Game Wrap-ups

Hank steals one in Dallas

Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images
Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images

On Tuesday night, the Ranger world was turned upside down when Tuukka Rask came to New York and stole one for Boston. It was one of the only times I can remember that an opposing goalie stole a game. Luck favored the Rangers this time around, as Henrik Lundqvist completely stole this game in Dallas. Hank made 41 saves as the Rangers finally scored even strength goals (first time in three games) to get them over the hump of this goal scoring drought.

The Rangers were just dominated from start to finish, but Hank stood tall and kept them in the game. They capitalized on a pair of defensive lapses in a 37 second span early in the third to take the lead for good.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Stars 0

Blurry, but you can see the open ice.
Blurry, but you can see the open ice.

Hank created this goal with an absolute beauty of a pass to Ryan Callahan at the far blue line, catching Dallas in a line change. Cally simply flipped it to Rick Nash for the breakaway goal on the powerplay. A sure-fire way to get a goal is to catch the opposition in a line change.

Stars 1, Rangers 1

Again blurry, but you can still see the open ice.
Again blurry, but you can still see the open ice.

This isn’t really a breakdown on the penalty kill, just a matter of being down a man. The box PK slide over to the near side boards, which is expected since the Stars had the majority of their men on the near side. Sergei Gonchar just hit Stephane Robidas on the weak side, who ripped a shot that deflected off Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh past Hank.

Rangers 2, Stars 1

Out numbered, still scores. Please give Kreider open shots.
Out numbered, still scores. Please give Kreider open shots.

Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider simply caught Dallas being lazy. Stepan hit Kreider across the blue line, who had a lot of room to work with despite being out numbered. Alex Goligoski had a lazy stick check and Trevor Daley just didn’t step up. Because Daley didn’t step up, Kreider’s shot deflected off him and over Lehtonen.

Rangers 3, Stars 1

A turnover is all it takes to create defensive havoc.
A turnover is all it takes to create defensive havoc.

Derick Brassard forced Cody Eakin into a turnover behind his net, eventually forcing Eakin out of position. Once Brassard collected the puck, he drew Eakin –still out of position– and Jordie Benn to him. At this point Carl Hagelin cut to the net, drawing Alex Chiasson’s attention off the point man (John Moore). One of the guys on Brassard (Eakin) should have been on Derek Dorsett in front, leaving Sergei Gonchar, currently on Dorsett, to cover Hagelin, which means Chiasson doesn’t have to abandon the point man.¬† Brassard read this, and hit Moore on the weak side at the top of the circle. Moore’s wrister just eluded Lehtonen for the two goal lead.

Stars 2, Rangers 3

Why would you pinch there?
Why would you pinch there?

This was an interesting goal to break down. Joe Micheletti actually blamed this goal on Michael Del Zotto for mistiming his pinch on this play, and if you followed the game on Twitter, most people agreed and went into their usual ‘trade Del Zotto’ frenzy. However, The Suit broke it down another way, and I can see his side of the argument as well. Here’s his take.

If coaches are asking MDZ to pinch in that situation, as Joe said 2 mins earlier, then MDZ shouldn’t be benched for this play. The¬†Dallas forward along boards was facing his own goal line. In AV’s overload system, that’s when you pinch. I can’t hate on MDZ’s decision in this situation. That’s what coaches want. The problem is, both Brass and MDZ went to boards. It should have been one or the other. They just didn’t see each other, a common mistake with this style of play.

Following the game, Biron said MDZ wasn’t completely at fault since Brassard also went to the wall, when it should have just been one of them, which give credence to the counter argument. What do you guys think?

Either way, the puck squirted out of the zone, where Eakin and Chiasson had a 2-on-1 against John Moore. Chiasson collected Eakin’s pass for the goal.

Fenwick Chart:

Courtesy of ExtraSkater
Courtesy of ExtraSkater

The first period was just awful for the Rangers here. Hank made a career high 23 saves in this period to preserve the lead. New York eventually closed the gap in the second and early in the third, moving into respectability in regards to shot attempts. Once they gained a lead, the Rangers moved into a 1-2-2 lead based hybrid trap and Dallas was able to take some attempts back (three shot advantage). In the end, Dallas had a 54% to 46% (rounding here) advantage in shot attempts at even strength.

