Game Wrap-ups

Goal breakdown: Senators at Rangers

The Senators played the Rangers tough, as per usual. After the Sens opened up a 2-0 lead, the Rangers showed their grittiness and their willingness to fight back as they tied the game before the first period ended. But in the end, the Sens showed why they are still a playoff team despite being without three of their top players.  On to the goals:

Lady luck is mean sometimes.
Lady luck is mean sometimes.

Senators 1, Rangers 0

Regardless of the Rangers inability to control the puck following Daniel Alfredsson’s original shot, this goal is mostly just unlucky. Zack Smith circles back with Alfredsson after he regains possession of the puck, and eventually circles to the high slot. He gets a step on Derek Stepan, which is all he needs when Sergei Gonchar takes his slow wrister. Henrik Lundqvist had a clear lane, and was poised to stop the puck. Then luck took over, and the puck bounced awkwardly on the ice and over Lundqvist’s pad. Stepan doesn’t get beat by much, but it was enough to cause a luck change.

Hank looks like he's having trouble seeing the shot.
Hank looks like he’s having trouble seeing the shot.

Senators 2, Rangers 0

After Marian Gaborik takes an offensive zone penalty, the Senators go to work on the powerplay and work the puck from behind the net to the corner. Patrick Wiercioch eventually takes a slap shot from the point, and from the picture above, you can see Darroll Powe, Milan Michalek, and Ryan McDonagh are all in the shooting lane. This one just finds a hole between everyone and beats Hank. It looks like Hank is screened, but it’s tough to say whether he should have had it. Regardless of if he should have saved that, he definitely wants that back.

Gryba's stick on the puck, lucky bounce for Nash.
Gryba’s stick on the puck, lucky bounce for Nash.

Rangers 1, Senators 2

Honestly, there’s not much to break down here. Rick Nash eventually takes a pass from Michael Del Zotto, skates into the zone, and takes a soft wrist shot. The shot takes an unlucky bounce off Eric Gryba’s stick and skips past Robin Lehner. This is luck evening out after the first Senators’ goal.

Perfect coverage by Methot, good coverage by Smith. Great shot.
Perfect coverage by Methot, good coverage by Smith. Great shot.

Rangers 2, Senators 2

Carl Hagelin makes this goal happen for a full 200 feet. First, he chips the puck past Gonchar to create a rush opportunity with Marc Methot back. Methot plays the rush perfectly, cutting off the angle between Hagelin and the net. Richards is Smith’s man, but he gives him a little bit of room to maneuver. This isn’t necessarily bad coverage, but I’m sure Smith would like to be a little tighter on Richards. Hagelin drops the puck perfectly on Richards’ tape, and he rips a perfect shot over Lehner. Smith was a little off on the coverage, but Hagelin chipping the puck past Gonchar made this goal happen. It also helps that Lehner played the angle incredibly poorly.

Lots of point room, no tie up by MDZ.
Lots of point room, no tie up by MDZ.

Senators 3, Rangers 2

This goal is one that Lundqvist definitely wants back. The Sens maintained decent pressure for a few shifts, and the puck eventually cycles to Gryba for a point shot (which the Rangers were giving up all night). The shot hits Hank directly in the chest, and Del Zotto didn’t tie up Jakob Silfverberg properly, giving him the easy rebound put-back. While this goal is because of a bad rebound, I believe this goal is avoidable if the Rangers stop allowing those point shots so often. Suit will disagree with me here, but the Rangers play a much more passive collapsing box than other teams, and they just give up that point way too much.

The loss broke the Rangers four game winning streak. The troubling aspect here is that the Rangers can’t seem to beat top-eight teams. This team is still a playoff-bound team, but their inability to beat playoff teams is beginning to worry me.

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  • The Rangers were physically out-manned in the second half of the 3rd. Didn’t have the legs the Senators had. That lost them the game tonight.

