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Kreider spoils Torts’ return in 5-2 rout

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Chris Kreider –he of the constant up-and-down with his former coach– spoiled John Tortorella’s return to MSG yesterday, netting a hat trick in New York’s 5-2 win. Kreider and Torts had a rocky relationship on Broadway, as Kreider was constantly moved in and out of the lineup. It is no coincidence that the best game we’ve seen Kreider play was against the coach for whom he had so much to prove.

But it wasn’t just the Chris Kreider show. Cam Talbot made it seven straight games allowing two goals or fewer, making 35 saves in the win. Rick Nash had a goal and two assists. Derek Stepan had a pair of assists. Ryan McDonagh had a strong game. Dan Girardi had a strong game. The powerplay converted twice. Everything clicked for the Rangers.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Canucks 0

Turnovers, goals.

Turnovers, goals.

Capitalizing on turnovers is the key to winning. This time, Stepan and Nash forced Alex Edler into a turnover at the blue line. Nash hit Kreider with a pass that sprung him on a mini-breakaway. Kreider, one of the best wrist shots in the league, beat Roberto Luongo clean for the early lead.

Rangers 2, Canucks 0

Men in front, goals.

Men in front, goals.

The Rangers showed great patience and moved the puck extremely well on this powerlay. Eventually New York wound up with both Nash and Kreider in front, but the Canucks only had Chris Tanev down low to cover both. McDonagh thread the needle between the two Canucks challenging him (Dan Hamhuis, Ryan Kesler), where his pass was deflected by both Nash and Kreider for the goal.

Rangers 3, Canucks 0

Three guys just watching the puck.

Three guys just watching the puck.

The Rangers forced another turnover in the offensive zone, which led to the puck landing on Dan Girardi’s stick. His shot was blocked, but the puck went right to Stepan, who put the puck on net. During the confusion, Nash was able to slip behind both Nucks defenders and deflect this one past Luongo. This goal chased Luongo from the game.

Rangers 4, Canucks 0

That's a whole lotta room.

That’s a whole lotta room.

More patience and solid puck movement for this powerplay goal. This time around, Henrik Sedin bit a little too hard on a Mats Zuccarello pass to Derick Brassard in the high slot, forcing him out of position and leaving the weak side point wide open. When Brassard got the puck back to Zuccarello, he made a nice touch pass to the open ice, where Michael Del Zotto was able to walk in with tons of room to maneuver. He placed his shot from “the ladies tees,” as Anson Carter so eloquently put it (top of the circle), perfectly for the 4-0 lead.

Canucks 1, Rangers 4

Great passing by the Canucks here.

Great passing by the Canucks here.

This was just a solid passing play by the Canucks to get on the board. David Booth made a long pass to Dale Weise for the zone entry, who got the puck back to Booth when challenged. Booth back to Weise (then Booth skated to the goal line), Weise to Mike Santorelli to generate a 3-on-2 down low, who touch-passed it back to Booth. Booth made a great move around the defense and around Talbot for the pretty goal.

Rangers 5, Canucks 1

Two guys should never allow one to get this much room for a deflection.

Two guys should never allow one to get this much room for a deflection.

Anton Stralman set Kreider up for his hat trick goal with a perfect lob shot from the point. Both Brad Richardson and Kevin Bieksa, who were with Kreider in the front, just let him take a perfect deflection in front. Neither challenged him or tied up his stick.

Canucks 2, Rangers 5

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After a face off win, Kesler and Daniel Sedin went to the front of the net while Edler was able to get a shot on net from the point. Girardi was in front to tie up Kesler, but McDonagh was a bit too high for the situation, and Daniel was able to bat home the rebound.

Fenwick Chart:

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

This is actually a very interesting chart to look at. If you look at the goals the Rangers scored at even strength, there were a lot of defensive zone breakdowns for the Canucks of which the Rangers took advantage. However, the Canucks themselves were dominant in the puck possession game. Usually a team that jumps out to a big lead sits back, but the Rangers didn’t do that until after their fifth goal (when they finally took a Fenwick lead). The Rangers were actually being outplayed from a possession standpoint until that point in the third, despite the 3-0 and 4-1 leads. It wasn’t until the 5-1 score that they sat back and defended their lead (as noted by the spike in the red line at the end). Just a very interesting chart.

It has to be maddening for a lot of people right now. The Rangers played a solid game yesterday, but haven’t really been able to string together a bunch of those in a row. They are 5-4 in their last nine games, but managed to finish November with a 9-6 record. This team is now 11-6 after starting the season 3-7. If they continue on that pace (let’s make it a pair of wins for every loss, just to keep it simple), then they will finish the last 55 games with a record of 37-18 (roughly) and 51-31 for the season. That’s 102 points and a playoff berth. Just sayin.

