Game Wrap-ups

Rangers dominate Senators, clinch playoff berth

The New York Rangers crushed the red hot Ottawa Senators last night, clinching a playoff berth in the process with the Boston Bruins loss to Anaheim. The Rangers dominance was on full display, absolutely destroying the Senators in every aspect –on the scoreboard, in shot attempts, in quality shot attempts, and in goals by fourth liners that aren’t supposed to score goals– and gave Andrew Hammond his first regulation loss of the season.

The Hamburglar looked off during the game, and actually asked out of the game after the Rangers scored their fifth goal. It was noted that he was hit awkwardly in his last game, so there’s a chance he had some lingering effects. The anticipated duel of backup goalies carrying their teams was not to be though, injury to Hamburglar or not. There was no way he was going to stop all of those chances the Rangers had.

Speaking of those chances, all goals came off the rush or off turnovers. That’s Rangers hockey for you. They use their speed to force turnovers, convert them to rushes, and put the puck in the net. They pressure the opposition in the neutral zone, right around the blue line, and are so quick to transition that they trap the opposition. It’s fun to watch, and when they execute, it’s unstoppable.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Sens 0

rangers senators 2015
Karlsson forgot to watch Kreider.

The Kreider play strikes again. Derek Stepan collected the puck in the defensive zone as Kreider skated up the off-wing, burning both defensemen (Erik Karlsson, Marc Methot) in the process. Stepan banked the puck off the boards so Kreider could skate into it in the offensive zone, and he beat Hamburglar low blocker for the first goal.

Sens 1, Rangers 1

rangers senators 2015
Speed kills, it goes both ways.

Mats Zuccarello tried to swipe a loose puck to Keith Yandle, who tried to accept it at a bad angle. Curtis Lazar pressured him, forced the turnover, and then beat Talbot low glove for the quick answer.

Rangers 2, Sens 1

rangers senators 2015
That’s a wide open passing lane.

Bobby Ryan overskated the puck in the offensive zone. Kreider picked it up, hit Rick Nash to start the rush, who found Dan Boyle down the seam in the offensive zone. Boyle got the pass on his backhand, quickly transferred to his forehand, and beat Hammond glove side.

Rangers 3, Sens 1

rangers senators 2015
Turnovers, man.

Zuccarello pressured Karlsson at the blue line, forcing him to turn the puck over to Stepan. Hamburglar couldn’t handle Stepan’s wrister cleanly, and Kreider –crashing the net– put the loose puck into the empty net.

Rangers 4, Sens 1

rangers senators 2015
Two on one, goal. Wide passing lane again.

The Sens don’t get the puck deep, which allowed the Rangers to take advantage. Yandle collected the puck and hit Kevin Hayes at the blue line to spring a 2-on-1 with Zuccarello. Hayes dipped his shoulder to fake a shot, got the puck over to Zucc, who beat Hamburglar.

Rangers 5, Sens 1


USAT/Fenwick Chart:

rangers senators 2015
Courtesy of war-on-ice

The Rangers didn’t shell, finally, and their dominance in the first two periods continued into the third period. Of course, most of that period was shorthanded or 4v4, but regardless, there was no shell. That’s always good to see.

Scoring Chances:

rangers senators 2015
Courtesy of war-on-ice

The Blueshirts held the Sens to very few legitimate scoring chances for the last two periods. They played solid defense, forcing the Sens to dump the puck with solid neutral zone play, and kept the puck in the offensive zone, generating chances.

Individual SAT/Corsi:

rangers senators 2015
Courtesy of war-on-ice

A solid game all around for the lineup.

Shot Locations:

rangers senators 2015
Courtesy of war-on-ice

War-on-ice added dotted line boxes for high quality attempts, which certainly helps with the analysis of this chart. The Rangers really shut down the high priced areas on the Sens. This puts locations to the scoring chances/USAT charts above.

Shift Chart:

rangers senators 2015
Courtesy of war-on-ice

Typical Alain Vigneault shifts here.

