox. According to HockeyStatCards, Fox was the best player on the ice on defense, offense, and production. He was one of the few players that showed up.

But the Rangers’ defense needs to perform better than this. It’s understandable that K’Andre Miller was ruled out at the last minute due to personal reasons, but the entire defenseman corps can’t perform that badly due to one player’s absence. They need to get their act together in the next game against the Anaheim Ducks.

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1. Blake Wheeler was a lone bright spot

Blake Wheeler was a surprisingly solid player in this game for the Rangers. It is stunning as Wheeler has performed most of the season like the game has passed him by, but in this game, he showed some life as he scored two goals.

The first one was not impressive as that one was due to a silly mistake made by the Leafs, but his second goal in the second period was a bright spot. Hopefully, Wheeler puts up performances like this to show everyone that he still has it and not be labeled as completely cooked as a hockey player.