Archive for Game Wrap-ups
For a preseason game, last night’s OT loss to the Flyers had a little bit of everything that encompasses Rangers/Flyers. It had physical play, it had dirty play, it had good defense, it had scoring bursts, and it left a seed for the regular season. The Rangers may have lost, but they erased a 3-0 lead in the third period to get “a point” in the preseason standings. It may not seem like much, but showing the guys to come back like that means a lot for the kids and playing the right way.
- First things first, that hit by Radko Gudas on Jimmy Vesey was nasty. That’s the type of hit the league is trying to get rid of, and I guarantee that Gudas won’t be suspended because Vesey turned. But here’s the thing, the hockey play there is to stop, turn, and gain some space. The turn is the hockey play, getting creamed from behind is not. Here’s a link to multiple angles of the hit.
- Credit to Dylan McIlrath for jumping in and literally dragging Gudas out to fight. He wound up taking on Jakub Voracek as well, who did not get penalized for third man in. I have never seen that penalty called in my life. Not once.
- Don’t know why Vesey was back. It’s the preseason, feel like it makes sense to take caution with your offseason prize. But what do I know?
Well I did not get a chance to watch the game last night, so I figure this is a good time to reintroduce the Twitter recap. Because when we can’t get a goal breakdown or recap, we rely on you for commentary. Also, if you haven’t been following on Twitter, we have a Snapchat now (snap: blueseatblogs). If you are going to a game and want to take over the account, reach out to Becky (@bhabs37).
I’m glad I wasn’t on Twitter to see the reactions to this one. Must have been entertaining.
Another game, another multi-point night for Brandon Pirri. He scored a goal and an assist in the first period and added a powerplay goal in the third. In two games, he has a line of 3-2-5. Pirri was the entirety of the Rangers offense, as they beat the Devils 3-1 to improve to 2-0 on the preseason. Since it’s the preseason, bullet points sum up how the kids played better than goal breakdowns. On to it:
- Nick Holden looked like he belonged early, leaving Mike Cammalleri wide open in front. Antti Raanta bailed him out. But then he bailed out Raanta later in the period. Funny how that works.
- Jimmy Vesey got sprung for a break early by Kevin Hayes, and wow what speed. If Hayes and Vesey click with Nash, that’s some incredible speed, talent, and vision on one line.
- Apparently Hayes lost 20 pounds, per the broadcast crew. That’s interesting. Obviously it’ll help him be quicker. But what bothers me is that he lost 20 lbs in about four months. Would take me two years to do that.
- John Gilmour has a rocket of a shot. It seems like the Rangers have targeted guys that look to shoot recently.
The World Cup of Hockey has finally started its official matchups, and Team USA and Europe had the distinct privilege of being the ones to open the tournament. Things didn’t go exactly as planned for the United States however, with the squad falling losing in a 3-0 shutout despite lofty expectations and a relatively easy opponent.
While Team USA tried to play a hard hitting, gritty game to take control of the action, Europe’s patience and playmaking paid off, taking away space from the Americans and setting up multiple odd-man situations. This provided something of an upset for the Europeans, and gives Team USA an uphill battle going forward as they look ahead to Canada and the Czech Republic.
Europe 1 USA 0
It was a disappointing end to the season to say the least, with the shock of Rangers’ blowout loss to Pittsburgh away matched only by their previous two efforts at home. The game was microcosmic of the season – flashes of pomising play at the beginning, with defensive breakdowns and endemic failure getting worse over time. This loss was the kind of game where you wished for a mercy rule, not only for our sake, but for Henrik Lundqvist’s, who despite being the best Ranger of the past decade is sure to receive some of the blame for the Rangers’ early playoff exit this year.
This playoff series against the Penguins was troubling but unsurprising for many fans who had seen underlying issues with the team papered over by stellar goaltending all season. It was the kind of series that makes you worry that the window is just about closed, and it makes this offseason that much more critical for Jeff Gorton.
