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Power Play Comes Through – Rangers Beat Jets

The Rangers won 2-1 in Winnipeg last night in a game that can best be described dull. At this stage of the season however, all that matters to the Rangers is that they left the MTS Arena with 2 points to make their Western Canadian trip a highly successful one. All in all as the Rangers head home, despite playing inconsistent error prone hockey to begin the year they will be more than happy to be 3-2-2. Let’s get to some game thoughts.

  • 2 Power Play goals. Really? The first goal came from some sustained pressure on the power play after which Girardi and Del Zotto moved the puck before Fedotenko redirected a Girardi shot. It wasn’t complicated or beautiful hockey but hockey basics. The second PP goal was the kind of lucky break you need (off the skate and in) but the Rangers managed to get good entry to the zone and that’s what happens if you can get behind the defense.
  • Mike Del Zotto had a good game. He looked more confident, wanted the puck on his stick and it looks like he’s really turning his game round with each and every game. Would have played this much if everyone was healthy? No, but his game is profiting from all the ice time. A +4 on the season is a long way from those rookie days.
  • The Rangers looked solid in the second period, created a few chances and finally had some sustained pressure in the offensive zone. The pressure resulted in Claude Noel needing to take a time out for the Jets.
  • Marian Gaborik was shut down in this game. No shots, little going for him. This is the kind of game when your depth has to come through when your star players can’t get it done. Thankfully the depth came through tonight.
  • Callahan: Better. Dubinsky: wasn’t. Richards: invisible.
  • The Rangers realise you have to shoot and get shots on net to win games, right? They will not win many games when they only have 17 shots on net like last night.  In the 7 games thus far the Rangers have recorded less than 20 shots in 4 of 7 games; that’s pathetic. Amazingly they are 2-1-1 in those games.
  • Penalties: the Rangers were better disciplined last night. I had to check the box score a few times because I couldn’t believe the Rangers only took one penalty aside from the Prust fight. Stay out of the box and you win games.
  • If this game wasn’t further evidence that the Rangers have the best goaltending combination in the game I don’t know what is. Biron played well, stepped in and the Rangers didn’t skip a beat. He was solid all night and I thought he was helpless on Antropov’s goal.
  • Is it me or does Antropov always play well against the Rangers?
  • Dan Girardi is playing on another level right now even if I thought he could have cleared the zone before the Jets’ goal.
The Rangers won this game thanks to three key ingredients; goaltending (again), special teams (for once) and discipline (really?). As a team, if you can stay out of the box and be at least respectable on the power play you will always have a chance. The Rangers managed to play a distinctly average game and come away with the two points because of those three things. That said, they really need to get more shots on net if they expect to win consistently.

19 Responses to “Power Play Comes Through – Rangers Beat Jets”

  1. bob says:

    Nice to see someone give Del Zotto credit.He has been decent and improving.On some sites,people rip even when he has a good game.Some times I wonder if they watch the game.Bout time they utilized Boyle on PP to cause havoc in front of net.Otherwise the players are not playing Torts game,I’m starting to wonder a little.If its not a problem with Torts,I question the character of this team.Their effort is piss poor right now.I don’t see much second effort.I can’t stand when the defense does not skate the puck up into the O zone,its like its a hot potato.That basically takes the D out of the attack,and they easily clog us up in the neutral zone.At least Stall would skate it up sometimes,it seems like no one else does.

  2. AD says:

    I’ve been fairly critical of MDZ. Glad to see the improvements in his game; he is at least heading in the right direction, and that is the main thing. Last year it seemed completely different. Our entire second line is struggling; very unlike that line too. I do recall though the past two seasons the club opened the month on fire and started off very strong, only to incur problems mid-seasons, and then need a year end rush to try and make the playoffs. Perhaps this year we’ll get our kinks out in the early part of the season and finish strong, fighting for home ice advantage.