37 Responses to “Kreider spoils Torts’ return in 5-2 rout”

  1. Sally says:

    Claude Julian made the statement that if you are in a playoff spot at Thanksgiving, then you are in a playoff spot at the end. Don’t know if it is true, but it sounds good.

    After Torts was screaming at Alex Elder on the bench, I have to say that I don’t miss him one bit.

    • Centerman21 says:

      Hey, I didn’t think Edler made a lazy play nor was he careless at all on that goal so as much as I liked Torts tough love approach. He didn’t deserve that from Torts at all. Torts put up 5 fingers like he was going with 5 defenseman for the rest of the game but Edler played over 18 mins for the game. I think Torts just wanted that game more than anything and to get out of there with a big Hah! The Rangers speed had the Canucks on their heels all game long IMO. I don’t remember Torts screaming at a player for a mistake only for not skating hard on the backcheck.

      I wanna ask all BSB readers and writers that would be willing to reply to me a question. Do you think the Rangers goal scoring troubles are the product of a lack of shooters. It seems to me they have a lineup full of playmakers looking pass first. That to me is why they have trouble scoring consistently. If they had a pure shooter(s) on the top 9. They might be able to score 3 or more goals on a more consistent basis. Every team in the NHL has trouble scoring at times in a 2-1 or 1-0 game, but it happens on Broadway too often. I think if they had a guy that is going to shoot 70%-80% of the time. It would greatly help balance this NYR lineup.
      I would love to hear everyones opinion. If not no problem. I have my own ideas. Oh and a righty or 2 or 3 would be nice too. 1 on Defense and 1-2 in the top 12.

      • Gary says:

        I think it’s more a case of Nash just now starting to round into form, Cally either still hurt or not finding his form yet, Kreider only just now (in real time) becoming a player, Step looking for full form, the new system (yeh, that old one again) w/ the D stepping up, the new coaching style.

        Also, I think they need a body… like the guy from SJ (now NJ, why am I blanking on his name?) on the 2nd/3rd line that will clear the tracks. Brassard for example, needs space to operate in. So maybe it is the phys makeup of the team contributing to the scoring.

        But I think they have the elements with enough offensive players.

      • Ren says:

        Wasn’t he yelling at Sestito? Because Sestito (29) in the 1st picture left his man Kreider, to lay a hit on nash, leaving Kreider wide open for the partial break, and resulting goal.

  2. Walt says:

    When the Vancouver came out yesterday, I was a bit disappointed that the crowd didn’t give Torts a hand!

    Watching Talbot play yesterday, this kid is for real. Cool under fire, well positioned all game long.

    Just before the Kreider kid scored the hat trick, I said to my son, and the people around me that I think he will score, then boom he scored, I came out of my seat. I’m very happy for this kid, was a fan of him from day one, he is the real deal.

    Boyle is an embrassment already. Two days in a row he gets involved in a fight, if you want to call it that, and didn’t throw one punch. My son said with a man that size, he would be afraid to meet him in a dark ally, and I said he was a pu**y, sure enough he lost. This off season, maybe he should take some more power skating, and boxing lessons, what a wimp!!

    • Centerman21 says:

      He’s not a fighter. He’d kick the crap out of me or you in a fight. Bieksa would have thrown you or me in the stands or punted you instead of the helmet. Boyle should be a better fighter for his size but he’s one of the nicest guys in the world. You’d want him to be your friend if you knew him in real life. The guy is there for FO’s and for defensive play. That was his 3rd or 4th fight of his career. He doesn’t start fights to get his butt kicked. He knows he can’t fight so he avoids it. Bieksa is a punk so he tried to start with a guy that wouldn’t fight back. Whatta JO! You may be a tough SOB but you’d get thrown like a rag doll against Bieksa! So don’t hate the guy. He took one for the team, 2 days in a row. All hail Brian Boyle.

      • Gary says:

        Nice thoughts on Boiler. He’s so big that people see him not fitting their conception of him and they get overly angry at the poor guy.

        I like Boyle on this team… a lot. But ref’ing my prev. comment (reply to your Q above) we need a big body that can drop the gloves and play.

        This should IMO be the targeted return if one of the D is traded.

    • Rob says:

      Walt I’m happy you brought this up. On TV near the end of the game there was a “Tor to rella” chant. Now was that a mock chant or a gracious one?

  3. Todd says:

    Nothing better than Kreider putting in Tortorella’s face with an exceptional game.

    Could you imagine what might have happened to this kid if Tortorella was still around?

