Game Wrap-ups

Sloppy Rangers downed by Bruins; goal breakdown

One of the rare bright spots in game two: the captain
One of the rare bright spots in game two: the captain

The Rangers lost a tough one to the Bruins in game two. Why was it tough you ask? It was tough because the Rangers were brutal in their own end. If the Bruins had capitalised on half of the odd man rushes or wide open chances they had it could have been worse. That said, the Rangers were much improved offensively. They created chances, generated some turnovers of their own and if Tuukka Rask wasn’t in strong form, this may have been a higher scoring game at both ends. The Rangers need to tighten up at the back end if they want to get on the board Tuesday. On to the goals…

Boston 1 Rangers 0; Torey Krug

The Bruins took the lead just over five minutes in as rookie defenseman Torey Krug looked anything but. Entering the Rangers zone late, the blueliner was completely open and received a cross ice pass from Nathan Horton that opened up the ice for the rookie. Receiving the puck out of stride Krug pushed the puck between his skates in spectacular style before beating Lundqvist five hole as his shot beat the despairing dive – and block attempt – from Girardi.

The goal was an example (one of countless examples in the first) where the Rangers defensive coverage was found wanting (particularly Pyatt). The Bruins had multiple odd man rushes and were able to find wide open shooters several times, resulting in quality looks in front of Lundqvist. Luckily for the Rangers, Krug’s was the only such chance the Bruins capitalised on in the first.

Rangers 1 Bruins 1; Ryan Callahan

The Rangers tying goal was classic Ryan Callahan. The Ranger captain’s strong forecheck created a turnover along the boards. Callahan didn’t give up on the puck. He beat a Bruins defenseman to the loose puck before skating in on Tuukka Rask and deking the Bruins goalie to the floor, finishing off by sliding the puck into the empty net. The goal was all hustle, desire and a sublime finish from the Rangers captain. The tying goal came at a point where the Rangers were clearly the second best team and unable to cope with the Bruins breakouts and odd man rushes.

Bruins 2 Rangers 1; Gregory Campbell

The Bruins re-took the lead early in the second and once again Torey Krug was involved. Following some more nifty footwork and stick handling, Krug then simply threw one on net where it deflected in front of Lundqvist off of Dan Girardi’s skate. Gregory Campbell (Richie’s mark) had gone to the front of the net hoping for a rebound (hockey basics) and was rewarded as he was able to chip one past Lundqvist who got caught flat footed. The goal resulted from the Rangers being outworked to the puck and along the boards by the Bruins always dangerous fourth line.

Rangers 2 Bruins 2; Rick Nash

Welcome to the post season Rick Nash. Rick Nash scored a beauty as the Rangers took advantage of a rare mistake from Zdeno Chara of the Bruins. Nash was able to blow past Zdeno Chara who had over committed poking at what he thought was a loose puck at the red line. Nash was able to put the puck on to his forehand before wristing one top right corner past Rask, from the top of the crease. Great, confident play by Nash who displayed excellent speed and strength to get past Chara.

Bruins 3 Rangers 2; Johnny Boychuck

The Bruins grabbed their third lead of the game – and for good – midway through the second period as the teams skated four on four. The goal was created by Brad Marchand who was able to turn at the boards and feed Johnny Boychuck at the blueline who was then able to skate in a few steps before releasing a shot from up high that beat a completely screened Henrik. The Rangers had Girardi covering a Bruin who had gone to the front of the net which resulted in Lundqvist not having a chance on the Boychuck shot.

Bruins 4 Rangers 2; Brad Marchand

The Rangers got burned quickly to begin the third period. Following a turnover in the Bruins zone, the Bruins quickly came the other way as Bergeron carried the puck into the Rangers zone, turning Del Zotto inside out in the process.  Del Zotto, critically, never had his stick on the ice trying to cut out the pass. Bergeron was able to throw the puck cross ice to a streaking Marchand who was able to get around Dan Girardi and put the puck home in what was almost an identical goal to the Bruins overtime winner in game one. It was a terrible, sloppy way to start the third for the Rangers.

Bruins 5 Rangers 2; Milan Lucic

The Bruins began to pour it on as they scored a fifth, late in the third. Dougie Hamilton chipped the puck forward where Lucic picks it up and carries it into the Rangers zone from Lundqvist’s left hand side. As Lucic tried to pass it across the crease it comes back to him off a body and he’s able to tap it home in to the empty net to the right of Lundqvist, who was down and out of the play.

It was poor play all round from the Rangers; from Brassard’s defensive positioning to Girardi once again taking himself out of the play by sliding down, in attempt to block the pass. It was another tough goal for Lundqvist to take, as he was let down again by the defense in front of him.

Final thoughts

Where do you start? Lundqvist gave up five goals and yet played relatively well, including several highlight reel saves such as the one on a Jagr point blank chance. The Rangers defense didn’t turn up; abandoning coverage assignments, failing to clear the crease and generally failing to support their goalie. The Rangers powerplay continues to fire blanks although it did generate some chances and showed improved movement. However, at this stage of the season you need your powerplay to convert. The Rangers cannot play worse defensively which does offer some semblance of hope entering game three.

