Archive for Game Wrap-ups

The New York Rangers are your 2014-2015 President’s Trophy winners. The game against the New Jersey Devils wasn’t pretty, especially in the second when Jordin Tootoo decided he wanted to be in the WWE, but the Ranger persevered, ignored the shenanigans, and came away with the two points. This was pure domination for the Rangers in the first two periods before the Devils decided to actually play hockey in the third period.

Cam Talbot was fantastic again, making 19 saves, many of them difficult. Cory Schneider was the lone positive for the Devils in this game, making 37 saves and keeping this game from being a complete blowout early on. While Tootoo and Eric Gelinas were busy cross checking everyone and their mothers, Schneider was making great save after great save.

But let’s not dwell. Let’s enjoy.

On to the goals:

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Apr
07

Rangers fight back, beat Columbus in OT

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On a night where Cam Talbot took home the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, Derek Stepan stole the show. Stepan scored the game tying goal with less than one minute remaining to force overtime, then scored the game winner in overtime to move the Rangers within one point two points of clinching the President’s Trophy. The game itself wasn’t the best the Rangers have played, blowing two leads, but this team finds a way to fight back and get those wins.

The Rangers usually base their offense on the rush, but this time around it was good old-fashioned grinding work that got the majority of their goals. Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves in the win, while the Rangers peppered Sergei Bobrovsky with 42 shots. The penalty kill came up big for the Rangers as well, killing the Matt Hunwick penalty right after giving Columbus the lead in the third period.

On to the goals:

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Before we begin, make sure to check out all the GIFs from the game at our new site: www.newyorkrangersgifs.com. That site will have GIFs of major plays of most Rangers games. Most, because obviously life takes priority.

The New York Rangers clinched the Metropolitan Division title last night with a 3-2 win over the red hot Minnesota Wild. The Rangers had a 2-0 lead in the first period, but the Wild slowly crawled back into the game with a goal in the second and one early in the third.  J.T. Miller answered the equalizer less than a minute later with the eventual game winner, as the Rangers clinched a date with a wild card opponent.

While the main story will be clinching the division, the other story is Henrik Lundqvist. After missing six weeks, Lundqvist had a shaky return in Boston and had his moments of rust in the win over Winnipeg, but apparently he only needed two game to shake off all that rust. The King was brilliant, stopping 26 of 28 Minnesota shots, including some quality chances.

The game itself was pretty fast paced, but the Rangers again went into that shell in the third period. But they won, albeit after blowing the lead. I hate the shell, but it works for them.

On to the goals:

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Apr
01

Rangers rebound with key win in Winnipeg

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After two very sloppy games over the weekend, the New York Rangers came into Winnipeg and beat a desperate Jets team in regulation to right the ship. Henrik Lundqvist allowed one softie, but stopped 32 of 34 shots for his first win since his injury. He was rusty, and some of his positioning and rebound control showed it, but in the end he got the win that he sorely needed.

If you were watching this game and thought that Winnipeg had the puck in the Rangers end for most of the game, you are right. Winnipeg had a steady possession advantage throughout, then completely took off in the third period before Kreider burned them for the winner. Lundqvist is the reason why this game went the Rangers way. Make no mistake about it.

On to the goals:

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The New York Rangers played their second straight sloppy game, constantly turning the puck over to a dangerous Washington Capitals team en route to a 4-2 defeat. This was another classic “if you don’t protect the puck, you won’t win” game from the Rangers. New York did a great job of limiting attempts –both in quality and in quantity– by Washington early, but two turnovers and sloppy play in the third cost them dearly.

Braden Holtby deserves a lot of credit in this game, as the Rangers had a solid quality chance advantage on the Caps through the first two periods. As Holtby kept the Caps in it, the Rangers got careless. In the end, Holtby made 23 saves on 25 shots, but most of them were quality chances. Cam Talbot was also very good, and there are no goals in this game that can be pinned on him.

This is now the second game in a row that the Rangers were careless without the puck. Some excuses can be made because of the injuries to Kevin Klein, Matt Hunwick, and Martin St. Louis, but in the end you need to protect the puck. They will need to get it together, and fast.

On to the goals:

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The Rangers gave away two points today. The Rangers self destructed in their own zone with countless turnovers, poor coverage and the third line aside, the first period can best be described as sloppy. While Henrik Lundqvist looked rusty to begin, the turnovers and general play in front of him left a lot to be desired all game long. Let’s get to the goal breakdowns. Dave’s at a wedding today so you’ll have to excuse me for the less detailed breakdown.

