New York Rangers back in 5-1 loss to Calgary
You could see this one coming. The dreaded first comeback game of a long road trip struck again as the New York Rangers were completely outnumbered by the Calgary Flames who were really, really good. As one-sided as a 5-1 score is, it could have been worse without the heroism of Igor Shesterkin in the first half.
Do you want an apology? We have already provided the first home game after a road trip excuse. What about the fact that with seven games the Blueshirts have played the most games of any team in the league. What about the fact that the Rangers, along with the Maple Leafs, had the tightest schedule of any NHL team, playing seven games in just 13 days. Not only that, with Toronto spending most of their time at home, the Rangers only played two home games and had a schedule that zigzagged from New York in Canada to Nashville and back to Canada.
Gerard Gallant was asked if the schedule was the reason for the poor performance and downplayed it: “I hope so. I don’t like making excuses for myself, but I hope so… with all our travels… ”
He was precise when it came to the effort. “We just did so many turnovers in the first half, trying to make cute plays instead of strong plays on the board. It really cost us. We did a lot of turnovers and Shesty played amazingly in the first half. It really cost us the hockey game even though we came back in the third period. This first period was difficult to watch.
The Rangers improved their game in the second period, but couldn’t get the puck past Jacob Markstrom. Their efforts were deflated when Patrik Nemeth made an unforced gift by handing the puck to Andrew Mangiapane who was wide open in front of the Rangers net.
If anyone was hoping for another miracle comeback like the one we saw in Ottawa, hopes were raised when the Rangers scored early in the third period. Calgary quickly dashed those hopes, scoring just three minutes later and then stacking up. All in all, it was a pretty miserable effort.
Was this a warning sign? We’ll know a lot more after two days of training and a game against a pesky Metro Columbus Blue Jackets team on Friday.
Here’s a full video recap of the game in just five minutes. If you can bear to watch.