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  • Girardi I mean WOW. First goal standing in no mans land. I think he may have defelected it in. Second goal girardi makes some half ass effort to block the shot when henrik clearly has it and leads to easy rebound goal. Third goal girardi completely screening hank. And fourth and fifth same story.

    Hank obivously would like some goals back in this series, but boston had another 4 or 5 rushes that should have been goals. Pretty insane how many chances they had, especially in third.

    After callahans goal i would say we controlled the game from that goal up until the final 5 of the second. However, we found ourselves down 3-2 even though we had 12 takeaways to their one. Wont win games doing that. Bruins just feast on any defensive coverage mistakes.

    And my final comment is about Torts. His comments about Hagelin prior to the game are an utter embarrassment and he has a lot of nerve to call out a player in that way. I am also glad NBC was destroying torts all game for his comments. News flash Torts, no matter who YOU send out there on the PP isnt getting the job done. SO is it that the entire rangers team is bad on the PP or is it the system? Torts obviously takes no responsibility for it, but throws his player under the bus.

    We have come down from 2-0 just 1 week ago, but this isnt the gutless caps. I still have faith, but we are drawing penalties and not doing anything about them. PPs are just dead time.

    • I think you need to look at those Haggs comments like this: Said he sucked on the power play, liked the rest of his game and that he was an important player on the team. He then put him in for a bit of the power play and he would have been in for more, and I think most saw that coming (which is probably the main reason NBC was harping on it…they could throw Torts under the bus if they needed to, but when he inevitably came in on the PP they had another story they could praise and harp on…their typical manufactured storyline BS).

      Haggs played with a fire under his ass most of that game and looked great. I think Torts planned on switching up the PP (which looked good on the last couple, wish they would actually produce though). He had planned on putting in Haggs and gave him a nod.

      I could see why people dislike it as a motivational tactic, but it works if you have a good relationship with your players.

    • Agree totally about Torts, this man needs to go! I wholeheartedly back the players and hope they can win this in spite of having Mr. Tortorella as their representative behind the bench.

    • Evan. Do me a favor and listen to a Tortorella radio interview with Michael Kay or Don LeGreca. ESPN NY website should have archives. Also, watch MSG’s Behind the Bench.

      Tortorella is much more than his Press Conferences.

      • Haha much more than his pressers? Do you know the man?

        I actually like most of torts pressers and I loved last year that he gave the media nothing. But to call someone out for their play on the PP this season is an absolute joke. If you and Vinny up top cant see that then i dont know what to tell you. Maybe torts should take a look at himself and say “wow my coaching staff and I have really botched this up” What are the rangers now 2 for 40?

        THe reason i was disgusted with the comment is the fact that the team as a whole has been awful on the PP and torts takes no responsibility for it. How can you call out ONE player for their PP play? It is a joke

        Haggy has been creating chaos all playoffs and using his speed effectively. motivational tactic by torts? Give me a break

        I still think we can come back, but the lack of a PP makes it really hard

        • He wasn’t blaming Haggs for the power play. He was asked about power play issues and putting him on it. He was saying why he hasn’t been on it, not saying he was the reason it sucks. He basically said he was too fast for the other players and it was out of sync with him.

          I agree the PP has to be better. It has it moments but needs consistency. One second there is good puck movement and good chances are created, the next they can’t seem to even get it into the O-zone.

          Well, we both agree the PP sucks. Although it’s because we both have eyes.

      • And listen to the full interview of Torts’ comments on the topic of Hagelin & the PP for context. To me, very dissimilar to the media hype/spin following his presser.

      • Agree with Chris F. Torts may be short with the media for his post games pressers, but his post practice interviews, radio interviews, and Behind The Bench interviews are always insightful and fair.

  • Not the defense so much when Girardi is on the ice for all 5 goals and MDZ for four of them. I was thinking when it was 1-0 that Torts should nail Girardi to the bench – his worst game as a Ranger think.

    Great pass from MZA on the Nash goal!

  • The Bruins rookie d-men could be had? They look pretty darn good to me! Dan had a rough game, and Hank, well I won’t go there, to many people might jump off of a building with what I’m thinking.

    To sum up the game in one word, “AWFUL”!!!!!

    I agree with Evan, over the course of Tort’s time here, Gabby, Richards, Nash, and the list goes on, and no success with the PP. When will he bear some responsibility for his short comings????? I heard the entire quote from him, reletive to Hags, it’s on the Rangers web site, and I agree, you don’t put people down, in public like this. I had issues with the same thing earlier in the year, I’m sorry but he acts like he sufers from the little man syndrom! Maybe we should call him Napolian.

    • thank you walt for a sensible reaction to my post. tired of people apologizing for torts when he makes clear mistakes and takes no responsibility

  • Well it looks like the king will let this team down again. This guy is a great regular season goalie, but can’t last more than one or two rounds. At this point in his career he can’t come chose to the post season record as the real king (Marty Brodeur). Just think with the talent this team has had over the last 5 or so years, how many cups this team would have won with him between the posts.

