Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Sloppy Defensive Effort Hurts Blueshirts in Loss to the Hurricanes

After pounding seven goals against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night, the New York Rangers were held to one goal in a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC Center.

Specifically, they were held to one goal by the terrific netminding of Cam Ward, who made 39 saves in the game. The Rangers had their chances to score a bunch of goals by time and time again last night, Ward was able to make the save.

If you’re a die-hard Blueshirts’ fan, I am sure that you expected the team to deliver that kind of effort last night after scoring a bunch of goals the night before. With that said, however, the team had a lot of opportunities and had those chances gone in, we could be talking about another big win.

Unforunately, the team’s defense wasn’t as good as it was on Wednesday night and Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella acknowledged as much after the game to web site team beat writer Jim Cerny:

“I just thought we were brutal defensively,” said Rangers head coach John Tortorella. “Some of the mistakes defensively were no-brainers. And it started with our top guys. It wasn’t just the new guys who we have to still teach how we play.”

“I thought the third goal was the biggest one,” said the head coach. “That’s a simple rush, and not an odd-man rush until we allow it to turn into an odd-man rush. We were sloppy defensively and we have to get that straightened out.”

Luckily, the Rangers do not have a lot of time to sit and stew over the loss as they will be back in action tomorrow night against the Atlanta Thrashers. The Thrashers are currently eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 54 points, just three points behind the sixth place Blueshirts.

Each game is becoming increasingly important, which is why the Rangers need to figure out a way to get back on the right track and start winning again on a consistent basis. Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist feels the same way.

“It was a big game, and it feels tough to lose this one,” said goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who finished with 35 saves. “We have a couple of games before the (All-Star) break here, so we just have to do the best we can.”

With that said, if the team plays the same kind of defense they did last night against the Thrashers, not only could they be in for a very long night, but they may find themselves with their second straight loss.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, new+york+rangers

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About Goal Line Report

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 patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.