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Goal breakdown: Green gives Caps 2-0 series lead

The Rangers couldn’t salvage the split in Washington, and are now heading home to New York down 2-0 in the first round. Mike Green’s overtime winner wasn’t a backbreaker for the series, but the Caps have all of the momentum on top of dominating the Rangers for a second straight game. This game wouldn’t have even gone to overtime if Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t phenomenal. This was the game he could have stolen for them, but the Rangers couldn’t finish.

Caps 1, Rangers 0

After a two-minute shift by Ryan McDonagh, the young defenseman made a very careless mistake and flipped the puck into the stands, an “automatic” delay of game. With the Caps on the powerplay, they set up in their 1-3-1 with Green, Alex Ovechkin, Nick Backstrom, Mike Ribiero, and Marcus Johansson and did what they did at an almost 27% clip during the regular season.

The initial setup.

The initial setup.

Once the Caps set up (picture above), you can see Ribiero at the top of the circle, and Green at the point. The Rangers lined up in a diamond, which is standard practice to defend the 1-3-1. Green got the puck to Ribiero, who held the puck for a second or two, then wound up for a shot.

Two slide over, Stepan moves up.

Two slide over, Stepan moves up.

As he was holding and winding up, he drew Anton Stralman (who was a shade too high) and Ryan Callahan to him. When he drew Cally, it opened a passing lane and a wide open shooting lane for Green (second picture).

Deflects off Stepan's stick past Hank.

Deflects off Stepan’s stick past Hank.

Derek Stepan noticed Cally moving towards Ribiero, and moved up high to get in the shooting lane. But unfortunately, he didn’t get all of the shot. He deflected the puck just enough to beat Hank glove side, ring off the post, and go to the back of the net.

Since there was only one goal, here are a few random thoughts from the game:

  • The officiating is horrible all around. I understand there are missed calls on both sides, that’s unavoidable and generally even out. However, that non-call on the Karl Alzner delay of game is inexcusable. It’s in the rule book, you have to call it. It’s akin to the Brett Hull goal, albeit on a much smaller scale.
  • The Rangers need to start executing on the powerplay. They didn’t score on their big chance in overtime when the refs actually decided to call the delay of game penalty. It wound up costing them.
  • Sticking with the overtime, once the Rangers were done not scoring on the powerplay, they got pinned in their zone for a good couple of minutes. This was done without Ovechkin on the ice, but with Girardi and McDonagh on the ice. Torts took Girardi off at the next whistle, but left McDonagh on. It was McDonagh who shot the puck over the glass.
  • This was a second straight game where the Rangers were dominated by the Caps. This time around, it was just an all around offensive assault by the Caps. If not for Hank, this game could have been 11-0.
  • Braden Holtby is a solid goaltender, but the Rangers are making him look like Patrick Roy out there. The kid is technically sound and will be a good goalie, but he’s young and his mind fails him at times. They aren’t making him work, which makes his life a lot easier.

The Rangers needed a split, but now they head to MSG down 2-0. They aren’t done yet, but they need to hold serve on home ice. In order to do that, they need to stay out of the box, and capitalize on their chances. In a short series like this, execution is the only thing that matters. If they can’t execute, they won’t win, no matter how much better Hank is than Holtby.

19 Responses to “Goal breakdown: Green gives Caps 2-0 series lead”

  1. VinceR says:

    Thanks for the breakdown Dave…I wanted to curl up and not do anything for hours, but gotta go meet my buddy to sell my games 3 and 4 tix.

    Due to perfect timing I fly to McLean, VA tomorrow, just missing today’s game in DC, and fly back Friday, missing both MSG games and just missing the DC game on Friday. This is the first time this year I have to travel for work, great timing.

    Then again, if it aligns right I’m there for game 6…and if not? I saved a sh*tload of cash by missing the games! To the bar for a cheap beer and a good bourbon, may stop me from punching someone (or encourage it, we’ll see how this all goes).

  2. Evan says:

    All you had to write was two words for your recap : Power Play.

    0 for 8 or 9 in the series against one of the worst units in the league. All patty cake. No shooting from the point. Cost us both games.

    Richards worst player on the ice in both games.

    If our special teams plays like this, not sure how we win both games at home.

    We definitely controlled play at 5 on 5, but our defense continues to make horrendous decisions and pinches leading to many odd man rushes,

    I feel bad for Henrik. Offense does not improve year over year. Carrying the team on his back.

  3. Pete says:

    This team is toast, been saying it all year. They just dont have any “it” this year, soft and often uninspired play will lead to nothing.

    And FFS, enough with all the snow angels, take the body!

  4. Matt says:

    No movement on PP, bad penalty in OT by McD though I question why Torts double shifted him in OT. Yeah, I get that Ovie is coming on the ice but I thought Stralman actually played #8 really well at points. Strals took time and space away from him when he was out there against him a couple of times, especially on an odd man rush in the second. That’s not to say the defensive corps played a perfect game but I thought it was a good “secondary personnel” matchup. Also you’re 100% right on concerning Holtby. NYR needs to get him moving laterally and getting traffic in front. This has become a theme over the past few years and its a basic mistake/easy fix. They don’t need to be the Pens making tic-tac-toe passes for beauty goals. Clog his vision or get him moving. Hopefully getting Clowe back will be helpful.

    But I will give credit where credit is due, the Caps second period chances today were really something to watch. If not for Hank then this game would’ve been ugly….well, uglier. And I will say that was the most discouraging part of the game but when NYR got out unscathed, I thought they would take over in the third. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Some quality chances but it doesn’t matter if you don’t bury them.

  5. Walt says:

    Is it just me or is there anyone else that has had it with the d-men laying down with every Cap position, and them shooting????? Why not stand up, and man handle the Caps, or clear the slot, no they play Zamboni.

