1) The Rangers don’t usually get out hit and outmuscled, but they sure did in the first period and they definitely did on the first goal … even if there was an illegal pick there. I thought they lost about four physical battles on that shift.
2) And from there, the beat went on. The Blues won a huge majority of the battles all night long. And, yes Ryan Callahan, that’s why they didn’t create offense or draw penalties.
3) Quite a combo by coach Hitchcock: Pressure the puck in the offensive zone, then drop into the dreaded trap, then pressure in the defensive zone. That’s the gameplan for a lot of teams but Hitch’s team sure executes it. (um, didn’t he practically beg to be hired by the Rangers once upon a time?).
4) To combat that, you can’t carry the puck through the neutral zone, and you surely can’t turn it over at either blue line. How many times did Artem Anisimov commit turnovers or fail to clear the puck—one of which led to the fluky third goal? And Derek ...