Rangers – Islanders Post Game Thoughts

November 15, 2011, by

Chris and I split the post game wrap up tonight. I had a dinner with other movers and shakers early this evening (of course I wore a pocket square, don’t be silly), so we kind of mixed and mashed our thoughts. Here’s what we got.

1st Period

  • For the first half of the first period, the Rangers applied great pressure on the puck carrier and didn’t let the Isles have much time on the puck. It was Tortorella hockey to a “T”. If they can maintain that kind of pressure game to game, then the puck will invariably be out of their own zone more often than not. Puck pressure leads to turnovers and turnover leads to goals.
  • It’s impressive how good the Rangers are defensively with their sticks. Using the stick intelligently means less diving to block pucks and less players out of position.
  • Not just in this game, but more and more as the season goes on it appears Anisimov has gained an extra step. He looks more explosive on the ice. One example early on saw him burst into the offensive zone creating a chance for himself. If he can get stronger on the puck, combined with the extra foot speed, he could be a monster.
  • Avery likely pleased his coach on the the first goal, which was about pressuring the puck carrier (see above) creating a turnover and going to the net. Simple, effective hockey right there.
  • No hiding the fact that the Isles first period goal was a weak effort all round by the Rangers. First came the turnover, which led to the Islanders 3 on 2, the backcheck was absent and Neilson’s shot was one that Lundqvist should be saving. The puck caught him between glove and shoulder, but it was a weak goal in my opinion.

2nd Period

  • Following their first period penalties expiring, Avery and Mottau came straight out of the box and fought. Avery shouldn’t have taken himself out of the game like that as he was playing well. He also didn’t need to help give the Isles an emotional lift. This was the definition of an unnecessary fight.
  • Del Zotto received PK time and defended well throughout. His increasing PK time is a sign that he’s earning more and more trust in defensive situations.
  • C.M. Punk’s “Best In The World” t-shirt is one of the hottest merch sellers right now in sports & entertainment, but perhaps it should be Henrik Lundqvist’s name on the back. Although he was called upon too often, it was yet further evidence that this team can get away with occasional dips in their play because of the guy they have in their net.
  • The second goal was one part Ryan Callahan, one part Steve Eminger, and one part Islanders brain fart. Cally makes a great pass after a lot of efforting along the boards. The Islanders completely abandoned defending the point, and Eminger makes a nice read on the lack of coverage and provided the finish. Great goal.
  • The Rangers once again failed to convert on a 5 on 3 power play despite several good looks, a post from Richards and spending almost the entire power play deep in the Isles zone. Richards had a few blasts from the point that made the Islanders flinch. They clearly weren’t anticipating or respecting his shot. If the Rangers are going to succeed on the power play, they will need to utilize Richards in more than just his passing game…plus Gabby is missing too many nets on the PP lately.

3rd Period/Overview

  • When the Rangers play disciplined hockey they control the play. Once they start taking penalties it puts guys like Gabby on the bench. They have to find a way to not get sucked into the Islanders trap. The Islanders didn’t make them pay on special teams, but the elite teams will.
  • Speaking of penalties, the Islanders are third to last in the league in minor penalties. Though, you wouldn’t know that just by watching them play the Rangers. As I said in the game preview, discipline goes right out the door.
  • What did I say about using Richards for shots from the points? Great goal. Keep feeding him. It changes the way teams will defend against us.
Categories : Game Wrap-ups


  1. bob says:

    Good assessment of the game.Can’t really blame Avery for fighting.It was something that started over 20 minutes prior and the blood was boiling between the two.So I think we could cut him some slack for that one.On the 5-3 they have to get some quality shots and pounce on rebounds.The only thing that really scares me about the Isles is their PP,we are lucky they only got one.Have not followed Isles much this year,suprised Oposko was scratched.Never pictured him taking a step backwards.

    • Chris says:

      Okposo has 5 goals in his last 52(!) games. That’s a backward step alright.
      Long island: where prospects go to die.

      • Dave says:

        I’m surprised by that number…he’s supposed to be a lot better than that.

      • bob says:

        Ever since the shoulder surgery.Just never got it going since coming back.I always thought he was going to be a thorn in our side for many years.I really liked his play before his injury.

  2. Agentsmith says:

    i seriously think the PP is not being coached properly. everyone just stands in their station not moving at all. to beat the good teams it will have to be better.

