A Fast exit from the New York Rangers as four players file for arbitration

New York Rangers

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed free-agent forward Jesper Fast, who spent the past seven seasons with the New York Rangers, to a three-year contract with a $2 million average annual value, according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN.

Last year with the Blueshirts, Fast posted 12 goals, 29 points, with a +16 rating in 69 games. His career-best season came in 2017-18, with 13 goals and 33 points in 71 games.  The Rangers drafted him in the sixth round in 2010.

In the “if you cannot beat them join them” category, Fast is being remembered by Hurricane fans playing a role in the Rangers’ dominance against Carolina in recent years, with five goals and 14 points in 24 games, his most against any team.

In another interesting plot twist, Fast will be rejoining a former teammate that leveled quite a hit on him during the most recent playoffs. Early in Game 1, Fast was slammed into the boards by Canes defenseman Brady Skjei, a former Rangers teammate. Fast did not return to the game or the series, It will prove interesting to see what their first conversation might be.

“Jesper is an intelligent, versatile player who will fit the mold of how the Carolina Hurricanes play hockey under Rod Brind’Amour,” Carolina president and general manager Don Waddell said in a statement.

Four rangers file for arbitration

Right around the time the Fast signing was revealed, the NHLPA posted a story that 26 players have filed for salary arbitration, including current Blueshirts Tony DeAngelo, Ryan Strome, Alexandar Georgiev, and Brendan Lemieux.

The deadline for Club-Elected Salary Arbitration notification is Oct. 11 at 5 p.m. ET. Salary Arbitration hearings will be held from Oct. 20 to Nov. 8.

In the case for Strome, his award would be just for one season since upon completion of the 2020-21 season, he would be an unrestricted free agent. It has been speculated that he could earn around $4.75 million.

Since DeAngelo has four years of experience, the Rangers can decide whether it is a one or two-year award since they didn’t elect for arbitration. If they decided on two years it would take him to the spot that Strome is in currently.

Georgiev has just 77 games of experience to his name, and is coming off an entry-level deal that saw him count $792,500 against the salary cap.

Lemieux has 131 games of experience, and made $925,000 this past season after re-signing with the Rangers. He had been acquired from the Winnipeg Jets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The business side of New York Rangers hockey is nearing it’s dreaded reveal

Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Strome, Jesper Fast, New York Rangers

Despite the global pandemic that shut down the New York Rangers and a three-game sweep in the qualifying round to the Carolina Hurricanes, the Blueshirts had a positive season with plenty of good things to take into next year.

Unfortunately for Rangerstown, good news almost always seems to be followed by bad. Here is where our story turns ugly, the business side of hockey will change the landscape of the Blueshirts.

The grim reaper could make an appearance as early as Friday.

Friday, Sept. 25 is the first day of the NHL buyout period and will be open until Thursday, Oct.8.  The Rangers are looking to free up some space and the buyout process is one way to do that, but it comes with some risk.

Buyout Prospects

The most likely player to be bought out has been talked about since the team was knocked out of the qualifying rounds, Henrik Lundqvist.

Hank is in the final year of a seven-year contract that includes an $8.5 million cap hit. A buyout of his contract would pay the King $5.5 million this season, saving the club $3 million. The buyout doubles the remaining years left on a player’s contract meaning the team would have to pay him $1.5 million next season for a total of $7 million.

The Rangers already have their share of dead salary on the books with the team still paying out buyouts for Dan Girardi and Kevin Shattenkirk totaling a little over $2.5 million for the 2021 and 2022 seasons respectively.

Finances are a tough side of the game to manipulate, with a hard $81.5 million cap for the 2020-2021 season, the buyout is the best option for the Rangers to take should the two sides be unable to work out a trade of some kind which is very unlikely.

Other buyout options such as Marc Staal, in his last year of contract with a cap hit of $5.7 million, or Brendan Smith also in gis last year of his contract with a cap hit of $4.35 million.  The savings for the upcoming season dot seem to equal the cap space to help the club.

The buyout of Henrik is the best choice for the team but will cause some friction with the fan base.  The business side of the game is never pretty.

Free Agents

Free agency begins on Oct. 9 and will be a tough situation for the club to navigate through.