It’s March 27, and the New York Rangers are in the playoffs. There’s no other way to end this post. The New York Rangers are in the playoffs.

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  • This is good.

    Now no pressure on the king to get back into form for the playoffs.

    Not like I was worried. But our goalie tandem this year is top shelf.

    Is it me or is our farm system and the people we keep pulling in a bit underrated the past few years.

    • Those rankings are usually based on overall talent. The thing with the Rangers is that these kids haven’t needed to fill top line roles. They’ve been needed to fill out depth positions. Hayes as a 3C, Fast as a 4RW, Miller a 3RW, etc.

      Buffalo’s got much higher top end talent, but they need those kids to play those roles. It’s all relative to the team. Some teams have stronger systems relative to the roles they are going to fill.

      In reality though, you’d rather have a system of McDavid’s than a system of Lindberg’s though.

      • Very true, but the Rangers have also graduated one top 6 forward every 1 to 2 years in the recent past:

        Zuccarello (even if he was undrafted, the Rangers developed him)
        Miller (he’s a top 6 forward in my mind)

        Hayes is also in the conversation, but he was more of a stroke of luck landing in the Rangers lap.

        They’ve definitely filled the top of their team with in house talent as well.

  • Yeah a dominating performance, and also a possible first-round matchup, so hopefully a message to give the Senators something to think about in two weeks. Either way a nice continuation of the 2015 hot streak. Also maybe this will get Kreider going for the spring. Personally I don’t think it makes much difference whether it’s Boston, Washington or Ottawa, but that’s just me. Everyone is saying they don’t want to play Boston, but the Bruins are playing lousy hockey. They just blew another late lead last night in a very important game. And at home, no less. Shut down Ovechkin, shut down the Caps. Anyway, that’s for another day.

    Also….a point lead over Montreal in the conference. I think this is very important; the extra home game in the first three series, if it comes to that. I’ll take my chances with the Western Conference if it comes to that.

    Regards- orange

        • I wonder how they feel now about trading Bishop (for Conacher, AHL stud now journeyman) and holding onto Lehner. I think Lehner needs another couple seasons before you could really pass judgment, but not looking good off of the start.

          Once Andersson stopped pretending he was Tim Thomas with his late 30s Vezina efforts, it hasn’t been good in Canada’s capital.

      • I just can’t buy into Ottawa. The “Hamburglar” (is that nickname getting old to anyone else, or just me?) probably cannot continue this run through the playoffs. Look at his AHL numbers, they are not good.

        Can we really buy into Lehner or Anderson as well?

        Ottawa was a dead team walking before their coaching change. The team got the short term winning combo of new coach/ upstart goalie but they are still the same team. The Rangers would have chocked a playoff series if they lost to this team.

        I’ll be afraid of teams that have proven they can actually hang with the Rangers (Tampa Bay, NY, Montreal, etc.)

        • Problem is that a team like Ottawa, who has speed and a decent enough lineup, can make a run with a hot goalie. We just saw it. I’d rather face a team like Boston, who doesn’t have the depth through the lineup anymore.

  • Offensive out burst, very good defensive play, great PK, all indicators trending in the right direction!!

    Glass comes out of the box, scores, and gets the hat, what’s going on here????

    Last night I posted that if this is Talbot’s last start, and I hope it’s not, the kid will go out in a blaze of glory. Cam won his 20th of the season, the first time we had two goalies win 20 since Richter, and Beezzer. This also is the earliest we secured a play off spot since I believe the 70’s, everything in Ranger land is looking great!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Yesterday a fellow Ranger fan said they thought the Rangers should wait to start Lundquist until the home game because the fans will be excited to see him return. I countered with your opinion. The fans will have plenty of games to welcome King back. It may be a while for them thank Cam for the job he has done.

        • I can see the logic there too, since it seems like Talbot is a lock for the McDonald Award this year.

          Personally, I’d like Talbot to start the next home game, let the fans give him a huge standing ovation, then let Hank take over.

