Game Wrap-upsPlayoffs

Simmonds nets three, Flyers force Game 7

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The title of this goal breakdown says it all. Wayne Simmonds scored thrice, and the Flyers forced the Rangers into a Game Seven at MSG tonight. The Rangers completely owned the first six minutes of the game, but an ill-advised Benoit Pouliot penalty –followed by Simmonds’ first goal– was the beginning of the end for the Blueshirts. The Rangers lost all momentum they had after pure domination, gave up a powerplay goal, and couldn’t recover.

Way too many people blamed Henrik Lundqvist –who was pulled for the third period– for this loss, but that’s just silly. As you’ll see in the breakdown, there were two Dan Girardi giveaways, a breakaway, and a blatantly blown coverage in the four goals allowed. I get that people expect him to steal games and whatnot, but this isn’t the kind of game he’s going to be able to steal. Plus, the Rangers are the better team. Hank shouldn’t need to steal games from the Flyers.

It doesn’t matter. It’s win or go home tonight. On to last night’s goals:

Flyers 1, Rangers 0

I couldn’t get a good picture on this one, they all came out blurry. Sorry about that.

While the goal occurred when Simmonds was able to collect his own rebound off Ryan McDonagh’s skate in front of the net, the real issue was Girardi turning the puck over to Claude Giroux at center ice. The puck should have gone all the way down the ice while on the PK, not up the middle where Giroux was waiting.

Flyers 2, Rangers 0

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Girardi had a bit of a rough game. This time his giveaway in the defensive zone to Brayden Schenn led to a mini 2-on-1 for Schenn and Simmonds. Schenn whiffed on his shot, and the puck rolled right to Simmonds who banged it into the empty net.

Flyers 3, Rangers 0

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This goal started when Mats Zuccarello blew a tire in the offensive zone. The Flyers eventually got the puck as Erik Gustafsson exited the penalty box behind John Moore. Moore should have realized the situation and noticed Gustafsson out of the box, but he was sprung for a breakaway nonetheless. This is the only goal of the game where you can partially raise an eyebrow to Hank. He came out to play the puck, hesitated when it slowed, and then couldn’t get comfortable for the breakaway. He half-committed to poking the puck. You either commit or you don’t. Regardless, this one is on Moore, who needs to recognize that Gustafsson is exiting the box.

Flyers 4, Rangers 0

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Yea. The picture really explains this one here.

Rangers 1, Flyers 4

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Anton Stralman had his shot partially blocked, and the rebound went right to an uncovered Carl Hagelin low. His shot appeared to roll up Steve Mason’s stick and into the net. At least it broke the shutout.

Flyers 5, Rangers 1

Empty netter. No breakdown here.

Rangers 2, Flyers 5

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Zuccarello got creamed along the boards, but bounced back up and cut to the front of the net. No one picked him up and Pouliot hit him in front for the goal.

Fenwick Chart:

Courtesy of ExtraSkater
Courtesy of ExtraSkater

The Rangers really dominated puck possession from start to finish here. Unfortunately, puck possession isn’t everything. They didn’t put the puck in the net early, and they played undisciplined hockey throughout. There is also a very long flatline between Philly’s second and fourth goals.

It wouldn’t be the Rangers if they didn’t need a Game Seven at home. It’s now a best of one.

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37 Comments

  1. The play of the Rangers last night was such that I had to check the toilet to make sure the plumbing wasn’t backing up, they just stunk up the place!!

    Now it’s for all the marbles, can they win game 7, we’ll see? The question we all should be asking is “Why put yourself in this position in the first place”? I didn’t realize this but the Rangers currently hold the NHL record for loosing games when they had a chance to eliminate a team, something like 11 times, or so??????

    Last night Simmons woke up, scored a hat trick, Giroux scored as well, and Nash still can’t hit the broad side of a barn. He has to put up now, and show what he is made of, but I hate saying this, he won’t, too soft, no backbone!!!!! The one thing I have to give credit to is BR elevates his game in the play-offs, while Nash goes into hibrination!!

