Rangers dominate Canes to stretch streak to three

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

At the start of the game, when the Canes were dominating and the Rangers were struggling to find any semblance of consistency on the ice, we were all thinking that this was a trap game. Low and behold, the Rangers got themselves together and blew out the Canes with all five goals coming from just two guys who hadn’t scored all season. Carl Hagelin (2) and Derek Stepan (3) scored the five goals. Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello had three assists a piece, and Henrik Lundqvist did his thing in the 5-1 win.

As the winning streak stretches to three games and four in five, we have to point out that the systems are starting to click. This club is no longer a split second behind, and is no longer thinking about what they need to do. They just do it. That split second means a whole lot.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Canes 0

Go to the net, always a distraction.

Go to the net, always a distraction.

With the Canes pressuring, the Rangers had a great overall team effort along the boards in the defensive zone to gain possession of the puck. Brad Richards worked the puck to Benoit Pouliot to start a 2-on-2 break. Pouliot dished the puck to Hagelin out wide, and then charged to the net while Hagelin circled to the slot. Pouliot’s charge to the net gave Hagelin a little room, but neither Ryan Murphy nor Jay Harrison followed Pouliot down low. Justin Peters has to be cognizant of Pouliot in front, and it appears he expected Hagelin’s backhand shot to be a pass to Pouliot. Instead, it wound up in the back of the net.

Rangers 2, Canes 0

Paddle down, but not really.

Paddle down, but not really.

After the Rangers kill a Carl Hagelin penalty (that saved a goal), they clear the zone right as the penalty expires, giving Hagelin a head start to the puck in the offensive zone. Peters mishandled the puck a bit, and Hags was able to pick the puck up at the goal line, cut in, and slide it under Peters’ stick. If you look closely at the picture, Peters didn’t have his paddle down flush with the ice, and Hags hit that hole.

Rangers 3, Canes 0

Men in front. Goals. Nice to see.

Men in front. Goals. Nice to see.

Another powerplay goal for the Rangers. After a face off win, the Rangers worked the puck along the boards, and found Ryan McDonagh at the point wide open. McDoangh ripped one on net with Chris Kreider in front, and Peters was unable to control the rebound. The resulting scramble led to Derek Stepan finding the puck on the doorstep for the goal.

Canes 1, Rangers 3

photo

This time around, it was the Canes who scored on the powerplay. After moving the puck to Andrej Sekera at the weak side boards, the Rangers began shifting from a diamond to what appeared to be a box (most teams shift PK styles based on puck location). Sekera’s soft wrist shot appeared to deflect off Anton Stralman past Hank. It looked like Stralman may have been drifting a bit, but it’s tough to tell. He wasn’t in No Man’s Land, but he wasn’t on the guy in front.

Rangers 4, Canes 1

When you have a strong shift, the defense will blow coverage

When you have a strong shift, the defense will blow coverage

The line of Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello had a fantastic game tonight. This line had one of their several great shifts, forcing Carolina to run around the defensive zone. Eventually, Kreider is able to beat Justin Faulk and Mike Komisarek the other defenseman (boy, was I tired last night) to the puck at the boards and chip it to Zuccarello behind the net. Stepan, who wasn’t being covered by Elias Lindholm, cut to the net and receive the beautiful pass from Zucc for the one-timer goal.

Rangers 5, Canes 1

That's a lot of fail.

That’s a lot of fail.

There was a whole lotta fail on this one by the Canes. First off, Jordan Staal, Tuomo Ruutu, and Radek Dvorak all forgot to backcheck and were just watching this develop. Faulk cut over too far on Zuccarello, leaving Sekera in a tough spot between Kreider and Stepan. Sekera can’t challenge Stepan directly or else Kreider is wide open, and can’t commit to Kreider because Stepan would have a wide open shot. He actually played this relatively well, all things considered, but Stepan’s shot deflected off him and behind Peters for the hat trick.

Fenwick Chart:

fenwick-graph-2013-11-02-hurricanes-rangers

From the chart (courtesy of ExtraSkater), you can see how badly outplayed the Rangers were in the first period. At one point, Carolina had more than double the amount of Fenwick chances than the Rangers. But as the first came to a close, New York started tilting the ice the other way, and eventually ran away with puck possession.

The Rangers are now officially on a winning streak. This was another complete game by the Rangers, who dominated the Canes despite a slow start in the first period. With wins against the Islanders, Sabres, and Canes, the Rangers did what they needed to do against mediocre and bad clubs. Now the schedule gets tough as the Ducks and Penguins come to town on Monday and Wednesday. The six points –and eight of ten– were critical to the Rangers getting back on track.

38 Responses to “Rangers dominate Canes to stretch streak to three”

  1. Spozo says:

    Great stuff tonight. That Stepan Kreider MZA line is really clicking.

    2 out of 4 points a realistic approach to the next two games?

