Breaking down the goals from Game 6

May 9, 2012, by

The Rangers out-shot the Capitals. They out-hit the Capitals. They had fewer turnovers and plenty of chances, but at the end of the day they were a bit sloppy in the OZ and just couldn’t get it done. Perhaps the most important stat of all was their 0-5 power play.

I’ll give Torts credit. He let his defensemen jump up on the rush and he gave his skill players the offensive zone faceoffs. Unfortunately no amount of aggressive tactics worked. Ultimately, we just didn’t have the personnel to score. More on that in the offseason…

1-0, Caps take an early lead

This goal is pretty easy to breakdown. The Capitals were applying zone pressure on the power play. Ryan Callahan slipped and fell while defending the point and couldn’t get back to the slot to defend Ovie, the last guy you want uncovered in that position. Ovie got a one-timer and did what he does best. 

2-0, Caps take an early lead

I hate to say it, but Bickel is not doing anything to earn more icetime than he is already receiving, which I know has been a big complaint on Twitter and other blogs. This play is yet another defensive miscue on his part that directly led to a goal.

The puck was initially on the left side of the defensive zone. An errant Washington pass led to the puck ending up on the opposite boards where Carlson collects it. Bickel races out to the point to defend Carlson, but changes his mind mid-stride (notice his hockey stop) and leaves Backstrom wide open on the strongside post. Essentially he’s covering no one.  Carlson hits Backstrom, who tips it to Chimera on the weakside post and that’s the ball game. You can also throw a brick at Richards on this play (left red circle). In the photo you’ll notice Richie is with Chimera, but he releases him and Chimera goes to the net unopposed.

2-1, Rangers tease a comeback

The Rangers finally got on board with Henrik pulled and less than a minute left in regulation. Stepan won a faceoff in the Capitals zone. Girardi collected the puck and hit Gaborik cross-ice, who finally fired a one-timer in for the goal. It was a great play, but unfortunately too little too late.

Final Thoughts

I don’t think even strength hockey is an issue for the Rangers, but five power plays is a gift, especially in that building. The TV analysts seem to put a lot of the blame on our low forwards inability to get traffic in front of Holtby. While I agree to an extent, the real issue is our inability to handle high pressure. Richards, MDZ, & Girardi need to be much better in that regard on Saturday. Passes parallel to the blueline against this PK aren’t going to work.  Richie specifically needs to be more decisive when he’s setup for one-timers. Hopefully the Rangers adjust.

Video Highlights

Categories : Game Wrap-ups


  1. BOB MINTZ says:

    Personally, I do not feel that the Rangers showed up for this game. DZ looked horrible out there, he was running around like a chicken without a head. Last game, pucks seemed to be going towards the right place at the right time, this game, the Rangers seemed out of sync, a step behind or made poor decisions. Did they leave their forechecking game at home? I’ve mentioned this over and over, they are playing with fire by not resolving this lack of an efficient powerplay. Washington seemed to have more changes defending the PP than we had. One timers were called for. Too many shots missing the net. Remember in one game against Philly how they fired the puck wide of Bryzgalov and I believe Derek Stepan deflected it in. There has to be a better power play plan of attack. If we somehow make it on Saturday, I doubt that the present force can control the Devils.

    • Ray says:

      Agreed. Where is the forechecking? The power play? What is that? The Capitals seemed hungrier for the win. If something does not drastically change for Game 7 and the Rangers do not show up to play but somehow eek out a win (hello game 5) they dont have a chance against the Devils. We can not rely and Hank and The D. We need to forecheck, we need to score some damn goals. Hank and the D are doing their part…and Cally for the most part is doing his part but hello rest of the team…..He needs a little help. Show that hunger.

  2. Chris F says:

    So disappointed in tonight’s effort.

    While the Rangers may have outshot and outhit the Capitals, and even had some nice chances, the intensity was not there.

    Too many sloppy passes. Not enough entry into the zone. Some very (typical) inept Powerplays.

