It is not a secret that I was unable to watch last night’s game. I am traveling for work, and the place I am visiting does not carry Rangers hockey. However I was able to watch the highlights and read Twitter, so I got a general feel of how the game went. Combined with the Fenwick chart above, I can make some educated guesses about how the game went.
Even though this team came out strong against a bad team on the second of back-to-backs, they had two bad defensive zone breakdowns that led to a 2-0 deficit. They got one back, but the puck possession battle was indicative of what we have seen in the past: A team that has no fight and will lose once giving up the first goal. But that’s why hockey is a 60 minute game.
The team kept battling, and they eventually tied the game in the second. From then on, it was all Rangers in terms of puck possession and shot attempts. They gave the Flames another lead, but again fought back to tie it up. This is not what we had seen from the Rangers this month. It is a good sign that the team had some fight in them.
By now, you all know how to read these Fenwick charts. So you know how the team was still able to fight and finally convert. But what is more telling is the 5v5 close (+/- 1 goal) Fenwick results (the above chart is all situations). The Rangers dominated the Flames with a 65.3% FF% during 5v5 close situations. 5v5 tied situations had the same result: A 78.6% FF% advantage for the Rangers.
Considering the Rangers never led in this game, this is a team that dominated puck possession when trailing by a goal or tied. It was a sign of life from a team that had given us nothing for the past two weeks. Perhaps this is the game that they needed. The game where they trailed, fought back, erased a deficit twice, and eventually won it. Maybe this is a sign of turning the corner."Some heart, some effort, some results",