Rangers Drop Penultimate Regular Season Game at Ottawa

April 9, 2017, by
jimmy vesey

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Phot

There’s a couple of ways you can make sense of the Rangers’s unfortunate, almost-shutout loss against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon. You can chalk it up as an ultimately meaningless game, one where the team played a suboptimal lineup and boy did it show. You can look at it as potentially foreshadowing future playoff performance, which would lead to a dreary end.

You can even meet somewhere in the middle, acknowledging that it wasn’t a super impactful loss while also wishing for better things from the team, despite their less than great lineup. I’m partial to the last approach, but that’s just me. One thing we do know for sure is that Henrik Lundqvist will be playoff ready by the time the Rangers matchup against Montreal, with Hank making exceptional saves that kept the Rangers in the game longer than they should have.

As for everyone else, there were few bright spots, which isn’t exactly encouraging, but hey, the team was missing some of its key offensive engines. All in all, this was a definitively penultimate game of an uneven Rangers regular season. Onward to the goals.


An outside shot and a rebound in front cause some chaos that puts Henrik on his back, and the team scrambles to lock things down while Lundqvist attempts to recover. Failing to do so effectively, Mike Hoffman is left alone in the high slot when the puck comes to him – from there it’s easy pickings as he basically has a wide open net to hit.


The Senators showed that they too have a nice transition game (courtesy of two ex-Rangers of course), with Stalberg feeding it to Brassard for a nice goal. Stalberg deftly drops Skjei on defense, and then passes it off to Brassard who rips the shot. A pretty goal from a former fan favorite, about as good as you can hope for if the Rangers just have to get scored on.


This goal is a great example of how defense isn’t just about blocking shots and mitigating scoring chances, but preventing them from happening in the first place. A poor clearing attempt ends up on the stick of Mark Borowiecki, who flips a shot towards the net that JG Pageau tips in while jostling with Dan Girardi. A poor attempt at clearing the zone and then the crease make this a 3-0 game.


Mika Zibanejad scores one late with a nice wraparound goal, to at least make this game (his Ottawa homecoming) meaningful on some level. As the puck gets kicked around behind the net Zibanejad scoops it up and swings it quickly around the net, beating Anderson as he dunks it in.

While I’m a little disappoint I also understand why this game happened. The silver lining here is that Hank is back, full stop. He made some excellent saves and showed us that he’s more than capable of bringing his A-game when the playoffs get started next week.

The big question of course is whether the rest of the team can do so, but with a third of the team resting this afternoon I can’t say I’m terribly shocked that this was the result. Here’s to hoping they close out the season at home on a high note, and that they show us just how good they can be once these playoffs start.

Categories : Game Wrap-ups


  1. Bobby B says:

    Team took the night off. Highlight for me was Tanner Glass taking on the Ottawa D man after he toughed up Bush. Glass needs to be in the lineup vs Canadiens, they have 4 players who really like to cross the line. . Tanner is the one player on the Roster who will keep them honest or at least deliver payback if necessary.

    • Rich S says:

      Absolutely….Tanner must play…..
      Sure wish we had kept stallberg like his game……speed, versatility…Big hitter….former cup winner……
      Totally expect to beat montreal, although I like claude julein over AV….

  2. Ranger17 says:

    Some players did play their way off the team for next year .

  3. Reenavipul says:

    After Hank got caught in the collarbone he had some serious balance issues. Got caught back on his heels, then the fish out of water routine.

  4. Mark says:

    Love the Pavel of the future but I agree, gotta have Tanner in the lineup vs Montreal. Buch will step in for the 1st injured forward anyway.

  5. Jerry says:

    Bobby B & Mark,

    Notice after Glass and Borowiecki had their little dust up, Borowiecki ceased running around and stopped delivering border line checks. Even his legal hits had far less impact. There in lies the value of a physical player. Did it change the outcome of the game? Of course not, but it stopped the excessive physical play against the Ranger’s skilled players.
    I expect Montreal to pound McD each and every chance they get. I’m on the fence as far as Glass in the line-up against the Habs. What I’d like to see is some Rangers NOT named Zucarrello show some physical presence. Specifically, Krieder, Miller, Smith and Klien if he dresses. If we do get man handled in the series, the positive might be that Gorton sees the need for some players with an edge and physical presence.

    • Bobby B says:

      Jerry, your post is ABSOLUTELY SPOT ON. It needs to be printed out and hung on AV’s refrigerator, so he can read it every day. I am very happy are Rangers are in the mix. My greatest concern is that they are too one dimensional with finesse, lack the grit and toughness for the PLAYOFF GRIND that awaits. Montreal beefed up at the trade deadline to be more of a physical force. We need Glass in there to keep them from crossing the line. Most experts on NHL radio are predicting Montreal in 6. Sighting big 3 up the middle ( Price, Webber , Patchoretti) as a big advantage over ( Hank, Mcdonagh, Stephen). We need to prove them wrong!!

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:


        Did you see my response re: Game 1 1976?

        As for your analysis, I don’t at all doubt that the experts are saying the reason Montreal has the edge is that their Big 3 (Price/Shea/Max) are better than our big 3 (Hank/McD/Stepan or whatever random forward “star” we want to go with). That’s the primary reason why they would be favored, not because of whether or not we would play Glass or whether or not we had McIlrath or whomever.

        If our best players raise their games, we have a great chance to win. We will be well rested for sure. Question is, how quickly will we find our rhythm?

        Our offensive depth is the strength of our team, but it has been a huge disappointment the past two months. That has to change ASAP. If not, we can roll out McIlrath, Tinordi, Beueke, Beck, the Hansons, and Olgie Oglethorpe for all the difference it will make.

        • Bobby B says:

          Eddie, saw the response and like always was absorbed by it. Ahhh 1976, I was a freshman in high school, Yankees Vs Royals, we are moving along, rocking and rolling until nemesis George Brett ( he was a Yankee killer way before Big Poppy ) decides to deposit a Grant Jackson fastball into the 3rd deck tie score!! Thank God for that Chris Chamblis!! HR, what an incredible game!!. Back to the NHL PLAYOFFS, I know its not all about fighting, bench clearing brawls ( these are things of the past) BUT, it is still a VERY PHYSICAL game!!. Lets go back to the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals, Flyers vs Devils, Philly big favorite to win the series and the Cup. Game 6 was totally dominated by Philly, with Eric Lindros leading the charge, the won 4-2, going back home to Philly for game 7. Scott Stevens would later say after game 6, he knew he had to do what he could to slow down the freight train named Lindros, who totally dominated game 6, not only with his scoring, but he was throwing body checks with bad intentions, No doubt Lindros was the best player on the ice during game 6. Stevens was the type of player you hated ” if you were playing against him”, if you are his teammate you adore the guy! He knew Lindros had a bad habit of keeping his head down, looking solely at the puck, while gathering momentum entering the opponents zone. Early 1st period, Lindros was doing just that, unfortunately for Lindros, the heat seeking missile named Scott Stevens delivered one of the most devastating / borderline clean hits ever seen in a series. The Spectrum became as quiet as tomb. That hit was a deciding factor on not only winning that game, that series, but giving the Devils a psychological edge when the played the Dallas Stars in the finals, Stevens forced the opposition to play scared. Lindros and that dominant Flyer Team were never the same after that. My point is that there is absolutely no Ranger D man on this current roster who can come close the keeping the opposition honest, when coming down the wing, in the middle, or just making Hanks life miserable, they are far too polite, as is the majority of the rest of the team. No sandpaper, no grit, no toughness, no intimidation = NO CUP!!

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            But again, while what you say has elements of truth to it, what changed the series was the fact the Flyers lost their best player. Not so much the hit itself. Yes, of course a big hit can energize a team. But if Lindros DIDN’T have his head down, it’s just another hit. And Lindros if he had been healthy would have answered back with some thunderous hits of his own.

            No sandpaper, no grit, no toughness, no intimidation–NO CUP??? Tell that to Chicago and Pittsburgh, who won multiple Cups because of their elite skill, not because they laid someone out like Stevens did in 2000.

            And 2000 frankly is a lifetime ago. Even the Kings style from just a few years ago is being viewed as antiquated.

            Elite skill is what wins Cups in the modern era of hockey.

            • Walt says:


              What was the reason for the loss of their best player??????? I believe that is the point that Bobby is trying to make. We have no one at all who would take the bull by the horns, and pull a Scott Stevens type check, and take out a dude like Lindros….Bobby is right on the mark, bet next year we have a much tougher defense, not as Bobby says, POLITE!!!!!!!!!!

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Walt, it’s a fair point, I concede that. But circumstances come into play as well. If Lindros keeps his head up, it’s just a hit….not THE hit.

                At the end of the day, of course you want players who play with an edge, no doubt. But in this day and age, they have to possess a high skill level. Would we love to have a Messier or Stevens type? Sure. But players like that don’t grow on trees. In recent years, what players like that have we parted with that were like that? Or what players could we have acquired? I cant think of any.