    But, for what it’s worth, Holtby played phenomenal. The guy simply refused to give up any second opportunities (not that it mattered, though, given the Rangers refusal to go to the net).

    Rangers are in a bad way, I’m sorry to say. I don’t predict a rebound win in game 7.

    • agentsmith says:

      disagree the quality of chances holtby faces is laughable. they form a moat around him. this one boils down our being outta sync in all zones.

      it really seems like they dont practice the pp.

      we have real matchup problems on the road vs them. that is clear.

      chimera is not rick nash. so why the **** did we make him look like nash tonight?

    • Zev says:

      Agreed. I was pretty disappointed with the Rangers effort tonight. They came out flat, Washington scored within the first two minutes, and the Rangers really failed to control the flow the rest of the game. I was surprised to read those stats because they do not reflect the game I was watching.

      The Blueshirts inconsistent offense has certainly been a problem in the postseason, but I think the Rangers have really been hurting themselves in both series. The play tonight where Henrik got caught out of his net and backhanded it right to Chimera is exactly the kind of play I’m talking about. Luckily, Chimera shanked the shot, but it seems like the Rangers have been guilty of similar lapses in both of their series so far. You cannot give away cheapies in the playoffs and go far.

      Finally, my point is that I think these mistakes are definitely correctable and avoidable. I’m optimistic that Tortarella will have the team prepared for game 7. I’m expecting to see the team that came out in Game 6 in Ottawa. I expect the Rangers to win. They’ve been winning the important games all year, no reason to believe that will stop on Saturday night.

  3. Ray says:

    Suit – as to the WTF with OV wide open. Cally had wiped out against the boards and that is why OV was all alone. You can see Girardi had his man in front of the net and McD was trying to cover either the pass or shot from the point.

    • The Suit says:

      I know. I said that in the post.

    • Dave says:

      “Ryan Callahan slipped and fell while defending the point and couldn’t get back to the slot to defend Ovie, the last guy you want uncovered in that position. Ovie got a one-timer and did what he does best.”

  4. Zev says:

    For what it’s worth, I’m really happy the Rangers put one past Holtby tonight. I think it’s important to avoid the shutout, if only for the following game. Call it the Paul O’Neil rule for hockey or whatever.

    If the Rangers are struggling to score in game 7, you can bet NBC will have a graphic showing how long Holtby has held them scoreless. I can’t help but think this weighs on the players a little. This is just an amateur theory, but as a fan watching I’m glad we won’t be seeing that stat bandied about in game 7. Of course, hopefully the Rangers come out scoring and all of this is moot.

  5. HARLEMBLUES says:

    The Capitals have been out working and out playing the Rangers these last 3games. The Rangers are lucky there is a game 7. The Caps are doing to the Rangers, what the Rangers have done to teams all year.Just ask the Bruins.The pp is killing them along the speed/skating of the big Caps forwards.MDZ has been brutal the last 3games.I can live with Kreider playing a regular shift top 6,even strength goal are needed.

  6. Chris says:

    People step away from the ledge. They didn’t play well but were not outplayed by the caps. They still have a game 7 home game and last time I checked this team a) never gives up and b) is rather good at home….

  7. Walt says:

    The Rangers served up pancakes last night. How could this team play so poorly. I hate to say this, but Hank high glove side is weak at best!

    You live by the knife, you die by the knife. The lines have got to be set for game 7, this constant changing, for the sake of changing is getting stale. Put the Kreider kid back with Step, and Callie, let him shine, or bust, but give him a chance. He is the future of this team, don’t take away his self worth at this stage of his career.

    The Rangers have got to come out with fire in their bellies, and play to win, not to lose. Come out swinging, play physiacl, and let the chips fall where they may. As for the Maltby kid, folks, he isn’t that great at all. His D has played outstanding, he has had to make simple saves, no rebounds to worry about. Hell I never played goal, but with the way the Caps D is playing, I could look like an all-star myself. That coming from a 65 year old guy, with a right knee replacement already in place!

    Let go Rangers!!!!!

  8. roadrider says:

    I was at the game and I have to say that I agree with the comments about the lack of intensity on the Rangers’ part. The Caps definitely seemed hungrier. The Rangers weren’t terrible but they were sloppy with their passes (in fairness I’m not sure how good the ice was – lots of bad bounces and the puck was not bouncing the Rangers’ way) and puck control.

    Yes, they out shot the Caps but few of their chances were very dangerous. Once again, they failed to test Holtby. There were few, if any, screens or deflections he had to contend with. He’s definitely a solid goalkeeper who stops the ones he should but it’s on the Rangers to make him work harder.

    The early PPs actually looked like they had better (quicker) puck movement but once again it’s one guy with the puck and not much movement from the other 4. They’re giving the Caps license to over commit by pressuring the puck. Someone always has to be open when you have a man advantage – the key is to exploit it. The failure to score on the double-minor killed them. They gave the Caps as many chances as they got themselves on that PP.

  9. Jeff P says:

    I thought last night was a bad job by Torts. His team is built to play from ahead. With 2-0 down, he kept rolling same tired lines. He need to sit defensively responsible but offensively uncreative Feds and Prust and put Kreider w/ Stepan and Anisimov or Cally, and roll them out often.

  10. Chris. C says:

    Suit I totally disagree with your assessment of the second goal. Your throwing the blame at Bickle. Roll the tape back several secs. Staal and Semin (of all the Caps) battling for the puck from the right post along the boards. Staal knocks Semin down to the ice just out of the corner, lets Semin get up get the puck again so he can walk out and make the cross ice pass. Mind you all 4 Rangers players heads were down watching the puck instead of seperating the man from the puck. Bickle had only one option was to close as much space to Carlson without taking himself out of position. In order for Staal to coast to the crease or attempt to get a stick on Chimera, Richie to let loss Chimera and also coast to the crease. That point being said. They all sucked horribly last night and it was the sloppest game I have watched. Bickle did what any Dman would of done, close the gap on Carlson from having a way to much open ice and a clean look on Hank.
    If they dont come out playing physical, shooting the puck from every possible angle and creating traffic on Holby. Im sorry folks we loss. Wash has to much confidence now, and we look very tired and bruised up. I am still proud of what this team has accomplished this year.

    • The Suit says:

      I am sorry but I disagree with that assessment. Staal was all over Semin on that play and his stick check actually caused Semin to flutter the pass.

      Richie’s man was Chimera and he didn’t pay attention to him bee lining towards the post. Staal picked Chimera up late, but its still Richie’s man. Staal can’t cover two people.

      You are correct any d-man should have defended Carlson, except that Bickel didn’t. He changed his mind midstride. Either he should have committed to Carlson or stayed with Backstrom. Instead he did neither.

    • A Stuie fan says:

      You are right on about it not being all Bickels fault.He plays tough when he is out there which unfortunately isnt that often.

  11. Ian says:

    Suit, assuming the NYR survive Saturday, is there any chance Eminger replaces Bickel in the lineup? Seems he’s a little more trustworthy on the puck and might even contribute a few SOG here and there.

    • The Suit says:

      I’m assuming Eminger stays in the press box. I’m not sure how much of an upgrade he’d be since he hasn’t played at all. All we can do is hope Bickel adjusts and finds some consistency.

  12. BOB MINTZ says:

    What happened to the forechecking? It seemed that the Rangers were targeting Mike Green and Ovi and it threw them off of their games in the earlier games. I cannot recall Boyle slamming anyone in the boards or Stralman hip checking anyone as was done in the Ottowa series. The Rangers were handling the puck as if were a grenade. If Washington wants to block shots, then launch missiles right at them. After the first injury occurs, they will adjust their game. Their is a specialty of blocking shots, you cannot just copy how the others are doing it. Ask the Hobbit, any word if/when he is coming back?