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Rask steals one at The Garden

"Save by Rask" heard way too much (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

“Save by Rask” heard way too much (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Tuukka Rask showed why he earned his massive contract this summer, completely baffling the Rangers and carrying Boston to a 2-1 win at MSG. The Rangers didn’t have much traffic in front, making Rask’s job a little easier, but that doesn’t take away from the incredible performance the young netminder turned in last night. Rask’s 43 saves, including two on Chris Kreider breakaways, are the only reason why the Bruins won this game, as New York dominated from start to finish.

There is nothing more frustrating than a goalie stealing one for the opposition. Perhaps it is even more frustrating when you’ve had the gift of The King in net for the past nine seasons. These games happen though.

On to the goals:

Bruins 1, Rangers 0

Marchand covered, challenge shot.

Marchand covered, challenge shot.

This goal started with a bad pass by Mats Zuccarello, as he tried to force it through a few Bruins to Chris Kreider. The puck was deflected away between Ryan McDonagh Justin Falk, Brad Marchand, and Shawn Thornton. McDonagh Falk hesitated, and didn’t commit to pinching to keep the zone or skating back on defense. Due to the indecision, Thornton was able to chip the puck past McDonagh Falk and start a 2-on-1 with Marchand. Zuccarello caught up to Marchand (without the puck), but John Moore didn’t move over fast enough to Thornton to challenge the shot. Thornton simply ripped it over Hank from the hash marks.

Bruins 2, Rangers 0

You can see where this is going.

You can see where this is going.

After a bad powerplay zone entry from McDonagh, where he was challenged by Gregory Campbell and Zdeno Chara, his back pass to Ryan Callahan simply couldn’t be handled. Danny Paille was able to chip the loose puck past Cally for the breakaway, where he slipped it past Hank for the shorthanded goal.

Rangers 1, Bruins 2

1-3-1 at work.

1-3-1 at work.

Right after Paille’s shorty, Derick Brassard answered right back on the same powerplay. John Moore made a series of good keeps at the blue line, and eventually wound up with the puck at the point after some chances. He hit Brassard on the far wing with a lot of room to maneuver. Kreider cut to the net, drawing some defensive attention, but Brassard’s shot barely slipped through Johnny Boychuk’s legs and through a screened Rask.

Fenwick Chart:

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

Pure domination. Stupid Tuukka Rask.

Well, the Rangers came out 1-2 against the three playoff teams faced during this run, with their one win coming against Montreal in Montreal. But the team was dominant against Boston as well, if there’s any silver lining, that’s it. This is a team that simply cannot buy a goal right now. They are in the bottom-three in PDO (puck luck, SH% + SV%, average is 100%, Rangers at 96.3%). That will eventually correct itself over an 82 game season. Hopefully it corrects itself soon, since the Rangers are now headed on a five game road trip. These games happen, and for the Rangers, it happened twice in a row.

28 Responses to “Rask steals one at The Garden”

  1. MBN says:

    Got to hand it to Rask. He was brilliant last night.

    I still have no idea what Zuc. was trying to do with that cross-ice pass attempt leading up to the 1st goal. He has to shoot it there. He had some spacing to do so.

  2. Bloomer says:

    Rask’s’ massive contract? He makes 7 million a season slightly more then Lundquist 6.8 million. Hank has been a very good goalie for the Rangers, but he isn’t the top dog anymore, Rask is. The Rangers have a choice to make this summer, overpay for their goaltending needs or find a bonafide goal score. The fact that they can only mustered up 2 goals playing against 3 playoffs teams, you know where my vote is.

    • Gary says:

      That is what I mean when I knock Hank (just a little). Dave’s quote: “the gift of The King in net for the past nine seasons” illustrates this. Hank’s a great goalie, but he’s not clearly better than 4-5 other goalies and he is not quite up to the level that the hype says he is. Rask on the other hand, may be.

      It is a sensitive subject in Hank’s contract year. I don’t want to pay a king’s ransom for a player who is no longer king.

