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Rangers/Sharks Review: A Full Sixty Minutes

This is what happens when the Rangers play a full 60 minutes. Aside from a few shifts here and there, the Rangers dominated the Sharks from beginning to end. They played great hockey in all three zones, killed penalties, and capitalized with the man advantage. And they did all this against a San Jose Sharks team that is bound for the playoffs. Let’s get to those thoughts:

Offense

  • This game was all about the powerplay. The Sharks were one of the worst in the league when down a man, and the Rangers capitalized on their chances.
  • Speaking of those powerplay goals, they both came on beautiful passes. The pass from Brandon Dubinsky to Derek Stepan for the first goal was a fantastic pass. The pass from Erik Christensen to Ryan Callahan was even better.
  • Cally’s second goal was a thing of beauty. He did it all on that goal: used speed to gain the zone, maintained puck possession, found open ice, and did everything possible while falling to get the puck in the net.
  • Christensen and Wojtek Wolski sure did have good games tonight. Christensen had two assists, and both were just beauties. The pass to Artem Anisimov (who roofed his backhand) was an underrated perfect pass.
  • Cally, Dubi, and Anisimov look like they are starting to get back into form. All three had very strong games.
  • In fact, I can’t think of a single forward that had a bad game. Just a great game all around offensively.

Defense

  • Ryan McDonagh is simply amazing. Thank you Scott Gomez, Bob Gainey, and the Montreal Canadiens. Seriously.
  • Dan Girardi does it all for the Rangers this year, and is really doing a great job compensating for the loss of Marc Staal.
  • The Steve Eminger/Jeff Woywitka pairing was pretty bad tonight. They were on the ice for what seemed like forever on the Sharks second goal. All things considered, they shouldn’t be a third pairing. Staal’s return should help that.
  • Michael Del Zotto is having a great start to the season. He played 23 minutes tonight, and it shows how much the coaching staff is beginning to trust him.
  • Mike Sauer is Mike Sauer. He made some good defensive plays. The style he plays isn’t flashy, and you only really notice him when he’s out of position. Not noticing him is a big compliment, and I didn’t notice him much.
Goaltending
  • Martin Biron had a very quiet strong game. He made all the stops he needed to, and couldn’t do a thing on those two goals. Good game by him. Hopefully he has 18 more like that in him.
Officiating
  • The refs let the teams play for the most part. The tripping call on Del Zotto was a bit weak, and they botched the Brian Boyle high stick, but that’s it.
Other Thoughts
  • Andre Deveaux had a very nice debut for the Rangers. He was surprisingly effective.
  • Is it me, or did Christensen and Wolski look like players who were scared about losing their roster spots? With Sean Avery en route, they knew their spots were in jeopardy, and it showed.
  • The Rangers, very quietly, were the much faster team tonight. They skated circles around the Sharks tonight.
This was a big win for the Rangers, who actually held on to their three goal lead this time around. The Sharks are headed to the playoffs, so now we know the Rangers can compete with the playoff clubs. Consistency though, that will be the important factor.

29 Responses to “Rangers/Sharks Review: A Full Sixty Minutes”

  1. bob says:

    Write up is spot on.The big question is can they keep it up.I’m excited about the win but one game does not make a season.Until I see this level of play for a string of games I am not going to be mislead.As for Christensen,its just too late.His job has been on the line since last season.And he didn’t show a damn thing until tonight.He should not have laced up for even one regular season game.He caught a serious break.Won’t miss him.

    • Dave says:

      I agree on every point. Consistency is the biggest thing. They need to keep this up for the 72 remaining games.

      • bob says:

        72 games is pushing it,I’ll gladly settle for 60.And I’ll take the other 12 in the second season.But consistency has been the gorilla on our back for years.We really need to at least get it down to a monkey.Last year we played some great games against the top teams only to lose embarrassingly to the bottom feeders.Is that on the coaching staff or is that just a side affect of being an athlete in the city that never sleeps.When I was a kid in the 70’s I met a lot of the Rangers in social settings and there was a lot of partying going on.And some of the stories I heard could compare to an AA meeting.I honestly believe this is a different day and age,but I’m sure they are not saints.

  2. Walt says:

    Loved the final score, but there was a period of time when the game was tied that I was worried, oh no not again. Cally and Dubi played a great game, and they were rewarded for their efforts with two points each. Maybe Torts is on to something, playing the Capt, with Dubi and Richards.

    For the most part the D was reasonable, but they just couldn,t get the puck out of their zone before the second Shark goal. McD is becoming a wonderful kid to watch, geting some serious ice time, and playing like he earned it. I loved the kids shot that took the goose egg off of the score board, he should shoot more than he does. Being partnered up with Danny boy has worked out very well so far, and it will serve him very well as the season, and his career continue along. As you said, Gomez is really paying dividends for us with that trade!!!!!

    Hay Torts, don’t chaange these lines for a while, lets see if it can work for us.

