Last night, the Rangers continued their poor play at home losing to the determined Islanders 3-2. The Rangers have not won at home since they beat the Capitals 2-1 on February 19th. That’s seven straight home losses. However, the Rangers have the best road record in the NHL (26-9-1).
Here are some comments from Rangers’ Head Coach Alain Vigneault:
AV addressed the dire Penalty Kill (PK) situation:
- “the way we came out, we played a strong game. We had some real good looks, defensively we didn’t give up much. We got a little unlucky in the third period as far as bounces on our PK. The only way to get the right bounces is to continue to work smart and hard. That is what this group is gonna do. We came out and played a good game, it was a hard-fought battle and we just got on the wrong side of a couple of bounces in the third.”
- “It’s something that we need to get better. A few weeks ago we were talking about the Power-play and that we were gonna keep working at it and sooner or later it would turn the corner and it has. I believe in the exact same thing for our Penalty-kill. We have the personnel to get the job done and we will.”
On Glass and Kampfer (keeping scratches rested):
- “a little bit of that [keeping scratches rested], a little bit of the opponent also. I just thought that making those two changes would help us out and for the most part, our group as a whole played a strong game.”
Glass did a good job on what he is supposed to do, he is here solely for energy and initiated a fight with Scott Mayfield after finishing a large hit on him. However, playing him with 5 minutes left in the game when the Rangers are trying to score….I’m not so keen on that. Kampfer has played very well of late. It seems to me that he is always in a decent position. Heading into the playoffs we will need defensive depth to make sure if injuries occur, we will have good subs ready to go. Klein and Danny G have to get playing time soon to make sure they are ready to make appearances in the playoffs.
Last year, during the latter stages of the season, Ryan McDonagh blocked a hard shot from Alexander Ovechkin, although he was not seriously hurt, the Rangers have to learn from that experience. He played over 27 minutes last night! If the Rangers want their defensive depth to be ready for the playoffs, they have to give their 5-8 D-men playing time.
Rick Nash’s playoff play has struggled with the Rangers:
In 61 playoff games played with the Rangers, Nash has tallied 11 goals and 22 assists combining for 33 points.
Rangers 3 game road trip in California:
MARCH 25- Saturday, 10:30 PM- Staples Center Los Angles: AT KINGS
MARCH 26-Sunday, 9:00 PM- Honda Center Anaheim: AT DUCKS
MARCH 28-Tuesday, 10:30 PM- SAP Center San Jose: AT SHARKS
The Next 3 games are on the road for the Rangers, that is a good thing!