    Anyone who thinks this team has the guts to come back again down 2 is dead wrong. With an idiot for a head coach they have no chance. Maybe next year they can offer someone like Crosby all the money in the world to enter the circus. It’s so great as a Devils fan to watch this team crumble. Let the cfrying begin.

    • haha what an absolutely ridiculous post. Henrik last year went 10-10 in the playoffs with a 1.86 GAA. I dont know what else you need from your goalie when your offense does nothing.

      You act as if henrik is the reason they did not win the previous years. You are literally out of your mind. Tonight the first goal was the only one i can say he should have had. 2-5 were defensive coverage blunders of epic proportions.

      Before last year the devils i dont think had won a playoff series in 5-6 years. By your comments i would expect brodeur to be taking his teams far every year.

      And the rangers offense is awful year in and year out. How about you talk about the fact the coach doesnt use all this talent to make a functioning PP. There is no goalie that would have led the rangers further given how awful our offense has been. I am literally baffled by your post

      • Don’t know what the hell is happening, but I will again have to agree with Evan here. People’s memories are short or they are just spoiled.

      • Also his grasp of concepts like the salary cap is outstanding. Didn’t even get past the first line before replying before and it’s just a troll. Probably bored because he couldn’t get a ride through a bridge or tunnel into Manhattan with his greaseball buddies. Sorry NYR fans living in Jersey, just wanted to throw a cheap shot.

    • Steve

      Hank has out played the dough boy head to head too many times for you to say what your saying. We got beat last year from wearing the 3 lines down, coaching issue, not goalie issue. By the way, where are the Devils right now choking their collective chickens???

  • Here we are again. Rangers not making it easy on themselves. Dan Girardi saying the Rangers have to play better in game 2 hands down, and playing maybe his worst game of his playoff career. Ranger’s D getting outplayed by 3 rookie Bruins Dmen.
    I liked this matchup if the Rangers played their game, but once again, they can’t win on the road and have put themselves in a situation where where they have to be perfect at home. Never easy with this team. Lundquist deserves better.

  • The Rangers D was very porous and soft today. The forwards were not much better not picking up their back check assignments. Defence first boys.

  • Boston played well….our D took the night off….simple as that…..things can change quickly so let’s see what our boys are made if Tuesday night!
    Let’s Go Rangers

  • Lets wait for game 3 and see if they respond. Then lets pass judgement.

    If the Bruins sweep us torts is gone. And so is Richards.

  • Might be time to reunite McD and Girardi. The Rangers should be taking advantage of the young Bruins D but they couldn’t get out of their own way today.

  • If you compare the Knick Coach Woodson when everyone was getting on his players, he stood up and took the blame. Torts meanwhile was throwing daggers. While the play on the ice is indeed the players, preparation is not. The PP is a good example of this. Torts has done nothing to improve this and this may be the single most important factor in the need to dismess him.

  • Dave, Suit & co.

    Thoughts on making Richards a healthy scratch? I would very much prefer Newbury to slot in for the 4th line center instead of him. More size and speed playing with Krieder and Asham would give us a big physical 4th line.

    Simply put- Richards hasn’t been bringing anything to the table lately (namely PP). Newbury won’t help that situation out at all, but he could use his size and speed on the forecheck to pressure the B’s defencemen. He has a physical element to his game which Richards does not.

    Anyone with me? Could you guys give us a post of any line up changes, tweaking of defense pairings, etc. which you’d make for the next 2 games at home?

    • The issue isn’t the offense (believe it or not). It’s the defense. It’s hard to generate consistent offense when the Bruins are outworking the defense (not just the blue liners, I mean the Rangers on defense as a whole).

      Newbury doesn’t help this. He hurts it actually. The issue is Marc Staal. They need him.

      • Don’t you think reverting to the old D combinations would help a lot? The simple familiarity of McD-Girardi and MDZ-Stralman will help even in the absence of anything else. However, while Girardi makes many fine plays, he is better with a partner who can cover for him (McD or Staal) than one he has to cover for. Plus Stralman has been so good this postseason that Tortorella’s reason for breaking up his top pair doesn’t make sense.

    • Hatrick

      I agree with your suggestion. Unlike Dave, if it’s defense, Richards is a liability in that area as well, so why not try out Newbury. Also if you recall, Kreider had some good chemistry with him at the whale!!

  • I can’t disagree that Staal would have more of an impact than substituting Newbs for Richie. But I do think that the two moves are mutually exclusive to some extent.

    Getting out of our zone successfully is one thing. A separate issue with yesterday’s game was establishing a consistent forecheck- which I believe Newbury would do better than Richards. Too many times yesterday, the Bruins D were able to move the puck up ice too easily. Increased pressure would stifle that element of the game and allow us to spend more time in the offensive zone. It would make us miss Marc’s presence a bit less than when we get pinned in our own zone.

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