  3. Walt says:

    As Bob mentioned above, it’s about time that Torts put Boyle on the PP. The man stands 6’7″, is a wall, and standing in front of the goalie, you need to be a giraffe to see around his big frame.

    Every line was broken up last night, that is a problem, give these guys time to work out their timing, and chemistry, please John!!!!!

    I hate to say this because I love Staal, but the time that MDZ, and TE are getting on D will pay dividens long term when Marc comes back. This is a very young defense, and they are starting to play well, at least the top four are, and when Sauer, and Staal get healthy, I believe there will be a major change in the way we play the game. Now if we can start scoring on a regular basis we’ll be fine!!!!!

  4. Section 121 says:

    Wowo back in the lineup, started on 4th line, moved to 2nd line. AA demoted, I don’t know why. Dubi strong on face offs when moved to center. Cally had flashes of his old self with the physical play but couldn’t bang home MDZ’s pass on the PP. Gabby benched in the third. The PP was abysmal until Boyle & Feds were put out there (and that was somewhat lucky, soft). Girardi has been this team’s best Dman for over two years now.

    The Rangers were dominated most of the game and just lucky that players like Little, Kane, and Wheeler can’t find the net right now.

    Last year, this team seemed to rise up through adversity and injury. Now, the identity of this team seems lost.

    • bob says:

      It just seems like something is not right.I’m not saying Torts has lost the team or anything like that.Wolski was invisible,I was shocked when I saw how many minutes he played.I thought he would be at least noticable his first game back.Boyle and Rupp should be in front of the net on the PP.Its a game that you want to play to your strengths,we have two big bodies that have the hands to work in front.

    • Chris says:

      AA for me has been MIA this season. He doesn’t had any offensive consistency. Hope he gets it, but in yr 3 (4as a pro) he should have begun to kick on.

      • bob says:

        I was thinking the same thing about AA this morning.Its amazing the talent he displays when hes on.But I have a feeling its never going to be much better then you see now.He’s defenitely very shy out there.Maybe if you put him with a couple of bruisers and gave him alot of space.He doesn’t seem to fit with Torts game.

  5. Sally says:

    They have played 7 games out of 82. The thing I like about hockey is that it ebbs and flows even during a game. The season is one long hockey game. The teams that a burning it up now may not be next month or even the month after that. The key to the playoffs is to stay in the running.

  6. Eric says:

    Boy’s,

    Six points out of 8 points is very good road trip, but they looked terrible. If the goaltending wasn’t top end the Rangers would have big problems.

    I think you have to have a short leash with Torts. Switching lines every game doesn’t develop any chemistry. I think players like Wolski, AA are losing confidence because Torts is killing them behind closed doors and in the media. Wolski started the season on the first line now he is lucky to be in the lineup. I know Wolski has under preformed but it is his contract year and he will not sniff 3.8 million every again without an amazing year. he has something to play for. AA is a young European player who is going to be good for the team for many years but you cannot kill him. Why is Christian on this team? His skill set is for top 6 forward and we will all know he is not that guy. I am not saying that Avery is the be end all but he plays a tough nasty game that suits fourth line. Torts is putting his personal vendetta against Avery before the team.

    In closing we have a good team that could make the playoffs and make some noise or they could miss the playoffs. Hopefully torts will let his guys play through thisnand develop into a Stanley Cup Contender for many years.

    • bob says:

      I wanted to give Wolski a chance because its a contract year,he might not even play in the NHL if doesn’t have a decent year.I have a feeling he’s done.Hope not but a spade is a spade.Speaking of fourth lines,I would like to see us with a real fourth line.Three tough,hard hitting,agressive guys that can go out and set or change the tone of the game.Guys that can take regular shifts.Especially important to have on home ice,to get the fans into it.For now I would try Rupp,Newbury and Feds.Put wolski with Boyle and Prust and see if he can produce.But Torts has to play them,maybe Torts will trust that line defensively with Feds on it.

