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Goal breakdown: Rangers offense ignites

This was a wildly entertaining game tonight at Madison Square Garden. The Capitals came hard down low and created a lot of pressure on our d-men. Hank had to make some strong saves early and often to keep the boys in the game. For the Rangers, we were strong on the boards and were able to make plays all over the offensive zone in the 2nd half thanks to some very key pinches by our defense.

With four hard fought goals tonight for the Rangers, hopefully this is the spark that gets their 5-on-5 offense back where it needs to be. Although the Rangers were just 1 for 6 on the power play, I thought we looked much better in that regard. John Moore in particular was very decisive on the blueline and he was able to get hard, low shots on net. That’s all you can ask for at this point.

On to the goals…Dave’s got the first half…

Caps 1, Rangers 0

Nothing can be done here. Hockey happens.

Nothing can be done here. Hockey happens.

This was a tough goal to swallow. The Rangers really dominated the first four minutes of play, including some good chances on the powerplay. Once the powerplay was over, the Caps tilted the ice a bit and cycled the puck well in the zone. The Caps eventually get the puck to John Carlson who wrists the puck high on net from the point. The Rangers had everyone covered, but Nicklas Backstrom was able to get his stick free for a deflection. Honestly, it was a great deflection.

Rangers 1, Caps 1

Just shoot from anywhere, and good things happen.

Just shoot from anywhere, and good things happen.

Yes you saw this correctly. It was a “power play” goal scored by Brian Boyle (the goal was scored the second the powerplay ended). With one last rush on the powerplay, Michael Del Zotto led the rush and got the puck to Derick Brassard at the blue line. As Brassard was pinned on the boards by Jack Hillen, Boyle came over to the boards to provide some puck support. Brassard chipped the puck to Boyle, who drove to the net and slipped the puck past Braden Holtby. This is one that Holtby probably wants back. Green also didn’t attempt to challenge.

Rangers 2, Caps 1

Cut to open ice, great pass.

Cut to open ice, great pass.

The Rangers score again on the powerplay. This time it actually counted as a powerplay goal. Boyle won a key face off and the Rangers got the puck deep. The
puck eventually worked to Mats Zuccarello at the half boards. Brassard bolted for the open ice in front of the net and Troy Brouwer failed to pick him up. Once Zucc hit him with the pass, Holtby didn’t have a chance. Turning it over to Suit now for the 2nd half.

Rangers 2, Caps 2

pyatt2.1

Pyatt2

Apologies, I know this looks ugly, but two things happened on this play that needs to be addressed in two separate photos. In the first picture Pyatt has his back turned to the play and instead of taking the green route to the point, he heads low to the slot where Dan Girardi already is.  Photo two shows the missed coverage. Pyatt (circled in read) has no one. He should have been at the green x trying to block that shot, but instead comes too low and screens Lundqvist. After the goal he looked at the ceiling. I think he knew that one was on him.

Rangers 3, Caps 2

John Moore times his pinch well and keeps the puck in the zone, finding Pyatt on the boards. Here’s where the Capitals make a critical mistake — a mistake I warned about prior to the series when talking about their defensive zone overload strategy. So pretty much the entire Capital squad came to the boards when Pyatt had the puck. Life of Pyatt works the puck down low to Brassard, everyone bites on Brass and he’s able to find Asham wide open in the slot. Asham finishes with that strong snap shot of his.

Heads on a swivel kids, heads on a swivel.

Rangers 3, Caps 3

This was a tough goal. Off the draw Jack Hillen fired one through traffic and the puck deflected off the knee of Beagle and in. The puck changed speed and direction and was just a bad break for Hank. I would have liked to have seen Boyle win that draw in the DZ, but what can you do? Apologies for the lack of photos here, replays were just a bit too blurry for what I wanted to highlight.

Rangers 4, Caps 3

stepan

It’s the little things in hockey that sometimes help you score and prevent goals. This goal was an example of both. For us, the little thing was McDonagh making a great effort to keep the puck on their side of the blueline with not an inch to spare. That’s tough to do on its own, let alone when the Caps are coming hard with high zone pressure. McD makes the keep and then stickhandles the puck around coverage and feeds MZA below the goal line. MZA hits Rick Nash in the right corner. Nash finds Stepan through the seam for a backhanded tip in.

The best part about this goal was Ovie’s half ass attempt to defend Stepan (circled in red). Try a little harder next time Alex.

