Game #32: Quinn and Lundqvist blast team’s embarrassing effort in 4-3 overtime loss to Golden Knights

This one was totally embarrassing. Sure. The Rangers got a point, but it was only due to their determined goalie. Henrik Lundqvist was brilliant in the first two periods when for some reason, the rest of the team was either asleep or watching the woeful Giants play even worse football in a winter of discontent. Well, unofficially. We still got a few days left of Fall.

I know they’re not a good team. But when you give the kind of weak effort they did the first 40 minutes in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Golden Knights at home, you don’t deserve any breaks. There are no excuses. I don’t care how young they are, or how many rookies play. It’s unacceptable to be that lazy while Lundqvist is busting his butt. How many breakaways and two-on-ones did he face stop?

Both the goalie and coach blasted the way they played. So, they got a undeserved point thanks to remembering to show for the third. Chris Kreider scored the only goal. His team-leading 15th to force overtime. Like most of the 18 skaters, he was invisible in the first and second periods. There were only a handful of players who did something positive. Kevin Hayes (3 assists) because he always shows up ready to play. Something Lundqvist didn’t think they were at the start. I’ll add Pavel Buchnevich (primary assist), Filip Chytil, Mats Zuccarello (power play assist), Mika Zibanejad (power play goal) and Adam McQuaid, who returned after missing 21 games.

There really isn’t much to add. I think both Quinn and Lundqvist summed it up pretty well. They didn’t compete for two periods. Vegas is a much better team despite not being as good as last year. Call it a expansion hangover. But they skated circles around our guys. They ‘out-everything’d’ the Rangers. Quinn’s accurate description in a brief postgame.

The odd part is Buchnevich set up Brady Skjei for the game’s first goal early on. I don’t know if getting on the board gave them a false sense of security. But lately when they play at MSG, the Rangers go ahead and then fall apart. It happened against Winnipeg, who was way better. It happened on Friday in that discouraging overtime loss up three goals on the Coyotes. At least those losses waited until the third period for the implosion.

Maybe Lundqvist has spoiled them. Some of the saves he came up with including a two sequence dive and stone job to deny Wild Bill Karlsson, were ridiculous. He finished the game with 37 saves, again seeing over 40 shots. The cold truth is the game should’ve been over. The Golden Knights could’ve had 7-8 goals after two. The goalie is why they were only up 3-2.

Some games, you remember everything. Honestly, I don’t recall the goals they scored except Alex Tuch’s OT winner because that’s still fresh. That’s how poorly the Rangers played. At one point, Lundqvist let his teammates know about it during a stoppage. To say he was animated would be a understatement. I’ve never seen him so mad after a game. Justifiably so!

It’s one thing to lose. Quite another to not give all you can like they did for far too long. Nobody said it would be easy. I don’t know about anyone else. I’m done saying the ‘R’ word. That’s an easy excuse. There are enough veterans who know better. With a leadership that still includes 2015 holdovers Hayes, Kreider, Zuccarello, Lundqvist, Marc Staal, and the injured Jesper Fast, whose effort you never have to question, they should be able to provide enough experience for the younger players. Zibanejad included. He never makes excuses. He’s very good at assessing things, becoming more of a leader.

Forget the highlights. I don’t feel like digging them up. It’s not worth discussing. There were far too many breakdowns. I’m not gonna single anyone out. Even easy targets.

But they got a point. Yay! Whoopdy damn do!

BONY 3 Stars:

3rd 🌟 Kevin Hayes, NYR (3 assists as he continues to pile up points and boost his value)

2nd 🌟 Alex Tuch, VGK (overtime winner from a impossible angle, assist, real good player who will only get better)

1st 🌟 Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (37 saves and many highlight reel due to his team’s ineptitude)

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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