NEW YORK, NY – After storming into the All-Star break riding a three-game winning streak, the Rangers have stumbled out of the blocks in the second half of the season. The Blueshirts lost handily to Tall Matt’s Islanders at The Mausoleum on Tuesday and last night capitulated feebly to Les Habitants de Montreal.
The Rangers just can’t beat the Isles. The Fishsticks have their number. While they did manage to score against Jaroslav Halak in the dying seconds of Tuesday night’s game, it was the first goal the Rangers have scored against the Isles in what seems like three or four seasons. Maybe next time they will score enough to get a point from our noisy neighbors. But probably not.
Last night against the Habs, the Rangers couldn’t get anything going offensively, but they stood up to the Pepsis defensively, and looked set to get at least a point out of the game until an average shot from the point beat Henrik Lundqvist on the glove side late in the third period to give the Habs the points. The King probably should have saved the shot, but he did well to keep the Rangers in the game through the first two periods where the Canadiens were clearly the better team.
PK Subban [again] proved that he is a giant pussy. And Chris Kreider proved that he still has a lot of maturing to do. The two started chirping from their respective penalty boxes after taking coincidental unsportsmanlike conduct minors in the first period. As the penalties expired, it looked like Kreider and Subban were set to tango. But only Kreider dropped the gloves as Subban skated away, thinking he had done enough to draw an instigating penalty out of Cross Chris. Thankfully the referees, in their one good decision of the night, saw through Subban’s antics and gave both players coincidental minors (again).
Now, there is a long-standing conspiracy theory amongst those who follow the NHL that the referees tend to favor Les Habitants and last night’s game only served to strengthen the case for that theory. There were questionable icing calls and phantom penalties galore. And they all seemed to go against the Broadway Blues. It was a frustrating game to watch as a Rangers fan, but in the end the Habs were the better team and probably deserved the two points.
Tanner Glass played his second [invisible) game in a row for some reason. On Tuesday Lee Stempniak wound up on the healthy scratch list – last night JT Miller was the odd man out. Glass made the best of his opportunities these past two games by doing absolutely nothing. Other than his fight with Brandon Prust, Glass barely saw the ice. I really don’t know what Alain Vigneault sees in him. Glass must have photos of AV in a compromising position and is threatening to expose the head coach unless he sees the ice. That’s the only logical explanation.
Up next for the Rangers is an inter-Staal battle between Marc of the Rangers and Jordan and Eric of the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow night. Hopefully they can get back to scoring and pick up two critical points. That’s it for me today.