The Penguins destroyed the Rangers last night before the first period was over. It was 1-0 a minute into the game. Then before we blinked it was 3-0. They added another in the second. But the game was over before all this. It was over before the Rangers even took the ice.
The Rangers just didn’t show up. They lost every puck battle. They lost every race for the puck. They gave the Pens room. They didn’t bother to try and generate offense. They just didn’t bother trying.
This game hurts as a fan. The players shrug it off as a job, because that’s what last night looked like. A job. Fans, on the other hand, this isn’t a job. For some, this is an escape. This is hope for joy. And the Rangers let everyone down. There is no excuse for this kind of effort.
The Penguins came into New York reeling after allowing four goals to the Rangers in Game Two and getting thoroughly thrashed in most aspects of the game. But coach Mike Sullivan adjusted, the Penguins shut it down in their own end, and beat the Rangers at their own game.
The game could have been much different though, as Chris Kreider appeared to give the Rangers an early lead. The goal was disallowed after the Rangers were ruled offside on the zone entry. Rick Nash later scored a shorty, but the goal by Kreider was sorely missed at that point for what could have been a 2-0 lead. Considering the Rangers got absolutely nothing at even strength, every goal mattered.
You have to tip your cap to the Penguins though, they really shut down the Rangers at even strength. The Rangers couldn’t get anything going, and it wasn’t from lack of effort. The Penguins cut off passing lanes, stood up at the blue line, and clogged the middle for their rookie goalie. The Rangers played well defensively, Pittsburgh was better.
Yesterday’s game was as close to a must win as you can get for the Rangers, and they delivered. They added to their solid puck possession from Game One by tightening up in the defensive zone, shutting down the Penguins at even strength. But per Rangers tradition this year, they allowed a pair of powerplay goals against. Couple that with Jeff Zatkoff returning to human form, and the Rangers all of a sudden looked like a team that can skate and compete with the Penguins.
Make no mistake, it was not a coincidence that Dan Girardi’s “injury” and the improved defensive zone play came at the same time. The Rangers still had issues on the penalty kill –too many cross ice passes– but the even strength play in the DZ was much tighter. Henrik Lundqvist was back to Hank mode, and Zatkoff started to look like the third string goalie that he actually is. This game was a confidence booster for the Rangers, showing they can skate with this club if they limit the DZ mistakes.
The Rangers got off to a great start in Pittsburgh last night, throwing everything they could at backup goalie Jeff Zatkoff. Not only were they unable to solve the third stringer, they gave up late goals in both the first and second periods. They scored a powerplay goal in the third, but immediately coughed up a shorty a minute late to nullify it. They then allowed another in the third (the third with Staal/Girardi on the ice).
Even worse than the lost game is the loss of Henrik Lundqvist. Hank took a stick to the eye from Marc Staal, an exceedingly rare case where his stick went through the cat-eye and actually got his eye. Lundqvist was writing on the ice in pain, reminiscent of when Staal was on the ice after taking the puck to the eye a few years ago. This was just as scary.
Lundqvist finished the period –giving up the first goal– but did not return. Antti Raanta played well in relief, but the fears about the Rangers defense came to fruition, as pairing Staal with Dan Girardi led to a pair of goals against and what turned out to be an insurmountable deficit.
Although it may not have been in their best interest to do so, the Rangers capped off their regular season with a nice win over Detroit. The first period featured a standout performance and a goal by veteran defenseman Dan Boyle, although the Red Wings applied the pressure in the second and scored a power play goal to tie things up. Raanta made some key saves in the third to keep the Rangers in it, and Kevin Hayes’ goal put them up, followed by Lindberg’s empty netter to seal the deal.
Rangers 1 Red Wings 0
The play starts in the Rangers’ end, where some nice puck pressure by Dan Boyle and Chris Kreider forces a turnover heading towards the neutral zone, which Boyle picks up with speed. With Brassard coming down the opposite wing Alexey Marchenko finds himself in a tricky spot defensively, and Boyle snaps the shot before he can make a defensive commitment.
Rangers 1 Red Wings 1