  • Come on Dave, with all the hate sent Tanner Glass’ way this year…all he gets is “Tanner Glass scores a goal”. Congrats to him! The coaches love him, the players love him, I predict he will be a force come playoffs. Not a top guy, but someone who contributes in a lot of areas. LGR!

  • After seeing the smile on AV’s face after Glass scored his goal, don’t expect him to come out of the lineup anytime soon. The fact is, Sheppard really hasn’t done much to distinguish himself yet. He still might; probably will. But until he does, Glass is gonna stay in there.

    • Anyone bashing glass doesn’t know hockey or whay there watvhing. Glass is a heart and soul player who’s role is to be physical stick up for team mates and apply a strong forcjeck. He has done that all year long. He’s a heart and soul player. He does his job well amd if he sits we get run. That’s reality he’s a must dress

      • So I guess you’re referring to when he came out and destroyed Pageau for running just about everyone except the ref’s when the game was out of reach for the Sen’s… Funny because even though I’ll admit my TV must have been broke last night, because it showed Glass scoring a goal, I did not see one instance where he was sent out there to stand up to people running around throwing shots at our guys. Anyone bashing Glass years ago would not be following the sport closely, you’re right… however that is no longer relevant. With the rules today, instigating ect, everyone must stand up for themselves whether you agree with it or not. Sure I would’ve liked to see someone go out there and completely annihilate Pageau for that, but my point is he didn’t, or wasn’t told to. That’s not was goes on around the league often anymore. So while you are correct in that is the type of “heart and soul” player… what you’re missing in everyone’s bashing of him is the fact that those “heart and soul” qualities (minus the locker room presence in which nobody outside the locker room can speak to) are wasted in this case.

  • Shove your stats up your butt. They mean nothing anylitics have no business in hockey. Hockey is not a sport based on stats. Guy writes articles on Rangers and uses graphs and stats because he doesn’t know the game

      • The way you are handling FJ is giving me a great idea of just how much rope you’ll give me to hang myself someday. LOL

          • dave, no reason to ban him just because you don’t like his comments. Nothing real bad said there. we are mostly adults here. I actually got a few chuckles out of his comments and the fact that they show him for what he is. Just a silly bully.

          • When did we start taking ourselves so seriously. I thought this was for fun interaction with people of differing opinions. I didn’t know we all had to think the same or get the boot! that’s silly! Oh well, I guess I’m gone now too!

          • Frankie was also banned for attacking others. No one gets banned for having an opinion. It’s about how you communicate that opinion. If you attack others, you will be banned.

          • I miss Frankie too. I loved his calls of Kreider being a bust. If he was the gm he wouldn’t have wasted his time with Kevin Hayes either.

            But my all time favorite was that he was an expert on concussions because he got one falling off a scooter.

    • That is completely ignorant to think that stats don’t provide fans a metric for understanding what’s been happening on the ice. No one is arguing Glass doesn’t deserve a spot for what he does but he has been deployed in situations where we wouldn’t “get run.” Our speed kills and at times the use of Glass has been questionable. Dave and co. do a great job of letting us know when they think Glass was misused. Stop trolling and if you don’t like metrics then stop looking for blogs to give you them flapjack…

    • So get rid of Goals, assists, points. Wins, losses, hell just get rid of all things altogether that tell us what happened during a game. Goals no longer count since hockey is not a sport based on stats. Get rid of the clock as well, the last team alive wins. Oh, no, wait…they don’t since wins are a stat and hockey isn’t based on stats.

  • So Girardi apparently has a gash on his arm. Medical staff took a look at the wound and saw titanium inside, was bleeding motor oil. Finally realized G is unbreakable.
    Let’s Go Rangers!

    • The MSG guys were gushing over Girardi so much that it was almost embarrassing. I’m an ardent DG supporter and disagree with those that think he is not a top pairing guy, but WOW! Talk about homers!

