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Game 47: CLM 2 NYR 1, System helps result in a pair of goals against & loss

January 20, 2020, 12:00 AM ET [126 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Rangers somewhat flushed all the strides they had made recently and two wins over the Islanders down the toilet Sunday. Up 1-0 after two, New York had a pair of defensive lapses, either system, player or both, in the third, the latter one coming with 27 seconds remaining, resulting in a 2-1 loss to Columbus. (Islanders’ fans will say its karma, since the Rangers scores with almost the same amount of time to win Thursday). This one leaves a very bitter taste in your mouth but the Blueshirts need to regroup quickly with the Islanders in town Tuesday.

Game recap:

David Quinn Post-Game:

A few thoughts:
1) System - backing off and giving the blue line repeatedly doesn't work. Both goals resulted from playing in this manner. That has been the case since Quinn and Lindy Ruff took over. Having the D fall back is bad enough. Using that system when the forwards don't help out is death by 1000 paper cuts, or in this case, a pair of goals.

On the first goal, a horrific drop pass by Jesper Fast in the offensive zone started Columbus up ice. The Blue Jackets lost the puck, but if you look at the play, they had a ton of room in the offensive zone because the Rangers' D was falling back. Jacob Trouba gave Oliver Bjorkstrand, in his first back from injury, a ton of room and he used Trouba as a screen to beat Igor Shesterkin over his glove hand with a snipe to tie the game at one.

On Bjorkstrand's second, Ryan Strome picked a horrific time to change. His doing so gave Columbus a ton of open ice and a 3-on-2. But once again, Trouba and Brady Skjei, who scored New York's only goal, kept backing in and backing their own zone. Bjorkstrand found open space and beat Shesterkin again.

Quinn summed it up: "To give up a 3-on-2 with [27] seconds to go is just inexcusable. A really bad change, bad F3 at the wrong time. But we were playing with fire for a while, I thought. Just disappointing, but listen, we've got to move past it and get ready for Tuesday."

2) Matiss Kivlenieks got his first win in his NHL debut. Between Kivlenieks, Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo, the Blue Jackets netminders are an announcers nightmare. But Kivlenieks was good in this game, though New York didn't pressure him as much as we would have liked to see. As a result, the score was just 1-0 after two periods and the Blueshirts did little in the third period against a team on the second game of back-to-back contests.

3) Pavel Buchnevich and Brendan Lemieux - in the third period, Quinn moved Buch down and Lemieux, in his first back after missing nine games, up to the first line. Buch did look a step slow and didn't much offensively, while Lemieux had some jump in his game. Quinn, on why he dropped Buch to the fourth line and moved Lemieux up. 

"Buch has been sick. I just didn’t think he had it tonight, especially at the end of that 2nd period. I thought Lemieux had energy. Usually that’s what happens when you come back from (an injury)."

Buch almost didn't play Thursday due to the flu. He may have been feeling ill again Sunday. That explains some of his poor play, though the advanced metrics would show a different view. I didn't have a problem with the move, as Lemieux was back to his feisty self.

4) Shesterkin - solid again. Hard to fault him for either of the two goals. Could go back Hartford with New York having no games after Tuesday until January 31. Shesterkin would then be able to get some work in, as Hartford has a few games while New York is off, and play in the AHL All-Star Game. Plus, Tuesday's outcome might have an influence on what direction the Rangers go moving forward. In addition, the team plays 15 games in February and 17 from January 31 to March 1, likely necessitating Shesterkin to see a large number of starts.

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