  3. Leatherneckinlv says:

    A side from that shift when the entire team was bad, including Biron giving up a soft goal, name me one other time where Woywitka and Eminger were so terrible? I disagree they played well. In fact the worst defensive play of the game was by Girardi on the Sharks first goal. So one shift makes a bad game? Say something about Girardi too then. Let a good game be without having to say something bad.

    • Dave says:

      Which goal exactly was the soft goal? The one that hit the post and went right back to Pavelski, or the 3-on-2 where Couture rifled it over his shoulder?

    • Walt says:

      That goal was scored after hitting the posts twice, and everyone on the ice lost sight of the puch. Dan was looking like everyone for the puck and it landed in front of the goal for the Sharks score.

  4. Scully says:

    I too noticed Christensen and Wojtek Wolski having standout games among the many other standouts tonight. I know people are chirping that it’s too little too late for someone like Christensen but so what, it was enjoyable seeing him work hard and skate circles around guys behind the net. He had a really good game tonight.

  5. The Suit says:

    Was great to be at MSG tonight. Couple of thoughts…

    A few peeps tried to start the Avery chant, but it never really took off and was quickly replaced by a Cally chant. Loved that! His read on the McDonagh goal was superb.

    Was sitting near the corner boards tonight and have to say Wolski didnt come near them. He just floats around the neutral zone. Tough to make that assessment from TV, but his play away from the puck is vanilla.

    Everyone else played liked they don’t want to be replaced by Avery. And for that, I give Sather some credit for sending a message with all of this recall stuff.

  6. Rickyrants13 says:

    You said that Jeff Woywitka didnt have a great game? I do know one thing he may have had aone bad shift. But his 7 shots on goal had to help set a tone tonite. It had too…

    And I have been saying it all along that line two had no puck carrier on it. Well look what we have gotten from it since they put Richards there.

    • Dave says:

      He’s a defenseman, he’s supposed to play defense. He did not do a good job playing defense.

      • Rickyrants13 says:

        He had one bad shift. Every player on the ice has atleast one. And the shift he had bad there were four other guys on the ice at that time as well who couldnt or didnt clear the puck.

  7. Agentsmith says:

    i dont expect wolski and ec to do this every game. thats where ull see avery come in.

    but that dubi richie callahan line is a terrific line. all three are consistent and richie adds that playmaking ability.

    solid effort all around.

  8. JTC says:

    Great game, great post. McDonagh does it again. Special teams rocked. I loved how Deveaux kept the Shark defender’s stick from disrupting Anisimov’s goal, it was an NHL play and he did some other smart things on the ice. It’s nice to see the Rangers finally playing the way most of us imagined they could.

  9. Chris says:

    The irony of our bad 3rd pair is that they are both former first round picks. There should be predigree and at least an ability to handle pressure – none of it

    • Bobby G says:

      If anything, they couldn’t handle the pressure, hence never living up to their 1st round status

  10. mhurley says:

    I concur with almost all of your points save one. Brian Boyle played a dumb game last night. I find his habit of throwing himself on the ice disturbing.

    Blocking a shot is one thing but sliding you body across the ice in an attempt to block the pass is not working. All it accomplishes is to take him out of position. Also, tonight he got hit with the puck and it bounced over him and on to the stick of a Shark who took it into our zone leading to a goal. Bad Brian. Bad Brian.

  11. bob says:

    I have no problem with EC playing another game,and letting Avery sit one more.As soon as EC is a non-factor,Avery comes in.I’m sure it wont be long.Even though I wouldn’t care if EC never laced them up again.

  12. ArtyFan says:

    ‘single forward that had a bad game’… I think 3rd line is on the slump. Their skating is slow motion and their moves are lazy, that highlight when Sharks scored the trio couldn’t get out of D zone and lazy penalty by Feds in O zone. They looked like playing game 75, but it was just 10th. EC usually playing 2 games per season, last night was 1. Is it worth it to keep him? He doesn’t know himself when the 2nd good game he can play.

  13. matt says:

    shouldn’t this headline read “Avery Leads Rangers to 5-2 Win vs Sharks”

  14. PBassT says:

    I completely disagree on your comments about Woywitka. The guy played a good game, overall. He had one shift where the whole team got pinned in their own zone, couldn’t get possession of the puck and eventually wore down. But that was all five skaters, not just Woywitka.

    Woywitka played a solid game: seven shots on goal and played very well in his own zone, except for the end of that one shift mentioned above.

    Anyone who watched last night’s game against the Sharks, clearly saw Woywitka make several big defensive plays ion the Rangers zone, which completely eliminated the Sharks attack and brought puck (and Rangers) going the other way for a transition attack. I wonder why no one decided to use those great plays to “summarize” Woywitka’s game last night? Why would someone focus on one shift where all the skaters were struggling and blame Woywitka and Del Zotto for it? makes no sense.

  15. Mikeyyyyy says:

    Every squirrel gets a nut occasionally