Goal Breakdown: Canadiens at Rangers

February 19, 2013, by

This could have been one of the most boring games I have ever seen. The teams combined for just 13 shots in the first, 25 total through the second, and very little offense. In the end, the Canadiens took advantage of two big Ranger miscues, while the Rangers couldn’t take advantage of the 27 icings the Canadiens took. The Habs won a boring game against a shorthanded Rangers team, ending their streak of points in five straight games. On to the goals:

Head on a swivel, the Habs did not.

Head on a swivel, the Habs did not.

Rangers 1, Montreal 0

After Marian Gaborik gains the zone and draws a delayed penalty, Derek Stepan picked up the loose puck around the goal line and drew the attention of three Canadiens. Anton Stralman, who was in on the play from the beginning, snuck in the back door, and neither Erik Cole nor Francis Bouillon bothered to look behind them to spot Stralman. Stepan just waited them out, and fed Stralman with a perfect saucer pass. Even though Carey Price made the initial save, Bouillon and Cole were too far out of position to stop Stralman from batting home the rebound.

The miscue trifecta

The miscue trifecta

Montreal 1, Rangers 1

The Rangers play a low zone collapse on defense, and a weakness is that the point men are generally left open. While that is the system they play, the problem here is that the Rangers, specifically Brian Boyle and Taylor Pyatt, are too low in respect to where the puck is. Pyatt is in no-man’s land as well, as Max Pacioretty is his man in this situation, but Pyatt is at the goal line. Boyle is the one that is closest to the play, and he’s at the hash marks. That allows Pacioretty to get a shot from the high slot that eludes Henrik Lundqvist. The issue on this goal is that the low zone collapse was too low, Pyatt being MIA, and Boyle not being in the passing lane. It’s a trifecta of miscues.



Montreal 2, Rangers 1

The Rangers just didn’t backcheck on this.  There’s not much to breakdown here. The three guys caught coasted and stop skating. That’s it.

Montreal 3, Rangers 1

Rangers took a shot with the empty net on the powerplay. It didn’t work. Too many Rangers (Gaborik, Del Zotto, Richards) mishandled pucks at key moments.

Categories : Game Wrap-ups


  1. Evan says:

    Couple of points.

    1. What does tortorella need to have this team play some fluid hockey? Still pulling teeth to score goals and we have all this talent? I understand Nash was out, but still give me a god damn break.

    2. Is richards playing himself to a buy out this summer or next summer? I mean you have to be joking me. Our PP honestly has gotten worse since he got here. I thought this guy was a PP QB. He cannot make a single correct decision this year at even strength or on the PP.

    3. Is richards’ performances going to face sather’s hand to make a play at o’reilly? Id rather get younger and shed cap if richards is going to do this.

    I still like the majority of this team, but I mean we are almost 1/3 into the year. The cob web argument for richards is dead. I think he has dubinsky syndrome and has put his contract up his nose. I hope for his sake he is playing through an injury, but he has been an absolute joke.

    Like i said i still have faith in this team and they showed a lot the last 2 weeks, but our ineptitude on offense again is just baffling.

    • Evan says:

      I mean to say “Are Richards’ performances going to force sather’s hand to make a play at o’reilly?” My apologies

    • Dave says:

      1) The Habs did a good job in making the Rangers play to their pace. Losses happen sometimes.

      2) Richards is struggling, but I don’t think this is a permanent thing with him. He will bounce back.

      3) Even if the Rangers make a play at ROR, the Avs reportedly don’t want a C back, and want MDZ. That’s a move backwards bc the Rangers D is thin/top heavy

      4) (I’m assuming you meant to put a 4 there) The Rangers were first in the East after 48 games last season, and pretty much started the same way they did this season. It’s early.

  2. Matt Josephs says:

    Montreal’s second goal… I don’t think I’ve ever seen 3 guys not back check. That kind of thing never even happened on the Rangers circa 2002.

  3. Mikeyyy says:

    Machinter or whatever his name is needs to go back to the whale, call up Thomas for a game or two.

    Bench Richards. His play sucked. He couldn’t hit a pass. Couldn’t check, and none of his point shots ever made it through. Maybe he needs a higher vantage point to see the game….like from the press box.

