OK, let’s start with a few positives.
For starters, last year the Rangers wouldn’t have even made this game competitive. And while a loss is a loss, regardless of wether it’s 4-0 or 3-2, the fight of this team is one of the points that makes them special.
With that being said, there are some serious issues that need to be worked out. The Rangers are now 2-33 on the power play in their last 10 games. That needs to change and it needs to change now. The power play is starting to cost the Rangers points again, and something needs to be done about it. Maybe the next practice should be nothing but power play work.
The effort, while amazing in the third, needs to be there all game. Normally I would excuse the lack of effort for the three games in four nights that the Rangers played; but this has been a problem for the past two weeks. No excuses anyone, be ready to play from the drop of the puck to the final whistle.
It was the Rangers lackluster effort that put them in a 1-0 hole seven minutes into the first, then 2-0 by the end of the first and 3-0 just five minutes into the second period.
The Rangers came back on in the third, scoring two goals in a span of 2:24 and breathing life back into the Garden. Wojtek Wolski started it off with a lucky goal, although his move around the defenseman was jaw-dropping, and it started the flood.
Then Derek Stepan buried a brilliant (how did Mats Zuccarello see him??) feed from Zuccarello to make it 3-2. That would be as close as the Rangers would get however, and they would lose despite dominating the rest of the period.
But there is a silver lining in their late (too little too late) rally. When the Rangers are on their game, they can hang with anyone in the league. They proved that tonight, now they just have to be on their game for 60 minutes.