The team has five Restricted Free Agents, Philip Di Giuseppe, Ryan Strome, Alexandar Georgiev, Brendan Lemieux, and Anthony DeAngelo.  All five are arbitration-eligible (a contract negotiation method that uses a third party arbitrator to determine a fair contract term and length for an expiring RFA player) which will make it that much harder for Jeff Gorton to hold on to all of them.

Ryan Strome may be the toughest decision. He has had played well since he was put on the same line as Artemi Panarin. A hard skater, good set up player, Strome has been a great weapon on this team over the past two seasons.  2020-2021 was his best season in point production as he amassed 59 points in 70 games played. His highest point total prior to that was in  2018-2019 when he recorded 35 points splitting time with Edmonton and the Rangers.  His 18 goals were his second-highest total (19 2018-2019) in his seven-season career.

The 27-year-old forward has been very successful having Artemi Panarin on his line, yet the contract that he may be seeking and could be awarded by an arbitrator if contract talks lean that way could be too rich for a club that has some depth in it.  It’s doubtful the Rangers would be willing to pony up a six or seven-year deal in the $6.5 or $7 million dollar neighborhood.

Georgiev’s future with the club will be predetermined by the decision the team makes regarding Lundqvist. The idea of having Georgiev play with Igor Shesterkin is becoming more of a reality. He will be needed to be protected for the Seattle expansion draft at the end of next season, but Shesterkin is exempt from being drafted,  the club may have a long term goalie tandem if they can workout Geogeive’s contract status.  A Henrik buyout or trade would show the team is ready to lead with theses two Russian goalies.

John Davidson and Jeff Gorton will do all they can to sign Georgiev prior to an arbitration hearing.

Add to this equation three Unrestricted Free Agents, Jesper Fast, Michael Haley, and Gregg McKegg. Haley and McKegg are sure to walk away from the team.  Fast is a tough situation to handle.

Fast and the team has not been able to agree on a new contract and it is looking more like he will see what opportunities await him via free agency.  It’s tough to see a player like Fast leave as he brings so much to the rink every night.  With 9 games played, Fast scored 12 goals with 29 points.

His strong suit is as a  checking forward and penalty killer.  Fast will be on the ice at the end of close games or killing penalties when they are needed most. Head coach. David Quinn has had full confidence in him whenever he is needed on the ice.

He was the winner of the team’s Player Player Award this season, his fourth consecutive year that his fellow teammates have voted him for the award.  The award “best exemplifies what it means to be a team player.”  This award displays the respect the team has for Fast and why it will be hard to move on without him.

Despite the accolades from his teammates and the respect of his coaches, it does appear that he no longer has a spot on this team. His contract would be another issue that could see him elsewhere next season.

Future Business

The upcoming contracts are not the only thing the club must prepare for.  The Seattle expansion draft, and the contracts of Pavel Buchnevich, Brett Howden, Filip Chytil, Julien Gauthier, Ryan Lindgren, and Igor Shesterkin will be restricted free agents at the end of the 2020-2021 season. The financial decisions made in the upcoming month will have ramifications on those contracts too.

Let’s not forget the most important issue after Henrik Lundqvist. The status of center Mika Zibanejad.  The team’s most important player’s contract will expire following the 2021-2022 season where he would be an unrestricted free agent. He will be 29 -years old and looking for another big contract which he deserves if the past few seasons are any indication. J.D. and Gorton might want to lock him in earlier rather than waiting it out, though that is something the organization rarely does.

Predictions

Predictions can be amusing and a good topic of conversation among fans, bloggers, and beat reporters. They have little if no value, but here is what I think the club will do.

The Rangers will buyout Lundqvist not because they have to, but because he has earned the opportunity to play elsewhere without involving the pieces needed for some sought of trade. Yes, it adds more dead cap space next season, but Henrik has earned that for his play over the past 15 years.

  • Mckegg and Haley will walk away since they are no longer needed players with the depth the club has in Hartford and overseas on loan.
  • Jesper Fast will sign elsewhere, a decision that may have been already decided by this point.
  • Ryan Strome’s asking price will be too high and will be traded during the offseason.
  • Di Giuseppe, Lemieux, and Georgiev will be re-signed. They all have an important role on this team for the future.
  • Anthony DeAngelo will remain a defenseman on this team as the two sides will agree on a contract extension. Then they will lose him in the expansion draft next year.
  • Zibanejad will sign a contract extension in the next 18 months and sometime between now and then be names the next captain.

