Archive for Game Wrap-ups
Update: I added the video code from Sporting News, our video partner, to this post. However the video is blocked at work, so I can’t tell if the code is working or if the video fits on the screen. Can you guys let me know in the comments please?
The Rangers closed out the preseason with a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins, ending the preseason with a 4-1-1 record. Preseason records don’t necessarily mean much, but you can tell a lot about the Rangers from this preseason (which we will get to, I promise). The team will travel to West Point for some bonding before heading to Chicago to open the season. Here are the bullet points from last night’s game.
- Dylan McIlrath better make this team, and he better play. He’s certainly earned it. As I’ve said, and as everyone who writes for this blog has said, if he can do what Klein does, at $2.3 million less, then it’s a no-brainer. We already know he can do what Tanner Glass does.
- Speaking of Klein and Glass, I know I only caught the last two periods, but I didn’t really notice them that much. I could be biased though since I am specifically watching for McIlrath.
- There was one play that I saw from Raphael Diaz that stuck with me. The puck was behind the Rangers net late in the first with the Bruins pressuring. Diaz lost his balance, but was able to dive and get the puck across to Dan Girardi. It was one of those solid plays that went unnoticed.
- As for Diaz’s game, I thought he was solid. Good puck decisions. Moved the puck well on the powerplay. Made a few miscues positionally in his own end, but nothing that would be deemed glaring.
- Viktor Stalberg and J.T. Miller went straight to the net for the Stalberg goal (the Ryan McDonagh shot). Good to see someone other than Chris Kreider in front.
The Rangers showed some moxy last night, erasing a 2-0 lead in the third period on goals from Dan Girardi and Chris Kreider to force overtime. Then it was the Keith Yandle show, as he forced a turnover, turned that into a penalty shot, then scored on the penalty shot to give the Rangers a win. It was definitely a nice win, even if it was preseason.
- Dylan McIlrath is going to force a Kevin Klein trade at some point. I only caught the second half of the game, but what I saw was a poised defensemen who was calm with the puck. He’s not perfect, but he’s not the kid that runs everyone over and hangs his partner out to dry. If he can do what Klein does –I think he can do more– at less than half the cost, then it’s worth trading him for futures.
- Keith Yandle is really, really good.
- It was nice seeing the crowd that into it for a playoff game. Crowds like that all season long would be a refreshing change.
- Dan Girardi giveth, Dan Girardi taketh. Girardi did a nice job finding open space for the first goal, but he also lost Wayne Simmonds on Philly’s second goal. Worth noting that the goal came on a Jarret Stoll faceoff loss.
- Why is it important to note the faceoff loss? Because everyone seems to think Stoll is a god-send because of faceoffs. He loses some too, you know.
The baby Rangers, the kids competing for roster spots, shined last night, but the team blew a two goal lead in the third period en route to a shootout loss to the Bruins. It’s the preseason, so there’s no need to complain, panic, or worry. The kids played well, and although they lost, you can see that the Rangers will have new blood in the lineup in October, with more knocking on the door as injury call ups.
- Brady Skjei is making it very difficult to cut him. He was solid again last night. He looked at home on the powerplay, drawing a defender out of position at the point and opening up the ice for Kevin Hayes for his goal. He will likely spend time in the AHL, just like Ryan McDonagh did to start his career. But the kid is the real deal.
- Brett Bellemore –fighting skill aside, he got crushed in that fight– is also making it hard to cut him. He’s been quietly solid.
- Oscar Lindberg had another strong game, this time at RW. He played LW and C in the other two games. Kid offers versatility all over the ice. He’s making this team. He and Jarret Stoll really clicked. Stoll is another one with a strong game.
- Ryan Bourque wasn’t flashy, but he was overall solid. He finished checks, was in on the forecheck, and was rarely out of position. If it wasn’t for Brian Gibbons, he’d be a dark horse to make the club. He also ensured the game got to a shootout.
Hockey is officially back. The Rangers opened their preseason last night with a 6-3 victory over the Devils. The fourth line of Jayson Megna, Brian Gibbons, and Luke Adam put on a show, scoring three times. Gibbons had a goal and two assists, and Megna had a pair of goals, one on the powerplay. Since this is the preseason, I’m not going into a goal breakdown, but you can check out all the GIFs from the game at www.nyrgifs.com. You can also check video highlights on the Videos page.
- That fourth line looked like they wanted to stay a little longer. They were already written off before the game started, and this was a bit of a statement by them. If anything, Megna and Gibbons earned a longer look in camp.
