The New York Rangers will need this for success next season

Last night’s loss to the New York Islanders demonstrated one thing about the young New York Rangers: they still have not learned to win big games yet.

This fact became very apparent in the loss to the Isles as the young Blueshirts were manhandled up and down the ice by the veteran rivals.

“They were just on top of us,” Adam Fox said in his post-game Zoom conference. “They were moving a little quicker and cycling the puck real well and just keeping us in the D zone. It was definitely tough to get odd-man chances, or really second chance opportunities, so credit them for that.”

Of course, most of this is that the Islanders are a veteran, playoff battle-tested team. They have had enough players learn how to win big games and make that part of their team’s DNA.

Not so much for the Rangers.

Fox added, “but you can just see the sustained O-zone that they had and retrieving pucks and stuff like that,” he added. “It’s definitely things that we could use in our game.”

The young New York Rangers will need to learn how to win important games.

The first step to this might be learning how to win close games.

Going into last week’s game against the Flyers, the Rangers had dropped 14 of 18 one-goal games, posting a 4-8-6 record. Then they lost that game on April 22 by….you guessed it, a goal.

Head coach David Quinn touched on what his team need’s to do to succeed in big games against good teams. “I think we’ve got to learn from them and do some of the things they (the Islanders) do, a little bit of a mentality that they have, that, you know, they never beat themselves, Quinn said in his post-game Zoom conference. “Now, we’re also built differently, so we’re going to have the ability maybe to score some goals that other teams don’t. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do all the things other teams can do. That’s what we’ve got to get better at. We’ve got to understand situational hockey better and not get frustrated.”

According to sports psychology expert Dr. Patrick Cohen, most teams fail to win the big game because of expectation and pressure. Cohen also states that teams and players need to prepare for championship moments all season. Practice championship scenarios, and imagine those moments so when you are in those situations. You feel like you have been there before.

This is not new to most in the New York Rangers staff or most staff in most high levels of sports.

It is just something that takes a while to develop, especially with a team as young as the New York Rangers.

Some of these young Rangers will get a chance to start learning this at the NHL level. Injuries to Chris Kreider, Ryan Lindgren, and Brett Howden will lead to more playing time. Saturday night’s game still has some importance. While the playoff door has not quite closed, it may be all but shut and locked with a loss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Rangers Struggle in loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins

What a difference a couple of days makes. Two days ago, the New York Rangers scored four goals in the first period and chased Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry. On Thursday, the Blueshirts could only muster two goals against Jarry in a 5-2 loss to the Penguins.

Colin Blackwell scored the first Ranger goal at 2:02 of the second period. His power-play goal has given him six points in the last six games.

After falling behind by the score of 4-1, Kevin Rooney scored at 13:48 of the third period to close the gap. Adam Fox had the only assist. With the assist, Fox extended his point streak to 12 games. Per the @PR_NHL, his streak is the sixth time that a Ranger defenseman has posted a 12-game point streak or longer in franchise history.

The Rangers had plenty of chances to score more than two goals. Both Mika Zibanejad and Filip Chytil missed open nets. Chris Kreider came up empty on a penalty shot.

Igor Shesterkin made 27 saves as the Rangers’ four-game point streak and Artemi Panarin‘s streak of four straight multi-point games ended.

After the game in his Zoom conference, Zibanejad talked about the difference from the game two nights ago. “I think they (Pittsburgh) were obviously better this game. They made it hard for us and we might have been a little too stubborn with the puck. I thought we were trying to force plays too much.”

“I thought we had a bunch of things lacking tonight'” head coach David Quinn said in his Zoom conference. “Certainly taking advantage of a bunch of opportunities we had tonight and certainly it wasn’t what it was two nights ago. There were other issues that we had that caused us to be in this position.”

The New York Rangers and their road to the playoffs gets a bit tougher as they head out to Long Island to take on the Islanders on Friday night. The Islanders are 17-1-2 on the season at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Rangers Rally Falls Short in David Quinn’s return

A slow start doomed the New York Rangers as they fell 5-4 to the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon. After falling behind by four goals early in the third period, the Rangers rallied in the third but fell just short in the comeback.

Colin Blackwell scored the first two goals in the Ranger’s comeback. Alexis Lafreniere also scored as Chris Kreider added a power-play goal to bring the Rangers within one. Adam Fox had two assists in the game.

Tom Wilson scored twice, and Alex Ovechkin added his 10th goal in his past nine games to lead Washington to their third straight win, and 10 out of their last 11.