Predictions are a funny thing, it really has no weight to what the club does. The trues value of a team is what the team does on the ice.

Finances, salary caps, and long term contracts dictate the direction a hockey team goes towards. For the Rangers, that process is never-ending and the next month’s planning will hopefully lead towards the elusive Stanley Cup.

 

The New York Rangers Announce Team Awards for 2019-20

New York Rangers, Artemi Panarin

In a press release, the New York Rangers announced their team awards for the 2019-20 season. The three awards handed out are the team MVP, the Players’ Player award, and the John Halligan Good Guy Award

Artemi Panarin named MVP of the New York Rangers

Panarin has won the award for the first time since joining the Rangers. He is the first player who has won the award in his first season with the Rangers since Mark Messier in 1991-92. Panarin is also a finalist for the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award.

According to the Rangers, The Most Valuable Player Award was voted on by members of the New York Rangers media and has been given annually since the conclusion of the 1941-42 season.

While Mika Zibanejad did receive some first-place votes, Panarin’s season was truly one worthy of being the MVP.

Panarin ranked second in the NHL (and led NHL forwards) in plus/minus rating, tied for second in the NHL in assists, tied for third in the NHL in points, tied for 13th in the NHL in goals, and ranked 16th in the NHL in takeaways (56) in 2019-20. He tallied a point in 54 of the 69 games he played during the 2019-20 season (including 28 multi-point games), and he also registered a point in 34 of the Rangers’ 37 wins during the season.

With 95 points this season. this ranked Panarin 12th-most  in one season by a Ranger in franchise history, and his 63 assists were tied for the 12th-most by a Ranger in one season in franchise history. Panarin’s 63 assists were also the most by a left-winger in one season in franchise history.

Jesper Fast selected as the recipient of Players’ Player Award

This makes the fifth consecutive season that Fast has won this award.

The Players’ Player Award has been given annually since the conclusion of the 1958-59 season and recognizes the Ranger who, as selected by his teammates, “best exemplifies what it means to be a team player.”

Fast skated in 69 games with the Rangers this season, registering 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points, along with a plus-16 rating and 20 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in plus/minus rating and average ice time (16:36) in 2019-20. Fast ranked 21st among NHL forwards (and led Rangers forwards) in shorthanded ice time (162:35) this season

Chris Kreider named winner of John Halligan Good Guy Award

The John Halligan Good Guy Award recognizes a player for their cooperation with the media throughout the season. The award has been presented annually since the 1974-75 season and was renamed in 2009-10 to honor the team’s late public relations director. The award recipient is chosen by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association who cover the Rangers throughout the season.

The 2019-20 season was Kreider’s second full season as one of the Rangers’ alternate captains; he was named an alternate captain at the start of the 2018-19 season and had worn an “A” for several games during the final month of the 2017-18 season.

Current Rangers who previously received the John Halligan Good Guy Award are Henrik Lundqvist (2007-08), Marc Staal (2013-14), and Mika Zibanejad (2018-19).

 

 

 

Rangers’ European players are heading back to New York (Report)

New York Rangers

New York Rangers’ European players who have been sitting out the pandemic in their home countries are expected to return to New York via a report by Newsday’s Colin Stephenson.

The agent of Pavel Buchnevich confirmed to Stephenson that his client would be heading to New York next week. Other players who will be returning include Henrik Lundqvist, Mika Zibanejad, Kaapo Kakko, Filip Chytil, Jesper Fast, and Alexandar Georgiev.

Based on the current CDC guidelines, these players will have to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to reporting to the Rangers training camp which is scheduled to begin on July 10.

Artemi Panarin and Igor Shesterkin remained in the United States during the league’s shutdown. Panarin has already skated at the team’s Tarrytown facility when Phase 2 of the NHL’s Return To Play plan kicked in on June 8.

Shesterkin has been in Florida skating with other NHL players which include Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin.  The state of Florida has had a massive spike in COVID-19 cases this week with a staggering 3,800 positive tests reported on Friday.  It is unclear at the time if the rookie goaltender will have to self-isolate when he returns to New York State.

NHL Players Test Positive

The NHL is reported on Friday that 200 players have reported to their team’s training facility since Phase 2 began with 11 players testing positive.

ESPN reported that the Tampa Bay Lightning had several players and staffers tested positive for COVID-19 and were forced to shut down their facility.

