Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lundqvist Scares Rangers Fans With Early Exit in 2-0 Loss To Oilers

The New York Rangers saw their two game win streak end with a 2-0 loss in Edmonton.  Nikolai Khabibulin blanked the Rangers, stopping all 19 shots he faced, few truly threatening, to earn his 44th career shutout.  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and an assist to pace the Oilers who outskated and certainly outworked the Rangers for the majority of the night.  The first goal was thanks to an awful pinch by Brendan Bell leading to an odd-man rush the other way.  The second Nugent-Hopkins showing great patience with the puck and feeding former Ranger Corey Potter for the slap-shot that beat Lundqvist.

Beyond the game itself, the scariest moment of the night was when Henrik Lundqvist left the ice in the third period.  The New York Rangers fan base held their breath and prayed while awaiting news on what was wrong with the star goaltender.  It was reported that this issue was cramping in his foot because of issues with his equipment.  While cramps are not exactly a good thing it was a huge sigh of relief that nothing more serious happened to Lundqvist.
  • Rangers continue to struggle with teams that have speed and can move the puck quickly.  Transition teams don’t allow them to get the forecheck going and without it the offense just doesn’t seem to function
  • Gaborik was the Rangers best forward on the night showing very good burst again tonight, but his effort on the breakaway with the weak backhander was awful.  Gaborik is not really a great moves guy, which is why he isn’t in the shootout.  He is a shooter and his chance of success is much higher there if he uses his tremendous wrist shot.
  • Do not understand Tortorella breaking up Gaborik and Richards to end the first/start the second period.  That pair was the only one creating anything tonight offensively.
  • Power play was anemic again.  The 5-on-3 advantage was the most frustrating of the night as they passively play the puck back and forth to one another with absolutely no sense of urgency, which led to them creating nothing.