The returning head coach did not inspire the New York Rangers

David Quinn returned to coach the Rangers at Washington Capitals after missing the past six games while in NHL COVID-19 protocol.

“I was told I was going to be OK,” said Quinn, who has an underlying health condition due to hemophilia. “It wasn’t going to be anything that was going to create more of an issue for me. But anytime you get COVID, basically, the way things have gone, you’re always a little bit worried. But I never really got sick at all and I was very fortunate to have a very mild reaction to it.”

Quinn’s return appears to have had little impact on the Rangers as the Capitals jumped out to a 4-0 lead before a third-period rally closed the gap.

The Rangers went 4-2-0 during Quinn’s absence with Hartford Kris Knoblauch, who served as an assistant during Sunday’s game. Assistant coach David Oliver remains in COVID-19 protocol.

After the game in his post-game Zoom conference, Quinn talked about an issue that has followed the Rangers for a couple of years: too much passing and not enough shooting. In what Quinn described as the “inability to shoot”, following a trend from last season in which the Rangers averaged 31.1 shots on goal per game, good for only 20th place in the NHL.

The Rangers return home Tuesday night to host the Capitals with a 7:00 p.m. puck drop.

 

 

New York Rangers Able to Squeak by the Woeful Buffalo Sabres

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

The New York Rangers were able to take advantage of a slumping team by defeating the Buffalo Sabres by the score of 5-3. Chris Kreider and Kaapo Kakko scored two goals each for the Blueshirts.

Carter Hutton started in net for Buffalo and made two saves before leaving 2:51 into the game after Julien Gauthier slid hard into him while being pushed by Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. Former Ranger Dustin Tokarski, called up from the taxi squad earlier in the day, came on and finished the game.

The Rangers continue with their habit of playing close games this season. Eighteen of the Rangers’ 30 games this season have been decided by two or fewer goals, and 13 of those games have been decided by one goal.

With his second goal, Kreider scored his 173rd career goal with the Rangers, tying Mike Gartner and Tomas Sandstrom for 18th place on the franchise’s all-time goals list, per NYR StatsandInfo. His first goal was on the power play, tying him with Sandstrom for 13th place on the franchise’s all-time power-play goals list. His second was also a power-play, passing Sandstrom on that list.

Adam Fox scored the third goal of the second period, skating in his 100th career NHL game. He has registered 60 points (10 goals, 50 assists) in his first 99 career NHL games. Fox has also been somewhat of an ironman for the Rangers this season, leading the team in ice time in 24 of 30 games. He also had two assists in the game.

The New York Rangers and Fox continue to play solid defense in front of their net

Even though Keith Kinkaid had to make only 16 saves in the game, a couple of the saves could have categorized as outstanding. The Rangers continue to play well in front of their goalies. Heading into tonight’s game, they had held their opponent to 30 shots on goal or fewer in each of the last nine games and in 21 of 30 games this season.

In his post-game Zoom conference, Mika Zibanejad talked about the Ranger’s solid defensive play, especially Adam Fox.”He is unbelievable. The way he plays with the puck, I think everyone can see that. He is so calm and I feel that he makes the right decision all of the time. Defensively he has been really good this year, teaming up with Lindgren, and I feel like they have been rock solid.”

Acting head coach Kris Knoblauch echoed Zibanejad’s words in his post-game Zoom conference. “He (Fox) is really good defensively, making the read. He is not overly physical, he doesn’t play the game like Trouba or Lindgren but he is able to defend with the skills he has.”

The Rangers face two huge games coming up, traveling to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers Thursday night and Saturday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

The New York Rangers blank Boston in Artemi Panarin’s return

New York Rangers, Artemi Panarin

The New York Rangers finally got the total 60 minutes of complete play that head coach David Quinn wanted. The Rangers scored in each of the three periods in defeating the Bruins 4-0. The game also saw the return of Artemi Panarin, who had missed the past nine games for personal reasons.

The Rangers got goals from K’Andre Miller, Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich, and Ryan Strome. Mika Zibanejad had two assists. Panarin got an assist on Strome’s goal, but it was obvious that his presence gave the Rangers a huge emotional boost after losing three straight games.

Kreider continues to be one of the main contributors to the Blueshirts. Per NYR Stats&Info, Kreider’s nine goals since Feb. 24 are the most in the NHL over the span. His 13 points over the span are the third-most in the NHL.

