Hello TXHT fans and welcome to New York Rangers bi-Weekly! We are going to do things a little different this time and instead of taking a look at each individual game, we are going to look at groups of games the Rangers played against three clubs the past two weeks. That includes the Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers. Its been a bit of an up and down stretch for the team with some truly high highs and some embarrassing lows. Let’s jump into the second half of March and Early April and see just what happened with the Broadway Blueshirts.
New York Rangers vs. Buffalo Sabres – Three Matchups
3/22/21 – Rangers 5, Sabres 2
4/1/21 – Rangers 3, Sabres 2
4/3/21 – Rangers 2, Sabres 3
The Buffalo Sabres are far and away the worst team in the NHL. Everything that has happened to this season just seems to keep piling on and this nightmare of a season just never seems to stop for them. They don’t have double digit wins on the season and their star center Jack Eichel is not only hurt and out for the foreseeable future but has rumors swirling around him that he will be traded this offseason. The two most heavily rumored teams he could be going to? The Rangers or the LA Kings. Just not a good time in Sabres land and it doesnt look like things will be changing.
The Rangers played Buffalo three times in mid to late March and their first two matchups went basically as expected with two Rangers wins. Kaapo Kakko and Chris Kreider each had two goals in the Rangers 5-3 win on the 22nd and Adam Fox added a goal and two assists for three points which added fuel to his quickly brewing Norris Trophy fire. Fox is currently second overall in points by a defenseman and is tied with Victor Hedman in assists. It was a great game for the blueshirts. In their game on April 1st, it took overtime but the Rangers got another win against the lowly club from Buffalo when Mika Zibanejad would rip a one-timer in OT.
Then comes the 4/3 game… oh boy this was not a good from the Rangers. Despite leading 2-1 in the third, the team made a bad decision to sit back on their heels on not go for the kill. Buffalo would get chance after chance and Victor Olofsson would tie the game late with the Sabres eventually winning in a shootout. It was one of the most embarrassing Rangers losses of the entire season since they allowed the worst team in the league to just climb back in. This game really showed that the Rangers aren’t ready to take they next step. That killer instinct they need to have can’t take a game off and it did.
New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers – Two Matchups
3/25/21 – Rangers 8, Flyers 3
3/27/21 – Rangers 1, Flyers 2
There may not be a better microcosm for the Rangers season than these two games against the Broad Street Bullies. Game one: total domination, sublime puck movement and scoring from all around the lineup. Game two: Coming up short after an aspiring performance with an absolute let down. The Rangers have a consistency problem and that of course comes with a young team. At some point though, the Rangers will need to outgrow this trend of being amazing sometimes and below average other times.
Defensively, they have been great this season and have improved leaps and bound over the last few years. Offensively, it seems to be that there’s an explosion of it or they can’t remember how to score a goal. In the 8-3 win against the Flyers, the team had that killer instinct. They fought hard, they won puck battles and they embarrassed the Flyers in every aspect of the game. In the 2-1 loss, they forgot what seemingly made them successful in the previous game.
In the 8-3 win, Mika Zibanejad has a hat trick and three assists for six points. Adam Fox had five assists. Pavel Buchnevich scored twice and Ryan Strome had four points. A lot of the Rangers big guns were able to torch the Flyers with little to no issue. In the 2-1 loss though those four players combined for 3 points. Not good. The consistency failed them in their little two game set with Philly and the coaching staff needs to do more to get that consistency instill within the team.
New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals – Two Matchups
3/28/21 – Rangers 4, Capitals 5
3/30/21 – Rangers 5, Capitals 2
Four goals in the third period weren’t enough to overcome the Washington Capitals in their first game of a two game set. The most encouraging aspect of the first game was to see the fight the Rangers have in them and that Alexis Lafreniere was able to get on the board and add to his rookie point totals. In the second game of the set against the Caps, Artemi Panarin had three point and was the best player on the ice in a 5-2 Rangers win. Not much else to say except this team needs to be consistent, as we’ve mentioned above.
One last thing: Fire David Quinn. Have a great day everybody.