Archive for Game Wrap-ups

The New York Rangers are one weird team. In one day, they make us think they can’t do anything right. Then they rebound and look like the best team in the East. Then they follow that up by giving everyone heart attacks, playing simultaneously the best and the worst hockey we’ve seen. But in the end, it was a deflected Chris Kreider shot that went right to Mika Zibanejad that made us all get noise complaints in our neighborhoods. With one deflection, the Rangers are one win away from the Atlantic Division Final.

This was an odd game. The Rangers were downright bad in the first two periods. They were dominated at both ends of the ice and simply couldn’t get the puck out of their zone. Then they tied it late in the second. They killed two huge penalties before that. And then it was all Rangers. They poured it on while the Habs struggled to deal with their speed. The pressure paid off, as it always does. Proper process breeds success, especially with this level of skill.

On to the goals:

Read More→

Categories : Game Wrap-ups
Comments (164)
rick nash

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

After Sunday night’s debacle, there was no where to go but up for the Rangers. And boy did they ever go up. The Rangers played their most complete game of the series thus far, and probably their best hockey game of 2017, beating the Habs 2-1 to even the series.

From puck drop, you had the feeling that this was going to be a different game. The Rangers were the first to pucks, they were in on the forecheck, they were driving to the net, and they were getting good chances. When you do that, you create your own luck, as is what happened on Jesper Fast’s opening goal.

But where would the Rangers be without Henrik Lundqvist? Hank again stood tall, and in my opinion has been better than Carey Price all series. He made big saves when they needed them. The defense did a good job clogging the middle and preventing quality chances. The penalty kill was excellent and disciplined as well. Just a good all around win.

On to the goals:

Read More→

Categories : Game Wrap-ups
Comments (76)
henrik lundqvist ryan mcdonagh rangers canadiens

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

There’s only so much Henrik Lundqvist can do. If he doesn’t pitch a shutout, the Rangers lose. It doesn’t help that they can’t win at home either. But this was just an inexcusable performance by all Rangers not named Lundqvist or Rick Nash. Sure, the Rangers had hits, but that’s what happens when you never have the puck. Heck, even when they were down three in the third and the Habs were backing off, they still couldn’t get anything going.

Carey Price wasn’t tested in this game. The powerplay was atrocious. The penalty killing was just as bad. But the 5v5 play was probably the worst. They couldn’t sustain anything at all. No offensive pressure. Not making Price move. Nothing. This was embarrassing. And in the playoffs no less.

This team needs more speed and skill. Yet Pavel Buchnevich and Adam Clendening, who have both, are not playing. This isn’t even about replacing a bad player in the lineup. It’s about playing the lineup that gives you the best chance to score on Price. This lineup isn’t it.

On to the goals:

Read More→

Categories : Game Wrap-ups
Comments (97)

The New York Rangers were 17 seconds away from grabbing a 2-0 stranglehold on their opening round series with the Montreal Canadiens, but the Stanley Cup Playoffs are rarely so straightforward.  Tomas Plekanec scored a late equalizer to send the game to overtime, and Alexander Radulov won it for the Habs in the first overtime period to tie the series at 1-1.

The Rangers were the masters of their own demise, playing an extremely tentative third period while holding a 3-2 lead, seemingly inviting pressure from the desperate hosts.  Rather than staying aggressive on the forecheck and holding onto possession – two things the Rangers had excelled in doing to start the series – the team chose a more conservative route, icing the puck constantly and rarely threatening Carey Price’s net.  Needless to say, the strategy backfired. Read More→

Categories : Game Wrap-ups, Playoffs
Comments (181)
jimmy vesey

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Phot

There’s a couple of ways you can make sense of the Rangers’s unfortunate, almost-shutout loss against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon. You can chalk it up as an ultimately meaningless game, one where the team played a suboptimal lineup and boy did it show. You can look at it as potentially foreshadowing future playoff performance, which would lead to a dreary end.

You can even meet somewhere in the middle, acknowledging that it wasn’t a super impactful loss while also wishing for better things from the team, despite their less than great lineup. I’m partial to the last approach, but that’s just me. One thing we do know for sure is that Henrik Lundqvist will be playoff ready by the time the Rangers matchup against Montreal, with Hank making exceptional saves that kept the Rangers in the game longer than they should have.

As for everyone else, there were few bright spots, which isn’t exactly encouraging, but hey, the team was missing some of its key offensive engines. All in all, this was a definitively penultimate game of an uneven Rangers regular season. Onward to the goals.

