This is not the same Ranger team we saw last year. If this team got blown out 9-2 last year, they had a fire under them and played a strong follow up game. This time around, the Ducks thoroughly spanked the Rangers, and the Blueshirts didn’t even pretend to play defense. In San Jose, they were playing well up until the four goals in four minutes in the second period. New York was always a step behind tonight.
It looks like this is a team that forgot how to play defense, forgot how to backcheck, and simply doesn’t know who to cover in the defensive zone. The blowouts are starting to affect their offensive game, and you can tell this team has no confidence at all right now.
On to the goals:
Ducks 1, Rangers 0
This was more of the same from this team that we saw in San Jose. After a Derek Stepan turnover, Bryan Allen quickly moved the puck to Corey Perry on the weak side at the blue line. Perry beat Ryan McDonagh wide, which forced Anton Stralman to come over to cover (red arrow). Perry was able to feed the now wide open Ryan Getzlaf for the goal. Stepan, who turned the puck over to start this whole thing, was coasting and watching the play, instead of recognizing that Getzlaf was his man once Stralman moved to cover Perry after McDonagh was beat (yellow arrow).
Ducks 2, Rangers 0
With Michael Del Zotto behind the net covering Teemu Selanne, Stepan decided to help him out by going behind the net as well. His actual position should be the front of the net waiting for a loose puck or to cover someone who gets to the front of the net. Naturally, the latter happened when Jakub Silfverberg got better positioning on Jesper Fast and beat him to the slot. With Stepan now out of position, and Silfverberg essentially alone in front, this one had goal written all over it.
Ducks 3, Rangers 0
Del Zotto tried another homerun pass, but this time it led Stepan right into a danger zone. A big hit caused the turnover, and Daniel Winnik took a nice shot from outside the circle on a two-on-two rush. This is one Henrik Lundqvist wants back.
Ducks 4, Rangers 0
MDZ and Benoit Pouliot forgot how to give/receive passes, and Hank decided to dive out 30 feet to poke the puck away. When it rains, it pours.
Ducks 5, Rangers 0
Pouliot can’t handle his second pass of the period, and this one again wound up in the Rangers net. This time around, after the turnover, Brad Richards doesn’t cover Saku Koivu, who took the Winnik feed and roofed it.
Ducks 6, Rangers 0
After the Rangers lost (another) face off in their zone, the Ducks went to work moving the puck. There wasn’t really any coverage fail on this one, just some good movement by the Ducks. They also got some luck, as Dan Girardi knocked this one in (the pic above actually has the puck on his stick).
Something worth noting over the past two games: Alain Vigneault never called a timeout. He didn’t call one during the four goal onslaught Tuesday night, and he didn’t call one after the Ducks got out to a 3-0 lead tonight. I wish we had an explanation for that. Maybe he didn’t need to because he didn’t allow the team to have a between the periods interview.
This team has now been outscored 15-2 over the past two games, including a stretch where they were outscored 13-1 over 4 periods. One more game on this Western Conference trip before they return to the east coast and to more sleep friendly games.