    • Mr. Snrub says:

      Wasn’t expecting that to auto-embed, but awesome.

      Love the Fenwick chart, Dave. God bless Extra Skater.

      • Dave says:

        I’ve been trying to figure out how to disable auto embed in the comments for about 5 years now haha. Great scene from a great movie.

        Extra Skater is probably the best thing to happen for us #fancystat nerds.

  2. prole30 says:

    Komisarek?

  3. Bloomer says:

    The Rangers were very sloppy with their passing in the first period (AV was actually showing some anger). But when Hags scored on the niffy backhand the momentum switched and the team started making some good plays. A convincing win tonight. When will we see Cally in uniform?

  4. Bloomer says:

    Cally was playing well before he broke his thumb. We all would love to Nash back in the lineup asap but the key with concussions is to be conservative and allow him time to fully recover.

    • Dave says:

      Yea I’m beginning to worry about Nash. No news is bad news with these things.

      • Centerman21 says:

        We might here the Rangers put him on LTIR today/tomorrow retroactive to the day he was injured. Since it’s now been 10 games since he was hurt. They’d have most of his ($7.8) cap hit to spend. I don’t think they should spend all of it but they could look for a top 9 winger or a puck moving defenseman.
        For some reason DZ has looked gun shy. At this point, it’s a waiste to pay him on a new contract. He’s been decent defensively but we have plenty of those types of defenseman. Maybe a change of scenery would be good for Del Zotto.

        • Dave says:

          You can’t bank LTIR space, so there’s no reason to put him on LTIR at the moment. They will do that when they make a move. Unfortunately, that’s the only closure we will get.

          More at 12:30 :)

  5. evan says:

    Pretty amazing what a difference it makes when you get your top forwards back. Everyone was freaking out earlier in the year and saying AV has no idea what he is doing. Look at the difference just adding hagelin made. Now imagine when cally gets back and hopefully nash

    I saw what our team did early last year with Torts when everyone healthy PLUS gaborik. I am incredibly impressed with AV’s calm through that awful start and we are playing a far more entertaining brand of hockey.

    The PP is night and day from last year. We actually have an advantage there now. People move off the puck, create chaos, get traffic in front and take point shots, unlike the past 5 years.

    However, as Dave said above, Nash is still a huge concern. The current squad will make the playoffs in my opinion, but without a healthy Nash we cannot win a stanley cup. Our guys are clicking very nicely and moving the puck incredibly well, but we need all our snipers to have a shot at winning.

  6. Bloomer says:

    The Vancouver Canucks are 10-5-1 with Torts at the helm, in a very competitive Western Division. If you were to ask the fans in Vancouver if they miss AV, I think you know the answer.

    • cv19 says:

      It’s a long season Bloomer.

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      Did Vancouver start its first 9 on the road?

      • Bob says:

        Why are you guys still talking about Torts? Get over it already. He’s been good for Vancouver and AV has been good for us. Move on.

        • Dave says:

          Can’t avoid it. The comparisons will always be there while they are the coaches of their respective teams.

    • Van says:

      Vancouver was doing just fine in the regular season with AV. You have no idea what you are talking about

    • Evan says:

      I also saw how we played last year with a fully healthy squad under torts. We would be 2-11 with torts as coach this year with this many forwards injured.

      • JustLetItDieAlready,AllOfYOU! says:

        You mean when Callahan was out for a chunk of games? When Richards was hurt, and playing as bad as he did? When Nash was hurt? Girardi? Staal? When Callahan and Hagelin both played hurt all season and immediately had surgery at season’s end? When we were constantly so short on D we had Bickle playing until Moore got sent over? Or in the playoffs when D were dropping like flies? During a half-season with no pre-season? Ok, whatever you say.

        Can we all just let this die and just see how a season goes?

  7. Walt says:

    Every time I see the Kreider kid score, or assist, I beam with pride. I have been a fan of his, size, speed, hands, now all clicking together with Zucc, and Step, What A Line!!!!!

    Speed kills, Hags anyone?? He along with Kreider, and someday maybe Fast, along with Lindberg, and J.Moore, holy crap, what more can we ask for, oh well maybe 2 of each!!

    As others have posted, I also am very worried about Nash, and do hope he comes around to a healthy statis, and plays again soon. At the rate we are playing, Callies return soon, and with Nash, we could be a rough team to play against. We will need all those horses if we have any chance of beating the Pens!!!!!

    • Chris F says:

      This team can beat Pens without Nash or Cally. Fluery is extremely beatable, just get under his skin early and he’ll implode.

      • Dave says:

        Pittsburgh is the first high scoring team they will face since they “got it together.” It will be an interesting matchup.

      • Walt says:

        He may, but the team in front of him is playing some great hockey. It’s not to say they are unbeatable, now, or in a series, but with the team at full strength it’s a different story!

  8. Dave says:

    Overall, do you guys like the addition of the Fenwick chart?