by Patrick Hoffman on 01/12/11 at 12:48 AM ET
Tonight’s 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens is one that I am sure the New York Rangers would love to have back.
The team let a 1-0 lead slip away at Madison Square Garden in the second period and then allowed the Habs to break the tie in the third period, both coming on goals from Benoit Pouliot. The second one was questionable considering the angle Pouliot shot it from and beat goaltender Henrik Lundqvist but nevertheless, it was the goal that sunk the Blueshirts.
This was somewhat of a “blah” effort from the Blueshirts. They were not as tight defensively as they were in their last two games against the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues and their offense could not get the timely or clutch goal to give the team a victory.
Wojtek Wolski, making his Rangers’ debut, had a glorious chance late in the third period but it hit the post and was then cleared from the crease. Other than that, Wolski’s debut was solid as he showed his solid stick handling skills while also creating some offensive opportunities.
And with the exception of the second goal allowed, Lundqvist was solid between the pipes for the Blueshirts, making 36 saves. Again though, many will wonder if he should have stopped that second goal but it’s tough to say because as a goaltender myself, I can see why that shot would be hard to stop for Lundqvist.
The Rangers will have to forget about this game and focus on Thursday night’s tilt with the best team in the league, the Vancouver Canucks. That game will be a true test of just how far the Rangers have come or how much further they have to go to become a contender in the NHL.
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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.