Game Wrap-ups

Rangers snap losing streak against Carolina


The Rangers broke their three game losing streak with a 4-3 win over Carolina at home, despite a relatively sloppy performance. While they came out on top it’s hard to say any individual Ranger player had a particularly positive game, with only Derick Brassard post a positive shot attempts +/- for the night. Across the board the Rangers had a hard time getting out of their own zone or connecting on passes, giving up 75 shot attempts and 36 shots on goal to Carolina in 60 minutes. It was the kind of win where you’re just happy they got the two points, but hopefully they tighten up their game in the future as this kind of win is likely to be unsustainable.

Rangers 1 Hurricanes 0

On a power play early in the game the Rangers win the face off and the puck kicks back into the high slot, where Mats Zuccarello jumps at it and snaps the shot  before Cam Ward can get set.

Rangers 2 Hurricanes 0
A second power play goal for the Rangers, this time late in the first period. Following an outside shot from Dan Boyle, Kevin Hayes recovers the puck along the boards and works it back to the point where it’s played by Keith Yandle. Yandle then plays it over back to Boyle, who passes it to Lindberg in the slot instead of taking the same shot again. Lindberg rips the one timer and the Rangers gain a 2-0 lead to close out the first.
Rangers 2 Hurricanes 1
Nestrasil enters the zone coming down the wing and gets the puck deep where it’s fought for unsuccessfully by the Rangers. The puck then comes back around for Nestrasil coming through the slot, who centers it, with Jordan Staal getting the tip in on an easy goal in front for Carolina.
Rangers 3 Hurricanes 1
Chris Kreider works the puck in deep where it’s fought for along the boards by Jesper Fast. Coming in to provide some support for Fast, the puck is kicked back out to Kreider, who turns and shoots from just above the goal line, hitting the net. Cam Ward was visibly frustrated on this one.
Rangers 4 Hurricanes 1
Jesper Fast clears the puck at the end of the penalty kill, with Cam Ward playing it back at the other end. The puck is intercepted by Kevin Hayes coming out of the box, who shows great decision making to play it over to Derick Brassard. Brassard rips this one home, putting the Rangers up 4-1.
Rangers 4 Hurricanes 2
This is one Henrik probably wants back. Following some play down in Carolina’s end, the puck is cleared out to the neutral zone where it’s scooped up by Lindholm coming down the middle. He passes the puck over to Victor Rask coming down the wing, who snaps a quick shot and beats Lundqvist cleanly from the top of the circle.
Rangers 4 Hurricanes 3
On a brilliant outlet pass Jeff Skinner catches Chris Terry coming off the bench breaking in. Terry, having beaten both Rangers defenders, puts a quick move on Lundqvist and slots it home for the Hurricanes’ third goal of the night.
Score Adjusted Shot Attempts
chart (1)
The above chart is the kind of thing that makes some people (myself included) question the process by which this Rangers team is winning games and whether or not this kind of play is sustainable. The Rangers had a solid start to the first and then began giving up some momentum, with the Hurricanes gaining a much bigger proportion of the offense of the game during the second period, especially towards the end of the frame. The third period was slightly better for the Rangers, but Carolina still held onto the lead in shot attempts.
Scoring Chances
chart (2)
Here again we see more worrying evidence in terms of process. The Rangers did not keep up with the Hurricanes in terms of scoring chances, and while the Rangers led in goals, it’s a little concerning that they were this behind in scoring opportunities.
Shot Location
Screen shot 2015-11-30 at 11.39.45 PM
Even more concerning than the last two charts, which displayed the Rangers deficiency this game in terms of both shot attempts and scoring chances, is this chart displaying both teams’ shot locations. As we can see the Rangers took relatively few of their shots in that critical slot area, while Carolina attempted a large amount of shots directly in front of the Rangers net. These are high danger scoring chances that the Rangers can’t be giving up if they want to sustain their success.
Individual Corsi
Screen shot 2015-11-30 at 11.44.32 PM
This is perhaps the most damning chart we see with regards to the Rangers game against Carolina because as we can see, despite winning only one Ranger, Derick Brassard, was positive tonight in possession. This stands in stark contrast to Carolina’s players, all of whom displayed positive Corsi differentials on the evening.
So to sum it up despite maintaining a lead all game and scoring some sensational goals the Rangers’ play against Carolina left a lot to be desired. The team struggled to exit their zone and connect on passes, were badly outshot, and had to rely on two power play goals to establish their lead. It’s one thing to celebrate getting two points and snapping a losing streak, but it’s worthwhile to question the teams process of getting these kinds of wins and whether or not it’s sustainable. Hopefully they can tighten up their game for Wednesday’s visit to the Barclays Center, where they’ll play a competitive New York Islanders team.