  2. Rangers will bounce back tonight at the Garden.
    Carcello must be in the lineup, even as a physical deterrent. I don’t agree he should have been taken out for two games straight. We needed him last night, Bad move.
    The Rangers must continue to outskate the Flyers and obviously stay out of the penalty box:the Flyers really have their number on the Power play
    The Rangers are missing Kreider a lot this physical series. We could have used his size, skill and speed big time. Hope he returns when we face the Penguins

  3. Carcello not playing against the Flyers, in Philly was a terrible decision. Sit Dorsett, play Carcello he would have brought the element missing last night, aggressive behavior with some jam. Why didn’t the Rangers call a time out. Why wasn’t Hank pulled earlier, they did not want to embarrass him? Why, not playing to his elite level did not embarrassed him. The team should have been embarrassed for their play allowing the one sided melt down. The coach should be embarrassed for not leading with aggressive moves like playing Carcello,pulling Hank, and calling a time out.

    1. Rangers lost because of bad penalties, defensive breakdowns, failed powerplay and some bad bounces..Carcillo would not have changed any of that. That loss is on the whole team not just one or two guys. I don’t necessarily disagree with playing him but probably shouldn’t be looking at him as a savior.

      If they do put him in there’s no way it should be for Dorsett, not sure when/why he became one of the whipping boys but it’s absurd. Dorsett has been playing well and doing his job, he drew 2-3 penalties last night alone (1 meaningless since he got called for a BS embellishment).

  4. How the hell do you figure that “the Rangers dominated puck possession”? It sure didn’t look that way after the first period. They consistently lost battles and races for the puck, didn’t click on their passes had an uncountable number of one-and-dones in the offensive zone and just was many instances of guys trying to stick handle through 2-4 defenders at the blue line and turning over the puck.

    I do believe in the value of statistical analysis but that doesn’t mean I blindly buy into numbers that are so obviously contradicted by observation.

      1. The chart doesn’t really say that the Rangers dominated puck possession from start to finish. In truth, the lines are slightly closer together at the end of period two than at the start, meaning the Flyers had a slight edge in the second period.

        Reading these charts is tricky. If you see two roughly parallel lines, neither team is dominating. The fact that one line is higher is a reflection of dominance early in the game. If the dominance is actually maintained, the lines keep getting further apart.

        1. Not only that, but once the 3+ goal lead was there, predictably, is when NYR started showing advances in the possession game which was probably due to the Flyers no longer pressing. They gained a lot of that advantage in the first 5 minutes, then it was pretty even until the Flyers got their huge lead.

          1. I will say it again puck possession doesn’t mean sh@t.It‘s like total yardage in football.It’s who scores the most goals.

  5. Did not see the game. Got in late and then watched DVR. After 1st period domination but stupid Puliot penalty and goal, I began fast forwarding. 1… 2… 3… 4…

    So I can’t comment on who sucked. I can just comment that they need to win tonight and all is forgiven and hopefully lessons learned. We’ll see who the Rangers are tonight. They had better be the team with the better goalie. That’s been a rarity this year.

  6. Big players need to play big in the spotlight. While Henrick wasn’t the reason we lost, we did need him to come up big on the 2nd and 3rd goal. Has anyone seen Rick Nash, I was about to put out a BOLA on him.

    As for the PP (what PP), lets continue to get snuffed as we try to enter the zone over and over. Or let’s dump AND NOT chase. Team make adjustments, like Philly did on their PK. We need to make an adjustment on our PP, but I am unsure we have the time to do that today.

    1. Now now Sal, we can’t say anything bad about Nash, he is tearing up these play-offs isn’t he???? NOT!!!!!!!

  7. Just watched replays @ ESPN. Gustafsson goal Lundquist was a Flying Wolenda. Flailing and spinning when he should have just blocked the angle. Very disappointing.

  8. Has anyone on the Rangers addressed the ridiculous embellishment calls? It seems pretty obvious the Flyers have been crying about embellishing to get in the refs heads and the dumb refs are buying into it.

