Game Wrap-ups

Rangers/Bolts Post Game Thoughts

This was an interesting game to watch for sure. The Rangers dominated the first period, got dominated in the second, and then both teams played a relatively even third. Both teams exchanged short handed goals, but the Lightning’s shorty was a damaging one as it came in the final two minutes of regulation. The Rangers lost 3-2 in the shootout, but at least they got a point.

Offense

  • Let’s start with the hot topic: Artem Anisimov’s goal. It was a beauty of a short handed goal, but then Anisimov showboated a bit, and Vinny Lecavalier took offense. To be fair, I would have too. Anisimov showboated, and it almost jumpstarted the Bolts. Great goal, bad idea. More on the penalties called on this below.
  • Ryan Callahan does everything for this team. He stand in front of the net, he circles around, he plays the body, he just does everything. His goal was a softie by Mathieu Garon, but he got it up over his shoulder. What a player.
  • There was a Brandon Dubinsky sighting this game. Before the Anisimov goal, Dubinsky had a great PK shift where he essentially killed 30 seconds of the penalty in the offensive zone. He’s been inconsistent, but when he’s on, he’s on.
  • The Rangers powerplay looked good. They got shots on net, moved the puck well, and got a goal. However, they still don’t move around as much as one would hope.
  • Derek Stepan has been tremendous, and perhaps the most improved aspect of his game is the one that is most overlooked: his face offs. He has been just fantastic in the circle, and tonight was no different.
  • An example when speed kills: Carl Hagelin beating out the icing call in the second period after John Mitchell dumps it in. That simple play opens up a lot of opportunities for the offense. If he can get two more players that can skate with him on his line, they can be extremely dangerous.

Defense/Goaltending

  • Ryan McDonagh sure did have a rough second period. That giveaway that led to the Ryan Malone goal was atrocious. And then he took a penalty 30 seconds later. McDonagh was trending on Twitter because of it, and not in a good way.
  • Michael Del Zotto had a strong game. He made one stupid pass in the second period, but his physical play and his willingness to stick up for Henrik Lundqvist made me forget about it. Dominic Moore was slashing Hank all night, and MDZ defended him twice. He has really picked up his game. However, this was the second game in a row where he missed the net and the puck went all the way around and out of the zone. That needs to stop.
  • Steve Eminger had a strong game, as did Jeff Woywitka and Anton Stralman. The Rangers won’t survive with those three in the starting lineup every night, but they sure did play well tonight.
  • Dan Girardi is a beast. I think he took a shot to the sack in the third period and he still got up.
  • The entire Rangers team did a great job shutting down Steven Stamkos.
  • Hank needs to stop handling the puck. Seriously. He’s just not good at it.
  • I believe that the Dom Moore goal was a bit of a softie as well, but it’s tough to gauge. Yes, it was deflected, but it was deflected at the point of release, so it didn’t really change directions.

Opposition/Officiating

  • The refs dropped the ball on that scrum after the Anisimov goal. Steve Downie jumped off the bench, and should have received a game misconduct, not a misconduct. That will likely be reviewed by the league, it’s in the rule book. Expect Downie to get 10 games and the Bolts to get a $10,000 fine, as per the rule book.
  • The Rangers are really lucking out when it comes to timing of their games. They have missed a lot of star players out with injuries, and tonight was no different. The Bolts were without Martin St. Louis tonight, and may be without him for a while.
  • The Bolts play a different style of game when one of their elite talents is out. They played more of a trap and counterattack game than their usual forecheck/finesse style. Good adjustment.
  • Garon played a good game, but the Rangers really shut down the Bolts all night. The Cally goal was a softie, but other than that Garon played well. He single handedly kept the Bolts from losing in OT.
  • I hate the shootout. Even if the Rangers won, I hate the shootout.
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22 Comments

  1. I loved Moore when he played for the Rangers. Now I hate him with a passion. He kills the Rangers. Not just this game. EVERY game! It’s really annoying!

    1. It seems to be a minor curse that ex-Rangers play their best games against the Rangers. Moore, Zherdev, Gomez, Parenteau, etc. I agree, it’s really annoying.

  2. Dan “I’ve got Balls of Steel” Girardi.

    Not surprised considering he played most of last year with broken testicles.

  3. Tough to see the game slip away late. Lundqvist kept them in it with some nice saves in the second.

    Positives – Girardi continuing to play tough as nails. Eminger did well with increased minutes. Also a great all-around game from the Captain.