                You have to play the cards your dealt. And more and more teams are doubling down on speed and skill now. The Hawks and Pens are THE example of that. Heck, even the Caps aren’t as “heavy” a team now as they were when they had Ward and Brower.

    • Rich S says:

      Well put……Jerry…..
      A young beukeboom lining up next to mcdonagh next year would be a Godsend….
      If we can shut down pacioretty [ he aint ovechkin or crosby] and deal with their physical game I like our chances a lot!!

      • Bobby B says:

        Rich S , Ahhh a young Beukaboom , a thought we had that guy, but lets not go there!!! . Barry Beck, Marty Mcsorley, Eric Carins, Terry Carkner, Mark Tinordi, Chris Kosopolis, Jay ( Dirty Harry) Wells, Mattias Norstrom ( people forget this trade, might be our worst trade ever, right behind the Middleton for Hodge trade) get us a young D-man that has any of the prior mentioned D-men attitude & genetics and I am a very happy Ranger fan!! I like the Pacioretti comparison!!

        • paulronty says:

          Interesting thing about that guy is that he plays for a possible championship team that was getting pushed around a lot. To quote the coach, “things have quieted down since we brought that guy here.”

        • Rich S says:

          the mattias nordstrom trade is worse than the bobby carpenter trade and the rick middleton trade ,not sure about the park,ratelle trade……… I know times have changed but Beukaboom was not exactly a great, mobile skater either…..cant help but wonder how good mcilrath would be by now if given top 6 minutes every game the past 2 years…..how much more he brings to the table than girardi, klein, holden etc….
          If you recall that is exactly why sather reached and drafted him, for that specific role,…
          Eric Carins, Terry Carkner, Mark Tinordi, Chris Kosopolis, Jay ( Dirty Harry) Wells—–add jim dorey to the list that emile
          francis traded for and then let go the the wha….

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:


            You do realize that the Nordstrom trade was all about what you and Bobby advocate for–doubling down on physicality. That deal got some veteran “snarl” in the persons of McSorley, Churla and of course some additional scoring help in Jari Kurri. No question it was, in retrospect, a bad trade given the careers both Nordstrom and Laperriere would put together. But it was the kind of deal a team with legit SC hopes such as the 1996 Rangers would make. They wanted to maximize the Messier era while they could. Can’t really fault them for that. Therefore, no way does this come close to the horrible Middleton trade, since the Rangers were legitimately a bad team when that deal was made, or the Ridley/Miller for Carpenter abomination.

            I hated the Park/Ratelle for Espo/Vadnais, but that was an emotional punch in the gut more than anything else. Espo and Ratelle were basically a wash. Park was clearly better than Vadnais, so yes the Bruins got the better of the deal. But no way this can go down as the worst trade in Rangers history. We got serious talent back and those two did lead us to the SCF 3 1/2 seasons later.

            I do want to point out that the Rangers often doubled down on the whole physicality thing, and it often backfired. In 1979, after a Cup run, Shero gutted much of his young talent to acquire Barry Beck. The team got tougher, but lost skill……Result???? They got worse.

            In 1995, the Rangers traded Zubov as part of a deal to land Ulf Samuelsson. Then doubled down on that some more later in that season with the Nordstrom trade. Once again, the team got tougher, but they lost skill. Result? They got worse.

            Look, every team needs toughness and physicality. No one would say otherwise. I just disagree with the level to which you place the importance of it–especially in the modern game. I’m fine if they decide to go with the more physical Glass over the ineffective (at the moment) Buch or Vesey. But Glass’s presence is not going to mean squat if our best players don’t start playing like they must. So your so-called “Untouchables” had better start playing like their name, or tee times will be fast approaching.

            As for McIlrath, my goodness, can we PLEASE get a dose of reality. The kid got AMPLE opportunity under AV…more under AV than any other NHL coach thus far. Yes, Sather and the scouts saw something in him back in 2010, but that was before a serious knee injury that wrecked him. No way they’d do that again. It goes down as one of the worst 1st round picks ever.

            Please try to process reality. He was waived TWICE this year. TWICE. Not a single team wanted him. What does that tell you? Paul is making a big deal about his play in Grand Rapids, yet here were the Wings, still in playoff contention. Don’t you think they would have wanted to take a look at this kid in the NHL if he was REALLY as good as you seem to believe he is? Instead, they saw him only as a throw in in a deal. Similarly, the Panthers, another team with playoff aspirations, had TWO coaches who saw him and essentially concluded…he’s not NHL caliber at the moment.