    Why the hell are we not hitting anyone, why the hell is Ovie not being touched, why the hell didn’t anyone drop the gloves to try and wake this team up???

    Nash was malled all game, no one bothered to challenge a Cap in his defense. Richards is a non factor. Did you see his passes today, it’s like he is going thru the motions!

    I don’t know if I can take any more of this crap. Hank played his heart out, got zero support. This team, as has been for ever, is soft, easily pushed around, and is afraid to make mistakes. The PP was sick, hell if the Caps get a penality, we should decline the man advantage, we suck on the PP!

    Lets see what they do in game 3, come out with fire in their gut, or roll over and play dead. I can’t wait for the Rangers to buy out that old piece of crap Richards, he is dead meat.

    • Joe says:

      Torts should get a lifetime contract!!! Oh no it’s not his fault…he doesn’t play..that’s right…must be another problem.. maybe Nash, Richards, Cally, Lundquist, Stepan, Girardi, McDonaugh, Hagelin, Zucc, and the rest of the team just suck…they are on the ice…not winning…cant be the coaching…what the hell do I know?…Dave probably has the answers…What are they Buddy????????????????? Please help us figure this out..Torts is 14-20 in playoffs!! LOL LOL LOL

      • VinceR says:

        I still don’t get why you come here for no other reason to antagonize Dave (and then for some reason kiss his a** and say how much you love his stuff immediately after someone calls you out).

        And why do you use LOL on almost everyone of your posts? Are you really laughing maniacally while typing?

      • Spozo says:

        I don’t get why you bring up a coaches playoff record.

        News flash: EVERY coach but ONE has a losing record every single year in the playoffs. Either you win the cup or you lose more games than you win.

        Disagree with whoever you want but use relevant facts and stats.

        • The Suit says:

          Some Rangers fans need to project their anger on us. Seen it on twitter too. It’s ok kiddies. Project away. But spread the love, just don’t go after Dave.

          • Walt says:

            Suit

            My anger is directed at the way the games are being played, and in no way at the job you guys are doing. This is just frustration of over 50 years of following this team, and getting one cup in my life time.

            If you read my post, I’m questioning why there are no adjustments being made by the team. The Caps in game one couldn’t do anything on their PP early, then they adjusted, dumped the puck, chased it down, and scored. We are so predictable, and never seem to adjust to different teams. Or am I crazy????? Also, how hungrey are we??

            • The Suit says:

              Wasn’t talking about you Walt. I don’t always agree with you but I respect where you are coming from.

            • Ov3chk1n says:

              Walt – at least you have WON a cup in your lifetime – 39 years and counting for us!

              I feel like a Red Sox fan – but without the payoff they had…

              I keep thinking… maybe this is the year.

        • JD says:

          Uh, no. Many coaches have winning records each year in the playoffs. If you go 4-1 in the first round then 3-4 in the second you are 7-5

          • VinceR says:

            With that said, Torts is not 14-20 in the playoffs. He is 38-41, with a Stanley Cup, a Jack Adams award, and has the most wins of any American born coach in NHL history.

            Does he have some flaws? Yeah.
            Is this year’s teams showing some flaws? Plenty. Does he have some responsibility in this? Yup.
            Is all of it his fault? Hell no.

            He may not be perfect, but we can at least get the facts right. LOL.

          • Spozo says:

            My point was that the stat is not really an indication of how good of a coach some one is. In the scenario you brought up, that coach has a winning record but the team is eliminated in the second round. Does that coach walk away saying “it’s ok I have a winning record this year in the playoffs”?

  6. Chuck A says:

    Is it possible, though both losses hurt, that Game 2 bears witness to the possible playoff maturation of this team – in particular Rick Nash?

  7. Bloomer says:

    Game could of easily gone the other way but that’s hockey. I thought it was a gutsy effort by the Blue Shirts and they could use a boast when they return to Madison Square Gardens. If they is any criticism, I thought Torts should of stuck to the game plan and not shorten the bench in the OT period. The Caps may have more high end talent then the Rangers, but the Rangers have more depth and bench strength. Going forward, the way to beat the Caps is to grind them down.

  8. Steffen says:

    There were a couple of things in this game where I’d like to comment on. First of all I don’t think the Rangers were dominated. Perhaps for stretches, but there were also some stretches were the Rangers dominated. Overall I think the Caps were just a bit better overall.

    One of the things I don’t like when I play any game is inconsistent refereeing. Bad is bad enough, but inconsisting is very hard to play with because you never know when you’re gonna get called for a foul. I believe that was the case in yesterdays game.

    About the non-called delay of game: I believe you cannot call it a deflection especially when a player actively swipes at the puck. Perhaps a PP should have been awarded. But without the movement it will not be effective. It seems like the players are a bit afraid to mess it up/make mistakes. Passes are a bit too soft, which makes a puck hard to control and also gives the PK time to pressure the puck handler. Mats Zuccarello seems to be the exception. When I see him play always something happens, in my opinion because he changes up his puck handling. Sometimes he holds it a bit, other times the puck is gone before he has it. That sort of change ups is critical to create some serious offense, I guess.

    What the Caps pk did pretty well is removing the lane from Left Wing towards Right Wing via the middle, but also because the puck handling on the PP is a bit too slow in my opinion. And without space it is hard to create quality chances. Because most shots from far away and the outside are pretty catchable, even for Holtby…

    Oneother thing I would like to see, is the Rangers getting a bit nastier. The Caps hold/delay/hook Nash for life… Dump em… Or use that push to run in any other Cap… At least they don’t mind doing that to us.

    But perhaps at the Garden we can get some good match-ups buy a goal and destroy their coinfidence!