      • Most announcers are homers. The only issue I have with Girardi is that he’s not a top pairing defenseman, but he’s being used like one. That’s more on AV than Girardi though.

        • Yes. Most announcers are homers, but Joe Micheletti is really over the top. I’ve always laughed at teams like the Islanders and Flyers that have announcers that are ridiculously biased. I never really thought of Micheletti as being that way in past seasons, but he’s down right giddy this year. Maybe he’s just getting caught up in the excitement of watching this team develop into legit Cup contenders. I don’t know. I do wish he’d take it down a notch and leave the giddiness to the fans. πŸ™‚

          I don’t want to argue with you, but if you don’t think Girardi is a top pairing Dman or a shut down guy, then with all due respect I’d really like to see your list of 50 or so others that fit that bill.

          I think I understand what you are getting at and maybe it is just a matter of semantics, but my definition of a top pairing defenseman is a dman that is among the top 60 (30 teams x 2) in the league. I think the Rangers have three that fit that description. Do you disagree with me on that? If not, then I’ll concede the point that you are just setting a higher standard. πŸ™‚

          • LOL Snake, love the way you tip toed around the fact that you disagree with Dave. Be careful or he will ban you, as you seem to be cognitively aware!

          • πŸ˜‰

            I’m not concerned with getting the ban hammer. I am just careful about how I word things because it is far too easy for people to take things the wrong way in an internet post. Also, Dave deserves respect because he’s providing content for us and I don’t want to seem unappreciative.

            We’re all Ranger fans, but we’re gonna disagree. I try to keep it respectful while still making my point. Does it really matter whether I think Girardi is a top pairing guy and Dave doesn’t? Not in my opinion. We may completely agree about Girardi’s skill and still end up debating endlessly over something as meaningless as the description “top pairing defenseman”. Kinda silly. πŸ™‚

          • As I said above Joe, it’s about not being a dick to the people that comment here. Discussions are great, arguments will happen. The only ones that get banned are those that can’t play nice.

          • once again, fair enough, consider me schooled. I also happen to agree 100% with what Snake says above!

          • My definition of someone who is a top pairing guy is someone who can skate well, move the puck up the ice, and shut down the opposition. Girardi only does one of these things. He can’t skate, as we saw in the SCF last year, and he’s certainly not good at moving the puck up the ice.

          • Ahhh….okay. As I suspected, we’re just looking at it differently. The skating and moving the puck up ice is secondary to me. I define it as a guy that excels at defending and I think he’s among the best.

  • Sweet, even the Tanner Glass goal. When we play like that nobody will beat us. The PK is essential to winning, more so than the PP, and it looks pretty damn good at this point. C’mon Henrick, do your thing and God bless Cam.

  • When the Rangers started playing well in December I was quick to point out they were whipping up on teams at the bottom of the league and mid-packers. I was skeptical just how good the team would be because to me, making the Finals last season was a fluke. At the same time I said that great teams don’t lose to those types of teams; they find a way to beat them…even on their off nights.

    No matter what happens in the playoffs, this Rangers team is one of the best, if not *THE* best since at least 1940. They have guts. They have quality vets like Boyle and MSL in the room. They have a great mix of young players and an experienced group of guys just entering their prime that contribute to the team effort. They have managed to win despite injuries and roster changes. And as much as I hate to say it, they are well coached…*VERY* well coached.

    For me, the waiting ended in 1994. If the Rangers don’t win the Cup for the rest of my life, I won’t care. What I do care about is watching great hockey and this team plays some great hockey and have a bright future. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.


    • Making the SCF was not a fluke last year. They were one of the top possession teams in the league all year, and their SPSV%/PDO leveled out for the playoffs. The underlying numbers were always good. I happen to think last year’s team was better than this year’s team.

      Then again, I’m of the belief that the best team in the league doesn’t necessarily have the most points or the best record in the regular season.

      • I know you are big on the advanced metrics but I am not. I think they lend a ton of insight and are great for helping to understand performance, but I’m old school and still go by the eye test.

