Rangers drop trap game in Carolina

March 12, 2014, by
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Boy, if there ever was a trap game, last night was it. The Rangers were coming in with two strong wins in their last two games and an opportunity to head to Minnesota on a three-game win streak. Instead, they played some pretty lazy hockey en route to a 3-1 loss to a Carolina Hurricanes team that is out of the playoff race.

The Rangers were doomed by their flat-footed skating, terrible passing, defensive breakdowns, and numerous turnovers. Henrik Lundqvist stood no chance on all three Carolina goals. Cam Ward had to make some good saves, but he wasn’t really tested much this game. This is one of those games where you would have preferred two points, but would have been happy with one. They got none.

On to the goals:

Canes 1, Rangers 0


Marc Staal was simply caught too high in the defensive zone, leaving Jordan Staal and Jiri Tlusty outnumbering Anton Stralman down low. Once Andrej Sekera got the puck past Staal, it was a two-on-one below the hash marks. Stralman snow-angled, failing to not only stop the pass, but failing to prevent Jordan from getting the puck to a high quality scoring area. You want Stralman to prevent one or the other there. Tlusty had an easy tap-in goal once the pass got through.

Rangers 1, Canes 1

unnamed (1)

John Moore made a nice outlet pass from the defensive zone to Benoit Pouliot at the offensive blue line. Pouliot chipped the puck into the zone, allowing Mats Zuccarello to collect the puck along the boards. Elias Lindholm was up high, and his job there was to monitor the play and cover the biggest threat up high. His choices were Moore at the point by the boards, or Kevin Klein cutting to the high slot. He chose Moore, and Zuccarello made a very difficult –but yet perfect– pass to hit Klein in the high slot. Klein’s shot beat Ward.

Canes 2, Rangers 1

unnamed (2)

This goal was just a disaster. Staal (Marc) pinched unsuccessfully, allowing a two-on-one for Staal (Jordan) and Tlusty. Stralman had to play catch-up to get back, and cut to Staal along the boards instead of playing the pass. Staal got the puck across to Tlusty and cut to the net. With Staal unable to get back and Stralman on the ice along the boards, Tlusty fed the puck back to Staal for the easy goal.

Canes 3, Rangers 1


Staal (Marc) again with two awful turnovers in the defensive zone. This time around, Eric Staal was able to collect the puck and get it to Jeff Skinner for a chance down low (with Stralman covering him). Hank made the initial save, but none of Staal (out of position), Zuccarello (watching), or Rick Nash (watching the play) covered Lindholm on the door step for the rebound goal.

Fenwick Chart:

Courtesy of Extra Skater

Courtesy of Extra Skater

I think the chart says it all here. The Rangers were very sloppy, and the Staal/Stralman duo got torched by the Canes all night long. The difference between Corsi/Fenwick percentages are interesting at even strength this game. The Rangers actually held a slight advantage with Corsi (50.5%-49.5%), but Carolina held the 52.9% Fenwick advantage. A lot of that has to do with the end of the game, when the game was technically even strength (4v4), but the Rangers pulled Hank for the extra attacker. There were a lot of Carolina blocked shots in that sequence.

The Rangers were a very sloppy and lazy team last night. There’s no other way to put it. They were given a gift of a game against Carolina, who is not very good, and blew the chance to come away with points and put some distance between them and the Flyers and Red Wings while keeping the Blue Jackets at bay. Instead, they head to Minnesota in need of two points to stay out of the mess that is the wild card race. The difference between last night and the loss against the Flyers was sloppy play. The Rangers played well and lost to Philly. They just didn’t show up last night.

"Rangers drop trap game in Carolina", 5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings.
Categories : Game Wrap-ups


  1. SteveD says:

    Spot on Dave.

    Also – Brassard made so many awful cross ice passes, it looked like he did not belong in the NHL. These type of passes in the offensive zone not only prevent scoring chances, we are lucky none of them led to more Cane goals.

  2. RangersFan4Life says:

    That game was horribly played by the Ranges. I couldn’t watch the last half of the 3rd. I was yelling at my TV, which I normally don’t do. I don’t know where their heads were at, but I know they weren’t in this game. Carolina pressed hard all night and it seemed the Rangers tried different things to overcome that, but it was turnover after turnover. I still feel a little sick. Better get it together for Minnesota!

    • RangersFan4Life says:

      Oh, and if it weren’t for Lundqvist, this game would have been a major blowout. He had some great saves.

      • Dave says:

        I think this is the first goal breakdown of the year where Hank won’t get any blame in the comments.

  3. Todd N says:

    Anybody starting to think the Richards, St. Louis, Haglin line has no chemistry??

  4. Chris F says:

    Any explanation for why they were so terrible? It wasn’t as if they just looked past this game and got surprised by a hungry Canes simply outplayed them. It was much worse than that. They couldn’t execute on simply hockey basics and their decision making was atrocious.

    How many cross ice passes especially right to the high slot got picked off and led to Carolina chances? Good grief.

    Martin St Louis has now played 4 games with the Rangers and has all of 1 assist. Overall, despite being quick on the puck, he hasnt impressed. His stick handling has been lackluster and his passing has been by and large a nonfactor. When are his 20 points in 10 games coming that everyone was so enamored with?

