Game Wrap-ups

Goal breakdown: Lundqvist steals one, Rangers make it seven of eight points

The second period was the period where the Rangers finally broke through on Dan Ellis, scoring two goals in 30 seconds –one on the powerplay– and adding another powerplay goal 10 minutes later. Those three goals were more than enough for the Rangers, as Henrik Lundqvist was spectacular, especially in the closing minute of the second period. Hank eventually got beat in the third, but he was absolutely stellar in this game, making 48 saves in the process. He stole this for the Rangers, and this is the perfect time for him to begin doing so. On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Canes 0

3 of 4 guys chasing Richards.
3 of 4 guys chasing Richards.

With the Rangers on the powerplay, Ryane Clowe made a good play to stay onside after Brad Richards’ pass was a bit behind him on the rush. Once in the zone, Clowe worked the puck deep to the corner to Richards. Richards drew Jamie McBain, Patrick Dwyer, and Jay Harrison to him. When one guy can draw three penalty killers, it means there’s only one guys left, meaning someone is open. Richards found Derek Stepan in front all alone for the goal.

Rangers 2, Canes 0


Just a whole lotta fail.
Just a whole lotta fail.

This was just a silly play. Rick Nash forechecked and forced Dan Ellis –who was in no man’s land– to turn the puck over behind the net. Nash got the puck to Ryan Callahan for the empty net goal. The weird thing about this goal was that both Joe Corvo and Eric Staal appeared to have opportunities to intercept the pass to Cally, but neither did.

Rangers 3, Canes 0

Hockey 101: Drive to the empty space.
Hockey 101: Drive to the empty space.

Another powerplay goal? Yup. Another powerplay goal. For the second straight powerplay, the Rangers had great puck movement. Once the Rangers gained the zone, Nash drew attention to himself before making a nice pass to Mats Zuccarello. Zucc faked a shot, and just waited for Nash to get to the high slot. Zucc hit him with a pass there, and Nash just waited, turned, and shot it past Ellis.

Canes 1, Rangers 3

Four guys back, Canes still manage to score.
Four guys back, Canes still manage to score.

This one began with a Brian Boyle turnover at the Canes blue line, as Jeff Skinner was able to get his stick on the errant pass and transition it into a rush up the ice. After the Canes gained the zone, the Rangers weren’t exactly outnumbered. They had four guys back on the three guys (Staal, Skinner, Zac Dalpe), but Dalpe found open space between Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, and Carl Hagelin. Dalpe was Hagelin’s man in this scenario, and you’d like to see a better backcheck there. But that said, those were two perfect passes and a great shot by Dalpe. Credit Dalpe for cutting to open ice and putting himself in a position to shoot.

Rangers 4, Canes 1

Brian Boyle empty-netter. He did a good job forechecking, and eventually caused Marc-Andre Bergeron to turn the puck over right in front of his own empty net. Boyle just tapped it in.

These were two huge points for the Rangers. The Islanders won, the Leafs won (beating the Devils in the process), the Caps won, and the Jets won. The Rangers avoided the drama of losing when every other team competing with them for the final playoff spots won. The win gives the Rangers a 3-0-1 record in March, taking and seven points out of eight in the process.

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  • Can try catch Ottowa and take that 6th seed? That might be the crown jewel of the East race right now since that first roun matchup with Winnepeg looks really good.

  • Lets go for 9/11 points. Is Lundqvist gonna play all of the remaining games? It would make sense as they are fighting with many other teams for the 8th seed.

  • Perfect time of the season for the team to get hot, and Hank start playing like the Hank of old. Good game!

    With the 2 PP goals tonight, that makes five in the last three games!!

  • 49 shots and 48 saves. I love what i am seeing from this team since the trade, but it is becoming more and more apparent how big of a FARCE torts’ “DEFENSIVE” system is. Henrik is on the verge of back to back vezina trophies and no one even realizes it. I am DISGUSTED by the amount of posts I have seen this year blaming henrik for letting in soft goals. Henrik did not play for almost 8 months prior to this season, so clearly he was out of his rhythm in the first 1-2 months. Is it his fault Torts does not coach offense?

    However, what is funny is that henrik still has faced nearly 900 shots, good for second best in the nhl, and torts supposedly has some amazing defensive system. Henrik makes torts look good. Lets NOT FORGET THAT

    • Evan

      Talking about stopping 48 of 49 shots. Hank was interviewed, and made mention of the one that he didn’t get. The mind of a fighter, give me that one back!!! He stole the show last night.

    • Evan,

      The Rangers defense shut-down the high-powered Penguins offense two games in a row. Yes, they were off last night and allowed Lundqvist to be peppered with far too many shots, but every team has it’s off nights. Rangers still walk away with another 2 points.

      Number of shots doesn’t always tell the whole story; and Torts’ system forces alot of shots to the outside, low quality shots. HE also demands aggressive back-checking, which has saved odd man rushes on a number of occasions. The system is sound from a defensive perspective, regardless of last night. The boys were just tired coming off Friday night’s game in Pittsburgh and then flying in to Raleigh. They got in at 1am. It happens.

    • Evan, you had me up until Torts. I’m with Suit that the Torts bashing is starting to get out of hand.

      1. Torts system is not a “defensive” system. It is an aggressive forechecking scheme and a defensive game plan built around keeping the opposition to the outside.

      2. If you’ve read this blog since I started writing here, you know how much faith I have in Hank. However, it was a huge mistake for him not to play during the lockout. He found his rhythm far too late and could have been stealing games at the beginning when they really needed to string some wins together.

      3. Torts actually explained very well why he doesn’t “coach” offense. This game moves far too fast for hundreds of little set plays. You give the players a framework to execute in the offensive zone and let their creativity take over. The difference we are currently seeing in execution is a newfound willingness to get physical on the forecheck and open up space.

      • Could we get maybe 24 hours without the “execute Tortorella” drivel? Honest to God, guys. When the team is going poorly, it’s the coach’s system to blame. When the team is going well, it’s the players overcoming it. Doesn’t anyone get tired of typing this stuff? Please- get out of the house and enjoy the spring weather. Enjoy the hot streak while we can. Sheesh.

      • On point, Justin.

        Stan Fischler, Sam Rosen/JD, Dave Maloney or Ron Duguay, hell even Bob and Doug MacKenzie couldn’t have contextualized Tort’s/Mike Sullivan’s template any better.

  • Henrik is going to win the vezina and he is playing at the same level he was last year. The team lives and dies by him. He should honestly win MVP because without him this year we would have been in the bottom 5 in the NHL this year Bottom line, he makes our coach look good, especially when he is on fire like right now.

  • I’m sorry, but Hank has not been Vezina worthy this season. Last night, absolutely, but not throughout the season. He won the Vezina last year and has yet to record a shutout this season. He’d have to absolutely destroy the competition to be awarded twice in a row. And he hasn’t. And that’s fine. He’s had a solid year, and is getting hot at the right time.

    As Rangers fans, it’s ok to be happy with what the players do for the team without always exaggerating their play and calling for trophies. I understand the desire to see these guys, as Rangers, be recognized by the League. There is pride involved. But WE should have enough respect for the league and all its players to give honest credit where it’s due, when it’s not a Ranger deserving.

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