With the New York Rangers giving up 12 goals in their first two games of the should they play Nick Holden tonight against Montreal?
Panic is not a word that is usually spoken after the first two games of a hockey season. But teams don’t usually give up 12 goals in a two-game span, either. The New York Rangers should be concerned with the ineffective play of their defense so far.
Head coach Alain Vigneault has tried to find a defensive mix that works. Last night against Toronto, he made changes to all three pairings when the third period began: Ryan McDonagh with Marc Staal, Brady Skjei with Kevin Shattenkirk and Brendan Smith with Anthony DeAngelo.
That didn’t do much good, as the Maple Leafs scored three third-period goals—and kept the Rangers off the board—in their 8-5 victory.
Scratched Nick Holden waits his turn on unsteady NYR defense https://t.co/prcJWBzZ4M via @newsday
— Steve Zipay (@stevezipay) October 8, 2017
Replacing DeAngelo with Holden isn’t an original idea—more than one Ranger fan has called for just that on social media in the past 12 hours. While giving DeAngelo, who the team traded for in the offseason, the nod over Holden made sense initially, it no longer does.
Holden was solid in 80 games for the Rangers last year, scoring 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) and posting a plus-13 rating. With DeAngelo being caught out of position and turning the puck over, it’s time to give Holden a chance.
Maybe his steady play will help to calm the rest of the blue line down.