Following his team’s round two loss in the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs, New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton knew he had to make some serious moves in order for his team to reach the elusive Stanley Cup finals. After acquiring defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, re-signing defenseman Brendan Smith, as well as buying out the contract of Dan Girardi and trading center Derek Stepan, he believed he had hit the jackpot and made his team better and stronger.
Unfortunately, just two games in, that is not the case. The New York Rangers are currently 0-2-0 to start the 2017-18 NHL season, including a devastating 8-5 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. Yes, it is still way too early to think about playoff games, but no one expected this kind of effort from a newly revamped team.
The boys in blueshirts lost their home opener to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night, 4-2, and were looking to bounce back with a win on Saturday. However, when that game against Toronto came, the team found themselves down 4-1 with four minutes to play in the first, ultimately trailing 5-1 after one. In the second, the team fired back to tie the game, but once the third quarter started, the lead was squandered and the Rangers lost yet again.
Henrik Lundqvist, who was pulled after the first period in Saturday, calls the 8-5 loss “embarrassing” and put the blame on himself, saying he needs to be better.
The team is back home for two games, starting with Sunday night against the Montreal Canadiens in an original six matchup. Ondrej Pavelec, who relieved Lundqvist on Saturday in goal, will get his first career start as a New York Ranger. It may be early, but the New York Rangers need to find their game and fast because eight goals in one game is just not acceptable.