    • The Suit says:

      There isn’t a whole lot you can do tactically from an x’s and o’s perspective to fix this power play.

      The strategies (the Umbrella & Spread) they are rolling out are good ones, there is just a lack of finish. It’s more on the players in my opinion. They need to be more decisive and not force what isn’t there.

      • Dave says:

        Which will come with more practice with each other and chemistry, but I’m worried about the lack of movement. It’s like they just pick a spot and stand there.

        • The Suit says:

          I agree, they don’t move enough, but to me I feel like part of the problem is they are not reading the coverage. Its ok to be static if you’re open haha.

        • bob says:

          Not only don’t they move,but it seems like they take their time.Like they have all the time in the world.Passes back and forth for almost a minute before someone moves is ridiculous.

  3. Walt says:

    Exciting win, that’s all that counts!!!

    Can’t believe that Gabby is playing sooooo well, and not being rewarded for it.

    You have to also love that the scoring is being picked up by everyone, in different games, but still all are contributing their fair share. Avery scores, the crowd goes wild and chants his name. Watching the game, one would think that the game was on MSG ice rather than the island. On that note, the fishsticks must be depressed to come home, and feel like they are playing another away game in front of last nights crowd.

    Hank was Hank, he was just outstanding with some of the saves he made!!!!! Last but not least, Dubi is plugging away, makes some wonderful plays, and still only getting assists, but that’s OK, he earns his keep!

  4. Dave says:

    Anisimov’s stride is what surprises me. He doesn’t look like he’s chugging along, he’s just a very smooth skater and it looks effortless to get to top speed.

  5. Keeps says:

    I thought overall the Ranger’s played a pretty solid game. The penalties left something to be desired, but that seems to be the case any time they play the Isles.

    The power play was frustrating for several reasons. The Isles threw a couple of different PK looks at the power play and Rangers made no adjustments whatsoever. On the 5-on-3 the Isles collapsed on the slot and kept two defenders glued to the posts to prevent the lateral pass. The natural outcome of this is open point men. Unfortunately, the Rangers still decided they needed to force the puck to the outside down low and try to hit the winger with a lateral pass. In that situation, I feel that you need to use point shots to open up that defensive scheme and get to the net to take advantage of rebounds and caroms from blocked shots.

    On the 5-4 power play on the other hand, the Isles played a very aggressive PK and attacked the points. The Rangers still tried to use the points to play catch and allow the forwards to set up on the perimeter. The trouble with that is the points have no room to work with the pressure and none of the Rangers’ front liners were moving their feet at all.

    The power play definitely needs some work. When you watch the elite power play teams, they are always moving their feet and trying to creatively pull the generic box PK formation out of position. The Rangers seem to have one set play, the far side back door and if not, it just looks like two minutes of wasted pressure.

    Great game recap guys, although Suit, I will disagree with you about the first goal being one Hank has to stop. Although on a 2-on-1 the shot is the goalie’s responsibility, a keeper will always hedge a little to make sure there is some explosiveness in the lateral push to cover the far side in the event the pass gets through. When a puck carrier has options, it prevent the goalie from committing all this faculties on the shooter. Probably splitting hairs, but I wasn’t too upset with Hank for letting that one get through.

    • Dave says:

      Good point on the PP adjustments. This team is not without their flaws, and that’s a big one.

  6. Matt J says:

    The goal hank gave up on Nielsen was something he wishes he could have gotten back. However,the second goal was impossible to stop and Tavares passed it to Moulson as hard as he could.

  7. Sioux-per-man says:

    Nice win. Great game to watch. Nothing like a road win that feels like HOME!!!

    NOW we have to win the next one. It would make it the longest winning streak since the 70’s. It won’t be to long and we will be sitting as the top team in the Eastern League. Just think about it if we can win our 2 games in hand we would be ahead of Pittsburgh.

    Next weekend will show us just how good we really are, when we tee it up agaist the Capitals, Flyers, and Penguins. Just think about breaking out the “Broadway Hat” after each one of those!!!

    Isn’t it great to bleed blue? I’m excited!!!

  8. bob says:

    If we want to get passed the first round of the playoffs,we need decent special teams.We have a great PK,but the PP has to be much better.And if we want to go deep,our PP has to be good.The players have to be more aggressive,especially on 5-3.

  9. matt says:

    have the rangers lost since Avery was called up? hahaha….