    Meanwhile, Giroux embellishes more than anyone out there and hasn’t been called for it once. Pouliot grabs his shoulder and Giroux does a triple lutz down to the ice, no embellishment. Dorsett goes down after being cross checked in the lower back and its embellishment??

    1. Very rarely will I chime in with this should have been called, or that shouldn’t have…but man o man, you hit the nail on the head. That first penalty was frustrating. Granted Pouliot was a dummy to use his free hand like that, but you want to talk about embellishment… watch Giroux in that replay. Disgraceful that that went uncalled given the # of embellishments that we have racked up this series.

  9. I want Justin’s take on that third goal (Gustafsson’s breakaway). Wonder how much of that is on Hank? JMoore certainly blew the coverage on that though.

    1. I’d be curious, but to me Lundqvist just didn’t commit to poking the puck, and that’s on him. The chance was there, but he was caught inbetween and didn’t commit one way or another.

    2. Yes, bu that is what Hank is there for, to bail that out. That’s what goalies need to do, esp. in the playoffs. We hear all the time about how ‘it’s not Hank’s fault this, or Hank’s fault that’, but he needs to make that stop. It’s the playoffs.

      1. I agree on the bailing out part, but I think folks forget the chances the flyers were getting on the first PK…he made 3 great saves (one unreal) before that first goal went in.

        And yes, while maybe he could have bailed them out on that breakaway goal, it hardly changes the results of being shut out until it didn’t matter. They may have wound up scoring two, but realize the flyers just sat back and let them shoot after being up 4-0.

        I think the “Hank should have won this game for us” crowd forgets the saves he did make. And when you show no scoring until 5 minutes left, it typically doesn’t matter. Bailing out means making a save that is extraordinary here and there and stopping the occasional breakdown. If there are lots of breakdowns, there is only so much bailing out a goalie can do and, of course, if you are leaning on him to score goals too, it’s a bit much.

        1. Hank needs to be better. A .910 save percentage is pretty average, especially considering he isn’t getting test all that much. 24 saves per game? Meh. He’s not the sole reason we’re heading to game 7, but he’s not absolved either.

          1. I’ll agree with you there, but even if he played his best game, they weren’t winning last night. There was no way he could have single handedly won that particular game.

    3. Actually Justin would have stopped the third goal. As the play developed, I first thought “uh-oh”, then “no problem, goalie easily beats player to puck”, then “what is he doing?”

  10. Okay, we’re all good and pissed. We were also good and concerned early in the season Gary and his crystal ball called 3-2 Rangers in Detroit and that’s exactly what happened.

    Tonight, game 7? Much like the Washington blowout last year. They are going to steam roll these #%&@’in clowns. 3-1, but it will not even be that close.

  11. Oh and I believe that call was 3-2 in OT, which is what it was.

    So believe my crystal ball. Rangers 3, Flyers 1 and by the end we will wonder why it was even that close.

    And if this doesn’t come true or close to true I’ll probably have to skulk away for the summer and hope nobody remembers me in the fall. 🙁

  12. Out of the sixteen Playoff teams:

    PP 10.7% 12th
    PK 63.4% 15th
    Face Offs 47.8% 13th

    When Dorsett gets crosschecked into Mason, what is he supposed to do?

    How about someone embellish that Ref and give him two black eyes? He obviously cannot see out of the remaining one anyway?

    Go get out the stats for the past two years playoffs:

    http://rangers.nhl.com/club/stats.htm?season=20122013

    http://rangers.nhl.com/club/stats.htm?season=20132014

    Nash has exactly one goal in 18 playoff games over the past two years of playoffs, same as Car Bomb who has played in only 2.