    • Dave says:

      Mash wasn’t terrible, but there’s a reason why he only has 14 NHL games under his belt. As for Thomas, the only reason why I’m hesitant to call him up is bc the consensus is that he’s not ready, and he’s on such a hot streak you don’t want to kill that confidence.

  4. SalMerc says:

    A listless game where you would expect veterans to pick up the pace. Richards and Gabby were mostly invisible. Cally tried hard, but didn’t do much. Rookies were scrambling. Can someone please hire a power-play coach?

    • Dave says:

      Honestly, the Rangers are 5-2-1 in February, and 7-3-1 in their last 11. They started 1-3, so let this all balance out over the course of the next month.

      If they continue at a 7-3-1 pace over their next 11, they are 15-9-2, which is pretty damn solid.

  5. Walt says:

    Everyone is down on Richards, and maybe he deserves it, but let’s face it folks, Hank when hot is great, and when not, well we have results like last night!

    If he isn’t tested early, and often, he tends to fall asleep. Just pointing out something that I have seen with Hank, not to say that I would want anyone else in there for us!

    Prust came back last night, and wanted to put a few behind Hank, well he assisted on the winner. I hope that is the last of his scoring against us from here on out. Man, I miss him on our team!!!

    • Dave says:

      Wait…are you saying Hank had a shot at either of those goals last night? Not even Hasek stops those.

      • Walt says:

        I’ve seen him make stops like the first goal before. They say he was screened, maybe? The second where the defense was no where to be had in the way of help, won’t falt him there! I’m just saying he can look bad at times.

        • Dave says:

          He was screened, but if you give an NHL player a shot like that from the high slot, he will score 9 times out of 10.

  6. SalMerc says:

    Without Hank, we should still be a playoff team based on our roster. Nash, Richards, Gabby, Callahan – Girardi, DelZotto and Stall are 7guys who any other team would want. We should not need Hank to be spectacular to win. Team tends to sleepwalk some nights. Not sure if the players will ever have the intensity the fans have. I just want to see a full team effort, which isn’t there every night. Added to the fact that we do not get a boost from the PP, we play very average some nights.

  7. Evan says:

    Richards has a cap hit of 6.66 for SEVEN seasons after this. We cannot handle that cap hit with payroll going down to 64 if he is going to perform like this. How is he coming out looking like a 50 year old man 6 weeks into his second season as a Ranger?

    I am hoping he is playing through an injury that he is not disclosing, but he looks awful.

    • Dave says:

      I’m with you on this, but I wasn’t up until I saw his lack of backcheck on the 2nd MTL goal.

      I’m comparing him to Dubi, in the sense that even tho they weren’t scoring, we didn’t really get on them here until their play without the puck took a dive. Richards is hitting that point now.

  8. Bill says:

    Lets not get out of conntrol, I know it’s a short season but there have been changes and with Powe and Nash its and very different game!
    1. If Richards continues the entire season this way the Rangers will have to really give tought to buying him out.
    2. If MDZ for O’rielly is on the table I would do it then buying out Richards becomes more likely.
    3. Torts has no patience for players from Hartford and they know it so I think they play timed, but I think Mashinter did well with limetee

  9. Bill says:

    I think Mashinter did well I’m limited minutes.
    4. Again with Nash and Powe we are a complete lineup.

  10. Chris.C says:

    Last nights game was extremely boring, Montreal played there game the way they wanted no doubt about it. However I do have a problem with the Way Richards was playing and previously been playing. Torts Benching apparently had no effect on him. He needs a game or two in the press box to think about his game play. And whats was Stall’s issue lastnight every damn shot he did from the blue line was off a shin pad and countered.

  11. HBlue says:

    Most boring game ever. Usually amped for all games, last night was falling asleep. For goodness sake’s I was about to throw a cardboard cut out of Nash onto the ice to attract some attention and open up things offensively. Could probably have put a cardboard cut out of Richards on the ice and it would get more done than he did!! Wake up Richards and while you’re at it, smack Gabby and wake him up too!!! LGR!!!!!!!!!!! (and thank God for Hagelin/Stepan/Nash line)

  12. rickyrants13 says:

    What scares Me about this team. And it has to be the style we play is EVEN SHITTY TEAMS have blow out wins a few times a year. And we are lucky if we have two to three easy wins a year.