Game Wrap-ups

Goal breakdown: Capitals at Rangers

The Rangers took it to the Caps offensively in this game, tallying a whopping 20 shots in the first period alone. The Rangers eventually finished with 40 shots on goal. Braden Holtby was the only reason why this game wasn’t 6-1 or 7-1. He made several outstanding saves from point-blank range. The Rangers were able to erase a 1-0 deficit on goals by Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan, with Stepan’s coming on the Rangers’ fourth powerplay of the game.

On to the goals:

Weak side D is Gaborik's man.
Weak side D is Gaborik’s man.

Caps 1, Rangers 0

This goal is the result of an overall defensive breakdown. First, on the Eric Fehr chance, J.T. Miller missed the trailer (Fehr), and the Rangers dodged a bullet –albeit for about 10 seconds– when Fehr hit the post. After the Caps regained possession, the puck worked its way to the point and Mike Ribeiro. In this case, Ribeiro is Brad Richards’ assignment, but Miller already covering the point as his man was literally next to Ribeiro. Where the Rangers faltered was when Gaborik cheated over to Ribeiro, leaving John Carlson wide open on the weak side. Ribeiro is too good of a passer to miss that target, and all Carlson had to do was find the open twine.

Hockey happens, Rangers executed well.
Hockey happens, Rangers executed well.

Rangers 1, Caps 1

Sometimes, hockey happens. After Ryan McDonagh kept the zone and fired the puck behind the net, the combination of Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin worked the puck to Rick Nash. Nash found McDonagh at the point as Hagelin made his way to the front of the net. From the picture above, you can see that Tom Poti has Hagelin marked and is on him. But McDonagh made a perfect pass out to Hagelin for the easy tip-in. You can argue that Poti didn’t work the body, but sometimes, hockey happens. Perfect execution.

Tic tac toe.
Tic tac toe.

Rangers 2, Caps 1

This goal was just utter perfection on the powerplay. It starts with Richards winning the face off, and the Rangers powerplay rotation going to work. Eventually, Nash works the puck back to Richards, who finds Michael Del Zotto at the top of the circle.  Derek Stepan, who was at the wing on the face off, snuck in at the back door, where John Carlson did not pick him up in time. A perfect pass from MDZ was all it took for the easy tap-in. Tic tac toe.

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  1. I like both goals. The Rangers need to do more movement and create plays like they did on Stepan’s goal. It was executed perfectly and looks like Ovi-Backstrom, Malkin/Crosby type of plays. And the puck movement was very quick will throw off the defenders

    1. Set plays like this are run more often than you think. The problem is that the Rangers rarely win a face off as cleanly as they did, which is what they needed for that play.

  2. I thought Nash’s pass was on the first goal was perfect. I was at the game and was sitting on the opposite side where Nash was a few rows up. So I saw the play develop.

    I thought Nash was simply going to make the pass to Del Zotto along the wall but he took the riskier and harder pass to make down to McDonagh. Not too many players on the Rangers would even think about doing that I feel like, nor do some probably even have the vision to do that. McD’s shot pass was perfect as well. Just a great goal all around.

    1. That’s why Nash is a game changer. He creates that 3rd or 4th option that we usually don’t think about or see.

  3. The Rangers kept coming all night long, great to see. I have to admit that Boyle handed out some beautiful body checks last night, it’s about time! Maybe the sitting gave him plenty to think about.

    Hags has been nothing short of terrific, and the pass from McD was out of this world.

  4. Nash is only going to get better over time, i believe he is still becoming acclimated to the system but is growing and making everyone around him

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