by Patrick Hoffman on 02/17/12 at 10:00 AM ET
That is exactly what the New York Rangers got last night in their 4-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Yesterday, I blogged that the Rangers had to get off to a good start and put pressure on the Blackhawks early, especially since the Blackhawks were coming into the game having lost nine straight. Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, the exact opposite happened.
The team allowed four goals in the first period as the Blackhawks jumped on the Rangers early and often. In fact, the Blackhawks’ four goals came in the first 9:38 of the first period, including a penalty shot goal by Blackhawks’ captain Jonathan Toews.
What surprised many was that Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella kept goaltender Martin Biron in the game despite the bad first period. Fortunately for the Rangers, Biron was sharp the rest of the way and ended up with 18 saves on 22 shots.
Other than that, there really is not too much to write about when it comes to tonight’s game. The Blueshirts got goals from Marc Staal (first of the season) and Carl Hagelin while putting 24 shots on a goaltender that came into the game with a shaken confidence in Corey Crawford.
The team will quickly put this game behind them and focus on their next tilt, which is Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets are last in the NHL so the Rangers need to take advantage of that and put the puck in the net with some regularity.
Hopefully, tonight’s game will wake the Rangers up and show them that there is still much work to be done before the playoffs.
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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.