      Hank got a bit of a jeer last night after making a save. I’d love to see him spend the rest of the season making them eat that. But so far, he’s ordinary.

      • Dave says:

        No, my quote illustrated that since we have Hank, and we aren’t used to goalies stealing games against us, that we are more sensitive to it when it happens.

        • evan says:

          I am ignoring the first 9 games of the season, because the schedule, injuries and new coaching system led to a lot of flux and horrid numbers for goalies and defensemen alike.

          Since then, hank has let up 15 goals in his last 9 starts and has a 4-5 record. We are doing all the right things offensively and creating more quality chances than every before, yet we still cannot score. Hank did let in a softy to the devils and the second one last night, but our offense has to give him some sort of cushion.

          I do not think we should give Hank an 8 year deal, but I think we are also being extraordinarily harsh on him. The guy has been playing on a team for 9 years where he has to let up 2 goals or less for us to win. So far this year it has been mostly the same story, but I feel our lucky is about to start changing.

  3. Walt says:

    Snake bite, that’s all you can say. Rask was hot as hell, and he should be sent to jail for stealing, he played a great game.

  4. Bob says:

    When was the last time the Rangers truly had an ‘offensive’ team, 05-06? I’m not holding my breath.

  5. Dave says:

    Update on the first goal: It was Falk who hesitated, not McDonagh.

    • Centerman21 says:

      What do you make of the rumors (again) of the Senators having interest in Del Zotto? What do they have that could help the Rangers?

  6. SalMerc says:

    Rask was good, but we make alot of good goalies look great. It is getting all too common that good goalies and good defensive teams hold us to one goal. Need to figure out a way to generate goals, not just shots on goal.

    • Ren says:

      We generate great chances, but we make every goalie look like a Vezina candidate. That is because there is not enough traffic in front of the goalie, and the Rangers are not getting 2nd or 3rd opportunities, end of story. The end result is that we pepper the opposing teams goalies with 30-40 shots and we score once.
      MORE DIRTY GOALS!
      +
      The Rangers are able to generate amazing scoring chances but Rask saw most of them all the way.
      +
      Krieder should have able 10 goals right now, with the amount of times he has been robbed. At least he is going to the right places.

  7. Hatrick Swayze says:

    0 even strength goals in the past 3 games.

    As frustrating as that is, the team has been competing very well lately. We’re going to start finding the twine again. From a systems and compete perspective, we’re on point.

    If a team is going to lose, this would be the best way to do it. Keep working hard and playing smart hockey, and the goals will come. At the quarter mark in the season, I’m much more confident than I was at the start.

  8. paulronty says:

    Rask was great but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—THE NETS ARE TOO SMALL for the modern game. The trend now is to huge goalies with huge equipment and a lot of these guys are not as good as they seem, ie. Scrivens, Bishop etc. Baseball, football, baskertball make changes but hockey, well it’s run by dinosaurs. There is so little to shoot at now that one almost needs a thread the needle shot to score. It would be interesting to know how many goals are scored off skates,bodies now as compared to the past.

    • SalMerc says:

      Net was big enough for Boston and the LA Kings

    • Chuck A says:

      My take? Take the size ratio of the 1920s goalies (with pads) versus the size of the nets at that time, then size the 2013 nets against the far bigger goalies today.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        You need to consider how much faster and more accurate shots are in the NHL today. Goalies aren’t the only ones who have benefited from enhancements in technology. For my money, players sticks have evolved more than any singular piece of equipment in the game. Skates and goalie pads would round out my top 3.

        That needs to be taken into account along with the size of goalies, size of goalie equipment and size of the nets.

        I’m not against bigger nets, but I don’t think it is a black and white argument. We don’t need more goals in the game, however, more pretty goals wouldn’t be a bad thing.

  9. Evan M says:

    Rask didn’t steal the game, the Rangers just didn’t take it. Those are two goals Hank needs to stop, regardless of the breakaway. Rask had a few breakaways and a Penalty Shot… and he stopped them. The Rangers aren’t finishing, creating much traffic, or going for the second chance. Creating the opportunity is great, but it’s all meaningless if they don’t follow through. Hopefully it’s just an irregularity and the pucks start finding twine.

