If you didn’t stay up to watch this one, don’t worry because you didn’t miss much. The Rangers were absolutely dismantled by a stronger, bigger, and faster San Jose Sharks club last night. The Rangers actually had a halfway decent first period, but some bad luck put them down a goal heading into the intermission. Then the second period happened, with the Sharks scoring four times in four minutes, chasing Henrik Lunqvist halfway through the barrage.
There really isn’t much to talk about on a positive side. The Rangers got thrashed, and they may have lost Rick Nash for an extended period of time courtesy of Brad Stuart.
On to the goals:
Rangers 1, Sharks 0
With the Rangers on a 5-on-3, an initial shot from Brad Richards went wide and to the corner. All three Sharks, including Logan Couture, coasted to the puck. The problem here is that Couture is responsible for the pair of Rangers up high, and his drifting allowed Derick Brassard –who received the puck from Derek Stepan— to get the puck across the ice to the weak side, where Richards had all day to fire away. Ryan Callahan made sure that Antii Niemi would not see the puck.
Sharks 1, Rangers 1
San Jose answered back right away with a shorthanded goal of their own. After some bad luck, which saw Joe Pavelski gain control of the puck after a pass hit the ref behind the net, Pavelski was able to find Marc-Edouard Vlasic at the high slot, who wristed it past Hank. The two miscues that stood out were: 1) How Pavelski got the puck through three Rangers on that pass, and 2) How Cally did not turn around to see Vlasic behind him.
Sharks 2, Rangers 1
This was just bad luck. After a clean face off win, the Sharks move the puck to the weak side boards, where Dan Boyle just lets it go. The shot hit Marc Staal and deflected past Hank. This one makes up for the Jonathan Quick goal last night.
Sharks 3, Rangers 1
This was the goal that opened the floodgates. First, the Rangers coughed up the puck in the neutral zone turnover when no one can handle Anto Stralman’s clear of the zone. Joe Pavelski was able to move the puck along to Tommy Wingels deep, who hit Matt Nieto in the slot. Aron Asham didn’t pick up Nieto in the slot, nor was he able to deflect the pass.
Sharks 4, Rangers 1
I think, once we all saw what was going on, that we knew this was going to be a goal. The picture explains it all here.
Sharks 5, Rangers 1
This was another weird one that didn’t bounce the Rangers way. After another clean San Jose face off win Patrick Marleau took a weak shot that went wide, but the carom went straight up in the air and over the back of the net. All three of Staal, Stepan, and Michael Del Zotto were caught watching the puck, and no one bothered to put a body on Couture. Couture was able to bat this out of the air and into the empty net.
Sharks 6, Rangers 1
Another goal, more bad luck. This time, a Ranger breakout is thwarted by the knob of a broken stick. Seriously, it hit the knob and bounced away from all Rangers, but right to –of all people– Joe Thornton. With the Rangers all out of position because of the freak play, Thornton was able to get a pass through the Dan Girardi–Ryan McDonagh pairing to Nieto, who beat Martin Biron for his second of the game.
Rangers 2, Sharks 6
This was a very quick passing play that covered all 200 feet of the ice. With Derek Dorsett cutting down the weak side wing, Stralman threw a homerun pass from behind the net to Brian Boyle at center ice. Boyle deflected the puck with a nice touch pass right to Dorsett, who got behind the defense for the breakaway goal. There is no picture on this goal, as I could not get a good angle to show the defensive breakdown that showed Dorsett get behind Matt Irwin.
Sharks 7, Rangers 3
With the Sharks on the powerplay, Cally overcommited to weak side, leaving Tyler Kennedy wide open for cross ice pass. Once that pass connected, Girardi compensated for the wide open Kennedy by overcommiting to no-man’s land. McDonagh was left in front to cover Hertl and Jason Demers, who had gone to the front of the net after dishing the puck over to Kennedy. Kennedy’s shot was deflected up, but McDonagh was unable to cover both Hertl and Demers, and Hertl was able to bat it down and in to complete the hat trick.
Sharks 8, Rangers 2
Del Zotto simply took a bad angle on Hertl when he received the Demers pass from the DZ. The red arrow is MDZ’s angle, the black arrow is Hertl’s path. Hertl blew by him for the breakaway. Kid showed brass ones putting it between his legs Marek Malik style.
Sharks 9, Rangers 2
The loss drops the Rangers to 1-2 on the season, with New York back at it again on Thursday in Anaheim. Games like these happen, and these are professional athletes. They will move on and forget about it. A loss is a loss, no matter if it’s 2-1 or 11-1. Still 79 of these things left.