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Rangers much stronger in dominating win over LA

GIF is below, but this deserves the top picture.

GIF is below, but this deserves the top picture.

Last night’s New York Rangers looked nothing like the Blueshirts that lost to Phoenix four nights ago. This was a team that was aggressive, strong in all three zones, capitalized on mistakes, and limited the Kings’ chances off their mistakes. Four days off seemed to be the perfect recipe for the Rangers, who looked like they saw everything they did wrong, and fixed it.

Through the first period and a half, the Rangers absolutely dominated the game. They looked stronger, played better in the defensive zone, generated offensive chances, got better goaltending, was more physical, and just seemed more engaged in this game. There were still defensive miscues, still some coverage fails, but the team overall looked much, much better. The bigger things to notice were more zone entries via carry-in, and more effective DZ pressure on the overload.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Kings 0

Moore started this with a great defensive play.

Moore started this with a great defensive play.

This goal began in the defensive zone, with John Moore diving in front of Hank to clear the puck from a pair Kings. The puck wound up on Rick Nash’s stick, gaining the offensive zone. Drew Doughty eventually took the puck from Nash, but promptly turned it over after pressured by Derek Stepan. Nash, who was circling behind the net after losing the puck to Doughty, scooped up the loose puck for a mini 2-on-1 down low. With Willie Mitchell taking the pass lane, Nash shot from point-blank range. Jonathan Quick made the save, but the rebound went to Brad Richards at bad angle. Richards kicked the puck to his forehand, and had an empty net.

Rangers 2, Kings 0

Turnover, scramble, goal.

Turnover, scramble, goal.

The Rangers seemed like a brand new team in this period. They just pressured the Kings shift after shift, touch after touch. This time, Nash forced Kyle Clifford into a turnover at the blue line. With Nash now in possession of the puck both Colin Fraser (#24) and Jake Muszzin (#6) were watching Nash, but no one was watching Richards or Derick Brassard. Brassard and Richards criss-crossed, and the puck wound up on Richards’ stick on a 2-on-1 break. Richards tried to feed Brassard, but the puck went off a diving Slava Voynov’s stick and into the net.

Kings 1, Rangers 2

Three Rangers, two Kings. A recipe for disaster.

Three Rangers, two Kings. A recipe for disaster.

This was a very easy goal to break down. After a Dan Girardi turnover at the blue line, the Rangers found themselves scrambling a bit, even though they still outnumbered the Kings 3-2 in the defensive zone (in the picture above, the Rangers are numbered in red, the Kings in black). The problem was that with Girardi, Ryan McDoangh, and Taylor Pyatt all focused on those three Rangers, Mike Richards was able to find the cutting Jake Muzzin in the high slot. Muzzin had all day to tee it up.

Rangers 3, Kings 1

HAH. (GIF courtesy of TheScore.com)

HAH. (GIF courtesy of TheScore.com)

Yea. That happened.

This game was the exact opposite of the game we saw last Thursday night. The Rangers were more physical, more engaged, more everything this game. Sure, there were miscues. Sure, the Kings hit a pair of posts and Quick let a GOALOL. That’s hockey. The puck bounces their way, but the Rangers created their own luck by creating turnovers, forcing the play, and forcing the opposition to rush. And sure, a key DZ face off win and a clear helped too.

28 Responses to “Rangers much stronger in dominating win over LA”

  1. Walt says:

    Two lucky goals for us last night, and I’ll take them both. BR’s attempt to pass to Brass, re-directed into the goal, and McD’s fluke goal, again I’ll take them anytime!

    As for the game itself, well played, and a win. Let’s hope that the garbage about AV’s system, and all the monday morning QBing stops!! The team played a solid defensive game, and Hank stood tall in net.

    • Dave says:

      You create your own luck. If there’s no turnover at the blue line, the chance doesn’t happen for BR’s second.

      • Walt says:

        I’ll still take it!!

      • HARLEMBLUES says:

        I agree on the second goal Dave.The 3RD a two goal 3RD period lead JQuick gift. Lucky,no.

      • Centerman21 says:

        That is my view here. I was a little ticked at D zone coverage & execution in Pho but this game the Rangers made their luck. They were hard on the puck. If a King player had the puck in his zone. He got his head up knowing a Forechecker was coming. I thought that was missing in Pho as well. You can throw a hit in the offensive zone. Turn the puck over. I thought Nash played like I’ve never seen him play. Relentless on the puck. He’s a big guy & can knock guys off the puck. Pouliot due for a goal. Skated hard.

  2. Mikeyyy says:

    1-1. .500 hockey through the first 20.

    18 to go. Get the puck to the front of the net and good things happen.

  3. Sally says:

    So I guess for one day we won’t talk about the mistake of keeping Brad Richards.

  4. Bloomer says:

    Much better effort by our Blueshirts. Do they have in them to play another like this?

  5. Scully says:

    Good win last night, this team looked really good in the 3rd in terms of puck possession.

    It’s also good to get games against true contenders like the Kings out of the way (not saying the Rangers won’t be true contenders also) because all teams are figuring out their identity through the first 5-10 games. Glad we don’t have to go back in that building in January.

    Also, strong game from Richards with 2 goals and a good night in the faceoff circle. Keep it up.

    You can see that just having Callahan and Stepan back in the lineup make this such a deep team. And I like that we can sub in grinders like Asham (who is very underrated offensively even at this stage in his career) or sub back in kids like Fast, depending on the team we’re playing.

    Never underestimate the calming influence a coach like AV can have after 4+ years of Torts (and I was a Torts fan).