    • AD says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Sums it up perfectly, in my opinion.

      In recent past seasons, the Rangers would have won this game 1-0 or 2-1 type matches; the team just seems to have less discipline and makes too many mistakes.

      At times, the offense is much more exciting to watch; but this new style has its drawbacks too which lead to more goals against and turnovers.

      It remains to be seen whether this team is moving forward or just settling into a position backward.

      • Paco33 says:

        Less discipline!? Too many mistakes!? More goals against?! You must be kidding. In the last 14 games, the Rangers GAA is 1.64. 1 point 6 freaking 4! The Bruins lead the league with a GAA of 1.8 over 21 games. We’re 8-6 over those 14 games.

        The lack of scoring is frustrating as hell but I’d *much* rather have a team playing great defense that needs a little more scoring than a team that can’t keep the puck out of the net. The former is much harder to accomplish and much easier to fix

        We’re going to be fine. As it is we’re good enough to make the playoffs in a mediocre division. All we need is some patience, a touch more touch, and a few tweaks to the roster (less Pouliot and Pyatt, more snarl)and we’re going to be a very dangerous team come the playoffs.

  10. Doug Peters says:

    While Kreider is playing impressively, I feel his shots on the break are becoming predictable. He seems to shoot low to stick side a majority of the time. While this shot may work on the minor level, the NHL level with advanced scouting is getting a good read on it.

    Keep up the good work NYR and the breaks will come. Posts will become cords.

  11. supermaz says:

    I cannot believe Zuccarello is being blamed for that goal when Falk played it terribly then Hank lets a fourth line penaltyklller burn him. That wasn’t Mike gartner taking that shot. Come on man.

    • Ray says:

      Hindsight is amazing. Zuc’s “risky” pass gave Boston a 2 on 3 break. There were many many worse miscues in the game. Falk, Moore and Lundqvist were all more responsible for the goal.

  12. Mikeyyy says:

    Seems our offense is more potent when talbot is playing.

  13. John S. says:

    Last nights game was ridiculous! Sure the Rangers created a bunch of quality scoring opportunities, but unless you finish them off with a quality shot, well, you saw what happens. They don’t have a finisher on the team! Haven’t for years! Disgraceful, they should be ashamed. Two break aways and a penalty shot and got nothing…Ashamed they should be! I’ve had it! Yes Tukka Rask is a great goaltender, I’ll give you that, but as Salmerc alluded to, the Rangers have been making third string goalies look like Vezina himself for many years now. It is enough! Get us a finisher. Someone who will shoot, with accuracy, somewhere other than at the goaltenders stomach. I’m sick to mine, after this game! Not a big fan of the Fenwick chart, but if it showed anything, and that was all you saw, you would have thought the Rangers crushed the Bruins. And they did, on every level but scoring. Yes, Rask is good, but he is not a brick wall, someone has to be able to put the puck in the net!!!!!! If you can’t score with such utter domination, then something is clearly wrong!
    As for the King, I love him, hope he stays here and retires a Ranger. However, if he wants 8-8, then tell him Thanks for everything and wish him the best of luck. He is in the lower half of the top ten, IMO. This team needs a finisher and financial balance to get to the cup. Either he is in or he is out! If he wants a cup, no better place than NY, if wants to maximize his paycheck, and he has every right, than he can do it somewhere else. i totally agree with Gary. I know many will not like this post, particularly the writers, but, it is just my opinion, and you know what they say, everyone has one.
    Dave, I’m disappointed that all you saw was Rask stealing one! such a Homer!

  14. Stevo says:

    What occurred to me after watching that game was how little Taylor Pyatt’s absence has impacted this team. I hope he returns from injury, but I can’t say that I miss seeing his slow play. Especially when so many of these guys, Kreider specifically, were flying.