The New York Rangers lost and looked bad while doing it. They fell the hands of the Vancouver Canucks who snapped their own personal 9 game losing streak. The Blueshirts are used to scoring five goals in most of the games played this young season but finally were on the other side of it as they lost 5-3. It was bound to happen folks; so now their record is 10-4-0.
Don’t be alarmed. They looked tired. Outside of the first three minutes of the game against the Canucks, they turned in a flat performance from that point. Head coach Alain Vigneault was less than stellar in his post-game press conference and sounded ticked off in which was perfectly fine. “Well I knew they were going to work hard”, Vigneault said.
“I know that veteran group, I know that they’re competitors, and they’ll work hard. We told our guys to be ready and to prepare. You have got to prepare yourself mentally to go on the ice and execute. I said this I don’t know how many times to you guys, but there are no easy games in this league, and this was proof of it.”
You can kind of sense this was going to be a true test for the Rangers as their schedule started to pick up. They have played a lot of hockey and now head out to Western Canada for a three game swing. They’ll face Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. They hope to ride off the successful trips they had last season out there.
Just how frustrating was the loss for the team that has exceeded early season expectations? Captain Ryan McDonagh summed it up by saying, “They [Vancouver] were pretty stubborn with their gaps and not giving us an opportunity to utilize our speed. Certainly we weren’t as sharp executing-wise with our passing coming up the ice and our plays, but at the same time they were pretty stubborn out there, not giving us the room.”
Earlier in the day, right before game time the Rangers made a trade as they sent Dylan McIlrath to Florida for Steven Kampfer and a conditional pick. General manager Jeff Gorton addressed the media on that trade and said, “we play and up-tempo style and that’s just not in Dylan’s game”. The Rangers didn’t have it against the Canucks so don’t feel so bad Dylan.
Despite the lackluster effort the Rangers did enter the third period tied on the solid effort of starter Antti Raanta who just a few minutes into the third was collided with and needed to be taken out. A concussion spotter in the Madison Square Garden made the call downstairs and had to come out.
“When the league calls down and says that the spotter wants him out, then you’ve got to take him out. That’s what we did. We followed the rules”, Vigneault went to say.
As for Raanta? Well he didn’t really understand it so much, “I felt like I was in the game there. It was a tight game and then we got the power play from that, scored the tying goal and the game is wide open. Then you have to go out and do the testing. It was pretty tough. Like I said, I just have to respect the process and what’s going on”.
So the Rangers will head west in hopes to have Raanta healthy and to prevent any more games lost due to lack of effort. This will be a true testament is the Rangers are for real, yes this early in the season.
Rick Nash scored his 400th goal of his NHL career. It was his 7th goal of the season.