        I agree that the best team doesn’t always win. I think the best team probably doesn’t even win a third of the time. Especially in the Parity Era there is less separating the best from the rest, so it’s even tougher for the best team to win or to even ID the best team.

        IMO, this team is better…or at the least, playing better. Their passing is much better. Their D is much better. The younger players from last season’s roster are playing better as they are approaching the max potential. The team has learned AV’s system and the players are executing it better. On a player by player basis perhaps the roster isn’t better, but this is a team sport and to me the group is playing better as a team.

        I won’t/can’t dispute the advanced stats, but the bottom line is winning games. Granted, there is always some luck involved in that and even more so in a sport with Loser Points and Shoot Out wins. In both of those areas, the Rangers haven’t really benefited vs the average team though.

        My belief is this team has great chemistry and leadership and have what was missing last season to win the Cup. Even if they don’t reach the Cup Finals, I’d still take this team over last year’s team and win or lose, on a game by game basis I’ve enjoyed watching them more this season. Just my opinion….. πŸ™‚

        • These aren’t really mutually exclusive. I’ve seen a lot of times where the Rangers have been pinned down in their own end for long stretches of time. This mostly happens with a lead in the third, which is why I always bring up the shell.

          The Rangers of this year are at their best when using speed on the forecheck to force NZ turnovers and capitalizing off the rush. Problem is, teams like LA, teams that force teams to dump and chase, counter that effectively.

          Last year’s team had the ability to generate more from board work than this year’s club. They were a bit more diverse.

          • There is no one that hates the defensive shell more then I do. Last season during the playoffs I took a lot of heat on here for criticizing AV for sitting on the lead even when they won. I remember at the time countering by posting Marc Stahl’s comments about his dislike for going into a shell. I’ve heard him say it a few times this season as well.

            It’s my opinion board work isn’t very important in AV’s system and a big part of the success the Rangers are having this season is because he has players that are better suited to his system and the rest have learned his system well. To be blunt, the transformation from Tort’s team to AV’s team has been completed.

            I’m not a systems guru, but I think what we saw in the game against the Kings is that there is a weakness to AV’s system that can be exploited by the right team. There aren’t many teams capable of doing that (thankfully) but I wouldn’t be surprised if the teams that the Rangers face in the playoffs will be studying the tape of that game.

          • You are absolutely correct. What LAK does better than any other team is suppress shot attempts. They take away skating lanes in the NZ and force dump and chase hockey. At that point, they have the right players who are adept at moving the puck out of the zone. That type of hockey is the worst kind of matchup for the Rangers.

            The second worst matchup: Teams with the same speed but better skill. Think NYI, TBL.

          • Agreed. I’m just thankful there really aren’t a lot of teams that can do what the Kings do well enough to shut down the Rangers the way we saw them do the other night.

            I also agree on the second point about teams like Tampa and the Islanders. And with those two teams in particular, they are also more motivated to beat the Rangers then any other teams in the league. The worst case scenario for the Rangers is Islanders in Round 2, Tampa in Round 3 and a rematch with the Kings.

      • Making the SCF last year was not because of the coach. It was because 1 man and his mom, brought the team together. I still hate the coach even though he has a great system.

        • He’s among the winningest coaches, if not THE winningest coach in the NHL over the past decade. He’s been to two SC Finals. He transfomed a Rangers team last season that had played a totally different system under Torts, and once they got it turned around in January last season they were among the best teams in the NHL.

          Yes, MSL and the tragedy with his mom certainly had an effect, but lets not forget that when the playoffs began, Kreider was hurt, McDonagh was hurt. Once those guys got healthy, the team took off. That was the real reason they got going. He seemed to have a good instinct as to who to start in what situation (his use of Carcillo, for example).

          This season, despite losing so many key players, he has done an amazing job again re-crafting his team and has them playing the best hockey in the league over the past 3 1/2 months.