Bruins 1-0 Rangers

The first Bruins goal was a mix of atrocious NHL officiating and rotten luck on the Rangers part, and of course, some bad coverage. After a scramble in front of Lundqvist, from the right hand side Bruins center Patrice Bergeron simply threw the puck on net from a sharp angle and Lundqvist gave up a juicy rebound, pushing the puck out into the slot.

A streaking Milan Lucic, completely alone, appeared to change the angle of his foot to push the puck toward the goal. Was it a kicking motion? Before the puck got to the goal it took a wicked hop, up over Lundqvist and in to the net. Ryan McDonagh was caught watching the puck, as was Chris Kreider, and neither knew where Lucic was. That said, the goal should never have counted. The decision on the ice was no-goal but inexplicably overturned by Toronto.

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The New York Rangers crushed the red hot Ottawa Senators last night, clinching a playoff berth in the process with the Boston Bruins loss to Anaheim. The Rangers dominance was on full display, absolutely destroying the Senators in every aspect –on the scoreboard, in shot attempts, in quality shot attempts, and in goals by fourth liners that aren’t supposed to score goals– and gave Andrew Hammond his first regulation loss of the season.

The Hamburglar looked off during the game, and actually asked out of the game after the Rangers scored their fifth goal. It was noted that he was hit awkwardly in his last game, so there’s a chance he had some lingering effects. The anticipated duel of backup goalies carrying their teams was not to be though, injury to Hamburglar or not. There was no way he was going to stop all of those chances the Rangers had.

Speaking of those chances, all goals came off the rush or off turnovers. That’s Rangers hockey for you. They use their speed to force turnovers, convert them to rushes, and put the puck in the net. They pressure the opposition in the neutral zone, right around the blue line, and are so quick to transition that they trap the opposition. It’s fun to watch, and when they execute, it’s unstoppable.

On to the goals:

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The Los Angeles Kings came into New York needing a win, and they got an emphatic win over the Rangers. The Kings completely shut down the Rangers, clogging skating lanes and neutralizing the Rangers best weapon –speed– and forced the Blueshirts to play a slower, more methodical game. That is when the Kings are at their best: Clogging the neutral zone, forcing teams to dump and chase, and forcing them to slow the pace. The Kings made the Rangers play their game last night, and the Kings destroyed them with it.

The first three Kings goals were all the result of defensive zone turnovers by the Rangers, something else the Kings are very good at. The Kings capitalize on mistakes as well, and do it like some of the best in the league. Couple this with their ability to completely limit the Rangers’ ability to get shots, and you have a team that is difficult to beat.

It’s worth noting that the Kings went into a pretty big defensive shell once Jake Muzzin gave them a 4-1 lead. Up until then, the Kings led in SOG 35-22. They finished even at 35 SOG. Stats, when not analyzed properly, can be misleading. We will get to that below.

On to the goals:

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Sorry folks, there won’t be a goal breakdown from last night’s absolute demolition of the Anaheim Ducks. The Rangers blew away the previously lead-leading team by a score of 7-2. Derek Stepan snapped his goalless streak with a pair last night and an assist. Keith Yandle had three assists. Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello had a pair of assists. J.T. Miller continued to prove that he belongs in the NHL, playing possibly his best game as a Ranger and contributing a goal and an assist.

The Rangers are now 16-4-2 against the Western Conference, and have shown that if teams can’t match their speed, they don’t stand a chance. Cam Talbot has been sensational as well in relief of Henrik Lundqvist.

Use this to discuss the game last night. Once again, sorry there won’t be a breakdown.

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Mar
22

Rangers sneak past Hurricanes in shootout

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The New York Rangers made us sweat last night, escaping Carolina with a 3-2 shootout win over the Hurricanes. It was the third time that the Rangers had gone to the shootout with the Canes in the five game regular season series, and last night’s win gave the Rangers a season series sweep of the woeful Canes. But this game wasn’t without drama, as the Rangers went into their usual shell in the third period, trying to protect the one goal lead. This time it backfired, and the Canes scored to send it to overtime.

Watching the Rangers struggle against a bottom feeder wasn’t pleasant, but the Rangers are without a top-six defenseman and a top-six forward, thus need to scramble their lines and tread water. The only real problem with last night’s game was the shell, which the Rangers have been prone to going to lately. It’s not the best strategy, both for future success and future health of the fans. But they won, so there’s that.

On to the goals:

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