In the end the Rangers were able to hold on to the lead by a thread. The game opened up a little bit more than my liking, but I guess sometimes you got to lighten up a little on defense in order to get your offense going. I think we all know the boys needed that. One down, three to go. See you Wednesday.

36 Responses to “Goal breakdown: Rangers offense ignites”

  1. Bloomer says:

    Moore does continue to impress, what were the Blue Jackets thinking letting him get away? A big victory for the Rangers tonight and a moral victory for Marc Stall coming back from a horrific injury. If the Rangers continue to grind they will wear down the Capitals offensive machine. The longer this series goes, the better I like the Rangers chances. BTW Brian Boyle rocks!!

    • The Suit says:

      Torts and Sully have handled Moore really, really well. They’re not crushing him for mistakes and they’re giving him some rope on offense. It also helps the kid can wheel and that’s so critical in this system when d-men are given reign to join the rush and pinch aggressively. Hopefully the kid can help get this PP going.

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      BTW Brian Boyle on the ice for 2 goals against.

      • HARLEMBLUES says:

        To the 5 FAN ATICS Brian Boyle -1 for the game, he rocks.

        • Dave says:

          So because he was a -1, you’re saying he had a bad game. There’s a reason why most disregard that stat.

  2. Evan says:

    What a game. About time. I also have no idea what took so long for the team to implement the changes i saw on the PP tonight. Unloading one timers. Constant point shots. Constant movement by the forwards from wing to wing. Just simple adjustments that could have been made months ago and look what happens. We were 1 for 6 but the boyle goal might as well have been a PP goal.

    Brassard and moore. Steals of the century by sather for a gimpy gaborik. Amazing

    Next adjustment that needs to be made is dealing with the Capitals point play. Of the 7 goals the caps have scored, 4 have come off of a play involving a point shot. Every time they win a face off or unload a shot from the point i just close my eyes and hope it does not go in. Hopefully we can make an adjustment.

    So great to see staal out there and almost 17 minutes. Mad some errors but that is expected. If we can extend this series with a win wednesday he will become an even bigger factor. Gave girardi and mcd a much needed rest.

    Praying to god Clowe is healthy so that pyatt can be benched for the rest of the year. He is awful and is consistently lost. Very, very happy with the performances by Asham and Dorsett. However, if Powe is seriously hurt this is bad news for the PK and then pyatt will remain.

    Either way, great win and im going wednesday! Lets tie it up!

    • The Suit says:

      Agree about Moore. Was a good adjustment to put him out there. It’s a lot of responsibility but Torts mentioned that they can live with some of his mistakes this early in the process. Right now the PP needs shots from the point and quick passing and Moore was able to do that tonight. He wasn’t hesitating. Hopefully it continues.

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      A agree Pyatt has been awful.

    • PA_NYR_Fan (@sylvandad) says:

      Sorry to disagree but the PP was still anemic. Puck movement was Not good enough. Too much standing around looking for the perfect pass while no other NYR is moving either. It got somewhat better as the game went on. One timers work much better with a screen too.

    • Walt says:

      Great post, and right on. I loved the fact that we were shooting from the point all night long on the PP. This kid Moore is going to be a good one for us.

      Slats gets very good d-men from teams for retreads, maybe he should get as many old garbage players, and then trade them off for kids, we could build a great team that way!

    • Walt says:

      I wanted to respond to your post, clicked on wrong comment, I agree with you big time.

  3. Chris F says:

    Well, since I was Mr. Optimism after two losses, I suppose it’s only fitting that I bring a bit of criticism after this win.

    The Caps 5-on-5 absolutely dominated. If this team has any chance of extending this series, they have absolutely got to sustain some pressure by getting the puck deep and forechecking. Not only can they not get through the neutral zone, they can’t even battle for the puck when they do get the puck deep. This has to change fast.

    Secondly, I know Stepan/Nash combined for the winning goal, but these guys, plus Richards and Callahan have got to show up. Can’t rely on Boyle and Asham, nor on Brassard to put up 3 point nights.

    With that said, Brassard was a beast. Moore was great, and the PP looked so much better. The boys kept battling back in spurts, and fortunately that was enough tonight.

    Stay out of the box, sustain pressure and this series can be won. But not if they play like they did tonight.

    • VinceR says:

      The good news is you expect the non performers have to break out soon, and when they do, hopefully the depth guys keep producing.

