Quick shootout win wrap up, plus some other tidbits from yesterday’s deadline

February 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:

Categories : Game Wrap-ups


  1. Todd says:

    Is it too soon to say that the Del Zotto/Kline trade was a good one?

    • doug peters says:

      May have less offensive upside than MDZ, but far more dependable in defensive zone. Bigger and stronger.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      I don’t think so. The kid had become a distraction. All the trade talk and playing time had been a detriment to the team. Having a perfect R/L mix and allowing
      J Moore to move back left and play his normal left side has had a huge effect as well. Klein has been good so far. I have to say no it isn’t too early to say it was a good hockey move by Sather. It’s also a trade that I’d like to point out to the Sather haters. He’s a great hockey man and he’s surrounded by some of the best hockey people in the NHL.

  2. Walt says:

    Just a very good win over a classless organization! I got the impression that Staal got under Cindy’s skin last night. It doesn’t take much to do so, if things don’t go his way, he gets a bit chippy, or should I say dirty????

    Todd, Kline just goes out there and does a job, no fanfare, but steady. In the long term, we will look back and say this was a good move in my opinion, for what it’s worth! Nothing, I know!!!!!

    • Bloomer says:

      Kline is a right-handed Justin Falk. I thought he struggled out there against the fast skating Oilers and Penquins. He is a 3rd pair Dman and I don’t believe he ever could fill in for Danny G.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      The Pens are classless. I’m just waiting for Shero to add a top 6 forward to load up his top 9 forwards and neglect his D and depth on D. Hopefully all the sport shrinks go for nothing and Fleury has another meltdown. That’s about the only way the Pens aren’t representing the East in the Finals. They’re just too loaded up front. No class at all but an offensive powerhouse.

  3. Leatherneckinlv says:

    How hotttt is our 3rd er 1st line been? That line has incredible imagination and chemistry. Sign all of them

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      Do you think Pouliot has finally found his nich in the NHL. Do you think he sticks with the Rangers? He’s only on a 1 year contract.

      • Walt says:

        He will be offered a 2 year extention I bet!!!!

        • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

          I can see why Sather would wait with all the other UFA’s and the fact that guys tend to work harder when their future is uncertain. However, looking at Benny’s skill set and the hustle he’s been displaying on a regular basis. Might get a better bargain by signing him before the deadline when the “Olympic freeze” ends. If Benny has a monster playoff series. He could price himself out of NY. He plays LW but is a righty. Making him a dynamic force on the PP.
          Also I think AV should make the 3rd line officially the top or 2nd line. Might give the other 2 lines easier QoC. Thoughts ranger fans.

  4. PAL says:

    I think that part of the reason Kreider has fallen off the earth is that his linemate Rick Nash has also reverted to his pre-hot streak form – many of Kreider’s recent points were on brilliant passes to Nash, who was burying them behind goalies everywhere for two weeks. I am a fan of Nash’s, but I feel like something is missing from his game: he’s too big, powerful and strong with the puck to be such a non-factor for so much of the time. And his passing is dreadful, no better than Marion Gaborick’s passing, unfortunately.

    Idea: before passing the puck to nowhere or nobody, each player should ask himself: what would Zuccarello do?

  5. Ray says:

    We always seem to notice how good Zuccarello’s line mates are and criticize Nash’s line mates. (even when Nash was in Columbus) At this point, Zucc is clearly the Ranger’s best forward because his 43 points so understate his value (and no one has even noticed that he is the Rangers’ best penalty killer). Rick Nash is an incredible talent – and he is not a selfish player – so he should be part of a great line. But somehow no one has quite figured out how to make it work, AV’s biggest challenge.

    • Spozo says:

      Nash is hands down the best forward they have. He has the pleasure of playing against the other teams top unit every single night. Zuke does not. Zuke is great but let’s not overvalue the guy.

      • JS says:

        Swap Zucc and Nash and watch how Stepan starts scoring again.

        • Leatherneckinlv says:

          I wouldn’t touch the line of Zuke, Brassard and Pouliot. that line should stay together for the rest of their careers….lol…I have not seen that kind of chemistry on the Rangers since early 90’s

      • Frank Pody says:

        Ok. So Zucc line did not play against Malkin line at all last night?

        • Spozo says:

          When you have Crosby and Mlkin centering two different lines, which one is the best? 50% of the time you are facing either one (more actually since those lines play more than the other two) so what’s your point?

          I’m more concerned with the defensive matchup anyway. Do you think Martin and Orpik jump on the ice everytime they see Zuke jump the boards or Nash?

          When they play Boston, who does Chara play against more?

          My whole point is that Nash is elite. This isn’t a knock on Zuke at all, he’s having a great year. He’s just not on Nash’s level.

          Look at it this way, if Zuccarello was Canadian, would he be on team Canada instead of Nash?

          • Ray says:

            The average defenseman facing Nash plays 20:28 per game; the defenseman facing Zucc plays 19:48. That is simply not the difference between facing Charas all the time and lesser lights. The Olympic question is irrelevant. Players with a short history weren’t even considered. And why appeal to the judgment of someone who picked Nash over Thornton anyway?

            • Spozo says:

              You’re right. Why appeal to the judgement of the guy who decided Canada should take 5 centers instead of 6 to Sochi. They are complete morons North of the border. Clearly you win this one.

      • Ray says:

        On average, Nash faces slightly tougher competition than Zuc — not true last night though. Generally speaking, QOC isn’t that important except for players who are constantly sheltered — or when a coach works very hard to shadow someone.

  6. The Suit says:

    Great win last night. The Rangers definitely didnt dominate them, it was just a real close game between two very good teams. Going to make for a great playoff match up for sure.

  7. Dan says:

    Maybe the Olympic break will be good for kreider and Nash since the points haven’t been coming the last few games. But make no mistake, kreider’s prescence is definitely felt on the ice. He’s been using his speed so well and is much more comfortable than where he was a few months ago. I’m happy with his development, all players hit a skid once in awhile throughout the season. No need to panic with him.

  8. Chris F says:

    Kevin KLEIN plays for the Rangers, folks.

    Kevin Kline in an actor.