ECF Game 6 goal breakdown

May 25, 2012, by

I have no words. This season left me with the most optimism I’ve ever had. But this loss stings. A lot. I got nothing for you.

Actually. I have a “thank you.” I have a thank you to the New York Rangers. It’s been a long time since I’ve believed. This season ended with a less than desirable result, but I believe. I believe this team is destined for great things. I believe this team is built for the next 2-5 years. I believe. I thank you, New York Rangers, it’s been a while since I’ve believed.

Here’s the breakdown:

1-0   NJD, Devils 4th line does it again

This goal is on Marc Staal. First, Staal cant control the blue line, and that leads to a 3 on 1 for the Devils fourth line. Eventually, Stephen Gionta winds up with semi break. Hank makes the save but Staal, slow on the back check after his turnover, can’t pick up the trailer in Ryan Carter (two mistakes by Staal) and it’s a tap in goal on the rebound. People incorrectly blame Michael Del Zotto on this, but he was the lone man back on the 3 on 1, and he did what he could, he covered the initial shooter (Gionta) and one wing (Bernier). The trailer (Carter) was Staal’s job.

2-0   NJD, Devils powerplay makes it a two goal lead

Not much to say on this goal, it was Ilya Kovalchuk on the back door. It was a great passing play, and they caught the Rangers running around.  Eventualy MDZ wanders too a bit high, leaving the passing lane to the back door open. While people incorrectly blame MDZ for the first goal, the goal is on him. He drifted too high, allowing that passing lane to Kovi to open.

2-1- NJD, Fedotenko comes through

A failed clear by Kovi leads to this goal. Ryan McDonagh pinches when he needs to and steals the puck from Kovi at the mid-boards.  McD  keeps it deep and wraps it behind the net, drawing three Devils to him. That leaves Ruslan Fedotenko wide open in front of the net for a tap in goal. McD made the goal happen from the pinch, drawing people to him, and a perfect pass to Feds for the goal.

2-2 Face off win leads to the tying goal

This is a set play off the face off. Brandon Dubinsky wins the face off with help from Artem Anisimov. The puck winds up at the point on McDonagh’s stick, who moves the puck to the far boards and Dan Girardi.  A simple wrist shot from Girardi into traffic –the Rangers finally put traffic in front—deflects off Ryan Callahan’s knee pad, goal. That’s what happens when you win face offs.

3-2 Devils send the Rangers packing

This one hurts. It was just a scramble. I don’t want to break this down. No one’s at fault. Scrambles happen. Dirty goals happen. This happens.


Categories : Game Wrap-ups


  1. Mike Axisa says:

    Exceeded all expectations. Sucky ending to an otherwise great season.

    • Dave says:

      If you told me the Rangers would lose 4-2 in the ECF in September, I’d take it.

      I believe in this team.

      • Papa bear says:

        I hope the Ranger players, coaches and management don’t see it that way. It’s gotta to be all or nothing when you get this far. The Rangers weren’t able to beat the Devils forechecking. The two teams in the finals are the two best forechecking teams of the playoffs. You are now going to see a trending towards this type of hockey. Rangers showed heart but in the end, not enough from their stars, Richards and Gaborik and it was not a coincidence that they were on the ice for the o.t. Winner. I hope they can get rid of Gaborik and his 7.5 million contract and use some of that money towards a never quit full speed ahead player like Parise. Also there lack of depth on defense hurt. Girardi and McDonogh are warriors but who would’ve thought Strallman would have been their third best defenseman. Stall and Delzotto – what happened?

        • Rob sahm says:

          I agree gaborik is a western conference type of player he is not made for the rugged east style the man is a good regular season player but a choker when it comes to playing for a cup get rid of him asap remember years ago whiny rangers fans said no to trading for kovalchuck because he would cost to much in terms of salary and players who would you rather have now gaborik or kovy

          • Evan says:

            Haha last year everyone was calling the kovalchuk deal a giant disaster. Up until this year kovy had never been out of the first round of the playoffs. Relax

            • The Suit says:

              Agreed, and its not like Kovy has been carrying them. Gabby had a decent postseason, nothing spectacular, but I dont buy that he “doesnt fit the system”…if that were true he wouldnt have scored 40 goals this season.

  2. cnp says:

    i just love this team

    • Dave says:

      I believe

      • cnp says:

        first place since christmas, a full year of kreider, Richie meshing with his line for another year, lundqvist the mvp in net, MDZ with more seasoning, the depth we have at D, the fact that we’re so young…what the hell is there not to believe in!!

  3. Old Fogey says:

    It was a great season. More enjoyable than it’s been in YEARS! No regrets. Next year, it’s OURS!

  4. Chris F says:

    No words… perhaps I’ll find them tomorrow…

  5. The Suit says:

    The first goal isn’t all on Staal as it was a 3-on-1, so one of our forwards are missing from the backcheck, but that’s irrelevant at this point.

