Game Wrap-ups

Quick post game wrap: Pure domination

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

I’m traveling for work, so I wasn’t able to watch the game in its entirety last night. I caught the highlights and was able to view the in-game stats though. All I saw was pure Rangers domination. Suit said this on Twitter, but the Rangers and the Avs play very similar styles (e.g., man-on-man D, solid transitional game, etc). The difference last night was that the Rangers executed, and the Avs did not. Some other quick points:

  • In the pregame, I noted that the Avs have been riding high SH% and SV% while not maintaining puck possession. They really are a statistical anomaly. Their inability to maintain puck possession worked in the Rangers favor last night. The Avs will make the playoffs, but that’s mostly because Minnesota, Nashville, Dallas, and Winnipeg are not good teams.
  • Ryan Callahan’s 82 game pace: 22-27-49. Still has a shot at 20 this year, needing 9 goals in the final 25 games. Tough, but doable. His two goals last night just cemented the general consensus: Teams in the thick of it do not trade their captain. Also, his line from last night was absurd: 2-1-3, +3, 6 SOG, 1 BS, 7 hits.

  • Want to talk about domination? The Rangers ended the game with a 60% even strength Fenwick (shots+missed shots) advantage (48 Fenwick events to 32). At the end of the first, it was 27-6 Rangers. It was 44-26 at the end of the second. At 5v5 close (+/- two goals) it was an 80% Rangers advantage.
  • Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh completely shut down the opposition’s top line….again. I feel like I say that after every game.
  • The Avs are one of the more skilled teams in the league, but the Rangers speed overwhelmed them time and time again. We complained the Rangers were too slow a few years back. Well, they are one of the fastest teams in the league right now. They use that speed well too.
  • One other thing about speed: How often have we seen the Rangers dump the puck in, beat the team to the puck at the goal line, and then get a scoring opportunity out of that? Happens every game lately, and they aren’t even a dump and chase team. That’s called balance.
  • As Kevin noted this morning, does any team in the East really scare you? Boston is beatable. Pittsburgh is a Marc-Andre Fleury meltdown away from another playoff exit. The Rangers can take any other team in a seven game series. So if you think this team can’t make a run, try to find a team that is a legit threat. The East doesn’t have the Hawks or the Ducks or the Sharks.
  • Henrik Lundqvist is four wins from 301, and five from the Rangers record.
  • Remember when the fourth line was a liability? Depth. It matters. D. Moore was a smart pick up. Ditto Carcillo. Boyle is playing where he should be, which we said for years.
  • Only six Rangers started less than 50% of their shifts in the offensive zone (after a whistle): Rick Nash (42.9%), Marc Staal (33.3%), Anton Stralman (23.3%), and the Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello line (11.1%). John Moore did not have a single zone start in the defensive zone.
  • Four wins in a row, 11-4-1 in their last 16, 15-5-1 in their last 21, and no signs of slowing down.

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  • Odd contrast between goals and Corsi. Callahan was only 50% in the Corsi numbers with three points while the fourth line was positively unreal in puck possession but held scoreless.

  • Don’t count out Tampa bay either. Firing on all cylinders, good/great goaltending, and all this without arguably one of the best players in the league. Re-insert stamkos this week/after the Olympic break… Dangerous

  • Consensus lately has changed to thinking that we can handle any team in the east and anything could happen in 7 games if we make it to the dance. I’m on board. They team’s play has made me a believer too. It took a bit but I wouldn’t count them out against anybody in our conference at this point.

    What I would like, though, for some closure or clarity is more games against contenders. Recently, the only two I can think of were the win in Chicago and the loss at home against the Blues. I want more measuring stick games against some real teams we haven’t seen yet or haven’t seen in a while. I.E. Kings, Pens, Sharks, etc

      • To some extent. They have the record and points that make them look good but I’ve never considered them a contender (although I haven’t been able to watch them much). They aren’t built like the teams I fear most- LA, STL.

        • I don’t think a team in the east can allow the Western conference dictate how to manage their team. Personally I say let’s make it to the Stanley Cup Finals then I’ll worry about the powerhouses out West.

          • Very interesting point. I never looked at it like that but could subscribe to that school of thought.

    • We played a real good game against the Blues. Twice actually. If not for terrible goaltending (ie Biron) we outplayed them in St Louis too. We beat LA early on in the season. Opened a can on the pens 5-1 at one point in November. Bylsma said the Pens couldn’t match the Rangers speed. They got away from that a little for a while but it’s their bread and butter now. They are also a top 5 puck possession team in the East. The Rangers go to Pittsburgh on Friday for the 2nd of back to backs. We also have 1 more chance at the Sharks at MSG. I’d have that game marked on the calendar after a 9-2 embarrassment. They still have those measuring stick games.

  • Girardi was not good last night. He had only 15 minutes, with only Moore having fewer than him amongst d-men.

    Having said that, opening 20 minutes were best rangers hockey I’ve seen in my life. Pure domination.

    • That’s because Girardi spent 4 of them in the penalty box, and after Rangers were up big, they could roll their D more evenly. The big imbalance of McDonagh over Girardi time was the 4PIM and PP time.

  • Great article! I loved watching that game last night. Are there any negative’s that you can take away from last night that they should work on?

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