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  • Here we go, we win, big deal!!!

    A game like this will only mask the problems we are experiencing. The team gets 2 points, good for that, now lets see how we do against the better teams of the NHL. We play the Brooklyn Fish Sticks next, if we put out the same effort, we loose.

    I think it’s time for the vets to start earning their pay, lead by example, and show they have pride.

    On a side note, just thinking out loud, could there be something going on in the locker room? Do they miss Hags that much? Is the constant changing of players, Mc Ilrath, Boyle, Etem, messing with people’s minds? Something has to change, and quickly!!!!!!!!!

    • I agree about possible Locker Room woes!!!!

      Nash made a statement that mentioned both the team needing to focus better on defense and also the importance of coming out of their zone.

      Hank & Maloney make comments supporting AV’s process and system.

      I think this team is showing that they are not happy with the 5 seriously overpaid D men…

      but now we will all be happy because Boyle made a pass to lindberg who scored, Boyle should toss the kid a few bucks for the help…

      JOBU GIVE ME THE BOTTLE!! This team is not going deep in the playoffs!!!!

      • it’s funny, mental midgets don’t agree with the truth, hence the thumbs down….. what fools !!!!!!

    • I dunno about that last statement Walt. If a couple lineup changes involving the 6th defenseman and a 3rd or 4th liner ever 6 games or so is enough to rattle this team then they don’t deserve to be called professionals.

      • you could right, but look at the body language with Boyle when he talks about being sat out after a game????????????

        • I think if they were rotating everybody, that would cause a problem. Boyle’s the only guy who’s been rotated on any regular basis.

          • I don’t know that I agree with that, Walt. He hasn’t ripped anyone for not playing. Can you blame him for wanting to play more and earning his paycheck? Or would you prefer he be happy to just sit and collect his money, as you often accuse the over 30 crowd of doing?

            And Bobby, he was arguably the best defenseman on the team last night. As I said before, the PP has been cooking and he’s a part of the reason why.

          • Ed

            As for last night’s game, just think about this, even a broken clock is right two times a day, yesterday was one of those two times !!!!!!!!!!

            And to your question about him earning his pay, correct me if I misunderstood Boyle when he stated that he was brought here to play in the PO’s. Am I to intepret it as I will slack off for the regular season ????

          • Walt, you COULD interpret it that way if you truly believe that aging athletes who get paid don’t care and won’t work hard. Boy, is that rare if not extinct in the modern game.

            What happened as I recall in that interview was that reporters were questioning Boyle as to why he was struggling last season. Boyle got annoyed and simply pointed out that he is a player who raises his game when the post season comes. And he did. He was better in post season, and ironically the only healthy defenseman they had in the end.

            AV specifically referenced a few weeks ago when he announced Boyle would play less just how hard Dan is working. This notion that older guys don’t work hard is a myth. As I’ve said before, it’s the younger guys that often have work ethic issues due to their lack of maturity much more so than older guys.

    • Could something be amiss in the lockerrom? Highly improbable. The NY media, being what it is, would be all over that.

      Could they miss Hags? Sure. But the core of this group was around in 2014 when the team traded their captain, and they seemed to handle that just fine. I doubt seriously it’s that.

      I’m surprised, however, that you didn’t mention the loss of your favorite player from last year–MSL. He was beloved in the lockerrom, had a work ethic that was off the charts that younger players wanted to emulate, was the de facto captain for the Cup run in ’14, and some might argue was also in that role last year as McDonagh was growing into it. I also think they miss the production that MSL was bringing at this time last year before he suddenly deteriorated before our eyes.

      I think they also miss another of our human pinatas, Tanner Glass. Despite being a mediocre player (and some might find that to be a kind description), he apparently was also extremely popular in the clubhouse.

      I’m confused by what you are saying about changing players. I thought you were in favor of using the whole roster, no? I mean, I like a set lineup too, but AV is trying to figure out whether Boyle has anything left, and whether McIlrath and Etem can fit. I don’t see how tha would affect the rest of the team really. This is hardly an unusual practice in the league.

