Game Wrap-ups

Goal breakdown: Rangers vs. Oilers

So close
So close

Although the Rangers won the puck possession game with 60 even strength Corsi events (shots+missed shots+attempts blocked) to Edmonton’s 46, they just couldn’t find a way to win. The Rangers also had way too many giveaways — 15 to be exact — to a team they should have had a better time managing the puck against.

On the positive side, Captain Callahan had another solid game with 8 hits, 2 blocked shots and several grade A chances, including a breakaway that just wouldn’t go. I know, I’m starting to sound like Doc.

And a shotttttttttttt!

Anyway, on to the goals:

Rangers 0, Oilers 1

Bad pass
Bad pass

After an Oiler dump-in, Talbot collected the puck behind the net and passed it into the corner to Klein, who made his first big turnover as a Ranger. Instead of putting the puck on his forehand and delivering a short tape-to-tape pass to Boyle, Klein backhanded a pass off of Brian’s skate (see above image).

The puck redirected to Ryan Smyth, who came streaking into the high slot (off screen in the photo) and put one on net. Talbot got a piece of it, but the puck kinda knuckled onto the goal line. Smyth followed up on his shot and just buried his own rebound.

Aside from the breakdown, I was surprised AV and Arniel matched up our 4th line against Smyth and Perron. Usually it’s 4th line to 4th line. Odd.

Rangers 1, Oilers 1

Flying the zone
Two Oilers flying the zone early

The Rangers answered back at the start of the second period with a great shift by the third line (Pouliot-Brass-MZA). The boys were getting pucks deep and pressuring the Oilers defense, which they weren’t doing in the first period.

On the play, Andrew Ference tried to clear the zone, sending the puck up the leftwing half wall. Eberle kinda high sticked the puck out of the air and batted it right back to Pouliot. MZA read the play and headed towards Pouliot for support.

Perron and Gagner are clearly thinking offense here and are both looking to fly the zone early (see above image).  Pouliot is able to pass it to MZA, who feeds a wide-open Brassard just inside the right face-off circle. Brass finishes with a hard one-timer under the glove of a sprawling Scrivens. Great goal.

Rangers 1, Oilers 2

The game winner was a tough one to swallow. Kreider got caught on an extended shift and was clearly gassed. Richie, McDonagh, and Stralman all lost puck battles with their respective checks. Nail ‘Another Enigmatic Russian Said Canadians’ Yakupov was left wide-open in the high slot for the game winner. Just goes to show what can happen to a game with one bad shift.

I wasn’t able to get a good screen shot on this one, plus there were too many breakdowns to capture anyway. Additionally, Eakins did a good job juggling his lines a little bit and deploying his scorers at opportunes times, which we didn’t really have an answer for. Oh well. On to the next game. Hopefully the Rangers finish strong against the Pens.

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  • The whole team looked tired. Stralman, Nash, and Stepan especially were awful and McDonagh had his first bad game of the year.

  • I know most of you would disagree with me but I am tired of watching Stepan waltz through this season in slow motion. I would trade this guy in a heartbeat and if he is as good as a lot of you say he is, then we should be able to get someone as good, if not better, in return. His line did nothing last night and Stepan looks like a derr in headlights. No wonder Kreider has disappeared as well. Most of Steps points are 2nd assists and his stats fool everyone.

    • “Most of Steps points are 2nd assists and his stats fool everyone.”

      I’m calling BS on that one. Back up your mouf with some stats. Who logs 2ndary assists? Whurr canz eye find dem?

      But I do agree Stepan is underwhelming by standards he set over the past 2 years. Maybe is has to do with his contract hold out/late start/training camp absentee.

      • I actually think secondary assists are just as important as primary assists since the latter are often what creates plays up ice. In fact, I’d like to see the league track tertiary assists as well.

        • Tertiary? Suit, you’re bringing me back to my NHL 94 days.

          GOAL !

          9 A. Graves
          Assist by :
          10 E. Tikkanen
          22 M. Gartner
          21 S. Zubov

      • Even Strength 67 assists, 48 first assists.
        Powerplay: 35 assists, 15 first assists.
        Shorthanded: 5 assist, 4 first assists.

        There’s 2 missing, which are either 4v4, 5v3, or 4v3. (those are the hardest ones to find online).

        So of the one’s we can find, he’s 62.5% overall, 71% at evens, 43% on the PP.

        Just spot checking other guys known for assists:
        Joe Thornton 67% EV, 46% 5v4
        Crosby 66% EV, 62% 5v4
        H. Sedin 58% EV, 55% 5v4

        Make of that what you will, but doesn’t look like Stepan’s ‘padding’ with second assists any more than anyone else does. He just does it on a smaller scale.

        • Please Smurf, stop bringing facts into a discussion.

          Don’t you know that when you holdout for more money in NY you must score 100 goals the following season or post 30 shutouts otherwise you are forever branded a complete bust and a gutless mercenary?

          • It’s ok to criticize a player for underperforming. I wouldn’t go as fas as say trade the player or criticize the type of assists he records, but Stepan has been a disapointment and it’s alright to say so.

          • RFiB, I have no problem with railing on players when it’s warranted, but to say Stepan is lazy and playing in slow motion is an over the top criticism.

            I firmly believe if Stepan was scoring goals at his customary 13% shooting rate, instead of 6.9%, no one would be saying a word about him. He would have 18 goals right now instead of 10 and most likely he would be leading the team in points at 43 in 58 games.

            I would wager almost anything that this criticism is based solely on the idea that Stepan is not scoring goals therefore hurrr….durrrr not hustling.