  7. JB says:

    take the points and run to the tactics room. I dont know how theyve done it but scrambling in your own zone for most of the game and come out with 2 points is pretty rare and it want give you a lot of points in the long run. you have to give the other team something to worry about, you have to mix it up, it has to be a balance. when the dump-chase, forecheck, high intensity, battling for the pucks in the corners only works for parts of the game- you have to have other strings to play on… other options in your o game. its like were missing a line. the current 4th is a waste of space. whats their purpose? make the rest of the game 4 min shorter for the other lines? maybe wrong to call them lines… the other 9 players

    • bob says:

      There is no fourth line,their just extras.Some nights the third is lucky to get minutes.Torts is a smart man,but I think he is a little to stubborn and set in his ways.Obviously,you take the two points and run with a smile.But the non-effort is pretty concerning.

  8. The Suit says:

    Good thoughts guys. I just want to add that it is critical Dubi, Arty, and Cally get going. Richards and Gabby aren’t going to be able to carry us on their own all season as coaches are already starting to zero in on them.

    I thought they were able to work the forecheck a little better last night, but it didn’t really amount to many shots on net, let alone quality ones. If this team is going to have some balance we need these three on their A-game more consistently.

    I love Feds, Boyle, and Prust, but to think they can get on the stat sheet every game is Christopher Bridges Ludacris.

    • bob says:

      Feds isnt the most offensive but I think if stuck an offensive player with them ,they could bang one in every now and then.I really think Feds would be great with Rupp and Newbs.It gives them some D that Torts might trust.The AA line is struggling which is very unexpected.Instead of breaking them up,I would just cut thier minutes.they will get mad,and maybe their emotion will push them when they get out there.

  9. JTC says:

    I would argue that the absence of Staal and Sauer makes it much more difficult for our offense to get going and get in a good flow. They have to spend a lot more time making up for the deficiencies of a thin defensive squad that has a tougher time getting the puck out of our zone. Getting Sauer back will help, and the continued growth of MDZ and McD will also slowly alter this situation. But the loss of Staal is something that simply can’t be fully compensated for. On a different note, how about FEDS! The guy is really earning his salary…

    • The Suit says:

      And to think a small section of fans were against this Feds signing…cough cough Matt J! Just kidding bro you know I heart you.

  10. Sioux-per-man says:

    Agree FEDS is the ultimate “utility guy”, what a great hockey player. Nice veteran to have on this team.
    I see Wolski playing more minutes, on either of the top two lines. He seemed to spark the 2nd line when he was put there. Maybe he could save the top line on an off night if needed.
    Stepan is talented enough to stay thier, but the top line isn’t really flowing right now. It should be creating more chances, and getting more shot on net than what they are producing right now. Gaborik was all over the ice last night, so I don’t think he should ever be nailed to the bench in a 1 goal game. He can score at any given time, so I don’t get why Torts would do that. Was he hurt in any way last night.

    Nice to have 8 points in the bank. Even if it feels like we stole them. 3 out of 4 wins on the road, I would be happy if that was our winning % at home.

    It’s got to get better, and it will. This team just looked tired last night, a little slow, and off the mark. Why they play to the level of the compition is beyond me, but a win is a win.

    Playing at home seems like a gift for this team right now. Looking at the next 6 games, we could put up some serious points. I would be happy with 9 out 12!!! How about you?

  11. pavel says:

    I thought MDZ played his best game of the year last night. Defensively, I didn’t really notice him, which is a good thing. Offensively, he had confidence with the puck, wasn’t afraid to shoot, and he actually connected on some passes into the neutral zone. Hopefully he’s finally getting it together.

  12. kgb16 says:

    Can anyone just say that our team looks pathetic, should be 1-6 (or 0-7), and would be if our goaltending wasn’t spectacular? Can anyone just say that our defense is, at best, ok, and our offense, at best, non-existent despite the 4 goal Vancouver eruption?