- Brady Skjei certainly didn’t look out of place. He made a lot of nice plays with the puck, and one very nice defensive play that started the Oscar Lindberg goal.
- Dylan McIlrath wasn’t flashy, and I really didn’t notice him that much. He took a penalty with a hit to the head, but he wasn’t really targeting the head. His elbow was in, but he’s 6’5″, and if you hit anyone at that height, it’s going to be in the head. I looked up his stats, and he managed to drive possession (58%) with just 33% OZ starts. Don’t put much stock into single game possession samples in the preseason though, was just something I looked up.
I got nothing on this folks. Sorry. I know you expect a certain quality of analysis from me, but tonight I got nothing. The Rangers didn’t show up. Tampa Bay played a great road game. Apparently Ryan McDonagh had a broken foot and Marc Staal a broken ankle, per Anson Carter.
There’s a rant coming from me at some point, I need to gather my thoughts. The rest of the writers have their thoughts as well. Use this thread to vent your frustrations.
As always, GIFs from the game are up on www.newyorkrangersgifs.com. Any feedback to improve searchability would be greatly appreciated.
Derick Brassard delivered.
He doesn’t wear a letter, but the top line center for the New York Rangers delivered last night when facing elimination. Brassard notched a hat trick and two assists for the Rangers, as they forced Game Seven with a decisive 7-3 win in Tampa Bay last night. This game was Brassard and Henrik Lundqvist against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and if Lundqvist is the King, then Brassard was the Prince.
Lundqvist, who made 36 saves, was spectacular last night. Don’t believe me? Check out this save, and this save, and this save, and this save, and this save. The man was unreal all night. In a night where the Bolts dominated all but the third period, King Henrik bailed them out, while Prince Brass ensured this would be sent to New York.
On to the goals:
Boy was this a sloppy, yet exciting game. Neither team remembered how to play defense, but the Rangers were the worse culprits again. This is a team that was one of the top teams in the league in goals allowed, but has allowed a whopping 11 goals in two games. No one on the blue line had a good game, with some egregious efforts all around. In fact, I think Jesper Fast is the only Ranger player I’d say had a good game.
Henrik Lundqvist was human, but you can only really fault him for the last goal, which of course was the overtime winner. He’s been hung out to dry the last two games. If the Rangers played any semblance of defense, they would have won. Ben Bishop has been pretty brutal the last two games. Any kind of strong defensive play, and the Rangers take this game. It’s sad really.
On to the goals:
Tyler Johnson scored the first three Tampa Bay goals, one shorthanded, one on the powerplay, and one at even strength, to carry the Bolts to a decisive 5-2 win in Game Two. We all knew the Rangers wouldn’t make this easy on us. Of course, the Lightning are a great team, so this really shouldn’t be a shocker. What was shocking was how badly the Rangers played on defense, and how badly luck reared its ugly head.
Two of Johnson’s goals came on fortuitous bounces –and you create your own luck, which he did– with multiple Rangers blowing tires to start the plays. But as I just mentioned, you create your own luck, and the Rangers didn’t exactly do much to stop the offensive chances from flowing for the Bolts. They took a bunch of penalties, they had a bunch of blown coverages, they made poor decisions, and to make matters worse, they didn’t take advantage of their chances.
Such is life. The Rangers always lose Game Two. On to the goals:
Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals went to the Rangers, and that game was more eventful than about 90% of the previous 12 playoff games played by the Rangers this year. This game was pretty fast paced, with the Rangers and Lightning exchanging rushes and getting shot attempts. Both Ben Bishop and Henrik Lundqvist stood tall, especially Bishop –who is really tall anyway– who made 28 saves. Lundqvist made 23 saves.
The Rangers really controlled play against the Lightning yesterday, putting up a 60% puck possession advantage throughout the contest. They also controlled the scoring chance battle, really getting back to their rush game and getting those chances (more on that below). The Lightning did not follow the mold of the Caps and Penguins before them, and did not clog the neutral zone. The Rangers took advantage to get those attempts. That said, both Ranger goals were of the “greasy, dirty, gritty” variety. Gotta have both.
On to the goals:
For the second year in a row in the Division Finals, the New York Rangers erased a 3-1 series deficit to advance to the Conference Finals. Once again, this game ended with a 2-1 score. Once again, the goaltenders stood on their heads. Once again, the Rangers won an elimination game at home.
Braden Holtby had 37 saves. Henrik Lundqvist had 35 saves. Both goalies put on a clinic in this series. Both goalies are the reasons why this series went seven. The Rangers won, but give Holtby his due. Wow.
That’s all I got folks. On to the goals: