The four-game road trip out west did not end the way Rangers had hoped, but the club picked up a possible five points and should return home in a position to build on their recent play.
Going 2-1-1 indicates that it certainly wasn’t perfect. The Ranguli are still enduring an occasional terrible season, which prevents the team from being satisfied with their 60-minute effort. Sometimes, usually with the help of goalie Igor Shesterkin, the Rangers can come out unscathed — as they did in the second period against the Kraken on Thursday. Sometimes they work much harder to accomplish that goal, as they had to dig themselves out of a two-goal hole after Tuesday’s opening game against the Kings.
The Blueshirts need to eliminate periods from their repertoire or at least limit them. You’ll be counting too many games or scoring teams when they’re trying to compensate.
And their tribulation followed them from city to city. So many posts are hit. After so many shots, it was just wide. So many rebounds are not just in their favor. Confusing his frustrations with his poor puck luck went better some nights than others, but when he came through the irritation, he only made it look like a black rubber spiked disc.
Losing the Ducks, who are at the base of the entire NHL, should take some of the shade off the Rangers’ positives from the trip. Anaheim hadn’t won a single game in regulation until the Rangers came to town.
“We had four or five empty nets.” [Ducks goalie John Gibson] “said Mika Zibanejad, who has scored a goal and has three assists in four games. “[Forty-three] hit I don’t know, it’s frustrating. Yeah, we didn’t play the best game, but we make enough chances, we make enough, but we don’t want the puck to go in. [Wednesday night]. Gibson came up with some really great saves. It is invalid.”
The Rangers have started five-of-five from their top six, especially in a V-3 win on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Barclay Goodrow, Vincent Trocheck, Kaapo Kakko and Chris Kreider all broke through. It may not be nearly enough, but it’s a place to start.
There have been so many instances where star players have been inches away from the goal that, with some mental perseverance, the top two linemen should be able to surf any game now.
He also encouraged them to see some fight in the Rangers. In two of the four games, they either won or went to overtime. The second period of the game against the Kings, with the Rangers scoring three in a row to erase a two-goal deficit, probably contending for their best 20 minutes of the season.
Even worse, they stayed on the road after LA tied it again six minutes into the third, which Kreider responded with two goals to seal the win.
“This is how you will build,” said Jacob Trouba, the prince, after the kings had won. Fighting through adversity, fighting with two, hanging on to one goal, going on a third path in building well. Those are the types of things that build a team. I think we — I don’t want to say a little bit disappointed in the morning but — Mae had something tough. He had some games that we didn’t want to have an outcome. I think it really creeps into your mind, but it’s got to build up all the time.
“You build your team, you build confidence in the group and the room. You build a class that is new and fun. I think hopefully we get into it because I think the guys were frustrated at times with the way we played. I don’t think it’s a secret.
“That team is disorganized at times, and we continue to fight and play. It’s good to come down in the morning and come back and win the game and feel good and know we have it in this room.