Unacceptable loss to Islanders very frustrating, Gallant and Panarin trash effort, disappointment extends to MSG broadcast


In a word, tonight’s game was unacceptable. How many more times do we have to see this team lose the same freaking game to the god damn Islanders?!?!

God forbid they win a home game against the Islanders. I tweeted this before when it was already 2-0 and basically game over.

Of course, they couldn’t stop themselves from talking up the 24 comeback wins between periods. That means jack shit when this team plays these guys. I wanted to throw the remote control through the TV screen.

Shut up! Nobody cares how many times Adam Fox leads a rush. Steve Valiquette and his ridiculous clear sighted statistics. Or analytics. I don’t care about the 24 comebacks. If they can’t beat the Islanders in a dull, checking game when they’re not making the playoffs, what the flying fuck!

Shutout again by Semyon Varlamov for a FOURTH consecutive time at MSG! That’s embarrassing. Did he even have to sweat on the 27 saves? You know the answer. Zero net front presence. Not enough hunger to win at the ugly grinding game the Barry Trotz Isles play.

The final score was 3-0. Last time out, it was 2-1 on Saint Patty’s Day. That at least was competitive. They fought tooth and nail. But gave up a late goal to Kyle Palmieri. The coach and players weren’t dissatisfied with the effort.

These kind of games aren’t always easy on the eyes. But they have to get used to it. In the wins over the Pens and even the Canes, the Blueshirts were fine.

Although we can be honest and give a nod to overly critiqued Alex Georgiev for the win at Carolina. Don’t remind Ron Duguay. He’s ridiculous. I’ve lost respect for him with his views on Georgiev, who isn’t in an ideal situation. I hope he winds up elsewhere and makes Duguay eat crow.

If you do a podcast and are a Rangers alumni, you support the entire T-E-A-M. Duguay is a hypocrite. I don’t care about his relationship with Sarah Palin. That’s for losers. It’s like the moronic MSG telecast celebrating a Ranger and Islander fan. Can they be any more predictable?

It’s bad enough they play “Strike It Up,” for obnoxious super fan Larry Goodman. He’s a self promoting lunatic! I’m not saying he’s a bad guy. But the ridiculous lengths they go to push self-serving loons is absurd. Give me a fan who doesn’t need to be the center of attention and appreciates the team history.

By now, you probably understand this isn’t your conventional game summary. Yes. The Islanders got the first two goals from Casey Cizikas and noted sniper Matt Martin, who was left all alone early in the second on a Mat Barzal pass, it made you wonder if any Blueshirt was on the ice.

If you’re letting Martin score on Igor Shesterkin from a wide open slot due to miserable defensive coverage on only the Isles’ sixth shot, you’re not winning. The turnover Dryden Hunt had didn’t help.

Barzal is the last guy you want to see with the puck in transition. He also stole the lunch money from Braden Schneider and Patrik Nemeth early in the third when he blew right in and roofed a backhand past Shesterkin to end the suspense.

Alexis Lafreniere, who did have a solid game offensively, also was late on the coverage. He got caught puck watching. It was a total team effort. I won’t blame one player. They weren’t good enough. Something Gallant noted in a brief postgame.

How come whenever they face Barzal, he makes our defense look like a bunch of statues? They looked like traffic cones. Of course, that highlight reel goal also happened to be his 300th career point.

April Fools Day is supposed to be fun. Don’t tell Mets fans. It sure applies to the Rangers tonight. They really didn’t do enough to distract Varlamov. It was Groundhog Day at 33rd and 7th. They shot pucks into the crest and when there were rebounds, they were Julien Gauthier’d by Filip Chytil.

What is a Julien Gauthier? It’s when a player blows a scoring chance by missing the net wide. Or in Chytil’s case, hitting a goalpost within eight feet. That actually happened with the team down three.

You also had a steamed Gallant referencing the lack of physicality until the third when Ryan Lindgren delivered a hip check that Anders Lee didn’t like. They already were down 3-0 at that point. Lee would knock down Lindgren high. He’d later be held accountable by the ultimate team guy Barclay Goodrow.

We saw Artemi Panarin dance a lot without much success. And yet Joe Micheletti thought he was having a great game. But in the next breath, he and Sam Rosen couldn’t wait to bow down and pay the Islanders every compliment. It was maddening. Why don’t they hand them the trophy. It was their Stanley Cup.

The Islanders aren’t going to the playoffs. Thank God. I will spare you my thoughts on that. If they didn’t field an AHL roster in the Turkey Eve meeting on home ice, our team might be 0 for 3 in the season series. I wish I was joking. There’s one meeting left in Elmont. They better win.

In failing to do so on Friday night, they missed an opportunity to go back to three points up on idle Pittsburgh. They trail by a point for second in the division.

By now, it’s obvious Rangers vs Pens is a foregone conclusion. Home ice could matter. But I’ll take my chances with Shesterkin against Tristan Jarry. It is a fascinating match-up. But it isn’t only the goalies. It will probably be a great series.

For now, there’s still 13 games left. We’ll see how things shake out. The Rangers are off today. They return to The Garden to host the God awful Flyers. That better be a victory. They stink. But our side must show up ready to play.

If they don’t, it’s their own fault. Rather than say anything else derogatory, I’ll refrain further. This summary is a reflection of what our side put in. Which wasn’t much.

No three stars. Unless you’re an Islander fan or Sam and Joe waving the dark navy blue and bright orange pom poms. This was bad. It can’t be repeated.

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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