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Rangers steamroll Leafs in 7-1 win

Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images

Well the Rangers sure did show up last night. After an embarrassing loss in Pittsburgh, the Rangers took their anger out on the Toronto Maple Leafs. New York completely dismantled the Leafs, jumping out to a 5-0 lead before winning by a 7-1 score. The Leafs aren’t a strong puck possession team, but the Rangers completely dominated them to the tune of 63% of the shot attempts at even strength and 65% of the shot attempts while the game was close. That is pure domination.

Each and every Ranger showed up for the game. Cam Talbot made some key saves, the team got scoring from all four lines, the defense chipped in on offense, there were minimal defensive zone breakdowns. They forechecked, they backchecked, they forced turnovers, and most importantly they converted. This is a team that, when given the chance to fly, can out-skate most teams in the league. The Leafs gave them the room, and the Rangers took advantage.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Leafs 0

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Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan forced a pair of turnovers in the offensive zone, leading to the puck being cycled to the point to Dan Girardi. With Hagelin and Brad Richards providing a screen in front, Jonathan Bernier leaned to the left to see what Girardi would do. Girardi’s shot went to the right, and Bernier had no chance.

Rangers 2, Leafs 0

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Bernier just misplayed this shot by Dominic Moore. This is one he needs to stop, especially at that angle.

Rangers 3, Leafs 0

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Benoit Pouliot had a great effort along the boards to wrestle the puck away from Paul Ranger and gain the offensive zone. The Rangers worked the puck around the zone, eventually getting the puck to Anton Stralman at the point. After that, Stralman found Derick Brassard at the half boards, who hit Marc Staal on the weak side cutting in while Pouliot circled to the slot. James van Riemsdyk coasted and watched the play instead of covering Pouliot, which allowed Staal to hit him in the slot for the easy goal.

Rangers 4, Leafs 0

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Derek Stepan collected the puck in the defensive zone and threw the puck cross-ice to Chris Kreider streaking down the wing. Kreider used his speed to burn Cody Franson –who took a bad angle to Kreider– and then burn Bernier for the goal.

Rangers 5, Leafs 0

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The Leafs simply gave up on this one. Nazem Kadri coasted, Jake Gardiner took a bad angle to Dom Moore and then hit him with a lazy stick check, and Dion Phaneuf didn’t come over to assist Gardiner once he was beat. This was a gift of a goal to Moore.

Leafs 1, Rangers 5

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Ryan McDonagh over committed to Tyler Bozak on the 3-on-2, leaving Joffrey Lupul wide open on the near wing. Bozak hit him with a pass, and Lupul had all day to beat Talbot top shelf.

At this point the game ran too long and I didn’t get the last two Rangers goals. Sorry about that.

Fenwick Chart:

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

Pure domination for the Rangers. There’s no other way of putting this.

This is a win the Rangers can build on, but they need to play like this every single game. That has been the biggest issue with this team: They are consistently inconsistent. Perhaps the biggest issue is that they don’t know how to react when teams aren’t giving them the room to fly the way the Leafs did. New York has a chance to build some confidence against Columbus before a rough five game stretch against Chicago, Dallas, Philly, Tampa Bay, and Detroit.

16 Responses to “Rangers steamroll Leafs in 7-1 win”

  1. paulronty says:

    Key to your analysis–“minimal defensive zone breakdowns”, this has been our Achilles heel. We need to exploit both Kreider & Hag’s speed like on that goal last night. Both those guys can score a lot of goals by that play. Fire it up the boards & let them go get it.

    • Walt says:

      The 4th goal, Kreider’s, bank pass off of the boards from Step, Kreider undressed the defender, was a thing of beauty!!

      I still think Hags should be on the same line as Nash, and Zucc skates with Kreider. At this time, can’t get too excited about the victory until they prove they can do it on a consistane basis!!!!!!!!

      • @Centerman21 says:

        What they need is a righty for one of those lines. I’d really like it if Callahan would pick up his game so he could play on one of those lines.

  2. Chris F says:

    Pouliot scored his second of the night and eighth for the Rangers late in the third, but the refs disallowed the goal because Boyle swooped through the crease and the goalie spun around with him. I guess refs thought Boyle clipped him but replays showed he spun around on his own leaving himself out of position and Pouliot open for the rebound goal. Should have counted, seemed like a mercy no-goal call.

  3. Spozo says:

    Dave with more DVR issues? :D

  4. Scully says:

    At what point should the Rangers play the same defensive style for Lundqvist that they’ve been playing for Talbot all year?

    It really does seem like their defense is 1000X better when Talbot’s in net.

    • Walt says:

      I was thinking that myself, and wondering if there isn’t friction with Hank, and the team??? Anyone agree, or am I nuts??????

      It just appears that Hank is left out to dry lately, and maybe it was due to the Torts issue, or contract, don’t know???????

      I will say this much, the Talbot kid is playing like a seasoned vet. With a 9-3 record, he is proving to be a very good back up goalie!!!!!

    • Tim B says:

      Or Talbot is 1000x better than Lundqvist. Jk. I was gonna ask the same question the other day. If Talbot is giving up only 1 goal per game than Lundqvist should have had a shutout if he had played last night with the same defense for Talbot.

  5. supermaz says:

    Too bad they can’t play toronto every game.

    • agentsmith says:

      Agreed they are really really soft. Probably why we excel so much vs them.

      • @Centerman21 says:

        Not always. We’ve had trouble winning in Canada the last 2-3 seasons. This was just a game where the Rangers had the room to skate but they also made the room for themselves by playing hard on loose pucks and hitting. That is how they need to play when teams play them tough. They need to skate and use speed & Physicallity to open things up. They supported each other in Toronto’s zone real well too. So the Leafs had trouble getting pucks out. Their goalie was under siege all night. When a Leaf gathered a loose puck there was always 2 Rangers on him. Seemed like the Forecheck was a little more aggressive than normal.