    • Dave says:

      Games like this happen. It’s a part of the game, you just don’t show up for games sometimes.

      With MSL, there will be an adjustment period, that’s for sure. He’s not putting up the points but he’s been a presence on the ice. Still think he needs a finisher on his line.

      • wwpd says:

        well, i’m not ready to give up on MSL just yet, but he’s a 30-goal scorer. what is the point of trading for a guy like that if you need to put a “finisher” on his line? meaning he won’t be effective until glen finds him a 40-goal scoring linemate? 🙂

        • Chris F says:

          St. Louis is a great player for sure and I’m not giving up on him yet either, it’s only been 4 games. Yet, expectations were way too high as usual. The guy is 38. I know he’s been putting up great numbers in Tampa this year, but who besides Jagr doesn’t lose their scoring touch when they arrive on Broadway?

          I fear we’ll get little more out of MSL than Callahan other than durability.

          • Walt says:

            My point exactly, why go after all of the over the hill gang????

            I have no idea who this Ryan Haggerty kid is, but if he is big, and strong, then it may turn into a good signing. Why in hell did Slats pass on the Stewart kid?????

            • Chris F says:

              To be honest, Walt, I wasn’t sold on Stewart either. Blues fans seem very disillusioned with him, and now in Buffalo he’s already injured and is out for the season.

              I wanted Sather to stand pat and reach a deal with Callahan. The silver lining with Haggerty is that it sort of makes up for one of the picks that we dealt to TB.

              Kid seems to have real potential and should be skating with the team this weekend. He may get his debut very soon.

  5. SalMerc says:

    All you need to know:
    Stall, Stralman (-3)
    Stepan, Nash, Kreider (-2)

    This pair was torched on D and our top line didn’t provide offense and was quite bad defending.

    • Dave says:

      Plus/minus is a pretty awful stat, and it’s more coincidence than anything else that it matched with what we saw on the ice.

  6. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    Defensive breakdowns. They have been killing the Rangers. Last night it was combined with a lack of spark offensively, and they were crushed in the possession game. Ugly.

    This team just can’t seem to take that next step. It’s there, we just haven’t seen it.

    • Dave says:

      Defensive breakdowns happen in every game. Sometimes they bite you in the ass.

      • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

        Not all defensive breakdowns are created equal. Last night was brutal. Too many times dmen were caught up ice, taking unnecessary chances. They have to play smarter.

  7. Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

    I think the Rangers were looking ahead to the 3 games in 4 nights coming up. This game tho is an example of why I thought they should’ve acquired a big righty forward before the deadline. Stewart in Buffalo would have been a good fit IMO. The Cains D beat the Rangers alongside the boards and 1 on 1 battles and could not get in front of Ward all night long.

    • Craig says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I would have much rather get Stewart then St Louis. That kid would have brought a physical presence, scoring touch, and is young. He was exactly what the Rangers lacked for years, a legitimate tough heavyweight that can score. We needed someone to stir things up last night against Carolina I am so disappointed Sather let him get away. Mark my words, he will develop into a very good power forward for years to come with Buffalo who will score 20-30 goals a year.

  8. The Suit says:

    Stralman’s ‘snow angel’ was the right play on the first goal. He tried to take away the pass. He wasn’t able to execute, but the right play was made in that situation as players were past the go zone.

    • Steff says:

      Is it?
      We’ll I don’t like it, because people are easily a non-factor for seconds, if there down…
      But it looks like in this play he’s taking away the short goal angle instead of the pass, but that might be the speed of the play and anticipating though…

  9. Steven Cifuentes says:

    Not sure you can define the more important game as the trap game. You are battling with Carolina for the playoffs and Minnesota is in the West.

    I just think they played awful and have to clean up these defensive lapses.

    Move MSL with Nash and Stepan and Kreider with Hagelin and Richards.

    This 2004 magic is just not happening. Richards cannot keep up with these guys.

    Raphael Diaz will also play next game…somthing has be change on D to make an example of somebody on Defense.

  10. paulronty says:

    You just knew the Rangers would lose last night & I have an equally bad feeling about the match in Minny, even though I don’t want to feel that way. Funny how Rangers keep getting the “scorers” and they still can’t score. As for Stralman, I’m not a fan and I wouldn’t even give him the 3 mil offered.

  11. ranger17 says:

    Deffinitly need to change up the line a little Swap Hags and Kreider or Krieder and MSL. I think last night was the first time AV shorten the bench and played 3 line in the third

  12. Chris F says:

    Rangers just signed Ryan Haggerty out of the NCAA. He’s joining the NHL roster this weekend. He’s a Miller/Kreider type power forward who, like Kreider, is getting signed to jump directly from college to the NHL.

    • andres says:

      no way haggerty plays. Miller is the next one in line if someone gets hurt, 17 or 18 games left and we are fighting for a spot now is not the time to put this kid in. I believe hes not allowed to be sent to the AHL.

      • Chris F says:

        He is joining the NHL roster. That is all I know. Whether or not they play him, who knows?