NHL Playoffs: Rangers Lacking Urgency To Knock out the Hurricanes

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Going into Game 4 with a three games to none series lead over the Carolina Hurricanes, it looked like the New York Rangers would easily move on to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Two games later, this series is now three to two as the Hurricanes have taken two straight from the Blueshirts. Not only are the Hurricanes back in this series, but they are getting close to turning the Rangers year upside down.

After giving up three goals in the first period in Game 3, the Rangers battled back to tie it in the third period. Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, former Ranger defenseman Brady Skjei scored a power play goal with less than two minutes to play to give the Hurricanes a 4-3 lead and the eventual victory to close the series to three to one.

Monday night’s 4-1 Game 5 loss at Madison Square Garden was a different story for the Rangers. The Blueshirts did not generate a lot of chances on offense, they left their goaltender Igor Shesterkin out to dry on many occasions, and they looked like a team that did not have enough energy to close out a series.

Besides the series being 3-2, there are a few other things that should be alarming for the Rangers. For starters, Artemi Panarin has not looked good in these last two games.

In Game 4, it was as if Panarin did not even play. Sure, he had over 18 minutes of ice time, but in that time, he only had one shot on goal and was a +/- – 3.

Panarin’s play in Game 4 was much of the same. He had just over 17 minutes of ice time, one shot on goal, and was a +/- -2.

Secondly, the Rangers are giving up way too many shots against. Sure, not all of them are high-quality scoring chances, but when you throw enough pucks on the net, some are bound to go in.

The Blueshirts allowed 59 shots combined in Games 4 and 5 and the Hurricanes scored eight goals on the 59 shots. In other words, that is not good.

Lastly, the Rangers have started to look lost in their own zone. Whether it is not clearing a rebound, picking up a man in the slot, or giving up an open lane, the Hurricanes are now finding holes to go through to score goals.

When you add all of these things up, it shows that the team might be lacking some urgency when it comes to closing out the Hurricanes. Maybe the team thought that things would be easy after going up three games to none, which would certainly be a far cry from the way how Rangers thought about and approached games during the regular season.

The Rangers need to change their mindset fast and go into Game 6 with a new attitude and an abundance of energy. After all of the hard work they have put in during the regular season and in the first seven games of the postseason, it would be a darn shame if they let the Hurricanes tie up the series to force a Game 7 on Saturday.

The Rangers have slowly allowed the Hurricanes to get up off the mat. Come Thursday, they must knock them right back down and do everything they can to get to the next round.

Guest Colin Stephenson : ECF Preview Ranting Rangers: A New York Rangers Podcast

In this playoff episode we have on NYR beat writer Colin Stephenson to preview the NYR vs FLA Eastern Conference Finals matchup.For more from us, visit Inside The RinkHow to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITRThanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Guest Colin Stephenson : ECF Preview
  2. Cry-der
  3. 7-1 Stay Cuylle, We're Fine
  4. 2-0 Series Lead!!! : Trocheck 2OT Hero
  5. Guest Will Wright : NYR vs CAR Series Preview

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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