    • Ray V says:

      Kreider could have had 5 goals in this one. Imagine that = )

    • flatbush says:

      Don’t care for the media and hype on CK versus Torts.I know reporters/writers have a job to do but come-on. How many times was the kid asked the revenge question? glad he showed some maturity and class. No doubt a big game for the coaches but if you think CK was successful because he wanted to stick it to torts- well, that’s a nice fable. Sure he wants to have a good game but all he did is what he is suppose to do. Use his size, speed and use the great wrist shot. If the insinuation is correct all the haters should thank Torts, V sent him down also and I would bet if he didn’t produce as expected he would be sitting with JT Miller.

  4. Todd says:

    Oh yeah, Boyle is an embarrassment as a fighter. He needs to grow a pair. 6’7″ and afraid to throw a punch.

    • Ray V says:

      Look who he went up against??? Would you have? He has a bigger pair than both of us =)

  5. Dave says:

    We all know I was a big Torts fan. That said, the mocking cheers were not surprising, albeit immature.

    Torts did incredible things in developing the youth. Sure, Kreider is a bit of a dark mark, but he did wonders with the others. He’s a big reason this team is considered a Cup contender.

    • evan says:

      haha so because you were a fan of torts you get to call fans immature for mocking him? You’re ridiculous.

      I was at the game and I was involved in those chants. Clearly there is a large contingent of rangers fans that did not like torts and they can voice their feelings any way they want.

      At the end of the day this is sports and it is not as if people threw eggs or physically assaulted the guy. Rangers fans have a history of voicing how they feel at games and clearly a lot of people are happy torts is gone. I was at the game the day after brian leetch was traded and I think you could hear the Fire Sather chants from first avenue (for example).

      And people only got riled up yesterday after Kreider kept scoring. It reminded people of how poorly torts mismanaged kreider, so they voiced how they felt. It is what it is.

      • Centerman21 says:

        How did Torts mis manage Kreider? By sending him to Hartford? That’s not his decision to make. Sather does all that. He brought the kid up to play in the playoffs without 1 game of NHL experience. He gave the kid his start and the time he spent in the AHL is the reason he’s having success. The Knock on the kid when he was drafted was that he couldn’t play a team game in the pros and that he needed to improve his positioning away from the puck. He learned all that and if Torts were still here, Kreider might be exactly where he is now. Torts was trying not to ruin the kids’ confidence by failing game after game.
        Those chants were immature. Torts should’ve gotten applause before the game started. He is a big reason this team wasn’t chasing the 8th spot the last 4 seasons. Man NYers are short sighted.

        • Bob says:

          Agreed plus Kreider was sent to CT under AV too so does that mean Chris hates him as well?

          If thats the case then the kid has lots to learn.

      • Dave says:

        People, yourself included, focus on one thing with Torts, and that’s Kreider.

        People fail to see Stepan, McDonagh, Hagelin, and others that flourished under Torts.

        • VinceR says:

          And Callahan continued to develop under him, from a gritty hitter/shot blocker/hard worker to a guy that was putting pucks in the net and still doing all that too.

        • Bob says:

          CK on Torts:

          “I would struggle trusting me too. There are no hard feelings…I learned a lot from him.”

          Haha there’s what MSG Network feeds us, and then there’s reality. Time to turn the page.

    • Ray V says:

      Fans get caught up in the moment. The beer has a little to do with it also. At the end of the day, most fans (new yorkers) will give you the shirt of their back. We love our teams so much and want for them so badly to win, we end up venting our frustrations very childish like. I have chanted Lets Go Mets at the Garden (back in the 80s) out of frustration at me beloved Rangers. Remember, we have booed Messier, Ewing, just to name 2, yet we cheered (and cried) when their numbers got lifted to the rafters at the Garden. =)

    • flatbush says:

      Absolutely! kinda tired listening to Joe and Sam talking about the NEW system and how much emphasis and freedom for D’s to be offensive. Sounds like they are reading from the company talking points! Hey this ain’t rocket science and these are pros. Unless the coaches are real idiots leave both guys alone. Its the guys skating between the boards!

  6. Rob says:

    Rangers finally have all players in the correct place in the lineup.

    1. MDZ played on his correct side.
    2. Callahan needs to be on the 3rd line. In any system except the defense and forechecking system of Torts, Callahan’s hustle is best trait. He is not really a great scorer and passer. So he should not play with skill players. However in the rolling lines system of AV, Callahan’s hustle will be very valuable on the 3rd line.
    3. Rangers need to let Talbot play a few in a row. If he can play at the level he has soon consistently, sadly the Rangers need to trade Henrik. Clearly, the king has lost his edge. I am not saying that he cannot find it, but no reason to have the highest paid player on your team as a goalie if he has no edge. Look at the Bruins, they smartly went from Thomas to Rask. In the cap days, signing a goalie to a long term deal when he is not performing at his peak is suicidal.