The win last night was a solid way to right the ship and start this five game trip on the right note. They have been playing some good hockey, and it was only a matter of time before the puck started finding twine. This is five of six periods where the Rangers dominated possession. When things click, all is good.

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  1. First of all great to see Nash, and Kreider get the first of the year for each. J Moore’s shot was perfectly timed, and nice snap shot. Hank gets an assist, what a scoring machine he is, ha, ha!!

    Hank stole the show but the second goal for Dallas was easy, and should have been stopped. He seems to be doing that, a soft goal a game, I don’t understand that, he plays his heart out, stands on his head, then a soft one?? Oh well!

    What was effing MDZ doing with a two goal led, pinching in, caught out of position, and we get scored on. Maybe Mike likes the pine, sit his sorry tail again.

    Over all, nice way to start a road trip, 1 down, and 4 to go. Would be great if we could run a string of five road wins!!!

    1. I do not consider that second goal soft by any means. Point blank shot from a forward with steam and wide open in the slot. People usually go glove on hank there so he fooled him with a perfectly placed shot to the stick side. The guy had 41 or 42 saves. Lets cut him some slack. I know he is on a contract year so we are going to scrutinize everything he does, but last night you can be thankful that he has been doing this for almost 10 years.

      I can safely say that is one of the top 3 games ive ever seen hank play. He had roughly 8 jaw dropping saves on rebounds and one timers.

    2. I know it’s easy to hate on MDZ, he seems to be everybody’s favorite whipping boy, but, like Marty Biron said, it was just as much Brassard’s fault, or maybe more, when he went to a man that MDZ had already engaged instead of falling back to cover the point.

  2. If you don’t want to completely blame MDZ, I understand, but the situation called for more of a defensive minded approach (late in game, hold the lead). MDZ may be a bit confused. Do what comes natural and get benched or do what I am told and get caught pinching. As long as AV hold his comments to the media, MDZ can watch the tapes and learn to read the play better for next time.

  3. “Stole” is the operative words here!!! They had no business even being in this game. Give Hank the credit for making all those saves; but also give him the blame for constantly handing out choicey rebounds after every shot. A lot of those great saves were a direct cause of him not clearing the puck into the corner. And by the way, when did Girardi become the new Anisimov? It seems that every game now, Girardi is knocked on his ass, without the slightest bit of push-back coming from him. Just the way Artie used to play. I can’t believe how fast his game has deteriorated.

  4. For all you people on the site the other day that were claiming Hank isn’t worth the money and that he’s in the “lower 10” of the top-10 in the league.


    1. All you people that think cam better then talbot yea it’s not even close we lose that game easy 5 or 6-0 with any other goalie but hank in net. Dallas contrled the play threw the first two periods. Rangers didn’t find there legs till end of the second. Dallas speed threw the neutral zone gave us a lot of trouble along with there smart quick puck movement. Seemed that first period rangers ran around in our end which helped create a shooting gallery for hank. I was amazed we left the first winning the period. 1-0. As for delzotto I have been saying for five years he’s not good he can’t skate his vision doesn’t exist. He can’t read the plays and if he can he’s so slow he can’t get into position. Trade delzotto and his potential for Steve ott. Throw in pouliot and miller and a pick for moulson as well let Bickel falk and mclirath fight for the final spot on d. I feel moulson and ott might be the two players to put us over the top. Because this isa. Very smart built rangers team

  5. Dave,

    How can you say that’s 5 of 6 periods that the Rangers dominated possession? Weren’t they trounced on Fenwick all night last night per the above chart?

        1. The Extra Skater chart lists Fenwick at all strengths (for reasons unknown). The discrepancy in the 2nd is presumably the Dallas PPs, which were firing shots from everywhere.

          They did control even strength in both the 2nd in the 3rd, (accounting for score effects at the end)

  6. Lundquist stood on his head to save this one as the Rangers had difficulties handling Dallas big fast forwards. It was an entertaining game and played at a very fast tempo. I still would like to see another line mate for Brassard, as him and Hags work their tail off and are stuck with boat anchor Pouliot. Rangers steal 2 points and get out of dodge, next up Nashville.

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