BREAKING NEWS: New York Rangers’ Shesterkin, Buchnevich Injured in Car Accident

New York Rangers, Igor Shesterkin

During his latest press conference on the signing of Chris Kreider, New York Rangers president John Davidson announced that Igor Sheserkin and Pavel Buchnevich had been injured in a car accident. Shesterkin sustained a “small upper-body rib fracture, not displaced” in the accident on Sunday and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.  “The estimate right now is that he will be reassessed regarding his injury in a couple of weeks,” Davidson said.

“In our business, you’re certainly dealt curveballs all the time. That’s a tough curveball we have to deal with.” Buchnevich was a passenger, and was quite shaken up according to Davidson and is day-to-day.

Davidson said the accident was in Brooklyn, and the driver in front of them made a U-turn that led to the collision. Both players were wearing seatbelts, and the airbags were deployed. The players were taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital and seen by Ranger doctors.

The New York Rangers were fortunate to keep three goaltenders

With Shesterkin out for a few weeks, the Rangers gamble of keeping three goalies paid off. Alexandar Georgiev and Henrik Lundqvist will step in to take on the goaltending load. Georgiev has a 14-12-1 record this season with a 2.98 GAA. Lundqvist, who has not seen a lot of action recently, has a 10-13-3 record with a 3.12 GAA. The Rangers will miss Shesterkin’s outstanding play are still in good hands with Georgiev and the veteran Lundqvist.

Georgiev staying will slightly alter New York Ranger trade plans

As Georgiev will probably not be traded by the 3 PM deadline, this puts the spotlight on other players. TSN Insiders have indicated that Jesper Fast will likely be traded before the deadline. Fast was a sixth-round pick by the Rangers in 2010 and made his debut in 2013-14. He has played 413 regular-season games for the Rangers, notching 54 goals and 145 points, while adding 39 playoff games. He scored two goals in Saturday night’s 3-2 win over the visiting Sharks, including the game-winner. Even though his recent play has been excellent, his cap hit going forward, and the increased trade value of late makes his a viable option to be traded.

 

BREAKING NEWS: Chris Kreider Re-Signs with the New York Rangers

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

In a long-awaited move, the New York Rangers have announced that forward Chris Kreider has re-signed with the team in a seven-year contract at an AAV of 6.5 mIllion. Now the Rangers and their fans will wait to see what happens to the other Rangers who could be traded.

Chris Kreider is a long time New York Ranger

On April 10, 2012, Chris Kreider signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Rangers. He joined New York the following day for practice and was declared eligible to participate in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.  Kreider made his NHL debut a few days later in a Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarter-finals on April 16, 2012, and scored his first career NHL goal in Game 6 of that series.

Before joining the Blueshirts, Kreider won two NCAA championships with Boston College. In addition, Kreider scored six goals for the gold medal-winning United States World Junior Championship team in 2010.  He was chosen to represent the United States once again at the 2011 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships and led the team with four goals in six games as Team USA won the bronze medal.

In all, Kreider has played in 520 games in New York, scoring 157 goals and 159 assists. This season he has 24 goals and 21 assists. Of course, it is many of the hockey intangibles that have endured him to the New York Rangers and their fans.

Who will be traded from the New York Rangers?

Versatile right-winger Jesper Fast seems to be the next on the list to be traded. Fast’s value may never be higher, considering his current cap hit and recent play. He netted two goals Saturday night in the Rangers victory over the San Jose Sharks.  In addition to Fast,  the Rangers pending free agents and possible trades are as follows: Alexandar Georgiev, Tony DeAngelo, Brendan Lemieux, Ryan Strome, Micheal Haley, and Greg McKegg. DeAngelo, Strome, and Lemieux are all restricted free agents, giving the Rangers some leverage in negotiations if they decide to keep them.

New York Rangers Survive Shark Attack: Now Wait on Trade Deadline Activities

New York Rangers, Artemi Panarin

It might be a little understandable if the New York Rangers looked a little flat on Saturday night. After playing for the fourth game in the past six days, and dealing with constant trade talk, the Rangers slipped past the San Jose Sharks by the score of 3-2. Igor Shesterkin stopped 44 saves to win for the seventh straight time. Artemi Panarin set up a pair of goals with passes that were beyond spectacular, and Jesper Fast broke a third-period tie with his second goal of the night. The Rangers won for the third straight time, the seventh time in their last eight games, and moved to 10-3 since the All-Star break. Also, the Blueshirts are now within four points of the final playoff spot.

