NEW YORK, NY – Hey! Major League Baseball is back! And we’ll get to that in a moment.
To the ice…
The New York Hockey Rangers went into their current four-game road trip playing some solid hockey. And the road trip started well enough with a win in Winnipeg against the Jets. But the wheels have come off since. They lost 5-2 in Minnesota to Angry Ward’s Wild Tuesday night and then lost 6-2 in St. Louis last night to Cam James’ Blues. That’s just awful.
Both losses were due to some suspect goaltending and a lot of missed scoring chances. Tuesday night, Alexandar Georgiev played one of the worst games I’ve ever seen a goalie play. He was out of position and immobile and gave up five goals in the first two periods. The Rangers couldn’t get much going offensively and didn’t draw any penalties to put the power play to work. All eyes were on Georgiev after the loss, as he clearly hasn’t been the same over the last couple of seasons since he was splitting time pretty evenly with Henrik Lundqvist.
Last night Igor Shesterkin was back in net. The Vezina candidate didn’t fare much better than Alexandar The [Not So] Great. For the second time in just over a week, Shesterkin gave up three goals in rapid succession to the Blues. Last week, however, his teammates were able to rally and win 5-3. Last night things just went from bad to worse for Igor, though. After giving up three goals in the first period, the only thing keeping Shesty in net was the goal Ryan Strome pulled back late in the period for the Blueshirts. It wasn’t the start of a Rangers comeback and instead Shesterkin gave up a fourth goal, 15 seconds into the second period. This came after Mika Zibanejad coughed up the puck and then fell down. That was the end of Igor’s night.
He was pulled for Georgiev, who picked up right where he left off, giving up two more goals. On one it looked like he slipped on a banana peel. The bleeding stopped after that but the game was essentially over for New York, who can’t seem to score 5-on-5. They haven’t been drawing many penalties on this road trip, either, to give the power play a chance. On the other hand, the Broadway Blues have been taking a lot of penalties. The three they took in the first period last night alone. While they didn’t give up any goals on the power play, they were always chasing the game after those penalties.
All is not lost as the Rangers will have the chance to salvage this road trip tomorrow night in Dallas before returning home to play the Ducks Tuesday. Despite their struggles, they are still in 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division, even on points with the 3rd place Penguins.
The NHL Trade Deadline is a week and a half away and the Rangers will have some decisions to make. Are they going to sell the farm to bring JT Miller back to Broadway? Will they need to give up Kaapo Kakko or Filip Chytil? Time will tell.
In the meantime…
Major League Baseball is back as! Pigs were flying as the owners and MLBPA struck a deal yesterday. We’ll get to look forward to a free agency blitz and a short Spring Training before the regular season starts about a week late. We’ll also get to look forward to some more injuries this season due to the aforementioned short training period. Look for the Mets to be better with the addition of Mad Max to the rotation… Yanks still need a lot of pieces to contend.
We’ll see how free agency goes over the next couple of weeks. Short Matt will have more on this tomorrow.