The Rangers continue to find new ways to lose and this time the Blueshirts again fell behind early in the first before the Sharks went on to win decisively, 4-1 against the Rangers at MSG Monday night.
This was the fifth time this season that the Rangers fell behind in the opening 160 seconds and the pattern of awful starts continues with the team and this time it was in large part to skittish goaltending and a failure to break through offensively.
Though many Rangers fans will not want to admit it, Henrik Lundqvist looked out-of-place and uncomfortable for the majority of the contest. The now 2-6-2 team’s “star” goaltender allowed four goals on only 24 shots, and the opening two goals in the first period gave San Jose an immense amount of comfort forcing the Rangers to play from behind again.
There was a modicum of a chance for the Rangers to level the momentum just two minutes later on the powerplay when a shot by Ryan McDonagh was deflected on the way through and nearly trickled through but was shutdown by Brent Burns in front.
It only seemed too typical with how this season has gone when the Sharks were able to extend their lead to two on another bad shot six minutes later.
In fact, the Rangers had plenty of high-quality scoring chances throughout this game, but Martin Jones put on a show, stone-walling any chance for the team to get back into the game.
Alain Vigneault himself highlighted the immense amount of scoring chances the Rangers did have reiterating again and again that his team had “20+ scoring chances” and his team’s inability to finish on their scoring chances is just as much to blame as their goaltending struggles.
Mika Zibanejad was the only Ranger able to crack through with a a quick wrister 4:23 into the third, but the game was by and large sealed by the Sharks at that point.
The Rangers are now 10 games into this season. They have managed just two wins and fans are perplexed just as much as the players. For those that look to corsi ratings as a method of determining a team’s true status — the Rangers had an immensely positive corsi rating against the Sharks.
CF: 59 / 36 CF%: 62.11 / 37.89 xGF: 4.55 / 1.96
These numbers suggest the Rangers should have scored 4.55 goals this game, and allowed only 1.96, but unfortunately for the Rangers the standings don’t care about how good your Corsi is.
Though the team may be technically playing well based on these numbers, Alain Vigenault is back on the hot-seat after nearly finding his way back to job security with a 4-2 win against the Nashville Predators on Saturday.
“I look at the things we’re working on and we’re taking huge steps in the right direction in all facets of our game. … It’s just a matter of time until we put it all together.” – A.V. during Rangers practice (10/18/2017)
We’re still waiting AV.