by Patrick Hoffman on 11/08/10 at 12:16 PM ET
In what was supposed to be a game in which the New York Rangers took advantage of a team playing in back-to-back games, it was instead a 2-0 shutout loss to the St. Louis Blues at Madison Square Garden.
The Blueshirts looked very out-of-sync and one has to wonder if that was due to the shape of the Garden ice or to the team’s actual play. I would say it was a little bit of both as the puck was bouncing all over the place and the team had trouble getting the puck on their stick.
Unlike his first game at MSG, this loss cannot be blamed on back-up goaltender Martin Biron. Biron was strong between the pipes and did everything he could to give the team in front of him a chance to win the hockey game.
It must be said that guys like Derek Stepan, Derek Boogaard and Evegny Grachev did not play strong hockey games. Stepan looks snake bitten while Boogaard and Grachev look lost. It may be time to go back to the drawing board with these guys.
Tomorrow night, the team will take on the Washington Capitals in what will be a test for both the team’s defense and of course, starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist is coming off a 3-0 shutout over the New Jersey Devils on Friday and will be raring to go after a night off against the Blues last night.
Once again, it will be up to the Rangers to establish some sort of home ice advantage, which is extremely important considering that the team has several home games coming up.
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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.