            To think that if only he was getting top minutes that by now he’d be a significant contributor has to go down as the most absurd conclusion of all time about a player.

            You are basically saying that every single NHL exec is dead wrong about this kid. That’s quite a reach, don’t you think? But even if that’s true, and he does prove the naysayers wrong, AV and Gorton are absolved of blame, because clearly every single NHL team agrees with their evaluation.

            Now, that doesn’t preclude the possibility that he might train like crazy this summer and get one more chance next Fall to make an NHL roster. Big defensemen often take longer to develop. Maybe he’s a late bloomer. But seriously, I would bet every dollar I have in my pocket that if we assembled a team of NHL scouts and asked, where do you think McIlrath is more likely to play next year, NHL or Europe, I have no doubt it would be unanimous that it would be the latter.

            This summer is probably his last chance. He needs to make the most or it’s probably over. But right now, he clearly isn’t viewed by anyone in NHL circles as a legit option on a team vying for the Cup.

            • Rich S says:

              I actually agree with about all you said…
              Yes I am , and especially back then all for [ goon ], I mean tough hockey players but not at that cost….for a guy like nordstrom with that much upside we needed to get something along the lines of a probert, someone tough and who could play some….kurri was too old, churla couldnt fight and mcsorely was not very valuable commodity…
              Yes, mcilraht may not ever make it back, but I would have liked to see him after 2 years of development ….
              Realistically, he played better than girardi and stall when he played, stats bear it out…..but he was not making 5 million on a guaranteed contract….I saw him as a number 6 defenseman who brought a physical edge to our defense, which we lack and leadership as he gets older…..
              Can 32 GMs all be wrong? I was there the day the NY Jets and 29 other teams passed on Dan Marino while thousands of us jet fans fall into our lap…..and in a split second out of it!
              Tom Brady drafted in 6 th round?
              I want to know what his teammates and coach beukaboom [former defman] thought about his value…..

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Good points Rich. But there is a big difference between scouts and GMs being wrong about a guy you draft out of college compared to someone who played a half season in NHL and had plenty of opportunities to impress other organizations. Two completely different things.

            • Rich S says:

              Was totally against the beck trade…..too much speed and talent going the other way!!!!
              We basically gutted a terrific finals team for one defenseman.
              Zubov trade was just plain stupid and the ratell / park trade brought us an old espo who later became the architect gm of the carpenter trade…
              I honestly believe these gm’s heart and passion is not invested in the team like ours is …..
              I truly believe many of ‘us ‘ could do as least well or better than the sathers, milburrys, emile frances of the league……

              • Walt says:

                Zubov was great, but was redundant, because we had Leetch. He also wasn’t liked too much by Mess if I recall correctly, was too soft for his liking????? I agree it was a ridiculous move, especially with he and Brian playing the point on the PP!!!!!! We have a piss poor history of trades that’s for certain !!!!!!!!!!

                Another for the old timers, Bathgate for Neven, how bad was that, because they didn’t like an article Andy published on spearing????????????

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                I think we all would like to believe we could do as well. That’s fantasy stuff. The reality is that it is a very easy job sitting here and blogging about stuff, where we have no accountability for bad decisions. It is a much harder job than you can possibly imagine.

                Ratelle is two years older than Espo. Both were equally productive after the trade. As I said, hated the trade on an emotional level but objectively, Espo was very productive.

                And I have to admit, getting to know the guy, it was evident Espo was a GREAT leader for those young Rangers at that time. They were in awe of him at that time.

                As GM, no doubt, he was a train wreck.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                I was probably the only person in the old MSG that rooted for Nevin. I couldn’t understand why everyone would boo him every time he touched the puck. I felt sorry for him and rooted for him anyway. I was too young to understand. 🙂

        • Rich S says:

          Bobby B,
          Lets not forget we traded moose dupont and steve durbano
          [ crazy but talented] as well….rangers have the stupid habit of
          repeating the cycle of trading young physical defense men [getting the crap beat out of the team in the playoffs] , or rather ‘losing because of the physical play of the opponent’ and then drafting more young physical defense men the following year…..

    • paulronty says:

      Spot on Jerry because you made the point & highlighted that it has nothing to do with deterence(the straw man argument) & everything to do with team psyche.

  6. Leatherneck says:

    Anyone pay attention to Taylor Beck? I did not see the game…..scoop on him is?

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      From what I saw, unremarkable. I can’t imagine he would be in the mix as a possible option in the playoffs.