Quick shootout win wrap up, plus some other tidbits from yesterday’s deadlineFebruary 8, 2014, by
I apologize for no goal breakdown today. After a long day of traveling, I just crashed as soon as I got home. I have a long day today as well, so I made the executive decision to get some rest instead of staying up another two hours to do the breakdown. I have a feeling you guys will survive though. Anyway, here are some quick thoughts from the box score and highlights of the game, with some other notes from yesterday’s Olympics roster freeze deadline:
- Good times find a way to win. The Rangers found a way to win. That’s good.
- The Rangers the best powerplay in the league multiple chances to convert. The Pens converted on their first two opportunities. You can’t take lazy stick penalties against this team. They will burn you for it each and every time.
- After a few games in a row where the powerplay failed to convert, good to see they put two behind Marc-Andre Fleury. The Rangers are a top possession team at even strength. If the powerplay is converting, they will be able to win games.
- Don’t let the final score fool you: The Rangers dominated the Pens this game (60% Corsi, 64% Fenwick at even strength). They also dominated the game in close situations (61% Corsi, 64.5% Fenwick). Those are numbers you want to see against the best team in the East.
- But penalties killed them. As did blowing three separate leads. This was also the second straight game where the Rangers gave up a significant goal in the final three minutes. Those late goals need to be blips, not the trend.
- Remember how much people chastised Slats for signing Benoit Pouliot. For all his early season struggles, Pouliot has a line of 11-12-23 and leads the team with six powerplay goals. All that for $1.3 million, a bargain. His two goals were critical last night.
- One last note about the game: The Rangers need to start ensuring games at least get to overtime. They have the most regulation wins among the non-Pittsburgh Metro teams. I don’t know if it’s a coaching strategy, but late game ties need to at least fetch the Rangers a point. Perhaps that’s why Tuesday’s late goal rung a bell with so many.
- How about Mats Zuccarello? He leads the team in scoring (15-28-43), powerplay scoring (4-11-15), and scrums per square inch of height. All that at $1.15 million. The guy just doesn’t back down from anyone, and has a knack for getting underneath the skin of the opposition. I’m looking forward to him fighting Zdeno Chara.
- Derick Brassard: 11-23-34 at $3.7 million.
- All told, the Pouliot-Brassard-Zuccarello line has a line of 37-63-100 for under $6 million. That’s absurd.
- Chris Kreider sure has fallen off the face of the Earth: Seven straight without a point, three points in his last ten.
- Yesterday’s deadline: As I expected, there weren’t many moves made because a) there are too many teams still in it, and b) teams don’t have the cap space at the moment. Cap space accrues over time, and the teams need the last few days to get every dollar of cap space they can to make moves.
- My bold prediction of having Dan Girardi signed before the freeze proved to be incorrect. Oh well. I still think he gets signed.
- Same with Ryan Callahan.
That’s it for the Rangers until February 27th. We will be switching to one post per day during the Olympic break (at least when it comes to the Rangers), but we will have full Team USA coverage when the puck drops in Sochi. We will also be tracking all seven Rangers competing for their countries: