Game Wrap-ups

Rangers blank Flames, 1-0 at MSG

The Rangers shutout the Calgary Flames last night at The Garden, by a score of 1-0. It was a crucial two points for the Blueshirts, as they needed to keep pace with both the Islanders and Canadiens at the top of the Conference, both of whom picked up wins last night. Cam Talbot recorded his 4th shutout of the season and newly un-shaggy Kevin Hayes continued his red hot play with the game winner. Since Dave is sick, we won’t have all his fancy bells and whistles, charts and breakdowns, just some good ol’ fashioned thoughts on this one…

 

  • The Rangers played a very controlled defensive game with very little available to the Flames. It made the game kind of like watching paint dry, but two points are two points.
  • I mean, what else is there to say about Kevin Hayes at this point? He has grown by leaps and bounds throughout the season and become a legitimate scoring threat every time he is on the ice. He has brought additional depth since the beginning, but he is starting to really be a player the opposition has to be aware of at all time. Especially if he is drawing third line matchups. Once everything clicks, he is going to be an impressive player.
  • This was exactly the type of game Cam Talbot needed. I am coming to the conclusion that he is prone to the big save, but has a tough time making all the routine ones over a lengthy span of games. That skillset was well used last night, when he didn’t face a ton of rubber, but turned away some tough chances in spurts.
  • Oscar Lindberg made his NHL debut last night and played a little over eight minutes. Obviously, that’s not a ton of time on the ice to make a lasting impression, but I thought he looked good. He was aggressive on the forecheck and responsible on both sides of the puck. In the spirit of beating the dead horse, I would love it if he could finally force Glass to the press box, either when Fast returns or prior…
  • Kari Ramo played very well in this one. He made some very good chances look routine and that glove save on JT Miller was ridiculous. Usually I will lament desperation plays being lauded as great saves, but a tough bounce off the post will force you into scramble mode. That save showed a tremendous amount of athleticism and hand-eye coordination.
  • Lack of scoring aside, the Rangers did what they had to do in this one: dominate possession, limit opposition chances and secure two points against a weaker team.
  • Just goes to show you how much Rick Nash brings to the table when he is healthy. Having him and Hank back for the stretch and (obviously) playoffs are a make or break reality for any chance of a big run this spring.
  • I love the spunk he showed, and I have historically been a fan of fighting, but JT Miller’s tilt just kind of reinforced how unnecessary it has become in the modern game.
  • At some point the MSG crew has to give John Gianonne some protection between the benches from errant pucks, right?
  • Islanders on MSG and Rangers on MSG+? I don’t understand the world anymore.

Right back at it on Thursday night against the lowly Coyotes at MSG. Any interest in a second outing for MacKenzie Skapski?

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  • Miller was robbed of a goal by Ramo, who played himself a good game last night. It was a touch game to watch, started great, lots of scoring chances by the Rangers, and good goal tending at both ends, but then the constant icing by the Flames became a pain in the tail. Really slowed things down very much.

    Good for Hayes, scoring the only goal, good for Lindberg, pretty good game for the kid. Good for the team, tightening up defensively, and getting the 2 points!!!!

  • A boring, tiresome game to watch. Very few things to get excited about—-very defensive minded game JUST WHAT THIS TEAM NEEDED!! About time they showed some respect for their own goalie!

    • Couldn’t agree more. I needed to see a game like this to be reminded that they can still play a sound defensive game where they limit number of shots and quality of shots. Like a pitchers duel in baseball, these games are exciting in a different way. The Rangers controlled the play and if not for Ramo would have won 2-0 or 3-0.

  • 2 points is 2 points Hayes is getting better and better each game he plays . Now do you think if Nash plays thursday that maybe Lindberg could slot into the fourth line in place of TG .He didn’t make any bad plays with the puck and he went to the net when he had the chance . Can’t hurt to play him TG minutes for 2 more games . That is all we have before the trade deadline . Lindberg a think is being groomed to replace D Moore after next year . LGR

    • To your point, I agree but the only reason they already sent Lindberg back is the cap hit, damn that TG contract!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • What impact does Lindberg playing have on the salary cap? What is his hit and why then did he have to be bounced back down to Hartford?

    • The salary cap is handled on an average basis, so by staying under the cap, they accumulate dollars that they can go over the cap after the deadline — the lower the daily cap hit now, the more they can spend on a deadline day acquisition.

      As for Lindberg, it makes no sense to keep him in NY if he isn’t going to play. And since there are no waiver considerations, he can easily be moved up and down.

  • With 18 points in the last 11 games, I think it should be clear that the Rangers could actually win the Cup without Lundqvist. I’m not saying that Hank isn’t better than Talbot and that he won’t be a welcome sight back in goal. Just saying that he is just one very good player on a very good team which is good enough to survive the loss of any single player – be it Lundqvist, McDonagh or Nash.

    Winning the Cup won’t be easy even if everyone stays healthy, but the Ranger Cup chances are not hanging by a thread.

    • I’m going to whole heartedly disagree with you here, Ray. Talbot has been serviceable, but the Rangers have simply been outscoring their opposition since Hank has gone down. They are averaging almost half a goal more against per game with Talbot filling in than with Hank’s season numbers, and that’s including his atrocious start. I think it’s pretty clear the ability to hang with top teams in low scoring games that Hank’s presence is imperative.

      • Two things — one is that Talbot was better before these last ten games, in fact more effective than Lundqvist. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle, Talbot < Lundqvist, but not half a goal per game worse. I agree the Rangers are doomed if their goaltending isn't better than it has been recently.

        Second, the goal barrage is a real phenomenon. Teams do step up when their stars go down. A team that doesn't rely on Hank will score more because of the rallying effect. (And Talbot is better offensively to boot)

        I think teams have won the Cup with lesser goalies than Talbot. As i said before, the Rangers want Hank back in goal and rightfully so, but the Cup doesn't just go to the best tender (how many times is Hank's name on the Cup after all). It isn't clear to me that Talbot isn't better than Giguere was, but a red hot Giguere almost took a far weaker team than the 2015 Rangers to the Cup.

        • No way they win a cup with Talbot. The key stat for a goalie is save percentage and he has only been over .900 like two maybe three times during this stretch.

          I would not want any playoff game being up one and Talbot in net. He has let in way to many soft goals in that situation to survive a long playoff run.

          Hank in net potential Stanley Cup team, Talbot in net MAYBE a round 1 winner.

          • So far this year, Talbot has a better save percentage than Ryan Miller, Ben Bishop, Jaroslav Halak. Those are guys one could see winning it all. The difference in save percentage this season between Lundqvist and Talbot amounts to roughly one goal every four games – let’s say two goals in a seven game series. Does that matter? Of course. Is it the difference between winning and losing? Not necessarily.

            Let me reiterate. The Rangers have a much better chance if Lundqvist returns (and presumably he will). But I just don’t believe it would be over without him.

  • Justin-if you get msg,you get msg + and msg+ 2,but Friday vs.buffalo,comcast had the rangers on standard def,not hi-def, on msg2..instead they had the knicks Westchester team on hi -def…what the?

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