  • I said it yesterday that the first 5 minutes would tell the tale. They cam out flat and set the tone for the game. As for Stepan, I tend to agree. He is not making anyone around him better.

    • It really ticks me off watching Stepan just waltz through this season. He should be a 20/60 guy as our top Centerman. I was in his corner when he was looking for big money from Sather after the season he had. He isn’t the same player. If he puts up ridiculous stats in another walk year next season. That is when I’d move him. It’s obvious then that he’s out for himself. He was a PPG player last season. No reason he isn’t on a 65 point pace this year. He had better come out of the break on fire and have a monster playoff. That’ll put money on his next deal so maybe he will have a solid playoffs this year. But I’d wait to see what he does next year before trading him. Strike while the iron is hot.

  • We played a less than good game, and we had no puck luck last, so be it. Tonight we have to come out hard, play 60 minutes against Cindy, Igor, and the Pens. It’s a winnable game against a tough team!

    The last thing we want to do is go into the break with a two game loosing streak!

    • That is why last night was so important. Need to win the first of two in two nights. Especially when the 2nd team is a road game against the class of the East. They’re running on all cylinders right now too. The only guy not scoring was Neil and he is finding his game. This will be one of those measuring stick games. See what kind of “Juevos” this team has.

        • The Ice Chickens don’t scare me tonight. Something tells me the Rangers will be looking for some revenge tonight. Don’t be shocked if MAF is chased from the net after the first period tonight.

  • Stepan will never be a #1 center, he’s a #2, which is why all that talk about buying Richards out is so nonsensical. A move like that will set the team back and Paul Stasny is not the answer.

    • Agree, Stepan is better slotted at #2 C

      Disagree, that buying Richards out is nonsensical

      He needs to be bought out due to the long term implications of his contract and the deterioration of his play. 6.66 mil per year for another 6 years is too much cap space for what he brings to the table. It needs to be done this summer because it is the last chance to use a compliance buyout (get out of jail free card). Yes, it might not be ideal for next season but that is more determined by how they fill that hole, be it Stasny or someone else.

      • It would be great if the Rangers could talk Richards out of his no trade clause (he has one, right?) and then they could keep him. He should be a good player for a while and his salary will be rather low in the last few years. For a salary range floor team a low salary, high cap hit player is a good thing.

        • Only hitch there is that if they ever do trade him and he decides to retire before his contract expires, the Rangers would be on the hook for the cap recapture penalty since Sather is the guy who inked his deal. If traded, his fate would be out of our hands and the Rangers could only hoped he played out the life of the deal elsewhere. I’d prefer more of a sure thing and just nix this thing this summer.

      • And therein lies our biggest structural flaw – no true #1 center. Lately it’s been rare that the Stepan line has been as effective as the Richards or Brassard lines (and it was our 4th best line in the Colorado game). Even at his best last year, I thought Stepan looked like a very effective #2 center who was on the cusp of becoming a real #1. Unfortunately, this year has been a step back for him. Unless he steps it up (apologies for the pun) that’s a flaw that will really be exploited in the playoffs. I think we need a bit more grit up front (more of a Clowe than a Pouliot?) but what we need most is a real #1 center.

        Regardless, Richards’ contract is way too expensive for way too long in a tight salary cap league and he absolutely must be bought out at the end of the season.

        • The cap goes up next year so I think the Rangers can handle his cap hit. With Lindberg, Fast & Kristo on the verge we’ll have low cap numbers there. Richards also provides intangibles that will be hard to replace.

  • Our third line has been playing like and should be our #1 line.
    I think Cally should go to Stepans line with Kreider and Nash over to Richards line with Hagelin

    • Because one mediocre game last night means you should blow up everything that has been working for the past two months?

        • And the 10 games where Nash scored 10 goals? What was that? A fluke?

          No player or line can score every game. The fact that the team scored 19 goals over that 5 game span of the top line not producing means everything is fine.

          This is a team game. Nash was playing well, so teams react by checking him tighter, the other 3 lines get more space as a result and the team pots 19 in 5 games.

    • Gonna chime in again. Is there any Line stats available on the Line Combos? the Line of Zucc/Brass/Pouliot is by far the 2nd line production and defensively. Cally/Richy/Hags needs to move down to 3rd. The Top line needs to be shaken up. Bench them for a couple of shifts. But no major changes – everyone has chemistry no need to mess with them. Thats just my Observation.

    • Sorry Memo been out all year for Step, Its also unbelievable and inconceivable that Team USA chose him for the Olympics. He is just having a so so year.

  • Callahan has two fabulous games playing for his big contract. What is fabulous for Callahan? How about Corsi for 36 Corsi agianst 39

      • It’s actually a two game sample. Obviously two games are not much to go on to evaluate a career, but if you want to evaluate precisely two games, what’s wrong with Corsi. And the alleged point was that Callahan had two really good games.

  • The Oilers have a lot of offensive weapons, I thought the Rangers played a little too foot loose and fancy free against them. They need to pay a little more attention to detail with their defensive assignments if they want a good outcome against the non flying birds from Pittsburgh.

    • Speaking of Pittsburgh, did anyone else see the Penguins announcement that Kris Letang had a stroke! Shocking news. He’s out for at least 6 weeks. Sad to see, glad to see that it’s apparently not life threatening.

  • I am by far complaining about Stephan or their line. Last night they had zero sustained pressure. Something is off with that line. Only player with consistency on that line is Kreider. Stepan and Nash are hot or cold to the extremes. When they are hot they are sizzling, when they are cold it is like they are naked in Antarctica

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