    • Matt Josephs says:

      There’s a large gap between where Rask was when he took over and where Talbot is at the moment. Talbot will probably be ready one day to be a starting goalie, but he’s not there yet.

      People are quick to point out that Hank was made starter right away, but did the Rangers have a choice back then? The answer is no.

      • Ray says:

        Actually Weekes was supposed to be the starter and would have been. Hank was already a Vezina level goalie when he started (he did have an Olympic gold!) – he just took the job away.

        Of course, taking the job away from Lundqvist is a bit taller order than beating out Weekes.

    • Centerman21 says:

      I agree with you on all fronts except the one about Hank. While I wouldn’t be totally against trading Hank. It’s still fairly early in the season to say he’s lost his edge. The guy is one of the best competitors in the game. He hasn’t been bad of late, just hasn’t gotten the goal support. If the Rangers scored 3-4 goals in his last 4 or 5 losses (TB was not his fault)
      I wonder if the Avs are going to look to move O’Reilly after the way his last contract went and he’s not going to accept a reduction in salary. He is a shooter and with 73 SOG on the season so far, he could be a young (22 Years old) replacement for when the Rangers part ways with Richards. Brassard is a nice skilled player but not really playing like a top 6 Centerman. O’reilly could be a 1a 1b Center with Stepan next year or even this season. Maybe the Avs would want Del Zotto and some draft picks or a replacement Center like Brassard as a 3rd Center since they’re so deep down the middle with young talent.

      Thoughts? Thanks for reading!

  7. upstate tom says:

    i’m agreeing w/ rob, give talbot some more starts and if he’s the real thing, start looking for a backup so we don’t have to pay a ransom for the king. i’m afraid that he’ll take up too much payroll and we need a team not just “A” star. don’t get me wrong, lundqvist is the the real thing, i just don’t think he’s worth breaking the bank over.

  8. tmd39 says:

    I love internet tough guys. Boyle stood up on back-to-back nights and fought for his team. He’s not a good fighter, but I give him props for stepping up.

    • Gary says:

      Besides, the goons in Boston were chomping at the bit after the Detroit game and there was the tallest guy sticking out like a sore thumb. He didn’t back down. It was more a reflection on Chara’s classlessness than anything else.

      Ooohhh, way to lead captain. A paler version of that gross out by the backup tender in Philly. Need to inspire the team? Go out and goon up a guy who’s not a figher. Eff you Chara.

      Get some help for Dorsett and leave Boyle alone (unless he brings good value in a trade). He does his job.

      • Walt says:

        Gary

        The Rangers were winning, and once the rough stuff started in the third, they folded. They need an enforcer that can play.

        Next year, Tanner glass will be UFA, go after the guy and sign him. He can play, and drop the gloves!! I’m not saying get goons, get players like the Pens have, Vitali, Enggland to name a few!!

  9. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    It’s maddening because when the Rangers play like they did in Boston we all know they’re capable of more. The lack of consistency is maddening.

    But, THE Kreider looked great yesterday, assertive, aggressive, fast, physical and scoring from the dirty areas. He’s a huge reason this team has a chance to make some noise come playoff time.

    I have to say, I like what Falk is bringing right now. As much as we say the Rangers don’t need a goon on the team just to fight, his presence as a physical enforcer in addition to his solid stay at home play has been refreshing. It was nice to see Del Zotto score one there also. At this point I say keep the depth with the seven defensemen and rotate Falk, MDZs and Moore’s playing time.

    Lastly, with the Rangers on a lengthy homestand, hopefully they can find some consistency and create some separation in the division. They are better than every team in the Metro aside from Pitt, it’s time to showcase that.

    • Gary says:

      Always pisses me off when they lay an egg in Boston cause I’m from here. I have to answer to people. :-(

  10. Craig says:

    Kreider is growing into a beast of a player
    Glad to see Rangers score but still need other goal scorers. How about trading MDZ and JT Miller to Winnipeg for Black Wheeler and a draft pick?

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      Not the biggest Wheeler fan, plus how do you make up the cap difference (Wheeler’s cap hit is $5.6M!)?

  11. bloomer says:

    Torts gave Kreider a lot more opportunities then Av has giving Miller. Including putting Kreider in the playoffs lineup straight out of college. Luongo is the perfect example why its not a good ideal to give aging goalies longterm contracts and Cam Talbot and prove that a team can win without using up multi millions in cap space. Nice to see mdz back in the lineup and scoring a goal I guess the constant pistol whippings from his coach is paying off.