  6. Josh says:

    Am I the only one who thinks this wasn’t that good of a win? When AV was brought in, we were supposed to start scoring more skilled goals and not the messy effort goals. By my count 3 of the goals last night went off of a Kings player. And by my count, the Kings had 3 open looks that hit iron.

    The team looked much better then game 1, but the way I see it, we’re not going to win many games like this.

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      Yes, you are. Did you watch that game? The 3rd goal was all luck, but the other two were based on the Rangers captitalizing off turnovers and creating odd man chances (skill).
      The Rangers dominated the Kings for most of that game. The forechecking was relentless and the top line of Nash, Richards and pick your center had a ton of chances.

      They’ll win a ton of games like this. The offensive (forecheck) and neutral zone play was excellent, and if they play like that in those zones, they’ll win more than they lose. More work to de done in the defensive zone, however.

      Even their powerplay looked good even if they didn’t score.

      • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

        By the way, I didn’t realize how fast Pouliot is. Created several chances based solely on his speed.

        I also like how the Rangers held up in a physical game, engaging the Kings all the way. Even though he gave us a scare, it’s good to see Callahan back, setting the tone as he always does.

        Not perfect (some defensive breakdowns), but a vast improvement, and a glimpse of the potential of this team.

    • Dave says:

      A coach can’t change the talent level. These aren’t the Blackhawks.

    • Centerman21 says:

      You make your luck. You can’t help how pucks go in the other teams net like the ones we scored. Quick made some nice saves on point blank chances as well.
      Teams hit Iron most games. It’s not a goal or even a SOG. Doesn’t count as anything on the scoresheet.
      Until the Rangers figure out all the new positioning with & away from the puck, they’re going to have to win games by forcing opponants into mistakes.
      One thing I didn’t like was Boyle on the PP. He should be down low but he was playing by the circles. He shouldn’t be there at all but he’s a grinder at best. Pyatt was better. He needed a cut on his chin to wake up. Pouliot was flying around

  7. AD says:

    Much, much stronger game last evening than vs PHO.

    I love how on Callahan’s first shift, coming off a Dustin Brown hard hit of Girardi, Callahan plastered some player alongside the boards with a textbook bodycheck. I think that made a big statement of how the team was going to play last night. They engaged the battle each step along the way and got results.

    As for comments about low quality goals, and posts hit by the Kings, I do recall a Ranger player (MDZ?) ringing one off the crossbar and several Rangers not scoring on big time goal scoring opportunities (Pouliot 2x; MZA). These things tend to even out over the course of the game and the Rangers made the most of their opportunities.

    When it comes to Richards and AV, I am a “doubting Thomas” but at least Richards has put together two games which show he is at least better than last year. I hope that can be said after another 6 weeks of hockey.

    • Walt says:

      AD

      Agree 100% on BR! Let’s see what he looks like in Jan-Feb-March time frame. I believe he will wear down, and be ineffective.

  8. paulronty says:

    Never had any doubt about Brad Richards returning to form. Last season was an aberration because of the lockout. Richards was out of shape & that dirty hit he took from Kaleta took more out of him than we realize.

  9. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Outplayed in the 1ST up 1 zip at periods end.Controlled rest of game with better defensive zone coverage, Offensive zone pressure and puck possession.Nash strip lead to 2ND goal,all eyes on Nash and BRich is unchecked on 1ST goal.Nash was very good in this game.McD picked this spots to step up defensively and move up offensively.2ND line spent alot of time in Kings zone.This team still can’t clear the puck,get the puck out of the zone.Good win it was Kings home opener.Ugly goals produced after hard work,oh JQuick.

  10. BobM says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTXg3DHFmWM
    Martin Brodeur’s blooper vs. Penguins | 02.09.2013

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXEzD1heawU
    Brodeur scores on himself in Stanley cup finals.

  11. BobM says:

    Here is one more: Hockey happens

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vrw6zbiRQA

    Most Embarassing Hockey Moments: Goalies (2000-2010)

    • VinceR says:

      Didn’t something similar happen in Vancouver in 94 to Kirk Mclean in game 3 or 4 of the finals? Can’t find a video but I remember watching that game and seeing that.

      • Dave says:

        I think you’re referring to the goal that went off Babych and in?

        • VinceR says:

          I remember it going wide and McLean playing it and it taking a funny bounce off his stick and going in.

          The only thing I’ve seen on various google searches is this reference from an article from 2003 on Uncle Daddy’s final’s screw up.

          “The Rangers got a
          similar gift goal during their 1994 Stanley Cup Finals win over the Canucks
          when Kirk McLean misplayed a dump-in into his own net.”

          All I remember was that it happened in Vancouver, so game 3 or 4.

          • VinceR says:

            Looks like Game 3 on June 6th, apparently there were two own goals for Vancouver that game.

      • Dan says:

        Yup, I think that was Larmer or Tikannen.

        In the finals against the Canucks in 94, they had more bounces like that go their way and you just knew it was a special season.

        Hopefully, we see that a lot this year as well. I remember all the walk off wins the Yankees had in 09 when they won the World Series. When stuff like that happens, you know something is up :)

        Go Rangers!

      • Centerman21 says:

        Quick muffed the play last year in the Playoffs. I think it was game 1 or 2. He went to play the puck behind the net and it bounced of his stick and went right in front. Perron had an empty net to score on for the win in OT for St Louis.

  12. Chris F says:

    Jonathan Quick actually played a great game last night (despite the gaffe). The Rangers piled up the chances, but he kept the Kings in the game.