          He has a great system (which you acknowledged), the players seem to love playing for him and he wins. To me, he should be in the Jack Adams discussion. What’s not to like?

    • I told all my Isles fan buddies that their team was peaking too early.

      They laughed then, now they just cry in their beers.

    • It must be wonderful thing. All I did was mention the Islanders in an email to a buddy of mine and he stopped replying to me. LOL

      • I work with 3 Isles fans. I poke the bear a bit with them. Sent them a picture of the standings with the little ‘x’ next to the Rangers.

  • The secondary thrill of this run is that my Islander fan friends (that does seem to be a oxymoron, and they are morons by way, oxy or otherwise) are up in arms that we cannot seem to lose. They are watching all of our games, heck, I don’t watch Fishstix games, couldn’t care less. I told them the very same thing, you guys are peaking too early and to keep an eye in your rear view mirror, then you side view mirror and now your windshield. Glad CIndy & Co. are no doing well either.

    Is Nash injured? Fun to see Talbout try to hit him with a stretch pass in the third period, something The King cannot do, not that there is anything wrong with that as Seinfeld would often say. But the defense is going to have to adjust when Lundqvist is back in net. Talbot is a much better stick handler (at times).

    I loved the knock-hockey style 1st goal from Stephan to Kreider. Very innovative.

    I just wish that our Power Play would work, then I feel we would be deadly.

    • I don’t think Nash is injured, but I’ve noticed he doesn’t seem to be moving his feet as much as when he was scoring. He’s my favorite player and I hate to say this, but I just don’t think he’s skating hard.

      Slumps happen and Nash was playing at a level that is hard to sustain, but for whatever reason, I think he has gotten away from what he was doing differently this year that led to him having so much success.

    • That is true but HankΒ΄s puck handling skills have gotten FAR better this year then in prior years. I believe he made it a point to work on this since this past off-season.

  • This is off topic, but since there is so much talk in the media about the Rangers reaching 100 points, if OT games were counted as ties like they were back in the day, the Rangers record would be 38-19-16 for 92 points (2nd behind Tampa with 94). With OT but no shoot out, their record would be 43-19-11 for 97 points, which is tops in the NHL.

    I know that coaches play for loser points, so it’s a different situation these days, but if people want to compare Wins and Points to Ranger teams from the past, you really need to compare apples to apples. πŸ™‚

  • Can you guys do a post on coach of the year. In my mind AV is a solid contender since he has kept the team running with the backup goalie plus NYR lead the league in goal diff and goal diff when 5v5.

    Who else?

    Has AV ever won coach of the year?

    By the way, what is Torts doing now?

    • AV won the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year in his first year in Vancouver following the ’06-’07 season. As for Torts, I think he sitting on the beach collecting his hefty paycheck from the aforementioned Canucks.

  • Holy smokes I just realized I read 75 comments, and not a single one was bashing Marc Staal. I thought I came to the wrong blog, but I went back up to the top, and yep, this is the Rangers site. Wow. Dave I have to disagree with you about Ottawa. I don’t see that Hamburglar person, or whatever they call him, beating the Rangers four games in a month, much less in a week and a half. We’ll see. I think they’re just one of those teams that is getting hot for a month, and may just beat out a fading Bruins team for that last spot.

    Anyway, we’ll see. Interesting to see what AV does with Hank. Personally I’d like to see Hank get the Boston start, and Cam shut out the Capitals on Sunday at home. I’m assuming Hank is fully healthy; maybe I’ve missed something but I haven’t seen that anywhere.

    Not for nothing, but does the team really have to go to Winnipeg and Minnesota next week. Can’t they send the jayvee’s?

    Whoever it was above who said they’ll be able to die happy because of 1994 is probably on the right track. If this team doesn’t win the Cup I’m not going to slit my wrists. At my age, I’m enjoying the speed and skill of this team, enjoying every night. I’ve gotten to see my team hit the summit. Now, if I was 25, I’d probably feel differently. Enjoy the weekend, everyone.

    Regards- orange

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