  4. supermaz says:

    Not enough said about the great game from Zuccarello .
    Continues to impress in all areas.
    Torts needs to keep him with the top six.
    I like…
    Zucc-Stepan- Nash
    Hags-Brassard-Callahan
    Boyle-Richards-Dorsett

  5. Bloomer says:

    The Stephan Cally Nash experiment needs to end. Put Hags back on that line and reunite Nash with the other Blue Jacket outcast Brassard and Dorsett. Brassard is a very talented upper echelon hockey player who quite likely could be finally hitting his stride just when the Blue Shirts need him. BTW Boyle still rocks!!

  6. Seahorse says:

    idk what to do about nash. he puts one puck to the net and gets an assist but really has done nothing in 3 games. im ok with ritchie and cally but nash has been wanting

  7. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Moore had a solid game.Zuccarrello has been wonderful not getting the ink he deserves.Pyatt needs to sit.The forwards are dropping to far down giving the Caps dman to much space and time.The PP needs to utilize the man in the high slot more in the one 3 one set up.He’s in the sweet spot to shoot or pass to either player siding down the wings.Quick passes strongside to weakside thru the gaps in the middle of Caps box set up,not around the outside.Hotlby would have to quickly move from side to side not just watch the puck as it moves around the outside.

  8. Zev says:

    Any chance the Rangers make an adjustment to their strategy in the defensive zone? It seems like the forwards are getting sucked in too low in the zone and there is no outlet even when they win puck battles along the boards. This has also led to dangerous shots from the Capitals point men. Did they make an adjustment during the game and I just didn’t notice it?

    • The Suit says:

      The low collapse strategy is supposed to expand when the puck comes to the points and players should come out and block shots. They’re generally pretty good at that. Last night I thought a few players were doing that while others sunk (Pyatt) sunk to low.

      • HARLEMBLUES says:

        The Caps forwards always have a outlet to pass to in our zone while cycling. No matter how much pressure we put on them down low if we don’t come up with the puck they can always relieve it easily by passing to their D.Which then has all kinds of time and space to make a play.It Led to a lot of time spent in our offensive zone,it has to change or their D will continue to freely rip shots at the King.

  9. PA_NYR_Fan (@sylvandad) says:

    Ok I admit to being slow but who is MZA?

  10. SalMerc says:

    I agree with above. Nash is invisible where he is. Also, Boyle goes hard to the net, but his major role is defensive forward, and he had at least 2 hiccups last night. Stepan and Moore played well, and Hank was Hank. I think Hagelin was burried for some unknown reason. Richards seemed to awaken a bit. All I know is we need every second of 60 minutes of strong play to equalize the Caps. They play hard under Oates.

    • Mikeyyy says:

      That’s because Nash is drawing double coverage , and the caps are playing dirty with him.

      One cap broke his stick on a slash to him, no call.

      It’s ok if he is being shut down by two guys because that opens up space for everyone else.

      • SalMerc says:

        Only if the others respond. Cally has done little as well, and Stepan took a great pass from a double-covered Nash to score. We need some offensive imagination. If you need to know what that is, watch Ovechkin.

      • bogans says:

        Agreed, but he has to find the open man rather than lose the puck and have the Caps go the other direction with it. They are playing very dirty with multiple guys on him. There should always be an opportunity to pass it to an open cutter rather than shooting from a bad angle or holding it and giving the puck away.

  11. Walt says:

    I just want Clowe to return, and get going. On a different note, I love the hip check on Ovie from Stral, don’t see many of those any more these days!

  12. Chris F says:

    Can anyone explain the ‘too many men on the ice’ rule? Not that I’m complaining, but when the Caps were called for this they had 6 players on the ice, but one guy was at the bench, not involved in the play and was going off. At that same time, Rangers had 8-9 guys on the ice, some heading to the bench, some joining the play. What differed between the two that warranted a penalty for the Caps, but not the Rangers?

    • Walt says:

      The reason, as I understand it, is the Caps touched the puck, and had possesion, with 6 players on the ice. The Rangers were changing, had 8-9, but no one touched the puck while changing, therefore no call!!

      The key is possesion, and if there are more than the allowed 5 players, and you have the puck, its too many men call.

    • AdamGravesIsTheMan says:

      The man who was coming off the bench for the capitals actively joined the play prior to the man he was replacing actually reaching the bench. The line change does not need to be exact, but you can’t jump early to give yourself an advantage in the play.