Shesterkin magnificent in goal for the New York Rangers

The Rangers came out flat Saturday night against the Sharks, having outshot the Blueshirts 22-3 in the first period. It was pretty much the work of Shesterkin in the net that allowed them to survive the onslaught and regroup for the win.  In getting the win, Shesterkin became just the fourth goaltender in NHL history to earn nine wins through his first 10 career games. He is also the first NHL goaltender since saves were first tracked in 1955-56 to have four 40 or more save games, as well as four 40 or more save wins, in his first 10 career appearances. This has to be even a bit over the Ranger’s expectations when they brought him up and have tried to juggle the dreaded three goalie scenario.

What will the New York Rangers do at the trade deadline?

There are a couple of different scenarios that the pundits have suggested. The first, and the least likely is that the Rangers do nothing before the trade deadline and deal with the impending salary cap issues in the off-season. This scenario could happen as the Rangers are now in contention for a playoff run, and won’t do anything to upset the team chemistry that seems so strong in recent weeks.

So the next issue is Chris Kreider. If they do re-sign him, then almost every other player on the roster, with the exceptions of Panarin and Mika Zibanejad, would be on the block. Some players with higher price tags like Ryan Strome, Pavel Buchenvich, Brady Skjei, and Tony DeAngelo could be the players who are traded, to help deal with the salary cap implications of re-signing Kreider

If the Blueshirts cannot re-sign Kreider, he will most likely be traded, probably for a nice haul. This is the scenario that would seem to hurt the Rangers playoff chances the most as this would upset the team chemistry quite a bit. This becomes even more critical as the Rangers begin a stretch of four games against opponents in the thick of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference.

New York Rangers Brass Keeping Their Poker Faces On as Trade Deadline Nears

New York Rangers

The New York Ranger’s management team appears to heed the words of the legendary Kenny Rogers song The Gambler which includes the lyrics “know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, and know when to walk away.” With the NHL trade deadline approaching on Feb. 24, the Rangers have been very patient when it comes to whether to trade or keep many of their pending free agents. Sitting in their hand right now, ready to be dealt or held, are these five players: Chris Kreider, Alexandar Georgiev, Jesper Fast, Ryan Strome, and Tony DeAngelo.

The New York Rangers have an Ace in Chris Kreider

Insiders are referring to this trade season as a “buyer’s market”, meaning that teams wanting players may not have to give up as much with many teams looking to move players. However, these insiders are also stating that Kreider may be the exception to this, as his skillset and playoff experience has had many Stanley Cup contenders taking a good look at him. There is also some speculation that the Rangers may still want to sign him. All of this makes Kreider their most valuable trade chip.

Rangers’ top brass have been very patient with Georgiev

Alexandar Georgiev has been the goaltender that most thought would be traded after Igor Shesterkin was called up in early January. However, the Rangers did not panic and trade Georgiev for nothing despite the increased media and social media coverage that they have endured about their three goalie situation. The Rangers are holding out for what they perceive as value and will not move him until they get what they want.

Jesper Fast’s fate seems tied to Kreider

In this market, it seems that if Kreiders stays, Fast will go. If Kreider gets traded, the Rangers will probably try to keep and re-sign the forward.  It does not appear that the Rangers can keep both and stay under the salary cap next year.

The Restricted Free-Agent Conundrum

We detailed Tony DeAngelo and Ryan Strome’s issues for the Blueshirts in a previous article, so we won’t go into a lot of detail. However, it seems that DeAngelo may be the most likely to go as there seem to be more teams looking for defensive help, and the Rangers have quite a few capable defensive prospects in their system. The other RFA that we did not talk about much is Brendan Lemieux, but because he is a bit cap friendly in a position where the Rangers are not all that deep, he is not likely to move.

The New York Rangers have a few Wildcards

Brendan Smith ($4.35 million) and Pavel Buchnevich ($3.25 million) have been mentioned so the Rangers could free up valuable cap space. Brady Skjei is also a possibility, again as cap help and that there appear to be more teams looking for blueline help. Finally, the Rangers still have the Lias Andersson mess to deal with, and a trade deal either by himself or with one of the above players could put that to an end. The Rangers have many cards to play and February will be a busy month for Rangers management.