Keith Kinkaid made 18 saves for the shutout victory. He earned his first win since Oct. 31, 2019, and his first shutout since Nov. 15, 2018. Kinkaid was bolstered by a solid defense, led by Adam Fox and Miller. With over 23 minutes of ice time, Miller has logged 20 or more minutes of ice time in more games than any other NHL rookie thus far in the season.

While the veterans stepped up for the Rangers, so did many of their younger players. Over the last 10 games, at least one Ranger who is 23 years old or younger has tallied a point on 23 of the team’s 29 goals. In addition, at least one Ranger who is 23 years old or younger has tallied a point on nine of the team’s last 10 goals.

The New York Rangers got a huge boost from the return of Panarin

“It was definitely a huge boost getting him (Panarin) back,” Zibanejad said in his post-game interview. “Not only just for the game but for having him around all the guys again. I thought the whole team really came together today. A real team win, as we played really solid over the 60 minutes and I think he had something to do with that.”

Head coach David Quinn echoed those sentiments in his post-game Zoom conference. “Having back meant so many things. Not just on the ice but mentally.” Quinn said. Our guys certainly hold him in high esteem. He is a well-liked teammate. Our guys were dying for him to come back for a lot of reasons. We put him back in our lineup and all of a sudden we got a little more swagger. Having him in our lineup certainly gave us a jolt.”

Strome talked about the importance of this win during his post-game interview. “I thought we all came to play today,” Strome said. “Up and down the lineup, everyone contributed whether it was on the score sheet or not. Everyone was a part of the game and everyone was part of the win. We need to string them together and we need to be a little more consistent.”

The Rangers return home from this six-game road trip on Monday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Rangers third period rally falls short in loss to Penguins

The New York Rangers played one of their better third periods of the season. However, it was not enough to overcome a two-goal deficit and the Blueshirts fall to the Pittsburgh Penguins by the score of 4-2.

The Rangers pulled goaltender Keith Kinkaid with just about two minutes left in the game. They had multiple chances to score the tying goal but were thwarted by Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry.

Ryan Strome scored early in the third period. The Rangers held the Penguins to no shots on goal until Sidney Crosby put a shot in the empty net with 32 seconds left in the game.

Former Penguin Jack Johnson opened the scoring for the Rangers with a deflected slap shot in the first period, his first goal as a Ranger. Chris Kreider and Julien Gauthier assisted on Johnson’s goal. Gauthier has now recorded three assists/points in the last three games and four assists/points in the last seven games. Following his assist on Jack Johnson’s goal, Kreider has now tallied 12 points in the last nine games. Since Feb. 24, Kreider’s eight goals are the most in the NHL and his 11 points are the third-most in the NHL, per NYR Stats&Info.

The Rangers also continue their trend of close games. Entering tonight’s action, 14 of the Rangers’ 23 games this season have been decided by two or fewer goals. Eleven of those games have been decided by one goal.

The New York Rangers are agitated by a close loss to the Penguins

Kreider was obviously not feeling too good about the loss in his post-game Zoom interview. “We put ourselves in that hole because of the two late goals. For 56 or 57 minutes we were doing a good job playing through and establishing a forecheck which we weren’t able to do the other night. We were playing good structured hockey then we start chasing our tails a little bit at the end of the second period.”

“There are lessons to be learned win or lose,” Kreider stated about whether there was anything good that came from this loss. We played this team four or five times, they have come from behind to beat us, they have beat us in close games. They punched us in the mouth the other night so in the end, we have to find a way to get those two points.”

Head coach David Quinn echoed many of those sentiments in his post-game Zoom conference. “I thought it was a tale of two games. I thought that for the first thirty minutes they completely took it to us and then I thought we started doing the things we needed to do.” Quinn said later in his conference that “We need to get back to playing sixty minutes of good hockey, and not sporadic good hockey.”

The road trip for the Rangers does not get any easier as they travel to Boston for back-to-back games with the Bruins. Thursday night’s contest is scheduled for 7 p.m.

 

 

 

 

The New York Rangers have another strong offensive game in defeating the Devils

New York Rangers, Ryan Strome

The New York Rangers scored six goals in a game for the second time in two games against the New Jersey Devils. On Saturday, this resulted in a 6-3 victory over the Devils. The Rangers have tallied at least six goals in two consecutive road games against the Devils for the first time since they moved to New Jersey prior to the start of the 1982-83 season.

Ryan Strome scored twice while Adam Fox, Kevin Rooney Libor Hajek, and Filip Chytil also scored for the Blueshirts.

