Archive for Game Wrap-ups
The most frustrating part about last night’s game wasn’t the result, it was the fact that the Rangers couldn’t buy a goal, couldn’t get a bounce, and the one favorable bounce went the Capitals’ way. The Rangers played their best game of the postseason, getting a high number of quality chances, but the bounces didn’t go their way. Pucks hopped over sticks. Shots went just wide. Loose pucks were just out of reach. Loose pucks hit legs instead of sticks. Oy.
Braden Holtby was again solid in net, getting the shutout with 30 saves. The feeling was that the Rangers took a lot of “outside shots” because everything “hit Holtby in the chest.” It’s worth noting that these two items do not correlate. The Rangers had a lot of high quality chances. And getting hit in the chest is the mark of good positioning. Henrik Lundqvist was just as good, making more highlight-reel saves, but it was a shot from below the goal line that snuck past him after a pair of awkward bounces.
Blame for this game, because blame needs to go somewhere apparently, has been on Rick Nash and Keith Yandle. Let’s straighten this out for a second. First, that goal was, in no way, shape, or form, Yandle’s fault. Second, Nash played a phenomenal game. Dude can’t buy a goal, despite great chances. Even though he didn’t score, he did everything else right.
On to the goal:
The New York Rangers evened the series with the Washington Capitals with a very strong 3-2 win in Game Two. This was a completely different Rangers team throughout the game, as they forced the Caps to play their game. The Rangers were aggressive on the forecheck, forcing turnovers, and using a combination of rushes and strong zone play to wear down the Caps and get quality scoring chances.
Braden Holtby and Henrik Lundqvist were unreal in this game. Holtby made 29 very difficult saves, and Lundqvist made 34 saves. Both had a bunch of highlight reel saves (all available on www.nyrgifs.com), but Hank made the save of the season with a spinning cartwheel save on Evgeny Kuznetsov:
I can watch that save all day. But this series is certainly nerve-wracking. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
On to the goals:
The New York Rangers entered last night’s game looking to take advantage of a supposedly tired Washington Capitals team. The Rangers were fresh off a week long break. The Caps had just played a grueling seven game series. Instead, the Caps played suffocating defense through 55 minutes, limiting the Rangers’ chances to the outside, and eventually got a late goal from Joel Ward with less than two seconds remaining to get the win.
The Rangers looked slow and rusty in their first game in a week, and it took them 55 minutes to get to that wide-open, rush style play that they like. They played the Caps game until then, and the Caps played their low-event hockey perfectly, relying on an absolute rip from Alex Ovechkin on the powerplay to take a 1-0 lead late into the third. Jesper Fast got the tying goal late, but the Rangers took a nap in the final two seconds before Ward’s tying goal.
The Rangers tried to contain Ovechkin, who was a machine all night. When he gets going, no one is going to stop him. I think they did a decent job of limiting him to the outside for the most part, but he did wind up with 16 scoring chances for (SCF) to just 6 against. He had a 2:1 ratio for CF and FF as well. He’s a game breaker, and if you limit him to one PPG from the outside, I consider it a win. That said, they still lost.
On to the goals:
The New York Rangers made us sweat, but it was Carl Hagelin’s goal in overtime that gave the Rangers the series in just five games. This was a very tight game throughout, with Henrik Lundqvist and Marc-Andre Fleury putting on a clinic in keeping your team in it. This was a much better 60+ minute showing for the Rangers, who came out flat two nights ago but still managed to eke out a win, as both teams played a fast-paced, physical game.
All four games that the Rangers won came at a 2-1 score, with the final two coming in overtime. There’s not much else to breakdown. Enjoy it folks. On to the goals:
Kevin Hayes scored his first postseason goal last night, and boy was it a big one. The rookie parked himself in front of the net and got a loose puck over a prone Marc-Andre Fleury, giving the Rangers a 3-1 series lead. The Rangers absolutely stole this game, as their first period was so bad that all of Rangers Twitter was in shock. No one thought they could be that bad for a period, but they were, and they were lucky to come out of that only down a goal. They had zero scoring chances in the first. Zero.
That luck continued, as a few fortuitous bounces in front led to Derick Brassard’s tying goal, as the Rangers started to slowly play their game. The game itself was relatively low-event, meaning few shot attempts for both clubs. But you guys know playoff hockey, every single puck movement is cause for hearts skipping beats. I woke my neighbors when Hayes scored. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
On to the goals:
Well I’m back. I was in Charleston, taking my lovely girlfriend for a long weekend for her 30th birthday. She will probably write about it on www.honkytonkfit.com soon, so if you are curious, keep checking that out.