Read More→

Categories : Game Wrap-ups
Comments (31)
Apr
06

Caps blank shorthanded Rangers

Posted by: | Comments (19)

Photo: Nick Wass/AP

In a game where we all expected the Caps to score 50 goals and take 400 shots (given the defense pairs the Rangers dressed), the Rangers actually played pretty well. The Caps dressed their full roster, and the shorthanded Rangers weren’t the disaster that everyone expected. That said, they couldn’t get anything going offensively  –expected with the forward lines– and the Caps eventually wore them down.

Honestly, there’s not much to really take away from this game. The Rangers sat most of their roster to give them five days off. Henrik Lundqvist looked really strong, which is the only thing I care about right now.

On to the goals:

Read More→

Categories : Game Wrap-ups
Comments (19)
mats zuccarello

Photo: Jim McIsaac

The Rangers finally managed to get a win at home, scoring four straight on Anthony Stolarz and the Flyers en route to the 4-3 win. The win also eliminated the Flyers from playoff contention, so feel free to poke fun at a Flyers fan today. It was nice to see the forecheck in full swing for the Rangers, who also had a pretty solid defensive game as well. The Flyers aren’t the best team in the world, but proper process has to start somewhere.

Henrik Lundqvist played another strong game. Despite the rough goals against lately, he’s been locked in for a while. The difference was the better overall team commitment to defense, something that had been lacking up and down the lineup. The Rangers also had their forecheck going, which allowed them to convert turnovers into goals often.

The game wasn’t perfect, as the Blueshirts almost gave it back to the Flyers with two minutes left in the game. They allowed the Flyers to get two goals to make us sweat. But Hank made a brilliant glove save to preserve the win.

On to the goals:

Read More→

Categories : Game Wrap-ups
Comments (17)

Photo: Jim McIsaac

The Rangers hosted the ailing Penguins, missing half their roster, and still managed to get outplayed for most of the game. Henrik Lundqvist was outstanding all game, bailing the Rangers out with multiple sequences of marvelous saves (here, here, here, here, and here. There were others, but my NHL.tv crapped out on me in the third period). But even with Lundqvist standing on his head, the Rangers couldn’t get anything going against the Penguins and Matt Murray.

All that said, the Rangers were able to keep it close and get a last second (literally) goal to tie it. They pressured hard in the third, and it was Chris Kreider who buried the equalizer with 1.2 seconds left. They were pressing so hard, in fact, they gave up a 2-on-0 rush with Conor Sheary and Sidney Crosby. Hank stopped Sheary then swatted the puck away from Crosby. That kept it a close game, and gave the Rangers a chance to tie it. Kreider answered that call.

After an exciting overtime, the shootout was quick. Kessel and Crosby made quick work of the Rangers as the Pens got the extra point.

On to the goals:

Read More→

Categories : Game Wrap-ups
Comments (36)

Photo: Ryan Kang/AP

The Rangers fell short in Anaheim on Sunday night, losing to the Ducks 6-3 and delaying their chance to clinch a playoff spot by at least one more day. Henrik Lundqvist reassumed his customary starting goaltender spot after an eight game absence, and some rust was certainly evident.  Though none of the goals were directly the fault of The King, he was victimized by some big rebounds and traffic in his crease, allowing five goals on 33 shots.

There was some news before the game even started that caused a stir. Dan Girardi was scratched from the lineup, as Alain Vigneault shocked the masses and benched the veteran in favor of Kevin Klein.  More notable than the move itself was Vigneault’s reasoning, as he cited Girardi’s sub-par performance – not his injury – as the primary reason for the decision.  Regardless, Klein didn’t exactly acquit himself well (though he too just returned from a long layoff) and wasn’t helped by a rare off-night from captain Ryan McDonagh.

Read More→

Categories : Game Wrap-ups
Comments (61)
Mar
26

A brief look into last night’s win

Posted by: | Comments (9)
mats zuccarello kings

Credit: AP / Mark J. Terrill

The Rangers beat the Kings 3-0 last night, in a game that I did not watch. West coast games are rough. So I asked people who did watch, and basically came up with one overall summary. The Rangers started slow, but looked good in the first. Antti Raanta bailed them out in the second. Then they sat back on a lead in the third. Basically par for the course for the Rangers.

I’m not going to analyze a game that I didn’t watch. It’s unfair to me and to you. So instead I’m taking a different approach. I’m going to use last night’s individual game score to try to predict who is coming out of the lineup for Kevin Klein tonight.

Read More→

Categories : Game Wrap-ups
Comments (9)