Alexandar Georgiev stopped 24 shots and also picked up an assist on Fox‘s coast-to-coast power-play goal. It was his fourth career NHL assist.

Julien Gauthier had two assists, posting a multi-assist game, and a multi-point game for the first time in his NHL career.

Not only was it the second straight game with six goals, but the Rangers have also had many players contribute to the effort. Five different Blueshirts have tallied a goal and 11 different NYR have recorded at least one point. The Rangers have tallied 9 goals over the last 4 periods, and 9 different players have tallied a goal over the span (Kreider, Buchnevich, Smith, Lafrenière, Fox, Strome, Rooney, Hajek, Chytil), per NYR Stats&Info.

Many of the young Rangers contributed to the effort in the win. Per NYR Stats&Info, six Ranger players 23 years old or younger have tallied a point in the win (Fox, Kakko, Chytil, Gauthier, Hajek, Miller). At least one player 23 years old or younger has recorded a point on each of the team’s four goals thus far in the game.

Head coach David Quinn praised his young players during his post-game Zoom conference. “Look how quickly they have adapted,” Quinn said. “I give these kids a lot of credit, it is not easy to develop in the National Hockey League. This isn’t a league where you develop. It’s a dramatic change in their hockey life.”

Filip Chytil makes a welcome return for the New York Rangers

Chytil had a goal and an assist, playing in only his ninth game this season after suffering an injury. After the game, he talked about returning to play after not playing in five weeks in his post-game Zoom conference. “Today it felt like a good game from my side, but it could have been better. Of course, I am playing wing now instead of center, but I am happy for the two points for the team.”

Quinn also talked about the return of Chytil to the team. “There was certainly more flashes of his speed, the things he can do for us offensively, pushing people back and generate offense. He is still finding his way with the injury he had.”

Hockey Day in America takes place this Sunday, March 7 with a quadruple-header on NBC and NBCSN. The Rangers will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins in the finale of the four games, with a puck drop at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Kreider’s hat trick leads New York Rangers to win over New Jersey

New York Rangers

You are not reading the game reports from Feb 24. Chris Kreider did get another hat trick on Thursday night to lead the New York Rangers to a 6-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Pavel Buchnevich, Brendan Smith, and Alexis Lafreniere scored the other goals.

The Rangers have tallied five goals in a road game at New Jersey (not including the 2014 Stadium Series, which was technically a Rangers road game at Yankee Stadium) for the first time since Dec.12, 2008.

Igor Shesterkin had 32 saves before leaving late in the third period due to an injury. Alexandar Georgiev came to relieve him and recorded three saves.

After the game head coach David Quinn said in his Zoom conference that Shesterkin has a lower-body injury and that the team will know more tomorrow morning.

If Shesterkin has to miss any time, Keith Kinkaid would likely be called up from the taxi squad.

Chris Kreider gets the second hat trick of the season for the New York Rangers.

With his second hat trick in his last five games, Kreider has recorded a goal/point in five of the last six games. Coming into the game, he was tied for eighth in the NHL in power-play goals and is tied for 13th in the NHL in goals this season, and will be moving up those ranks after tonight’s performance. In addition, Kreider is one of only two NHL players who have registered at least 10 goals and 40 hits this season. He is easily been the catalyst for the Blueshirts recently, has nine goals and two assists over the last 11 games.

There are other New York Rangers who extended streaks.

In addition to his own goal, Lafreniere earned an assist on the Buchnevich goal. He has tallied a point in five of the last six games. He also tallied his first multi-point game in the NHL. Speaking of Buchnevich, he has tallied eight points (four goals, four assists) in the last eight games. He leads the Rangers in points at 5-on-5 this season, and he has notched a point in eight of the team’s nine wins in 2020-21.

Mika Zibanejad spends a large period of time on the New York Rangers bench.

After having only just over three minutes of ice team in the first period, Mika Zibanejad spent the first part of the second period on the bench. He finished with just over 13 minutes of ice-time for the game but did get an assist on the Lafreniere goal.

When asked about Zibanejad’s playing time Quinn said: “I think he’s letting the stats and all the pressure slow him down a little bit. I think it’s getting to him. This is a guy that’s been a fearless and courageous player. He is just trying to find his game.” Quinn also added that he thought Zibnejad played better after the benching.

The two teams will play again on Saturday with a 1 p.m. puck drop.

