Archive for Game Wrap-ups

Spoiler Alert: Not from this game

There isn’t much to say about last night’s preseason game. Maybe the Rangers wanted to temper everyone’s excitement so they could gradually build it up, or maybe it was just a preseason game. But Neal Pionk had something to say about that shortly into the 0-0 overtime.

Folks…

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups, Preseason
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henrik lundqvist

Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The New York Rangers faced elimination last night. They knew they had to come out firing on all cylinders. They knew they had to play with desperation. They knew they had to keep Ottawa on their heels. They did none of that through two periods of play. It wasn’t until the third period when they started to show that fire and that desire to win. But it was too little too late. Ottawa sent the Rangers packing with the 4-2 win.

Rick Nash was by far the best forward all game. He was the only Ranger who played a consistent 60 minutes, trying to create offense. But there was only so much he could do on his own. His teammates had flashes, and most of the club showed up in the third, but again it was too little too late.

On to the goals:

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
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henrik lundqvist

Credit: AP / Adrian Wyld

The Rangers tried to cling to a late lead in the third period, having taken a 4-3 lead with 10 minutes remaining. However Alain Vigneault continues to bench Brady Skjei and lean on guys who have cost him games in the past, and it burned him yet again. The tying goal in the third was very flukey (off three Rangers), but at some point someone needs to legitimately question why Skjei rides the pine with a late lead. It may not be a direct cause of this outcome, but it’s certainly something that needs to be looked at, especially with the awful game Marc Staal had.

That said, Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t god-like in this game. He made a bad turnover that wound up in the net, and then the OT winner looked a little soft. But then again, the Senators had a pair of flukey goals. One off a post and one off three Rangers. So, I don’t really know. The Rangers aren’t getting any bounces this series. JT Miller also hit the crossbar in overtime. Regardless, there is no reason to be benching one of the top three defensemen with a lead to protect.

On to the goals:

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nick holden kevin hayes jesper fast

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

The Rangers put on another clinic last night, coming out to a 4-1 win and a tied series. The Rangers fed off their momentum after their strong win in Game 3, playing almost the exact same game in Game 4. The big thing to notice is that the Rangers found a weakness against the Senators. The Blueshirts are pressuring the Senators’ blue liners at the blue line, which is forcing them into turnovers and odd-man rushes. It worked for the first two goals.

The important thing to take away here, aside from the tied series, is the full lineup commitment to the blue line pressure mentioned above and the team defense. The Rangers again had a strong defensive game, allowing few true scoring chances against Henrik Lundqvist. With their counterattack in full swing, they were able to get three on Craig Anderson, eventually chasing him from the game.

On to the goals:

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
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mats zuccarello

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

The Rangers needed to answer back, and they did in a big way last night. The Rangers came out strong, completely dominating play in the first period and jumping out to a 2-0 lead. The Blueshirts let off the gas a little as they built 3-0 and 4-1 leads, which is relatively expected in the playoffs, seemingly content to just kill the clock instead of stepping on the Sens’ throats.

This was an up-and-down the lineup solid game for the Rangers, who desperately needed not only a win, but a dominating performance. The series through now has been close, but this game never felt out of the Rangers’ control, even when the Senators were pressing late. I would have preferred that the Rangers keep pressing, but it’s tough to really complain about this performance. The biggest thing will be repeating this on Thursday night.

On to the goals:

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
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Apr
30

Alain Vigneault costs Rangers Game 2

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rangers senators

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo

I initially wasn’t going to be covering this recap, but after watching the game, and watching Alain Vigneault blow this game with is lunacy, I insisted I cover it. The Rangers blew three separate two goal leads with idiotic deployment choices, and it burned them in the end. Yes, part of this game is on Henrik Lundqvist, who allowed six goals, four to JG Pageau, a nobody. But for the most part, I’m putting this on AV. Here are my reasons.

1. There is absolutely no excuse to sit Brady Skjei and Brendan Smith for the final five minutes of the game. This comes after the Marc Staal/Nick Holden duo cost the Rangers Game 2 in Montreal. AV simply does not learn from his mistakes. And this one cost them. Listen, I can understand wanting to rely on your vets, but when Skjei and Smith are having the best game of your defensive sextet, and you sit them, you deserve to be blasted. The Rangers got that far despite AV.

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rangers senators

AP / Sean Kilpatrick

The Rangers looked almost as bad last night as they did in Game 3 against Montreal, falling to the Senators 2-1 in a game that was not as close as the score suggests. The Rangers were outplayed all night by Ottawa, and this would have been a blowout if not for Henrik Lundqvist. Hank did everything he could to keep the Rangers in it, including stopping 21 shots in the first period alone. But it wasn’t enough.

Craig Anderson wasn’t tested much in this game, as the Rangers couldn’t muster any sustained offense. There were a few good chances, but for the most part Anderson didn’t have to move to make his saves. Very few shots were taken with traffic in front. There was no forecheck. There was no speed through the neutral zone. There was nothing that resembled Rangers hockey. It was a poor effort by all not named Lundqvist.

On to the goals:

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mats zuccarello

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

The New York Rangers. That is all.

What a rebound. What a close series. What a response from possibly the worst game we’ve seen all year. After seeing the Rangers roll over and play dead in Game Three, the Blueshirts took it to the Habs, dominating Game Four, then dominating the latter half of Game Five, then dominating the latter 2/3 of Game Six. They won three in a row. They took the series. They move on to face the Senators or the Bruins.

Mats Zuccarello came up strong, with two clutch goals to tie the game and then give the Rangers the lead. Henrik Lundqvist once again outdueled Carey Price, solidifying the series win (and, in my opinion, the discussion on who is better). The defense clamped down. The depth prevailed, and the Rangers’ speed proved to be too much for the Habs. On to the next round. And….

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The New York Rangers are one weird team. In one day, they make us think they can’t do anything right. Then they rebound and look like the best team in the East. Then they follow that up by giving everyone heart attacks, playing simultaneously the best and the worst hockey we’ve seen. But in the end, it was a deflected Chris Kreider shot that went right to Mika Zibanejad that made us all get noise complaints in our neighborhoods. With one deflection, the Rangers are one win away from the Atlantic Division Final.

This was an odd game. The Rangers were downright bad in the first two periods. They were dominated at both ends of the ice and simply couldn’t get the puck out of their zone. Then they tied it late in the second.¬†They killed two huge penalties before that. And then it was all Rangers. They poured it on while the Habs struggled to deal with their speed. The pressure paid off, as it always does. Proper process breeds success, especially with this level of skill.

On to the goals:

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rick nash

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

After Sunday night’s debacle, there was no where to go but up for the Rangers. And boy did they ever go up. The Rangers played their most complete game of the series thus far, and probably their best hockey game of 2017, beating the Habs 2-1 to even the series.

From puck drop, you had the feeling that this was going to be a different game. The Rangers were the first to pucks, they were in on the forecheck, they were driving to the net, and they were getting good chances. When you do that, you create your own luck, as is what happened on Jesper Fast’s opening goal.

But where would the Rangers be without Henrik Lundqvist? Hank again stood tall, and in my opinion has been better than Carey Price all series. He made big saves when they needed them. The defense did a good job clogging the middle and preventing quality chances. The penalty kill was excellent and disciplined as well. Just a good all around win.

On to the goals:

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