Archive for Game Wrap-ups
The Rangers came into last night’s game with another opportunity to clinch a playoff spot with a win. What resulted was an ugly first 20 minutes of the game, in which the Sabres jumped out to a 3-0 lead, one that the Rangers could not overcome. Henrik Lundqvist, who was not sharp, was pulled after less than 21 minutes.
Beyond Lundqvist, who again was not sharp, the top pair of Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Klein were flat out owned by the Sabres’ top line. It got to the point where Alain Vigneault switched up the defense pairings. They had a really good chance to tie it too, but couldn’t score on a full two minute 5-on-3 advantage.
It wasn’t all bad for the Rangers, though. Their penalty kill was solid, and their forward lines are showing some solid chemistry. They realized they were the better team too late though.
The Rangers went into Carolina last night with an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth with a regulation or overtime win. They Staaled (I couldn’t help myself), allowing four goals to the Hurricanes and losing in regulation, failing to clinch the playoff berth. Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t sharp, which seems to make all the difference lately with the state of the blue line, and the Rangers blew their chance.
There isn’t much reason to panic, since the Rangers will make the playoffs, but this effort was disheartening, and really makes you wonder if the team will be capable of turning it on come playoff time. The Penguins and Islanders both won, so the Rangers now may slip to a wild card slot. They control their own destiny regarding seeding, but continued play like last night will result in a wild card spot and a potential date with either Florida or Washington.
The Rangers had their win streak snapped at three games last night, losing in overtime to the Penguins in what was a pretty well played game by both clubs. The goalies were good, not great, and both picked their spots well for offense. But the Rangers were also lucky, as the Penguins hit three posts in the game. This game could have ended in regulation just as easily.
Phil Kessel really took it to the Rangers this game, clicking with Carl Hagelin all game and completely dominating the time they got against Dan Girardi (which was most of the game). That line did most of the damage for the Pens, but their success skewed what was a very good showing by the Rangers in the second and third periods. They shelled a bit in the third, clearly playing for overtime.
Last night I wasn’t able to watch and Pat wasn’t able to cover the goal breakdown. So that meant it was a perfect time for another Twitter breakdown of the game. It was a little tougher to get replies, since it was a Saturday night and apparently people have these things called “social lives’.
So I was just wondering how the game went, and some were unsure. Despite the score.
@BlueSeatBlogs good I guess
— #SignYandle2k16 (@rangersofny) March 27, 2016
There are going to be those that look at the box score, specifically the Corsi numbers, will say the Rangers got dominated and were a product of good shooting. While the second part is true –two goals banked off Bruins, although from good angles– the shot attempt (Corsi) numbers are very misleading for this game. For starters, the Rangers jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, so score effects are a thing for this game. Second, despite the number of shots, the Rangers really limited the Bruins to the outside. It was a clinic.
There were blips, specifically that one shift where Dan Girardi turned the puck over three times in a one minute span, but the Rangers persevered. The penalty kill was sloppy, but the puck didn’t wind up in the net. What matters is that the Rangers picked the Bruins defense apart, and it was ugly for the Bs. Their defense is their Achilles heel, like the Rangers. But as mentioned in the game thread, the Rangers have better overall depth, and they feast on teams with holes on defense.
This is the second strong game in a row for the Rangers. A good thing. I’d prefer they didn’t give up third period goals, but that’s a thing this season apparently. Sigh. I’ll take this game.
The Rangers may have hit rock bottom on Saturday, but at least they rebounded last night against the first place Florida Panthers. The Rangers really controlled the first two periods before letting up a bit in the third with their 2-0 lead. They gave up one and made us all sweat, but held on for the 4-2 win.
The Blueshirts really controlled play in the first two periods, not only limiting shot attempts, but limiting high quality chances for the Panthers. It unraveled a little bit at the end of the second, but you can see how the Rangers really need to stop with that shell they play in the third period. It almost led to a tie game, if not for a disallowed goal for Steven Kampfer. The Rangers got lucky there.
But a win is a win, and this was a much better process win, something we need to see. If the thing we nitpick is the shell, then I’ll take it.
The Rangers dropped the third game of their west coast road trip against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday afternoon in a maddeningly frustrating fashion. Hank once again stood on his head despite receiving no support from his defense and despite being pulled in the third period. The fourth line had a solid game but the Rangers were generally out shot and gave up numerous odd-man rushes before the eventual third period collapse.
In the end not the kind of game you’d like to see from the Rangers heading into the post-season, but hopefully they can tighten it up over the next few games and start the playoffs right. Also, no gifs for this one, sorry y’all.
Rangers 0 Sharks 1
The Rangers dropped the second game of their back-to-back set against a divisional opponent in the Penguins on Sunday afternoon. Although the Rangers set the tone early on by applying some serious pressure, Marc-Andre Fleury kept the Penguins in it and the first period ended tied at one goal each. The Rangers then flat lined almost completely during the second as the Penguins came alive, and although they seemed to have a little bit more urgency in the third period it simply wasn’t enough, with the Penguins scoring the eventual game-winner off a fluke deflection from behind the net.
*-No gifs for this game, sorry about that. The gif makers were all committed elsewhere. Damn them for having lives.
Rangers 0 Penguins 1
Henrik Lundqvist did his best to steal this game for the Rangers, but couldn’t do it all as Darren Helm’s leg won the game in overtime for the Red Wings. Lundqvist made 40 saves on 43 shots as the Rangers were completely dominated from the get-go. The Rangers managed 28 total shot attempts the entire game. Twenty-eight. There is nothing good about this game, other than Lundqvist.
But yet, the Rangers still found themselves in it because of some good bounces. But as good as those bounces were, the bad bounces always counter it. Ryan McDoangh hit the post on an empty net. Most of the Wings goals came off bounces. But this is what happens when bad process meets normal luck. Bad process means losses. This is what you should expect when the Rangers don’t show up.
The Rangers came out swinging Tuesday night in Buffalo and kept up the pressure from there, winning the tie despite a second period rally by the Sabres. Eric Staal continued to demonstrate that he’s fitting in with his new team, as his line forechecked hard, got shots, and crashed the net early and often. Brady Skjei looked similarly poised, making smart passes and even saving a goal as the puck trickled behind Antti Raanta at one point.
On the Sabres side of things Jack Eichel was electric as always, supported by Evander Kane and Sam Reinhart. In the end despite a late game powerplay the Rangers held on to win it, bouncing back from their unfortunate loss against the Islanders at home on Sunday.
Rangers 1 Sabres 0