The depleted Rangers fell to the slightly less depleted Flyers 4-3 on Wednesday. Philly got Claude Giroux back from the COVID protocol list and he proceeded to notch three assists. The normally stalwart penalty kill allowed a pair of goals after being dominant recently. Igor Shesterkin was solid, but allowed a bad angle goal from Kevin Hayes, so wish the team had extended before he went into his final year in New York, which proved to be the game-winner. On Friday, the Blueshirts face the Bruins at MSG where fans will be in the building for a hockey game the first time this year.
Rick Carpinello summed up Wednesday's issues well:
The Rangers? They went back to losing faceoffs in bunches (they won 36 percent; Zibanejad won 2 of 14). They went back to turnovers by the bushel, careless, reckless play, especially by some of their defensemen who are only in the lineup because of the losses of DeAngelo, Trouba and Miller. They failed to kill penalties (they allowed two, and one shortly after a Philly power play expired, though they did survive a long five-on-three); they had killed 31 of their previous 32.
In a game like Wednesday, everyone in the lineup needs to do their part. Don't make the stupid mistake and find a way to eke out a win. A pair of two many men on the ice penalties, the latter one slightly discounted in trying to tie the game, just can't happen. New York now has four of those on the season. Add in two delay of game penalties, one by Buchnevich that was just inexcusable, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Jonny Brodzinski was not particularly good and that is being kind. Julien Gautheir saw just seven minutes of action, his minutes reduced due to a bad penalty and failure to play a 200-foot game But if utilizing one of the two, give me Gauthier every day of the week.
Much of the chatter has been why isn't Morgan Barron up. Same for Tarmo Reunanen. Both are relatively similar boats, cap related concerns, though much more so for Barron. To me, if the goal was for Tarmo to get some AHL experience, guess what, that has been accomplished. Time now to get him up, though from listening to David Quinn, that move does not sound imminent.
In that regard, do people really think Quinn is making those decisions in general, let alone in a vacuum? Decisions such as these are made at the John Davidson and Jeff Gorton level with Quinn playing a part, but not making the call on his own. By the way, if I am sitting a blueliner for him, scratch Jack Johnson and not Libor Hajek, as I prefer to let the younger d-man play and see if he can build on the small gains we have seen to date.
Read this thread to see more about when Barron could be promoted:
in the good news portion of the blog - need to have that - Filip Chytil, out since the fifth game of the season with a hand injury and then in covid protocol, returned to practice Thursday for the first time since getting hurt. It's possible he plays Friday against the Bruins. If that is the case, look for Chytil to resume his role as the third line center. Who his linemates will be with Artemi Panarin and Kaapo Kakko remains to be seen. I figure Laf and Buch could be with Zib again. Kreider, off his hat trick, might be with Strome and Blackwell. Then who knows, maybe play PDG and Gauthier with Chytil, how about Lemieux and PDG on that line? At least Brett Howden will slide down a line with Brodzinski scratched.