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Category: Game Wrap-ups

Effort lacking as Rangers blown out by Callahan, Lightning

Ryan Callahan made his return known to the Rangers, potting two goals –including the eventual game winner– as the Tampa Bay Lightning blew out the New York Rangers 5-1. This game could have been a lot worse, as I can count at least two other opportunities where Henrik Lundqvist came up huge, including once in the second that kept the game at 2-1. I know that you guys are expecting a goal breakdown, but I was at the game, and didn’t get home until 10:30. I do have a full time job that I need to be awake for, and bullet points are significantly quicker than goal breakdowns. So here we go:

  • The Rangers really didn’t show much last night. They looked sluggish, were getting beat to every loose puck, getting outmuscled in the corners, shying away from contact and from body checks. No one covered the slot, bad turnovers, minimal forecheck, terrible defense. This team really hung Hank out to dry.
  • That said, Tampa Bay is really good. They shut down the zone entries. They forced turnovers. They neutralized the Rangers speed by cutting off passing lanes and forcing the play to the outside. They got in shooting lanes. This is a very balanced team playing without its best defenseman (Victor Hedman). There’s a reason why we all went “oh crap” when we saw the moves they made.
  • On the second Cally goal, the defense was nowhere to be found. Marc Staal and Dan Girardi were behind the net, despite only one Lightning player (Steven Stamkos) in that area.

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Rangers invent new way to lose in classic WTF game

I was going to do a goal breakdown for this game. I actually DVR’d the right channel this time around. I didn’t get home until the beginning of the third period, so I caught that, the overtime, and the shootout. And honestly, a goal breakdown won’t do this game justice. The 25 minutes of actual hockey I watched were entertaining, then the shootout made me headdesk a lot. Let’s get to bullet points, because my brain is about to explode:

  • First things first: The Rangers never even should have got to the shootout. Henrik Lundqvist was unreal, making 36 saves before the shootout.
  • The Dan Boyle non-shootout goal was the right call. Yes, it sucked, but it was the right call. The puck hit the post, that was the end of the attempt. The puck wound up going off the post, off Boyle’s stick, then back in the net. It is what it is. Toronto actually had to call the arena and get the teams back on the ice. The refs missed it. Somewhere, Brett Hull is laughing hysterically.
  • I think the Rangers invented a new way to lose with that one. I honestly thought I’d seen it all.

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Rangers manage a point, lose in shootout to Colorado

Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Rangers managed to grab a point against the Colorado Avalanche, but were downed in the shootout by a score of 4-3. New York didn’t come out particularly strong in the game, getting dominated by the Avs and trailing after the period. But then the Rangers found the same gear they had in the Pittsburgh game, and came roaring back to take a 3-2 lead into the third period. A Jesper Fast penalty put the kibosh on that pretty quickly though.

Henrik Lundqvist didn’t face a ton of shots, but had to make some good saves throughout the game against a very talented lineup. The Rangers, who had ten players finish with a point in the 5-0 rout of Pittsburgh on Thursday, had eight players finish with a point in this contest. They didn’t have a strong first period, but rebounded nicely for the final 40 minutes of regulation. Worth noting: Dan Boyle looked very, very good in this game. Wait until he has two fully functional hands and a few games to shake off the rust.

On to the goals:

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Rangers show up, blow out Penguins

Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Rangers decided to show up last night after no-showing both games this past weekend. The result: A complete and utter dismantling of the Pittsburgh Penguins and their +28 goal differential. The Rangers were on top of the Pens from the start, tilting the ice in their favor and using their speed to disrupt any offensive flow. The forecheck was effective, the defense was solid in containing Sidney Crosby, and Henrik Lundqvist was great.

Ten different Rangers notched points, but it was another version of the Rick Nash show. The Rangers leading scorer notched a shortie and two assists. Marc Staal and Derek Stepan also notched a pair of assists. Lundqvist made 33 saves for the shutout as well.

On to the goals:

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Rangers drop a brutal one to the Oilers

Memmorieeess light the corners of my mind

Memories light the corners of my mind

Going in to last night, there was good news and bad news. The bad news: the Rangers returned late last night with barely any time to rest up and prepare for their 6pm start. The good news: the 6pm start was against the Edmonton Oilers, known for not playing up to their talent level. Nothing like a quick victory to forget about a pretty awful game Saturday, right?

Well, it would have been right, except that the Rangers played at least 50 minutes of brutally bad hockey last night. Like, embarrassingly bad hockey. Even Ulf Samuelsson had a whole lot to say about it. I’m no Ulfie, but I did have some feels (mostly of the crabby variety) about this game, and, per usual, I threw them into rambling bullet form.  Read more »

Defense fails Rangers against Leafs

Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images

Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images

After dropping into a 3-1 hole in the first period behind some spectacularly bad defense, the Rangers fought back and took the lead with three straight goals. Then two straight Toronto goals in the third led to the Rangers first regulation loss since the Montreal game on October 25. I DVR’d MSG instead of MSG2 last night, so there’s no goal breakdown, but I’m able to get my incoherent thoughts on paper. Bullet points are fun, right?

  • Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Someone needs to teach me how to DVR properly.
  • I’m still trying to figure out why Chris Kreider wasn’t on the ice when the Rangers pulled the goalie, but both Matt Hunwick and Dan Girardi were. I understand that the Rangers are shorthanded on the blue line, but if that’s the case, then put your best scoring threats out there. Kreider and Mats Zuccarello were on the pine when the Rangers needed a goal.
  • Hunwick and Girardi paired up for the awful giveaway (Hunwick) and snow angel (Girardi) that led to the Leo Komorav game winner. First, Hunwick basically just passed the puck to Jake Gardiner. Then as Gardiner walked in at a bad angle, Girardi left Komarov in the slot to snow angel towards Gardiner. He neither stopped the shot nor the pass, and Komarov had an easy game winner.

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Rangers edge past Wings in an Original Six nailbiter

NHL.com

NHL.com

The Rangers hosted the Red Wings on a slow night in hockey in what was a pretty riveting Original Six matchup. I’m still wrapping my head around what the term “rivalry” means to NBCSN, but so far I mostly think it means “the game that’ll generate the most viewership.” I also think it means an 8pm start, which means this post won’t be a goal breakdown – sorry Dave.

All jokes aside, this game was pretty phenomenal. There was a lot of energy, lots of momentum changes, some really beautiful goal scoring, and, of course, a minor heart attack when Detroit tied it with 7.7 to go. Horrible officiating was a major theme of this game, but we all know that you can’t blame the refs for a loss; you just have to work harder to win.

My thoughts, in bulletpoint form..

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Rangers manage a point against Blues

Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Rangers, they of the two defensemen from opening night in the lineup last night, managed to grab a point against the St. Louis Blues, they of the odd bacterial infection that at least isn’t ebola. The Rangers played a fairly good game actually, despite being incredibly shorthanded. They made some slick passes for a pair of goals, and looked like they were swarming on the forecheck for a good portion of the game.

Conor Allen looked solid and unspectacular, reminding me a lot of Anton Stralman with short, smart passes that moved the play up. Dylan McIlrath spent a lot of time in the box and didn’t really impress, but it’s only one game. I’m actually happy with a point against a playoff team, and they went 1-0-1 against this playoff team this year. I’ll take it.

On to the goals:

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Rangers drop one game and two D-Men

Raise your hand if you need a defenseman!

Raise your hand if you need a defenseman!

Saturday night’s alright for hockey. You’ve got Don Cherry’s fantastically insane suit choices on HNIC and typically some fantasy hockey nightmares when you decide who to bench since so many games are happening. The Rangers took part in this last night, playing their first game since Monday’s third period surge to come back against the Wild. Last night also kicked off a busy November for the Rangers, with 15 games in 29 days.

Unfortunately, this game was a big fat shutout. Since I don’t do goal breakdowns, this turned out to be really beneficial for this blog; however, this was really bad for the Rangers. Adding injury to insult here was losing both Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Klein in the first period, leaving the Rangers with four defensemen for the majority of the game. Let’s go through some thoughts. Read more »

Wild third period boosts Rangers to victory

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

What a game that was. The New York Rangers trailed 3-0 to the Minnesota Wild heading into the third period. A comeback against the best defensive team in hockey (through six games) seemed unlikely, especially with Chris Kreider and John Moore lost to ejections. But then the lead was 3-2. After a breakdown gave the Wild a two goal lead again, the game became 4-3, then tied, then the Rangers took the lead. The Wild allowed six goals in their first six games, and that number almost doubled after the third period last night.

Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello led the way with a goal and two helpers. Rick Nash and Kevin Klein added a goal and an assist, and Matt Hunwick added a pair of assists. Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t spectacular, but he made key saves when they needed it to stay in the game. After a disastrous five period span in Montreal and The Garden, the third period erased a good portion of that.

On to the goals.

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