1) I know it’s considered heresy to say this, but Henrik Lundqvist hasn’t looked good since the preseason began.
2) That third goal was a 2-on-2, no defensive mistake at all. Maybe it was deflected. Probably was. I don’t place blame on deflections. If it wasn’t deflected, it needs to be stopped.
3) The first two goals, though? Oy. The two D-men below the goal line has disaster written all over it. And the first goal, man, you never see Ryan McDonagh get beaten like that. Still, Anton Stralman with the snow angel and Derek Stepan with the weak backcheck both had a chance to bail him out. And Stepan and Jesper Fast had a chance on the second.
4) That Marian Gaborik trade. I didn’t like it when it happened and don’t like it today, and I think it will come back and bite the Rangers, and I’m not going to get into what Gaborik’s doing for Columbus, because you had to figure he would. But Derick Brassard has been a ghost for four games, John Moore, so far, looks more like a minor-leaguer than Chris Kreider or J.T. Miller did, and Derek Dorsett, well, he is what he is, which is NOT Brandon Prust.
5) This lunacy about removing helmets has to stop. The league just finds rules to make its game look sillier and sillier. Fighters should adopt an unwritten rule that, in these staged fights, both remove their helmets and just accept the additional minor penalty. And Arron Asham has to be smarter than that.
6) And plenty of people are down on Alain Vigneault’s system and his decisions (no kids), and I still think the way he wants to play doesn’t fit the personnel he has. But I’m not heaping the whole thing on him. In fact, I think it was completely ridiculous for a team with a new coach and a new system to schedule that four games/five nights preseason trip and the Banff vacation when a new coach and a new system needed to be sitting around the home practice rink figuring out stuff. The Garden was closed, but they could have played fewer preseason games, and they sure as hell could have played closer preseason games.
7) Again, that’s not an excuse. But in hindsight, it was a poorly hatched idea. … well, maybe it is a legit excuse, too.
8) Pretty much all five Rangers on the ice, six if you count the keeper, messed up on the fifth goal. Brad Richards, back at center, way late on the backcheck. OK, now I’m gonna stop analyzing all the goals. (I wrote this line just before the sixth goal).
9) Does A.V. remember that each team has a timeout?
10) Jakob Silfverberg=Beast. (no idea if that’s spelled correctly). Loved him in Ottawa.
11) So, maybe L.A. was the fluke game? (remember the two crossbars and the two gift goals).
12) Since I rip him all the time, I want to commend Brendan Shanahan on getting it right with Brad Stuart. It wasn’t an elbow, but it was a head shot. Keep it up, Sheriff.
13) But, boy, if you think it can’t get worse for the Rangers, imagine if Rick Nash is out long-term. And he might well be.
14) Despite all that negative typing, I still think this team could be good enough to finish second, to make the playoffs and be ahead of the Islanders after Game 82.
15) Another silly thing is this rule that prevented the Rangers from practicing Wednesday. Holy shishkebob.
16) Two hundred and 34 regulation periods left.
My Three Rangers Stars:
1. Holy crap.
2. There really.
3. Is nobody.
Your poll vote for Three Rangers Stars:
1. Martin Biron.
2. Arron Asham.
3. tie, Derek Dorsett and Brad Richards.
Photos by Jeff Gross/Getty Images.