  • John Mitchell scored his 8th goal of the year in a win over Chicago. He has more goals than Kopitar, Zetterberg, St. Louis, Jamie Benn, Mike Richards, Bobby Ryan, Lecavalier, Kessel, Statsny, Malkin and a ton of orhers. I think we should have kept him. Especially considering that he has more goals than Cally, Hags, and majority of the NYR.

    • Please tell me you don’t think John Mitchell is better than any of those players you mentioned.

      While I agree we should have kept him, he wouldn’t have been kept to score goals. He would have been kept so we wouldn’t have to play Michael Haley or Stu Bickel at forward.

      • Your right hes not better than the players i mentioned. Im not sure who his linemates are but im sure that that has a big part in his production. To be honest, id have him over Boyle. Mitchell is cheaper, consistent and has offensive and defensive abilities. Now lets say he did resign with the Rangers, He could be the third line center that we need. Also that leaves soneone to be a healthy scratch, that player being JT Miller. Miller could stay in the minors and let the kid develop more or Richards should be bought out/and or traded. Stepan has done a trenendous job this season. Your top 3 centers would be Stepan, Miller and Mitchell. These guys are all still young. Sometimes expensive players are the way to go. Im not going to lie but id take Stepan, Miller and Mitchell over Richards, Stepan and Miller.

      • I think his point is that he could be used on the fourth line, something I’m inclined to agree with. The Rangers depth at forward has been exploited all year.

  • Rangers got lucky they scored those two goals they did. Senators had pretty much perfect coverage on the two goals.

    I’m going to chalk this loss up to the Rangers coming in on a back to back, and playing 3 in 4 nights. I was hoping they could have hung on to get a point out of this game, but everyone saw the Sens 3rd goal coming.

    Onto the next one. Let’s hope they come out strong against Washington.

  • Mitchell would only be getting 5 min a nite with Torts . Enough with 3 in 4 and b to b they need to get into better shape . Bichel must have a tape of Torts he dosen,t want anyone to see , only thing i can think of to why he is playing any mins at all BR is back he did score but we lost . Miller will start to score soon i hope . Would love to see Hags Miller and Kreider at some point .

    • Not entirely true, Mitchell got a lot of ice time during the playoffs. His skating is certainly better than Bickel, who gets 7 minutes at fourth line forward.

  • I simply don’t think the Rangers will win anything with Tortorella . He has to go. His act has worn thin on me.

  • The negativity is just plain comical. It seems people just dont understand that this shortened season is somewhat of a joke, a hot or cold start has actually meaning this season which is absurd.

    Also the fact that they had a sizable amount of turnover from last year and it just takes time for things to gel. One thing is for sure, as constructed, last years team was not winning a cup. I’ve been saying for a while that they heavily overachieved and moves needed to be made and still do but lets hold off judgement till after the playoffs.

    • Every team in the NHL has had the same time to go thru the same thing. The Blackhawks had as much turnover as anyone. And its not effecting them one bit. The problem with the Rangers is the same things we saw last year and the year before that. Even when all things are going right We still struggle to beat teams.

      This team plays allmost every game on the edge of losing. And that does wear thin on teams. How many nights can you play all 60 min. On the edge like the Rangers do???

      Even crappy teams win a laugher once in awhile.

  • ” I believe this goal is avoidable if the Rangers stop allowing those point shots so often. Suit will disagree with me here, but the Rangers play a much more passive collapsing box than other teams, and they just give up that point way too much.”

    This is exactly the same way they played last year, and then ended up at the top of the league. Now I believe that was as much a combination of solid luck and all-world goaltending, but their playing style has not changed.

    • It is also the exact same way they played when they rattled off 3 wins in 5 nights. Didn’t hear any complaints then.

      Don’t hear any boos when Cally blocks a shot and clears the puck out of dangerous ice either.

      • We cant boo everything But the way we block shots night in and night out has taken its toll on this team and will continue to do so.

        We wouldnt have to block so many shots if they attacked the puck a bit more

  • I agree with you Dave…we should look to tweak D-zone coverage to get more pressure on the points and generate more odd-man rushes for our big guns.

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