Week 3 Results:
10/19 vs. San Jose: W 4-0
10/22 vs. Arizona: W 4-1
10/24 vs. Philadelphia: L/SO 3-2
10/25 vs. Calgary: W 4-1
The Rangers may have scored 4 goals in three of the four games, but the conviction with which it happened was sightly underwhelming. For large parts of the Arizona and Calgary games, their offensive play was stagnant. Rick Nash scored his first goal of the season, which is a positive, but it was an empty net goal and Nash didn’t even put the puck into the net. He was hooked on a breakaway. For this offense to start clicking, Nash needs to start putting up points. On the plus side, Lindberg, Hayes, and Miller have looked fantastic and have been their most consistent line this season. Also, Staal, Yandle, Girardi, and Klein all scored goals, which took the pressure off of the struggling top line.
In four games last week, the Rangers allowed only 4 goals. So why isn’t the grade higher than a B? Well, they surrendered 48 shots against an inconsistent Flyers teams and 35 against the Coyotes. Those numbers are way too high and need to come down. Staal, who contributed offensively, looked shaky on the puck and turned it over on a couple occasions. Also, Girardi was demoted to the second pairing due to his play.
The Rangers’ goaltending was the real reason their opponents only scored 4 goals. Antti Raanta made his Rangers debut in stellar fashion with a shutout against the Sharks. And Lundqvist is continuing on his fantastic start. He was sublime against the Flyers on Saturday night, stopping 46 of 48 shots and made this spectacular save against the Coyotes. This Scandinavian tandem has been on point for the Blueshirts.
Special Teams: A
The Rangers’ power play came to life as they went 3-7 in the week. Their puck movement was considerably better and created the types of chances a typical power play would create. On top of that, they went 9-9 on the penalty kill, rounding out a stellar week of games for their special teams.