    Not a good game from McDonagh but I’m willing to let it go with how well he’s played lately.

  4. The reffs in this game as well as Stamkos and Downee should all be fined and susspended for what happend. And what kind of sport are we now watching when a bunch of pussies cant take a little taunting??? The NHL has become a bleeping joke of a sport. And at this rate no one that watched this sport while the Islanders were winning cups. Will be able to take this anymore. IT MAKES ME SICK…

    And this team has got to have its stars step up. We are paying Cally about 4 mill while 7 million dollar players are getting only 3 shots on goal. And he is getting 5 and 6????

    1. where were u when they won 7 ina row and 5 in a row? richards has 7 game pt streak. the real problem is that the coach has no faith in half his team. either get rid of him or the bottom 6.

      1. I don’t get the comment about Torts not having faith. Especially in the context of the game last night. Or in the context of mentioning the streaks. Especially not in the context of the streaks.

      2. Are you kidding Me Agent Smith??? So your saying its okay For your star players. To only get 2 to 3 shots on goal a game on average? That shows me a major lack of effort on their part….

        1. 3 shots on goal per game is 246 for a season. 27 players in the entire NHL hit that total last year, 29 the year before. So basically 1 per team.

          2 SOG per is 164. 144 hit that total, 149 the year before. About 5 per team.

          So yes, 2-3 SOG per game is perfectly acceptable. 3 is downright outstanding over the course of the year.

          1. Not when Cally is standing them up on most nights. Thats the point Im trying to get acros here.

            1. Gabby has more shots and more goals. Richards has less shots, but is more efficient.

              The takeaway is its great to have both types of players.

  5. I would like to see Hagelin play left wing on the 2nd line, alongside Richards and Callahan. In addition to this being very beneficial for Hagelin’s development, I think that line would become even more productive than it already is. It would further compliment the third line with Boyle and Mitchell, and solidify that line as more of a forechecking line.

  6. I hate to do it, but I have to call out Dubinsky on the Dom Moore goal. Just prior to entering the zone Moore skated right between the two defensemen retreating and Dubs trailing behind. It would have been an easy poke check to disrupt the play, and instead Dubinsky just cruised along staring, stick on the ice. Watch the replay, it was a freaking lazy play. Moore skated through completely uncontested.

    1. Dubi is at fault there as is McDonagh, who reached for the puck instead of playing the body. Hell I’d even question Hank’s positioning on that one too. Lots of blame to go around for that goal.

      McD had a rough couple of games recently, hopefully he can battle back.

  7. “He has been just fantastic in the circle, and tonight was no different.”

    C’mon Dave, you’re better than this kind of hyperbole. He’s still very not good. He is better than the horrific he was last year, but ‘fantastic’ is not 44.5%. Over the last couple games he’s trending up again, which is great, but he spent all of November just as bad as he was last year.

    The biggest trend I see is in usage. When Tortorella limits his faceoff exposure/picks his spots with Stepan, Step is much, much better. In games where he’s taking 10+ faceoffs, he’s down around 40% still.

  8. To the people who are on McD for his mistake last night, hay the kid technically is still a rookie, he hasn’t completed a full season, even counting last years games!

    Has anyone thought about this? Last year Hank was the man in shoot outs, this year he doesn’t seem the same. If I’m not mistaken, he has lost three, and won only one. I’m not coming down on him please, but he just doesn’t seem the same.

    Artie maybe went a bit too far, I’m not sure, but in so doing he lit a fire under the ass’s of the Bolts, and turned the game around big time. Their entire team, on ice, went after him like a bull charging a red flag. That also could have been an over-reaction on their part. Vinny came after Artie, and that was the spark the team needed.

    As for Downey, he is a punk who should have been sent to the locker room, coming off the bench the way he did. One of the postings was right, what would have happened if that were Avery???

    1. Part of the problem has to be that last year we usually had Christensen, Wolski and MZA, each of whom is better at shootouts than anyone on the ice last night except maybe Richards. Mitchell has good numbers, but probably against lower quality goalies. If your team scored twice in the shootout, which we did many times last year, you had an enormous advantage and it made Hank look especially good. This year, not so much.

  9. Two other items I failed to mention:

    St Louis missed out on playing his 500th game in a row. That is too bad, he is a class guy.

    When McD was hit late in the game, by Malon, he came up holding his head, man that scared the crap out on me, I thought we were going to lose he like Sauer!!!!!

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