Category: Playoffs

Rangers/Bruins series schedule

The schedule for the Rangers/Bruins series has been released:

  • Game One: 5/16, 7:30PM on NBCSN
  • Game Two: 5/19, 3PM on NBC
  • Game Three: 5/21, 7:30PM on NBCSN
  • Game Four: 5/23, 7PM on CNBC
  • Game Five: 5/25 Time TBA
  • Game Six: 5/27 Time TBA
  • Game Seven: 5/29 Time TBA

The extra day off before Game One and before Game Two will hopefully benefit a Rangers team ravaged by injuries, but I wouldn’t expect any of Marc Staal, Ryane Clowe, or Darroll Powe to play any time soon.

Rangers/Caps series, where it was won and where it could have been lost

Photo credit: ESPN

Photo credit: ESPN

The Rangers survived in seven games to upset the Caps in the first round in a series that really could have gone either way for six of the seven games. Two games went to overtime, three games were decided by a goal in regulation, and another game was decided by just two goals. The Caps led for under 35 minutes in the entire series, even though they dominated play and puck possession for the majority of the series. That said, out-puck-possessing doesn’t mean you win.

The Rangers got their share of luck, which certainly contributed to the win, but they also controlled play when they needed to in the games they won. They scored goals when they needed to, they killed penalties when they needed to, and they got stellar goaltending. But to play devil’s advocate, so did the Caps. In the end, the series was a toss-up. The coin came up heads, and the Rangers won.

Why they won – Goaltending

Read more »

ECQF Game Seven goal breakdown: Rangers send Caps home in dominating win

Well this was a convincing way to end the series. The Rangers made a statement in Game Seven, scoring five goals and shutting out the Caps to complete the comeback from down 3-2 in the series. Henrik Lundqvist was good when he needed to be, but the Rangers made sure he didn’t need to be dominant like he was in Game Six. They won the physical battles, and they finally found chinks in Holtby’s armor en route to the rout. There won’t be pictures for this breakdown, I apologize in advance for that. On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Caps 0

Chris Kreider got a big break on this one. As he was getting on the ice for a line change, he went over to pressure Eric Fehr instead of covering Mike Green, who was his man. Green wound up getting stopped by Hank on the breakaway, and Kreider eventually wound up with the puck gaining the Caps zone. He dropped the puck back to Arron Asham, who ripped it through Braden Holtby. Holtby looked to be a bit screened on the play.

Read more »

ECQF Game Seven: Rangers at Caps in a best of one

Ben Solomon for The New York Times

Ben Solomon for The New York Times

Another day, another Game Seven for the Rangers. We all know what the Rangers need to do tonight. They need to win the special teams battle. They need to win the boards battle. They need to win the defensive battle. They need to win the high-priced real estate. They need to score. If you have a heart monitor, I’d recommend using it tonight. If you’re like me, you will need a beverage or two to get through this.

Be sure to catch up on everything you need to know for this series:

Game Six goal breakdown
Game Five goal breakdown
Game Four goal breakdown
Game Three goal breakdown
Game Two goal breakdown
Game One goal breakdown
How the Caps will match up lines
Keys for Ranger success
Special teams may decide series
Scouting Braden Holtby
Previewing the Caps systems
Caps will be a tough series for the Rangers  Read more »

Another seventh game

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The Rangers are pretty good at making us sweat. This club went to seven games twice (Ottawa, Washington) and six games once (Devils) last season. They went to seven games in 2009 (Washington). There was only one series in this time frame that didn’t go to seven games, and that was in 2011 when the Rangers lost to the Caps in five games. If the Rangers are one thing, they sure are consistent.

This series has been on par with the other seven game series the Rangers have played. They appear to have been dominated for most of the games, but have persevered due to their goaltending and defense. They have all been low scoring, although this series has seen a pair of 4-3 blips on the radar. The Rangers may be maddeningly inconsistent on the ice, but they are consistent in their ability to stay in games and make it a series, no matter the makeup of the team.

Read more »

ECQF Game Six goal breakdown: Rangers force Game Seven in Washington

This game shall forever be known as the Henrik Lundqvist show. Lundqvist stopped all 27 shots thrown at him, including 12 in the third period, en route to a shutout and a 1-0 win for the Rangers. With the win, the Rangers forced Game Seven in Washington in a series that has seen the home team hold serve in each of the first six games. Braden Holtby dueled Hank shot for shot except for a lone Derick Brassard shot found its way through in the second period. Since there was one goal today, we will get to the goal and then some random game thoughts.

