I saw this loss coming a mile away. After a week with no games (and after a crazy preseason), I knew the Rangers would lay and egg against the New York Islanders, who have had the pleasure of getting used to the early rhythm of this young season. Behind a John Tavares hat trick, the Islanders took the game 4-2 Saturday at Nassau Coliseum.
- This team has to stay out of the penalty box, and their inability to do so cost them the game tonight. The Rangers took eight penalties in total, and allowed two power play goals, both to Tavares, who is quickly becoming a Rangers killer. It hurt them in Europe, but not on the scoresheet. It caught up to them on Long Island.
- The Rangers really miss Marc Staal, and more recently, Micahel Sauer. The Rangers defensive group right now is in shambles, with Steve Eminger and Jeff Woywitka as the third pair. Just isn’t good right now on the blue line.
- Although they have to stay out of the box, the officiating tonight was dreadful. The goalie interference call against Ryan Callahan, followed by Brian Boyle‘s delay of game calls were embarrassing, and led to the Islanders taking a 2-1 lead in the second. Dan Girardi‘s penalty in the third was also terrible because it was the exact same play Callahan made earlier (driving to the net), but this time the defending team got called for it.
- Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards very good together, which is good news for the Rangers. Gaborik scored his second goal of the season in the first period on a breakaway. Richards is having an easy time finding him in open ice, and I expect them both to have very strong seasons.
- Henrik Lundqvist also had a strong game, with only one goal (Tavares’ second) being one he should have probably stopped. Lundqvist sure isn’t the reason this team is still winless.
- The team has to start getting contributions from their depth. Boyle hasn’t shown much offensively, nor has Artem Anisimov. Mats Zuccarello (who was sent to Hartford after the game), was also invisible.
- The Nassau Coliseum stinks. I attended the game tonight, and it’s just a poorly designed building. Once you’re in your seat, it’s a great place to watch a game, but getting from your car to the arena is awful, as is trying to go to the bathroom in between periods. The Islanders need a new building, and quickly.