    This is still a young team that exceeded expectations and just needs a little more time to grow. We are on the right track. The night is darkest before the dawn. We’ll get there.

    • Scully says:

      You said it best Suit. Just remember, the 09 Blackhawks went to the Conference finals before winning the cup next year. If anything I thought the Rangers put the league on notice this year. This team is on the upswing. It’s got some contracts coming off the books and with another year of development (not to mention the anger and stinging of how this season ended) I’ve never felt this good to feel this bad being a Ranger fan. This team is going to run roughshod over the league next year imho.

  6. Seahorse says:

    Player Age
    Stepan 21
    Kreider 21
    Del Zotto 21
    McDonagh 22
    Sauer 24
    Staal 25

    And itll be nice when the Rangers play with 6 defenseman instead of 5

  7. zubov says:

    I’ll break down the last goal, Richards was out of position, as usual, coming back late on the back check, other players try to compensate and it leads to a scramle in which Girardi makes the fateful decision on going behind the net instead of staying strong in front of it. Game over.
    Two games in a row Richards poor defensive postioning leads to the GWG.

  8. Chuck A says:

    Does Kreider have any brothers?
    Just askin’…

  9. Leatherneckinlv says:

    Great season indeed and the ride has just begun. Now the order of business is to sign Dustin Schultz and Parise…have a good draft and see the emergence of a couple of more rookies….Shaving my beard really sucked

  10. Vince R says:

    So impressed by the lack of after buzzer fair-weathers. Love this team. Can’t believe the ride, and can’t wait for October..trying to up my half season tix to a full.

    We will need to wear shades, Garden Faithful.

  11. sean says:

    Go kings!

  12. Tim B says:

    Each player needs to finish each game strong. I have to give the devils 4th line credit though. They know how to score. They look like a capable scoring 4th line. And sometimes te 4th line is what makes the team win games. Boyle was playing well until he had that concussion which left hom scoreless. If this is Fedotenko’s last year. Farewell to him. I lived to watch a Ukranian guy help the Rangers throughout the season. I want a scoring 4th line next year. I want these players to practice hard so we can see them in there true form. I dont want to see them scoring 1-2 goals every game and losing each one. Rhank you Stralman, you guys wouldnt be in the playiffs without you. Sauer, concussions happen, i cant blame you on not returning this season. Bickel, learn to play defense. Soo, what happens with Erixon and McIlrath? If they are NHL ready than do they stay down in the minors or what? I want to see more defenseive/offensive forwards on this team, Dubinsky, you need to play a lot better if you want to stay on this team. Gabby and Richie need to start clicking. If the Rangers sign Parise (which i hope they dont) than i expect the
    Parise-Richards-Gaborik line to have more points than any other line in the NHL. Hags and Kreidet will be scoring machines next year. Callahan is scoring more and more each year. So how many will he score this next year? 30-40?? Maybe 50 and up.

  13. Walt says:

    My heart was broken again, but this team is young, and they have to learn to win! This group of young guys exceeded any expectations, and I’m proud as hell of them. With the addition of a few pieces, and the deletion of others, we have the making of a great team. Thanks for a wonderful season, I can’t wait for September.

  14. Eric says:

    It was a great season that exceeded my expectations. I thought when the season started the rangers would be as high as 5 seed or could even miss the playoffs.

    This team will be an elite team for years to come. Eminger at 28 is out oldest d man and when sauer returns he won’t be in the top six. The youth up front is so talented and will be fun to see become stars.

    Slats has done a great job drafting and trading for great young players. With that said Gordie Clark director of player personal doesn’t get enough credit. Gordie has help the orgazation draft quality players in all rounds that are playing in NHL. I am thinking the ranger will either make a big trade or add free agent elite sniper to help the terrible pp

    Last night sucked losing to the Devils. Next year will be a great year

    The blog is great

  15. Scully says:

    Hey guys, thank you for a great season with your Rangers coverage and overall blogging and unbiased writing. Don’t slack this summer now! haha…

    Also, I said it above and too bad this is last night’s thread, but as an adult (i was 8 in 94) I haven’t been this proud to be a sports fan, let alone Rangers fan (I’m a Rangers, Knicks and Yankees fan). I love those scrappy sons-of-bitches and they played their damn hearts out and just came up short. Scramble goals happen. There was chaos in front of the net. This loss will be a good thing. They’re going to be so damn hungry next season it’s not even funny… they tasted the cup and had it pulled from them. It’s going to sting a lot more for them all summer than it will for us.

    Yes there are a lot of things that need tweaking (not fixing)
    Blue Line Depth – We’ll hopefully have 9 NHL ready defensemen in camp – Girardi, McD, Staal, Del Zotto, Erixon, Sauer, Stralman (RFA), Bickel (and don’t think he won’t come to camp better because he will) Unkown depth D

    I think we do need a rugged scoring winger. Kreider could very well be that guy already.

