Just when you thought we were seeing a new face and new identity to the New York Rangers, the old Rangers show up. They dominated a game and lost. Yep, same old Rangers in that sense. You couldn’t have asked for a better start from the Rangers who rocked their heritage jerseys in the “Wednesday Night Rivalry” game against the Detroit Red Wings.
The Rangers set the tone with a fast pace and a goal barely two minutes into the game by new Ranger Mika Zibanejad. Things looked really good for the Rangers who, we’re coasting off an exciting 7-4 victory two nights ago against the Sharks.
Then, a guy by the name of Jimmy Howard showed up to play his first game of the young season. He became a stone wall; denying the Rangers every way possible. The second period became breakaway city for the Blueshirts but every time the Rangers would get their crowd to their feet Howard would not falter.
The Rangers even got chances on the power play, including a 5 on 3 and could not capitalize. For those moments, you would think you were watching a Rangers team of the past. The old saying goes, “old habits die hard”. The old habits came back to bite the Rangers back.
If you are a fan, you can’t be mad at the effort given by the Rangers because all indications will tell you they were good. They created chances, they made passes, they shot the puck to the net. They just couldn’t score on Jimmy Howard tonight.
Head coach Alain Vigneault knew the chances were there especially on the special teams, “We had some looks. We had some really good looks on that power play. If you look at tonight, their power play was able to get one and we weren’t able to finish. 5-on-5 our game is really good. Tonight our specialty teams played a factor by theirs getting one and ours not getting any. Again, the way our guys are playing right now, we are competing on the ice and we are doing a lot of things that are going to get us to win games.”
If the Rangers want any part of being successful, they must abandon the old Rangers they saw tonight. They must be able to capitalize on their chances and bury the puck in the back of the net otherwise it will be a long frustrating season.
You can’t have that many opportunities and not win, granted Howard looked great but it just isn’t acceptable if you ask me.