    Combining both years, here is the percentage of goals scored over games played

    BOTH PLAYOFF YEARS:

    L Daniel Carcillo 50.0%
    C Derek Stepan 33.3%
    R Martin St. Louis33.3%
    C Dominic Moore 33.3%
    L Carl Hagelin 27.8%
    C Brian Boyle 23.5%
    R Arron Asham 20.0%
    C Brad Richards 18.8%
    D Dan Girardi 16.7%
    L Mats Zuccarello 16.7%
    C Ryan Callahan 16.7%
    L Taylor Pyatt 16.7%
    L Benoit Pouliot 16.7%
    D Marc Staal 14.3%
    L Chris Kreider 12.5%
    C Derick Brassard 11.1%
    D Michael Del Zotto8.3%
    L Rick Nash 5.6%
    D Ryan McDonagh 5.6%
    C J.T. Miller 0.0%
    D Anton Stralman 0.0%
    R Jesper Fast 0.0%
    D Kevin Klein 0.0%
    R Derek Dorsett 0.0%
    D John Moore 0.0%
    D Steve Eminger 0.0%
    D Roman Hamrlik 0.0%
    L Ryane Clowe 0.0%
    C Kris Newbury 0.0%
    C Darroll Powe 0.0%
    C Michael Haley 0.0%

    2014 Playoffs:

    L Daniel Carcillo 50.0%
    C Derek Stepan 33.3%
    R Martin St. Louis33.3%
    C Dominic Moore 33.3%
    L Carl Hagelin 33.3%
    C Brad Richards 33.3%
    L Mats Zuccarello 33.3%
    C Brian Boyle 16.7%
    D Dan Girardi 16.7%
    L Benoit Pouliot 16.7%
    D Marc Staal 16.7%
    C Derick Brassard 0.0%
    L Rick Nash 0.0%
    D Ryan McDonagh 0.0%
    C J.T. Miller 0.0%
    D Anton Stralman 0.0%
    R Jesper Fast 0.0%
    D Kevin Klein 0.0%
    R Derek Dorsett 0.0%
    D John Moore 0.0%

    2013 Playoffs:

    C Derek Stepan 33.3%
    C Brian Boyle 27.3%
    L Carl Hagelin 25.0%
    R Arron Asham 20.0%
    D Dan Girardi 16.7%
    C Derick Brassard 16.7%
    C Ryan Callahan 16.7%
    l Taylor Pyatt 16.7%
    L Chris Kreider 12.5%
    C Brad Richards 10.0%
    L Mats Zuccarello 8.3%
    L Rick Nash 8.3%
    D Ryan McDonagh 8.3%
    D Michael Del Zotto8.3%
    D Marc Staal 0.0%
    D Anton Stralman 0.0%
    R Derek Dorsett 0.0%
    D John Moore 0.0%
    D Steve Eminger 0.0%
    D Roman Hamrlik 0.0%
    L Ryane Clowe 0.0%
    C Kris Newbury 0.0%
    C Darroll Powe 0.0%
    C Michael Haley 0.0%

    Stepan scored in 33.3% of the games he played in each and Girardi 16.7% each year.

    Hagelin went up from 25% to 33.3%
    Richards went up from 10% to 33.3%
    Zucc went up from 8.3% to 33.3%
    Stall went up fro 0% to 16.7%

    Boyle went down from 27.3% to 16.7%
    Brassard went down from 16.7% to 0%
    Nash went from 8.3% to 0%
    McDonagh went from 8.3% to 0%

    Stralman; Dorsett and John Moore have no goals

    The King went from GAA of 2.14 to 2.31; 2 Shut outs to zero, and SV% of .934 to .910

    This is not what a contender is made of.

    Forget about all of your puck possession stats, this says it all.

    1. And some mental midgit gave you a thumbs down with all the data in front of him. What a fool!!!!!

  13. One thing worth remarking is the role of McDonagh on the first two goals and whether there is some systematic problem. On the first, the puck hit McDonagh’s skate, giving Simmonds another shot at it. These things happen and Ryan didn’t appear to do anything wrong, but this sames to happen more against the Rangers than for. The second goal was more problematic. Both Hank and McD were totally focused on Schenn (a necessity here for Lundqvist!) and when the puck went through McDonagh’s legs to Simmonds, it was an easy goal. I imagine Ryan was doing what he was supposed to do, but it wasn’t the support Lundqvist really needed.