 

Why the New York Rangers are Considering Trades for Their Restricted Free Agents

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

Most people would understand why the New York Rangers would trade unrestricted free agents like Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast. After all, if you don’t trade these guys, they could sign elsewhere in the offseason, and you would get nothing.  However, many have wondered why the Rangers would trade their restricted free agents like Tony DeAngelo and Ryan Strome since you get something for them if they leave. True, but that becomes the issue. Is that something you get in return better than what you are giving up?

What exactly is Restricted Free Agency?

A restricted free agent in the NHL is a player who has completed his entry-level contract but does not have enough NHL service to become an unrestricted free agent. This player qualifies as a restricted free agent when his contract expires. At that point, any team can make an offer to that player.

When a player signs an offer sheet with a new team, his current team is notified. That team has the right to “match” the offer sheet with an identical contract and keep the player. If they don’t, they are free to sign with the team that made the offer. There is compensation for an NHL team that loses a restricted free agent. The team that declines the offer sheet and loses the player receives draft picks from the player’s new team. There are some other restrictions and such, but that is basically the nuts and bolts of RFA. The decision for the Rangers comes down to do we keep the players, take the draft pick, or take the player we can get in a trade.

What will the New York Rangers do with Tony DeAngelo

The toughest part of this decision is how well DeAngelo has grown throughout the years and how well he is playing this season.  DeAngelo has been even more aggressive offensively this season than in previous years and has shown a knack for getting shots through traffic and on the net. He already has 12 goals, 25 assists, and is a plus-five this season.  It was just a couple of seasons ago that it was difficult for many to imagine DeAngelo ever becoming a top-four defenseman. He has now become a force on the blueline, which makes it tough to trade him. So why do you even think about trading him? Ah, that pesky salary cap issue. Jump back to the beginning of the year when the Rangers could not accommodate him for more than a one-year, $925,000 deal. His good year means that he could demand more in a new contract, and that might not be cap-friendly enough for the Blueshirts.

….. and the same goes for Ryan Strome

Experts have stated that Ryan Strome could ask for five to six million dollars per year in his next contract. Is that something that the Rangers can or want to take on? Again the issue is that Strome has played well this year. He has made a steady improvement from the beginning of the 2018-19 season when he played poorly. Previously Strome has never had more than 50 points before but is on pace for more than 70 this season.  The Rangers brass now has a little less than a month left to sort all of this out.

 

New York Rangers’ Resolution to Start Games Better Fails; Lose to Flames

New York Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist

Across the board, members of the New York Rangers hockey team stated that they needed to come prepared to play at the beginning of games. This followed the debacle in Edmonton in which the team gave up six goals in the first two periods before a furious rally came up just short. However, that did not happen on Thursday night as the Rangers fell to the Calgary Flames 4-3. Yes, that same Calgary Flames team that had been 0-4-1 in its last five home games.

The New York Rangers have Plenty of Blame to Go Around

In the loss to Edmonton, the poor defensive play was pointed out as one of the main culprits in that game. In Calgary, that was not the case. Sloppy play lead to the first two goals. Poor passing led to Johnny Gaudreau sliding a backhand between Lundqvist’s legs on a breakaway to put Calgary up 1-0 at 4:15 for the first period.

The breakaways were not done as an old nemesis returned to the Ranger power play: too much passing. During a five on three power play, the Rangers passed the puck around multiple times until an errant Tony DeAngelo pass was nabbed by Michael Backlund, who made it 2-0 with another breakaway at 7:16 of the first period.

Not a good way to start a game, especially against a reeling team that had been outscored 22-9 during its five-game home-ice losing streak. A glaring stat from the game was that the line of Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome, and Jesper Fast were a -3 for the game, so it is not surprising to see where the sloppy, inconsistent play started.  It does not get better as Saturday as the Rangers head to Vancouver to face a Canucks team that has won six straight.

There was some good news for the New York Rangers

The Rangers did bounce back after going down by two goals. Jacob Trouba scored on the power play on that same 5-on-3 to cut the lead to 2-1 at 7:42. Filip Chytil, still with the man advantage, scored on a rebound 25 seconds later to tie it 2-2. Kaapo Kakko had a goal and an assist breaking a scoring drought while Adam Fox had three assists against the team that drafted him.