Rangers Pushed to the Brink After Debilitating Loss to Penguins

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 09: Jake Guentzel #59 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates his goal during the second period of Game Four of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Rangers at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 09, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

After all the talk of resiliency and bounce back ability the Rangers are at the edge. After a terrible effort Monday night in Pittsburg the Rangers are gasping for air as their season has been put on life support.

Positives: After the “effort” in game 4 the only real positives to take away is the kid line and the growth of Lafreniere, Kakko, and Chytil. They’ve been spectacular at driving the Pens back on their heels and creating chances. Unfortunately, Gallant hasn’t used them as much as their production would dictate they should be used. It’s been a real pleasure to see what the kids can do in a big spot, it’s just unfortunate that their play hasn’t been able to elevate the rest of the roster.

K’Andre Miller is having himself a coming out party this postseason. He has been extremely good matching up against Malkin and Crosby. Miller has only been pitted against Crosby in spot moments but his work against Malkin has been exemplary. Miller has limited the damage Malkin could have against the Rangers and unfortunately the rest of his defense corps hasn’t helped limit Crosby and Guentzel. Miller’s size, speed, strength, and reach have been on display. As well as Miller’s playmaking ability from the back end.

Braden Schneider has also had himself a nice postseason in spite of being paired with a black hole in Patrik Nemeth. Schneider has been attempting to jump up in the offensive zone and makes plays while also taking the body defensively.

Negatives: Igor Shesterkin’s recent play. We’ve come to know Igor as a brick wall this year and to see how he’s played in games three and four have been a major shock to the system.

The pre-deadline Rangers have returned. Unfortunately the Rangers before the deadline that scrambled defensively and rely too much on their goalie have returned. Unfortunately for them their goalie isn’t bailing them out anymore.

Adam Fox has looked terrible since Ryan Lindgren has been out from game one. This is without doubt the worst version of Adam Fox we’ve seen in his young career. His game offensively outside of a game one powerplay goal has been nonexistent and Fox’s defensive game has been abysmal.

Has anyone seen Mika Zibanejad? Bueller…Bueller?

Patrik Nemeth, just go away.

Gerard Gallant. Poor lineup choices, which have been compounded by injuries, but relying on Nemeth over the likes of Zac Jones has been awful. Not riding the hot hand of the kid line has also helped dig the Rangers the hole they’re currently in.

I was one of the people who wanted the Penguins in round one, I was wrong. Also, the Rangers have also helped beat themselves by just forgetting how to play team hockey. If this group doesn’t figure it out by Wednesday night it’ll be the end to what was a promising season.

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