Archive for Game Wrap-ups
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:
The New York Rangers were finally able to solve Braden Holtby multiple times, making the netminder look human in their 4-3 nail biter victory last night. Chris Kreider scored in the first minute and last second of the first period to give the Rangers an early two-goal lead. Both of those goals were deflating for the Washington Capitals, but they answered back on a Jason Chimera goal in the first minute of the second.
Rick Nash and Dan Boyle gave the Rangers a commanding 4-1 lead in the third, but the Caps came roaring back to make it 4-3 with nine minutes left in the game. After that (and all game, to be honest), it was all Henrik Lundqvist. The All-World netminder stopped 42 total shots, many of them difficult, as he almost willed the team into a Game Seven back at MSG.
The most important aspect of this game, aside from the win, is that Braden Holtby looked human for the first time these playoffs. The forecheck was tenacious, and the Rangers finally got men in front to provide screens on attempts. Holtby bobbled a few shots, which is something he hadn’t done through the first five games.
On to the goals:
Sorry I couldn’t get the goal breakdown last night folks, but they won, so I don’t think anyone really cares that I missed it. Anywho, I GIF’d up the Ryan McDoangh overtime winner here, and here it is in all its glory:
A lot happens on this play, so let’s break it down. First things first, you notice how Jesper Fast creates this entire goal with two plays. First, he pressures Curtis Glencross into a neutral zone turnover.
Sorry for the lack of a detailed game breakdown, the kind you get to enjoy from Dave. Dave had the audacity not to watch game five and I haven’t the time to do a full write up either but wanted to pass on some thoughts on the game so here we go. First, a very quick look at how the game was won.
The Rangers have scored eighteen goals in ten playoff games. Needless to say, that’s an incredibly low total and would usually mean golf tee-times booked by now but the Rangers have managed to extend their season at least one more game. The Rangers did so by sticking to their game plan, admirably never panicking and allowing their defense to continue to play aggressively.
After two frustrating periods, the Rangers seemed set for the start of the summer as another defensive gaffe by the Rangers (this time Keith Yandle choosing a horrible time to pinch) saw the Caps break in two-on-oh against Henrik Lundqvist midway through the third. Lundqvist saved Curtis Glencross’ initial shot but couldn’t save the rebound which Glencross chipped up over Lundqvist to give the Caps the lead.
The Rangers never relented and tied the game as the clock was about to strike twelve. Keith Yandle, somewhat redeeming his costly error on the Caps goal, got the puck to Derek Stepan who circled back along the left boards in the Caps zone and dropped the puck to Chris Kreider whose shot through traffic took an oh so minor deflection before beating Holtby. Queue pandemonium. Queue overtime.
Andre Burakovsky scored twice, and it was all the Washington Capitals needed to put the President’s Trophy winning New York Rangers on the brink of elimination. For the second straight game, the Rangers were the better team, dominating the Caps all over the ice. But for the second straight game, Braden Holtby pulled a rabbit out of his hat, and stole a game for the Caps.
Henrik Lundqvist did everything humanly possible to give the Rangers a win, but he has to be perfect in order for this club to win. Neither of the goals from Burakovsky were on him, but since the Rangers can’t buy a goal with all of King Midas’ gold (or silver), the Caps came away with the win. It’s maddening to watch a goalie like Lundqvist, who has a .940 SV% these playoffs, go down 3-1 in a series because his team has scored four goals in five goals in four games, with three coming in Game Two. You can’t win if you can’t score.
On to the goals: