16 of 20 points with Henrik Lundqvist and all Ranger fans want to do is complain!
The New York Rangers beat the Columbus Blue Jackets in a shootout Sunday night and I think we can all agree it never should have gotten that far. The Rangers got out to a (albeit a short) 3-0 lead and looked to be in control of a game against a much inferior opponent.
Yet somehow, despite their being tons of time left on the clock the Rangers decided they were done playing for the night and allowed the Jackets to slowly chip at the lead. I’ll be the first to say allowing a 3-0 lead slip away is unacceptable but before all the Cam Talbot haters come out of the woodwork take a deep breathe.
Cam Talbot is not Henrik Lundqvist. While I think he’s good enough to be a starter in this league it’s important to remember he’s never played a stretch of 8 out of 9 games in his career before. He’s learning how to handle it on the fly, obviously there are going to be hiccups.
While everyone is going to point to Talbot giving up 12 goals in his last two games why don’t we take a look at the rest of the team, who in case you forgot, has always prided itself on defense. The team’s defense the past few games has been non-existent. Giving up over 40 shots to the Islanders, providing almost no effort against the Canucks, and getting out-shot 8-1 in the final period of Sunday’s game is not a recipe for success. Obviously if you’re not trying in front of your goaltender, your goaltender is going to struggle, especially if he’s a backup.
It’s never ideal to go to overtime against a divisional opponent but if you haven’t looked at the standing recently, Columbus ain’t exactly knocking on the Rangers door. The only thing that matter is the Rangers picking up two points any way they can. At the end of the day the Rangers are now two points behind the Islanders, a point ahead of the Penguins, and two points above the Capitals with the kicker being the Rangers still have 2-3 games in hand on each of them. Even more then that, the Rangers are THIRD in the entire league in regulation-overtime wins just in case that tie-breaker will come into play.
I know everyone wants to look at the negatives from blowing a three goal lead but just take a second to glance at the positives. Even though they’re giving up way too many goals, the team is SCORING goals, at a very high rate. That’s something the team has historically struggled to do in recent years. If they keep that up when Lundqvist gets back even if they don’t tighten up the D (which they will) their goals against will get cut down and this team will be scary good.
Bottom line is they’ve taken 16 out of 20 points since Lundqvist went down and you really can’t ask them to do any better then that.