New York Rangers quick start is enough to hold off the Buffalo Sabres

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

The New York Rangers scored twice in the first two-and-half minutes of the first period and held off the Buffalo Sabres for a 3-2 victory. Pavel Buchnevich and Alexis Lafreniere recorded the first two goals, with Chris Kreider adding the game winner in the second period.

The Rangers continue their season-long trend of close games. Thirteen of the Rangers’ last 17 games, and 13 of the team’s 19 games this season, have been decided by two or fewer goals, and 10 of those contests have been decided by one goal.

Chris Kreider scores the game winning goal for the New York Rangers

Kreider‘s tenth goal of the season turned out to be the game winning goal for the Rangers, putting them up 3-1. The Sabres were able to close the gap with a Tobias Reider goal but could come no closer. Kreider has recorded a goal/point in four of the last five games. He is one of four NHL players who have registered at least nine goals and 40 hits this season.

Adam Fox had two assists in the game, including Kreider’s game winner. Fox also continues to be a bit of an ironman for the Blueshirts, especially since the absence of Jacob Trouba.  He has led the Rangers in ice time in each of the last 10 games, and he ranks 12th in the NHL in average ice time this season (24:53).

After the game, Fox talked about the solid defensive effort the Rangers had, especially in the third period. “They were in our zone but didn’t have too many grade A chances. And when they did, Shesty came up big.”

Igor Shesterkin made some critical saves for the New York Rangers

Shesterkin recorded 22 saves in the win with just five in the third period, However, many of his saves were on plays in which the Sabres had an excellent chance to slam the puck in the back of the net.

The Rangers defense and goaltending continue to do well in recent games. They have held their opponents to two goals or fewer in seven of the last 11 games (including two goals or fewer in regulation in eight games) and in eight of the last 13 games. The Blueshirts have allowed 2.68 goals against per game in 2020-21, which is the ninth-fewest in the NHL.

After the game in his Zoom Conference, Shesterkin said through his translator: “In the first period, it wasn’t a great thing when the first shot went in but the guys rallied and helped me out and we took care of business the rest of the game.”

The Rangers now embark on a six game road trip, starting Thursday with the New Jersey Devils.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Rangers give fans a physical victory over the Boston Bruins

The New York Rangers and their fans have waited for this since March 5th, 2020, the last time fans saw the Blueshirts play in person. The roughly 2,000 fans in attendance were treated to a 6-2 victory over the Boston Bruins.

A couple of weeks ago, the state of New York announced that fans would be allowed to attend games at 10% capacity. Friday night marked the first home game that the Rangers had the opportunity to welcome fans. The fans that attended were treated to a Blueshirt offensive outburst and well as an outstanding physical effort.

Having fans obviously energized the Rangers, as they outhit the Bruins 17-8 after the first period. They finished up the game outhitting Boston 32-28.

New York Rangers set a season-high in goals scored

Julian Gauthier started things off for the Rangers with his second goal of the season. He recorded his first career NHL goal against Boston on Feb. 10 at MSG.

Ryan Strome scored a goal off an excellent pass from Alexis Lafreniere, who picked up his first NHL assist. After a Patrice Bergeron goal, The Rangers scored twice within twelve seconds at the end of the second period. Colin Blackwell tipped in an Adam Fox shot for a power-play goal. Chris Kreider then scored the fourth Rangers goal just twelve seconds later.

Strome picked up three points in the second period with his goal and picked up assists in the other two goals. He is leading the Rangers in 5-on-5 goals (six) and even-strength goals (six) this season. He extended his point streak to four games.

For Blackwell, he has now recorded a point in four of the last five games (three goals, one assist).  He has also tallied a point in seven of 10 games with the Rangers (four goals, three assists).

Pavel Buchnevich and Jonny Brodskinski scored third-period goals for the Rangers.

Before tonight, the Ranger’s best offensive effort came when they scored five goals against the New York Islanders on January 16.

Alexandar Georgiev had 31 saves in the win.

The New York Rangers were very grateful for having fans in the stands

After the game, Ryan Strome talked about having fans back at MSG. “It was crazy, honestly. 2,000 people or whatever it was felt like it was very full. I had some goosebumps during the national anthem and it has been a while since I felt those. They definitely brought us energy.”

After the game, head coach David Quinn echoed Strome’s comments about having fans in attendance. “I don’t think that any of us expected the impact that they would make. They were incredibly loud and passionate. When you heard about how many people they were going to allow you would not think they would have an impact. But they did have an impact. We can’t thank our fans enough and we appreciate the support give us.”

The two teams will play again on Sunday at MSG with a noon puck drop.