by Patrick Hoffman on 11/20/10 at 12:30 PM ET
In hockey, it’s a well known fact that turnovers often lead to offensive opportunities against.
Unfortunately for the New York Rangers, defensive turnovers did them in last night in a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Not only did defensive turnovers hurt the club, but so did the goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist (3 goals allowed on 16 shots) and Martin Biron (2 goals allowed on 10 shots).
It was a game in which despite being tied in shots, the Rangers looked overmatched. Their forwards had trouble putting the puck in the net on Avalanche netminder Craig Anderson. The team’s defense was sloopy with the puck and in their own zone and the goaltending was not there to cover up the team’s mistakes.
One particular player that had a tough game was defenseman Michael Del Zotto. Del Zotto was a -4 and his pinching in the Avalanche zone in the second period led to the first goal of the game and ultimately, was the start of a horrific period for the Blueshirts.
While there is no doubting that Del Zotto is going to be a solid defenseman in the National Hockey League, one can’t help but notice that he still needs to learn and implement a few things into his game. He needs to have better decision making on the ice, better awareness of where the opposition is on the ice and needs to be quicker with the puck. Again, he is going to be a good defenseman in this league for many years but before becoming one, he needs to fix some things.
Luckily for the Rangers, now 10-9-1, they will not have a lot of time to dwell on last night’s performance as the club will be back in action tonight to take on the Minnesota Wild, who are coming off a 4-3 overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
With better defensive play, reliable goaltending and more offense, the team should be able to stay competitive in tonight’s game and may be earn a point or two.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.