Saturday, November 19, 2011

To Hab and Hab Not - Win Streak ends at 7 as Rangers fall 4-0

Well - it was fun while it lasted.

What had been a 7 game Ranger winning streak ended in with a 4-0 defeat in Montreal to the Scott Gomez Canadiens. We ran into a northern buzz saw tonight – a red hot Hab team that extended goaltender Carey Price's shut out streak to 132 minutes at our heroes' expense. Ex-Ranger Scotty Gomez, who has been on the hot seat in cold Canada recently for not producing enough for his top line status and Salary Cap hit, had a bounce back day with a pair of assists. The Rangers have traditionally had troulbe in the Canadiens home ice – and tonight was no different.

So - suddenly - our Rangers have gone from the hottest team in the NHL to a club that hasn't scored a goal since Tuesday.

Torts gave the net tonight to Marty Biron. A smart move actually, as this gives Hank more than a week off - a rare opportunity in the NHL where they play 10 months of meaningful hockey games - usually 3 time a week. Even in retrospect – if Hank had been there we might have lost 2-0 instead of 4-0, but a loss is a loss (of course of course).


Really? If you're looking for highlights in a 4-0 defeat, well, okay - I'll see what I can do:

- Your Ranger officially out hit the Habs 28-15. There. So at least we didn't go quietly.

Beyond that - uh, not so much.

Sean Avery had a shot on goal and had a plus minus of zero on the night - that's about as well as you can play in a shutout loss

Low Lights: If you're looking for the bad – there's plenty. For starters the Rangers had only 17 shots on goal. You won't win many games like that. Marty Biron had a save percentage under .900 (stopping 27 of 31 for .871). The Ranger PK let up 2 goals on 6 tries and our Powerplay was shut out in 3 attempts.

John Tortorella summed it up this way:

"Don't look at our goalie, I'll tell you that," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "Our whole crew in front of him never had the puck and we were chasing the game. We never caught up to it."

What John means is that the Rangers didn't have the puck much on offense – didn't defend as well as we needed to – and didn't do much offensively when we did have opportunity.

Worst of the worst: Gabby, Richards, and Del Zotto and minus 2. Deveaux with 9 penalty minutes.

So, we'll have to let the win streak go at 7.

Final analysis: Our 2 main strengths this year - Penalty Kill and Team Defense – both let us down tonight. It's hard to win when you...

1 – get out shot by your opponent
2 – only get off 17 shots
3 – Don't score
4 – Let up 4 goals
5 – Get shut out on the powerplay
6- Let up 2 goals on the penalty kill

Still, we're 10-4-3, and we'll take it.

Next Up: We play the Florida Panthers on Thanksgiving Eve (Wednesday). Let see if we can get the road trip to 2-1.

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