    I love the system in the offensive zone, but I believe we need to find a balance between packing the net and pressuring the point guys. We need to pressure more in the defensive zone. The playoffs proved this. There were way too many moments where it looked like a 5on5 power play against. We don’t need 6 goalies on the ice, we already have the best in the league. Not that I don’t think we should block shots, I just felt we played out best when we forechecked in the defensive zone as well as the offensive. Torts probably knows this as well, that’s what the Summer and camp is for. He, Sully and Shoney will make the necessary adjustments. I have confidence in them.

    With the further development of everyone on our roster… keep in mind Lundqvist (30) and Callahan (26) are two of the home-grown elder statesmen, (I’ll say it again) WE ARE GOING TO RUN ROUGHSHOD OVER THE LEAGUE NEXT YEAR. This team overachieved big time for the 109 points and the CF loss. And like several readers pointed out we’ve got a ton of guys on the roser that are born after 1988! I’m so damn proud to be a Rangers fan right now. I’m bummed as hell, but can’t wait for September.

    • Papa bear says:

      Sculls…..couldn’t have said it better myself – yes Torts needs to rework the defensive zone collapse coverage which completely abandons the weak-side point and allows the opponent to work the puck back and forth between the points for extended periods of play. Let’s pressure the points and take away the freebie on the D to D passing. If you believe you have the top goaltender in the game in your net, then trust him. Trust your young and talented defense. Trust your experienced centers to cover down low in the d-zone. Stop the collapsing below the hash marks as the first and only option to your wingers – if you noticed as the playoffs progressed, when our opponents moved the puck from low to high, our wingers were progressively slower in getting to the points from down below the hash marks. The strong side winger challenged the point loosely while the weak-side winger collapsed below the hash marks. The Devils exploited the gaps to their advantage and were able to pick an option – 1) pinch at the point re-cycle the puck low (the pinching point was covered by rotating a forward high) or 2) go D to. D with the pass, waiting for the right opportunity to get the puck low again. I think the Rangers made some adjustments in game 5 & 6 and had success in breaking the Devils forecheck. Torts needed to make this adjustment earlier in the series – but probably didn’t because of a false sense of security manifested by Lundquists outstanding play in their two wins. He was both fooled and foolish. Lesson learned, Cover the points – it will result in less defensive zone time, odd man rushes, a better opportunity for transition and increased puck possession which fosters momentum and confidence.

  16. Comnsnse says:

    Dave,let’s simplify the analysis. The Rangers lost because their style of play is exhausting and is not a prescription for future success,especially in the playoffs. This is borne out by their undersized roster e.g.their D was overwhelmed by the Devs forwards crashing the net and staying there.The best example of this is Staal,who simply does not have the upper body strength to combat bigger forwards. They do not have enough big bodies.Boyle is marginal and Rupp is useless. Krieder looked better than both. They MUST see if McIllrath can play in the NHL next season. If not they need to find one asap. Also,at the risk of repeating myself,how about a candid appraisal of our prospects and how they might fit on next years roster. Erixson as an example is another technique D which we already have. I therefore expect him to be included in a trade,unless they move the overpaid.over rated Staal. How do you feel about McDonagh taking a more offensive role. IMO he’s more mobile than the other 4 including DelZotto. Both should be paired with stay at home physical D’s. Last question,do the Rangers have a strength coach?

  17. roadrider says:

    There sure is a lot of “next year” bullshit in these comments. I can understand how people want to rationalize a devastating, gut shot of a loss (especially considering how it went down and who it came against) – but that’s all it is, a rationalization, a way to not deal with the pain of losing.

    Yeah, the Rangers could use this as a learning experience and be better off for it next year. Their younger players could develop, new acquisitions could fill in missing pieces etc. But, thing could also go in reverse. Back in 1992, a far more talented Ranger team than this one, a team that many fans thought could win it all, was bounced out by the Penguins in the division finals. The next year they failed to make the playoffs at all.

    Tampa Bay lost a tough ECF against Boston last year and the Canucks lost a tough Cup Final series against that same team. How did “next year” turn out for the Lightning and Canucks? Teams like Washington and Pittsburgh who many thought would dominate the league for years have one Cup between them for all of their marquee stars (who are more talented than any one on the Rangers roster) and the Caps struggled to even get in the playoffs this season. They could have used their devastating loss to Montreal a couple of years ago as a “learning experience”. Sure, they won their division last season but won only one round in the post-season (against a depleted, scoring-challenged Ranger team) and were swept by Tampa Bay in the second round.

    I’m not thinking about next year right now. This loss hurt – and when you care about a team it should hurt. Leave the “next year” crap to the guys who have to feed the news cycle for a living for a few weeks. The pain will eventually go away on its own and will make the victory, when – and IF – it comes, that much sweeter. But don’t fool yourselves into thinking it will be next year.