Rangers 1, Caps 0

The Rangers had a good shift here, cycling the puck with Brassard, Rick Nash, and Mats Zuccarello, John Moore, and Anton Stralman on the ice. There was one occasion when Moore pinched in to keep the puck in the Caps’ zone. The puck eventually worked its way back to Moore, who fed it to Brassard in the high slot. Brassard wound up for the shot, hesitated (he later admitted he shot because the fans kept chanting “shoot the puck”), then wound up again and ripped a slap shot that deflected off Steve Oleksy and past Holtby. The goal was a credit to the entire Rangers unit on the ice, and to Nash in front, who screened Holtby. No picture for this goal, nothing came out clear. Sorry about that.

Read more »

ECQF Game Six: Do or die

COREY SIPKIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

COREY SIPKIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

The home team held serve for the fifth straight game in this series, and if the Rangers want to have any chance at a Cup, the home team will need to hold serve for a sixth straight game. We all know this series would be a tough one, but the fact that the Rangers have been absolutely dominated from a puck possession standpoint is very surprising. The Caps have gameplanned well, and now it’s time for the Rangers to answer. It’s either send it back to Washington or pack it up until next year. They came back from down 3-2 last year against Ottawa, and they can do it again.

Be sure to catch up on everything you need to know for this series:

Game Five goal breakdown
Game Four goal breakdown
Game Three goal breakdown
Game Two goal breakdown
Game One goal breakdown
How the Caps will match up lines
Keys for Ranger success
Special teams may decide series
Scouting Braden Holtby
Previewing the Caps systems
Caps will be a tough series for the Rangers

Read more »

Rangers struggling with puck possession in series

KOSTAS LYMPEROPOULOS/ CSM LANDOV

KOSTAS LYMPEROPOULOS/ CSM LANDOV

Yesterday, I found myself intrigued by a series of conversations on Twitter by Japers Rink, Corey Sznajder of Shut Down Line, and George Ays (RangerSmurf) about the complete domination by the Caps in puck possession throughout the series. Looking at BTN this morning, I see why they were in such shock by the domination. The Rangers, who were a dominant puck possession team throughout the season, are getting thoroughly out-possessed by a Caps team that wasn’t a good puck possession team in the regular season.

There is only one player on the team who is on the positive side of Corsi, and that is Mats Zuccarello at a 2.44 Corsi/ON (aka Corsi/60). Kris Newbury (1 game), Steve Eminger, and Ryan Callahan are all at 0.00 Corsi/ON, but every other Ranger is in the negative in this category. Even Carl Hagelin, who despite putting up points is struggling in the possession department (-13.25 Corsi/ON). You might say that this is due to the tough assignments, but Zuccarello is third on the team in Corsi Rel QoC (5.321), so that’s not the determining factor. Zone starts aren’t a factor either, with the top offensive guys getting the most offensive starts, but still struggling to maintain puck possession.  (All numbers at even strength.)

So what is the issue?

Read more »

Goal breakdown: Ribiero puts Rangers on the brink

This was a tough one. The Rangers played a very good game again, but came up short in overtime for the second time this series. After giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead early, Brian Boyle undid his goodwill by taking a stupid penalty by slashing Mike Ribiero. Naturally, the Caps scored on the powerplay, and eventually won it in overtime. Henrik Lundqvist stood on his head again, but Braden Holtby was also equal to the task. Both made some great stops to keep the game tied. Now it’s do or die in New York on Mother’s Day. On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Caps 0

One step in the wrong direction, goal.

One step in the wrong direction, goal.

Read more »

ECQF Game Five: Best of three

Photo Credit: Washington Post

Photo Credit: Washington Post

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a series. The Rangers held serve at home, tying the series at two games apiece in the process. Now the series shifts to Washington with the Rangers knowing they can outscore Washington if need be. That is a big mental advantage for a club that is nowhere near as skilled as the Caps. The bad news is that Marc Staal is still out, and likely will be for the remainder of the series. The Rangers have won without him, and a win tonight gives the Rangers a chance to clinch at home on Sunday.

Be sure to catch up on everything you need to know for this series:

Game Four goal breakdown
Game Three goal breakdown
Game Two goal breakdown
Game One goal breakdown
How the Caps will match up lines
Keys for Ranger success
Special teams may decide series
Scouting Braden Holtby
Previewing the Caps systems
Caps will be a tough series for the Rangers

Read more »