Sunday, March 1, 2015

Don’t trade Zuc! Rangers fall 4-2 to Flyers

I’m speaking directly to Glen Sather now:  Slat’s you’re the best – but DO NOT TRADE MATS ZUCCARELLLO.

You’re got a great Ranger team right now maybe the best in years.  We have a real shot at the Cup.  Keep Zuc.  Even if you can’t sign him – make him the rental player to get us through the playoffs.

“This is my team” Mats told reporters when the unfortunately news broke through the Post’s hockey insider Larry Brooks that Slats was aggressively shopping the short and feisty Norwegian.  We agree Mats – you’re a Ranger forever in our eyes and I hope Glen Sather can come to his senses and see it too.

Are the trade rumors and the rapidly approaching trade deadline responsible for the Rangers coming up short against a Flyers team they had beaten three time previouly?  We may never know for sure, The Flyers have trying to make a late run at the playoffs.  But Mats Zuccarello – playing what unfortunately could be his final game as a Ranger - was minus 3 on the night – clearly impacted by the news swirling around him.  And, at least for one night, the surging Rangers are surging no more.

It was fun while it lasted.  The Rangers in first place lasted a day – but then the Islanders won Friday.  But they lost Saturday – setting up the Rangers-Flyers match-up Saturday night as another battle for first place.  

It’s hard to sweep a team in a season series.  Especially when they are at home and they hate you and they’re playing well and you have Cam instead of Hank.  The Rangers scored twice – but it was not enough and they fell 4-2 with an empty net goal late.

The game winner unfortunately was ex-Ranger Michael Del Zotto on a short handed goal in the third.

Let’s focus on a few positives –

Cam didn’t play badly – he made some good saves and had a .909 save percentage.  Like Vigneault says – that gave us chance to win.

J. T. Miller scored from the slot from a great Carl Hagelin feed to tie the score at 1 in the first.

And John Moore got his first of the season – a blast from the blue line.

One interesting note – Derek Stepan almost scored in the first minute on a “half court” shot that took a crazy bounce past Mason – but it was ultimately ruled offsides.

What Did We Learn?  Nothing good.  We learned that the Rangers Front Office can mess up a winning formula by shopping a beloved teammate. 

Uh, A Little Help?  Assists?  Tanner Glass, Dominic Moore, and Carl Hagelin. 

Did Special Teams Determine The Outcome Of This Game?  I will say yes.  Both teams were 0-3 on the powerplay – but it was Del Zotto’s shorty that was the game winner.

Where Do We Stand?  38-17-6 (8-1-1 in our last 10).  2nd place but just 2 points behind the Islanders with 3 at hand.

Oh My - What Will Happen Next?  Nashville on Monday – and the trade deadline.

Non-Sequitur of the day:  Weird seeing "Schultz" on a Flyers uniform - at least to us older folks. 

Thinking of Mats as the deadline approaches….

Dave Pucks out.

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