Anyway I couldn’t watch most of the first three games of the series. I caught the third period of Game One from a local bar, which was the only part of this series I saw. I missed all of Game Two, despite being back in time to watch, because the hotel we stayed at had NBCSN, but not NBC (or any of the other flagship stations). I thought that was weird. For last night’s game, I was in the airport or on a delayed flight. Such is life.
I was able to read Twitter timelines, and I put together some general conclusions from the games:
Sorry folks, I’m still away and the BSB writers all had prior committments, so there won’t be a oal breakdown for last night’s loss. Oddly enough, I’m in a hotel that has NBCSN, but not NBC, so I couldn’t watch the game. Yes, I’m as shocked as you at that development.
Anyway, use this to discuss the loss, the Hagelin/Crosby collision, which I believe to be accidental with no dive. This wasn’t going to be an easy series, so it’s no shocker the Pens didn’t go quietly into the night. Game Three is tomorrow.
Note: I apologize for the late post here, somebody (raises hand) fell asleep right after the game and had to write this in the morning.
The Rangers opened the 2015 playoffs in probably the most assuring way possible. 28 seconds into the game, Derick Brassard let one rip through the legs of Marc-Andre Fleury, easing any fear that fans could have regarding the intensity with which the Rangers would play. I never do a goal breakdown, so enjoy my favorite form of recap, the bullet list.
- The biggest focal point to me was how absurdly undisciplined the Penguins are. Good lord. For a team that has talent – as much as we may discount it – they get really messed up between the ears really easily.
- To build on that point, one has to wonder if that was something that Dan Bylsma allowed to happen. I wonder if he let them feel entitled, the way that Sid has felt for what seems like his entire life. Once your entire team takes on that mindset, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
- All that being said, it must’ve been very difficult for Mike Johnston to take over this year. You think, hey broham is taking over some of the best talent in the league (say what you will, I would take Evgeni Malkin on my team every day and twice on Tuesdays), but you don’t really think about the attitude issues.
- Now imagine if the Rangers had a really fearsome power play – the score would’ve been LOL-1.
- The Rangers fell into trapping towards the end of the game, which is scary when you’re facing a team as talented as the Penguins. I don’t think (slash pray) this happens again.
- Maxim Lapierre tried to get under the skin of just about everyone, and thankfully the Rangers didn’t fall into that. It’s so lovely to see how headstrong these guys are. They are FOCUSED, and it’s so exciting.
- This is the first time I’ve felt unbelievably confident in the boys. Unfinished business. Remember the 2009 Penguins? [Insert smiley face here]
- I could watch Keith Yandle rip a beautiful pass to Ryan McDonagh for roughly the rest of ever, so please please PLEASE Glen Sather, EXTEND THE MAN IN THE OFFSEASON.
- Speaking of extensions, remember in July some fans that feared Brassard’s contract? How’s that going for you guys now? Brassard is having a career year. He’s shown that he thrives in the spotlight of Broadway since his very first game here. He needed a competitive market to do well, and lookie here, he is.
- I’ll leave you all with this, courtesy of the Rangers. Brassard’s excitement after his goal is palpable. It’s just the best thing I’ve ever seen.
Game Two is Saturday night at 8pm on NBCSN. LGR!
The New York Rangers scored the first three goals of the game, holding that lead throughout for the win in Game 82 against the Washington Capitals. This win may not have meant much to the Rangers as a team, but it got Henrik Lundqvist to 30 wins, something he’s done in every single full length NHL season in his career. That is really something.
Kevin Hayes scored an absolute beauty of a goal to open the scoring, whacking the puck out of mid-air. Alex Ovechkin scored the only goal for the Caps, on the powerplay, shocking. Lundqvist was solid, but Braden Holtby looked vulnerable. He was out of position a few times, and dropped to his knees too early on a few chances, one led to a goal.
I’m not going to go overboard on the analysis of this game. The Ranger didn’t dress their full lineup, and the Caps looked lethargic.
On to the goals:
The Ottawa Senators kept their playoff hopes alive, at least temporarily, by shutting out the Rangers at MSG 3-0 last night. The Rangers didn’t just sit back and let Ottawa win, they actually played a good game. Ottawa just had that desperation that the Rangers simply don’t have. It is what it is, and while this game wasn’t painful to watch, it certainly was a bit boring.
I was most intrigued by Ryan Bourque this game, who made his Rangers debut. Bourque showed that he certainly has the skating ability to play in the NHL. He played some sheltered minutes, but I thought he was solidly unspectacular. He may not get his real break with the Rangers, but he should certainly get an opportunity somewhere. There are a lot of teams that could use a player like him.
On to the goals: