This was just an all around sloppy game by both sides. The Rangers were unable to capitalize on the league’s worst penalty kill, and just couldn’t solve Ondrej Pavelec in the final minute to tie the game. The goals for this game came in bunches, as both teams were able to at least capitalize on defensive miscues. The Jets just capitalized once more than the Rangers. People will say a 4-3 game was exciting, but this was just sloppy. On to the goals:
Winnipeg 1, Rangers 0
Dustin Byfuglien does what he does best, which is use all 800 pounds of himself to create a chance and drive to the net. The resulting chaos drew all of the Rangers out of position in a mad scramble to get the puck out of the zone. Eventually, Anton Stralman follows Evander Kane behind the net, and no one picks up Olli Jokinen for the easy goal. From the picture above, you can see that Marian Gaborik is just slightly out of position, but it’s unfair to focus it all on him, since the entire team was out of position, including Stralman behind the net.
Winnipeg 2, Rangers 0
Just one minute later, the Rangers, specifically Jeff Halpern, don’t pick up Kane coming off the bench. Stralman is in no mans land, and gives Kane a lot of room to shoot. With his shot, he’s capable of burying that. From the picture above, it makes you wonder why Halpern didn’t stick with Kane, considering he was on him initially. But, he didn’t and the puck wound up in the back of the net.
Winnipeg 2, Rangers 1
The Rangers win an offensive zone face off and generate a shot from point. Zach Bogosian, who is supposed to be covering Ryan Callahan, lets Cally go around him. Cally uses this open space to cut back at goal line to the front of the net. The puck from that point shot hits him, and it takes a fortuitous bounce off the post and trickles thru crease. Since Bogosian lets Cally go initially –and Mark Stuart is already busy with his man– he is left wide open to tuck home the puck into the empty net.
Winnipeg 3, Rangers 1
This one is all about the really, really bad matchup. The Rangers had their fourth line out there with their stellar bottom pairing of Stu Bickel and Matt Gilroy. Following a turnover by Chris Kreider, Bickel was caught out of position, Brandon Mashinter didn’t pick up Jokinen on the weak side, and Gilroy laid down on D in the goal crease on a shot attempt from the bottom of the circle (for some unknown reason), and all Jokinen had to do was hit the open net on the rebound.
Winnipeg 3, Rangers 2
Sometimes, hockey happens. Mark Stuart was on Taylor Pyatt the whole time, but Pyatt out muscles him and gets his stick on the Stralman shot for the deflection goal. That’s hockey.
Winnipeg 4, Rangers 2
Hank wants this one back. Rangers go a good job backchecking, Kane just throws the puck at the net, using the defenseman as a partial screen. It just squeaks by Hank. Weak goal at a bad time.
Winnipeg 4, Rangers 3
The Rangers top line of Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik had a great shift. They maintained the zone, generated offensive changes, and cycled the puck well. After a long shift, Richards winds up with the puck at the point, and Stralman cycles down to the weak side circle, then across the middle, where Anthony Peluso is supposed to stick him. He doesn’t, and Stralman breaks free for the long rebound to the high slot for the goal.
That’s it. The Rangers drop to .500, and 11th place in the East. They are only one point out with a few games in hand though. This inconsistency needs to end soon.