Hello everyone and welcome back to Rangers weekly! We have six games to get to so let’s jump right into it!
February 8th, 2021: New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders
Score: Rangers 0, Islanders 2
We begin on February 8th when the Rangers battled the Islanders once again this season. After two promising wins against Pittsburgh and Washington, the Broadway Blueshirts looked as flat as ever in this game. Their goaltender kept them in this one as best as he could and to be honest, this might have been one of Igor Shesterkin’s best games of the season but he was let down by his teammates. Third period goals from Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas would doom the Rangers to a 2-0 loss at the Garden. It’s never a good night when the fourth liners are the ones who seal your loss and for the Rangers, this might have been one of the most deflating losses all season.
February 10th, 2021: New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins
Score: Rangers 2, Bruins 3 (F/OT)
This game had so much promise for the Rangers as it began. They played with pace and they looked like a completely different team than the one that got pushed around but the fishsticks a few nights ago. They were rewarded for their start when Julien Gauthier would score his first ever NHL goal after a nice play in front. Gauthier was mobbed by teammates after he gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead. The Rangers lead lasted into the second until Chris Wagner scored to tie the game at one goal a piece. Anders Bjork would join the scoring party and give the Bruins a 2-1 lead in the third period. The Rangers wouldn’t back down and Kevin Rooney would tap the puck past Tuukka Rask after a Ryan Lindgren rebound found him for a 2-2 tie. The game would end in heartbreak for the Rangers in overtime as Brad Marchand would score after a dominating OT performance to give the Bruins a 3-2 win in OT. This marked the second straight loss for the Rangers. The worst part about this game was that Rask was a brick wall when facing off against Mika Zibanejad, a player the Rangers desperately need to get going, Rask stopped every grade A chance from Zibanejad.
February 12th, 2021: New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins matchup 2: Electric Boogaloo
Score: Rangers 0, Bruins 1
The Nick Ritchie game. The Rangers played well enough to win but unfortunately, Jaroslav Halak was a brick wall and didn’t let one shot by him. Not much else to say on this game except that Artemi Panarin was out and the Rangers offense didn’t find much of a rhythm without him. Nick Ritchie would score the only goal of the game on one of the ugliest goals I’ve ever seen and the Bruins would hand the Rangers their third straight loss. Things were not looking up in Rangerstown.
February 16th, 2021: New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils
Score: Rangers 2, Devils 5
This game might just have been the lowest point of the Rangers season yet, The Devils, after not playing for two weeks due to COVID protocols, came out with fire in their veins and embarrassed the Rangers in a frankly, disgusting showing. Their pace was bad, they didnt play well and they allowed a team who didn’t play a hockey game in half a month to walk all over them. The Rangers looked like they were the team who had the big layoff. Just a horrid effort and it marked the Rangers fourth straight loss. Ugh.
February 18th, 2021: New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Score: Rangers 3, Flyers 2 (SO)
Oh god here we go again, another great NYR loss to talk to you all about… wait.. What? They won a game? And in convincing fashion? Whoa ok. Let’s talk about this. The Rangers played their best game in two weeks with this big win over the Flyers. Colin Blackwell continues to prove why he’s one of the best offseason acquisitions for this team as he scored yet again and depth blueliner Brendan Smith even chipped in a nice goal for the Rangers. Not the sexiest names that scored but hey, goals are goals. The game would end in a shootout with Kaapo Kakko and Artemi Panarin both scoring nasty goals to send the Flyers packing. This was a great win for a team that badly needed it. It felt nice to write about a Rangers win.
February 20th, 2021: New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals
Score: Rangers 4, Capitals 1
This was the most dominating Rangers win of the entire season. They gave the Capitals no room and they flexed their offensive muscles, gettin four goals from Ryan Strome, Alexis Lafreniere, Mika Zibanejad (FINALLY!) and Chris Kreider. The only goal allowed by the Caps was a late second period tally from Dimitry Orlov. The Rangers looked dominant, the defense had a great showing and they got a second straight win. All positives going into the next week of play. Kaapo Kakko was held out due to COVID protocol so hopefully he will re-enter the lineup sooner rather than later.
Rangers Current Record: 6-7-3
The Week Ahead:
Wednesday, February 24th, 2021: New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Friday, February 26th, 2021: New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins
Sunday, February 28th, 2021: New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins