The good feelings of the first few weeks of the season have now come and gone for the New York Rangers in the last week. The Rangers crashed and burned this week with a 1-2-1 record getting their only win of the week against the Seattle Kraken, lost heartbreakers to the Canucks and Oilers and got blown out of the water in Calgary. Let’s dive in.
The Rangers got their only win of the week against the Kraken and even that game wasn’t pretty with the Kraken basically getting what I like to call “goalie’d” (when a goalie flat out steals a game) by Igor Shesterkin. The Rangers would skate with a 3-1 lead against the Kraken at Climate Pledge arena. Chris Kreider, Barclay Goodrow and Adam Fox would score for the Rangers as the road trip got off to a decent start. The good feelings would not last long as the Vancouver Canucks would be waiting and they were ready to deliver a gut punch of a loss to the Rangers at Rogers Arena.
The Rangers actually began the game against the Canucks with fire in them and a great compete level. Their top players looked good and they were generating chances against Thatcher Demko, the Canucks young number one netminder. The Rangers would score the first two goals of the game. Artemiy Panarin would send a sweet pass to Mika Zibanejad early in the first followed by Panarin blasting one by Demko with a huge shot from the top of the circles later in the period. Things were going well for the Rangers but in the third period, the downward spiral of the week would begin. The Canucks would score twice within 5:19 in the third period and former Ranger J.T. Miller would score his second of the night in overtime to shove the proverbial dagger in deeper. The Rangers would leave Vancouver snatching a loss from the jaws of victory and wondering where it went wrong. Edmonton would not be an easy task and they were up next.
This might have been the most depressing game of the week because not only did the Rangers lose in horrifying fashion (get it? Halloween joke? Oh that was last week right? Nevermind then) but they would get embarrassed by the best player in the world. Five goals should be enough to win on any night in the national hockey league but a combination of defensive breakdowns and horrid goaltending from Alexander Georgiev creates for a mess of a situation. The story of this game is simply that the Rangers stopped playing and they let the Oilers claw their way back in.
The Rangers at one point led the Oilers 4-1 and looked better than the had all season. The ill feelings from Vancouver were gone and it looked like they were going to take down one of the West’s best squads pretty easily… and then they didn’t. After goals from Filip Chytil, Kevin Rooney, Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad, the Rangers had a 4-1 lead going into the late part of the second period… then Jesse Puljujarvi scored a power-play goal, 4-2. To the third we go. Tyson Barrie would score. Puljujarvi would score again. And just like that within 4 minutes of the third period, the Oilers would tie it up. The Rangers needed to figure something out quick. Mika Zibanejad came up huge and score a big goal to break the tie at 7:18 of the third and the Rangers nearly won the game…. Nearly. At 17:01 of the third period, Connor McDavid took a peek at the Ranger defensive coverage and decided to go 1-on-4… yes that’s right 1-on-4 and he delivered what many are already saying is the Goal of the year. McDavid would deke and slice his way through four Rangers before embarrassing Georgiev with a great move in tight for a goal only the best in the world could score. 5-5. Overtime would come and who else but McDavid and Leon Draisaitl would make their presence felt. At 3:27 of overtime, Draisaitl would rifle a shot past a hapless Georgiev for a 6-5 Oilers stunner. The Rangers had blown a 4-1 lead. Calgary was next.
I’m not even going to spend a lot of time talking about the Flames game. The Flames dominated the Rangers in every single aspect. The Rangers would fall 6-0. Go watch Matthew Tkachuk’s goal, it was probably the coolest thing from this game and the Rangers gave up back to back goal of the year candidates on back to back nights. The Rangers record would fall to 6-3-3 this week. Not a good week in the slightest.