Archive for Game Wrap-ups
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
Scott Darling stopped 25 shots for his first career shutout and Brad Richards scored the game’s only goal as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the New York Rangers 1-0. Cam Talbot made 30 saves, many of them difficult, in the loss, but it wasn’t enough as the Rangers failed to solve Darling throughout the game. The Rangers had one goal called back due to a quick whistle, but it’s tough to complain about those since they even out over the course of a season. Dan Boyle hit the crossbar as well, and luck wasn’t on New York’s side last night.
The game itself was exciting and very nerve wracking. It had the feel of a playoff game and potential Stanley Cup Final matchup. I’ll tell you this, if these two teams meet in June, it’ll be hockey at its finest. These two teams play the game the right way, with skill up and down the lineup, pushing the puck up the ice, grinding along the boards, and getting to high priced real estate. There won’t be many goals thanks to goaltending and defense, but it’ll be an exciting series.
On to the breakdown.
The New York Rangers didn’t play their best game last night. They didn’t play their prettiest game last night. They looked like a team that was on the second of a back-to-back after a tough run against five playoff teams. But yet, they still found a way to beat the Florida Panthers in regulation by a score of 2-1. Cam Talbot was the story of this game, again, making a whopping 38 saves in the win.
While Talbot was sensational, it wasn’t all goaltending for the Rangers. The fourth line of James Sheppard-Dominic Moore-Jesper Fast carried the Blueshirts, scoring both goals and doing a fantastic job in the defensive end. Rick Nash did Rick Nash things in the first period, but it was the fourth line, without Tanner Glass, that scored twice and –along with Talbot– won the game for the Rangers.
On to the goals:
There is no goal breakdown or recap from last night, sorry folks. I’m in Disney, and everyone else had weddings, birthdays, and work related activities that prevented them from watching the game. Mackenzie Skapski stopped all 20 shots he faced en route to his first shutout of his career. Keith Yandle scored his first goal as a Ranger as well.
Use this to discuss the game, and the fact that the Rangers are three points up on the Islanders with four games in hand.
Open confession: I didn’t watch last night’s game. I had a busy night and didn’t get home until 10:30, and at that point I just crashed. But by all accounts, Cam Talbot stole another game for the New York Rangers, who beat the Washington Capitals 3-1. The win gave the Rangers sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Blueshirts are also tied for the Presidents Trophy lead, with games in hand on all teams with 91 points.
The Rangers are now 31-7-3 in their last 41 games, including 13-2-3 without Henrik Lundqvist. Wow.
Use this to discuss the game, or to discuss that the slider on the main page is gone. Either one. Sorry for the lack of a goal breakdown.