  14. I would like to have seen a goalie change midway through the second period even though Lundqvist cannot be blamed for either of the first two goals. The power play was much better with Talbot in goal. He made two long passes probably better than any we’ve seen from Lundqvist all year. It seems insane to be willing to pull the goalie with four minutes to go, but not be willing to use a perhaps slightly inferior goalie who can handle the puck much better when you are behind by more than one goal.

  15. I think there is ore to a player or a team than just stats. Stats can not show refs being biased or a player who has no heart. I fully agree that while the Rangers were dominating the early part of the 1st period it was a referee that changed the games momentum with that atrocious call on Pouliot. The dive by Giroux going on called is just as bad as Nash not scoring. Then when Dorsett gets cross checked into Giroux and an embelishment just makes me think if the referees are being told to sway a game is actually a possibility. NHL has only one interest under Buttman it is called ratings.
    All that said it still is with the Rangers to be determined that these scenarios means nothing and stick together even more so to overcome these trials. It means that Lundgvuist has to be better, Nash grows balls and plays harder, Girardi forgetting a bad game and McDonagh playing like how he did during the regular season. It means AV plays Diaz so the powerplay becomes a threat instead of the headless horseman it has become the last 4 games.

  16. Hey, if they would have scored on some of those chances in the 1st, we’d be talking about Cindy and the rest of the Penguins right now; instead of some mind-numbing stats. One game for everything; all the other stuff is just fluff. Yesterday is over, done, gone. One game—-clean slate. They have to play their game. They’ve dominated Philly for long stretches of games in this series; they just can’t finish. Don’t change much; JUST FINISH!!!! Also, it would help if Nash would finally show up for a period or two. He just might turn out to be the biggest disappointment this team has ever traded for; its up to him. But in the end, Hank has to win this Series. It is always like that with this group; and the playoffs are no different. He has a chance to shine up his crown once again.

    1. For the record, Nash leads the Rangers in both CF% rel and FF% rel 5 on 5. I’m one of those who thinks MZA is the Rangers’ best forward, but it’s been the third line that the Flyers have really stopped cold.

  17. “Way too many people blamed Henrik Lundqvist –who was pulled for the third period– for this loss, but that’s just silly.”

    It’s not silly. Under AV, this team is coached to win with a good possession/transition game. When the transition game falters, which it will inevitably sometimes, Hank has to step up and bail them out. By design in this system, he is going to be hung out to dry sometimes. He has to step up and make most of those saves. That’s why he’s getting paid $8.5 million. He has not made those saves reliably over the course of the season, and not at all in this series. Right now, Cam Talbot could easily match Henrik statistically. Hank is simply not earning his contract.

    My concern is this: those of us who argued $8.5 mill is too much to pay for Hank will be proven correct over the course of his contract. Statistically, he is not worth the money unless he steals games and turns the tide in playoff series. He didn’t steal many games this season and he has never stolen a series in his career. He’s a NY icon and I love him, but I wonder if this is money well-spent. I know I’m not alone.

  18. My crystal ball needs new batteries, but I can easily predict at 11:00 PM tonight we either will expand the Cindy Crosby hate club or nominating the players we need to get rid of before the puck drops next season.

    I nominate Brassard, Richards, Dorsett, Boyle, Hags and Strallman

    1. I disagree with getting rid of Boyle and Brassard. Add Nash to your mix and Staal. Staal because I do not think will resign with the Rangers, not because of his play.

  19. My view:
    I am a former Marine. Marines dominate the battlefield because of attitude and skill. Now Hockey is a battlefield. Attitude will beat skill 9 out of 10 times. Skill and attitude will beat skill 10 out of 10 times. Skill alone is not enough and never will be. Easier to teach skill than it is attitude. Rangers do not have enough attitude in the skilled players on this team.

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