      What I think IS possible is this… McDonagh really captain material? You raised that question earlier. Clearly, making a change in that regard now would do more harm than good. But it is fair to ask whether McDonagh can challenge these guys to do more when he’s not doing more himself right now.

  • I feel that it is 2 points, but another game played below expectations. Maybe the team is losing patience with AV or (as suggested by Walt) something is amiss in the locker-room. Now, we will see how the offense clicks without many changes as Etem will get his shot. Klein may miss a game, so Big Mac gets another shot, although I am unsure he deserves it.

    • Why the DMc hate? You know who isn’t deserving of anything right now Ryan McD. Several years ago he was supposed to NORRIS material. Right now he sucks. Pure and simple. That the Mc people such questioning.

      • no Big Mac hate, but folks, take off the rose colored glasses – he is at best a 6th defenseman. In the games he has played, with sheltered minutes he still is no better than a 6th defenseman. Get over the fact that he isn’t great.

        • That’s a bit harsh. I wouldn’t pass judgement on McIlrath until he gets a week or two of consistent playing time. He needs an opportunity to attain a certain level of comfort and confidence.

          He certainly has a better slapper than your typical 6th D. No reason he can’t have a Barret Jackman type of career.

          • Chris A, if Mcllrath has a career similar to Barret Jackman, all Ranger fans should take that comparison in a heart beat!!

        • NO one is calling for greatness. Ryan McD he was the anointed. What happen? D Mc can be top four in time EZ.

      • Totally agree with you, this repeated denigration of McIlrath is unreasonable & uncalled for. You’d think these people want him to fail because they already determined in their mind he was a bust and they want to be right. You are also right abt Mac1, his play has regressed a lot for reasons unknown. And hell what was Yandle doing on that first goal. He goes behind the net taking himself out of the play. Girardi is one on three until Zucc gets there late & then JT makes no attempt to check Nesteril, while Yandle is coming out from behind the net(?) late to the play. Chris A is right in fingering forwards for indifferent backchecking.

    • Sal, I disagree with your AV theory. There was an article in the NY Post today with the players praising and appreciating AV’s even keel approach. As Brooks mentioned, it’s appreciated because the modern coach knows if you point a finger publicly at a player in this day and age, you’re likley to find four pointed right back at you. That’s what happened with Torts and he eventually lost the room.

      Now, that being said, Brooks made a good point that I agree with. Patience is fine, but a good coach knows when it’s time to make adjustments. Paulronty and I disagree on some things, but he was absolutely correct to point out the other day that both the players AND the coaches bare responibilty for getting the team back on track. With only a few exceptions, everyone, players and coaches, are underachieving at the moment. AV knows it and knows it’s his job to get it fixed. But while we prefer sooner rather than later, this lead gives the Rangers time to methodically correct what’s wrong rather than abrupt, knee jerk reactions.

      Based on the last two seasons, this is pretty much the pattern with every AV team. Get a feel for each other early, than turn it on when the calendar flips to the new year. The talent is essentially the same and mostly in their prime. No reason why they don’t get back on track.

      We tend to focus on the Rangers, but look around at the other conference finalists from last year. The Bolts have been painfully mediocre. Anaheim is still inconsistent after a brutal start. Chicago has played a little better recently, but hardly look like the same team thus far. The SC playoff hangover is a real thing and should not be dismissed as a non-factor. Teams who have played this many games may well be sub-consciously pacing themselves.

      TB and Anaheim wouldn’t even be in the playoffs if they started today. Neither would other supposed serious contenders like Columbus and Winnipeg. I’m sure all of their fan bases are freaking out even more and envy the Rangers situation more than their own.

      Obviously, we have to get much, much better. I believe the defense is still shaking off rust from surgeries last summer. No reason to believe they won’t be ready when the bell rings for real–assuming they are healthy.

      • Ya I sure hope that pattern of taking off after Christmas happens again because it would make everybody very happy. We expect a lot from our team particularly because it looks like a better team than last year but isn’t playing that way yet.

      • One quick point, when Brooks writes something you agree with it’s fine, when he doesn’t, he has an agenda. Which is it? Just asking…

        • I’m just referencing it. I happen to agree with his point in this case, but not every case. Why is that unusual? Do you agree or disagree with every columnist 100% of the time?

          This column was very even handed I thought. The part about AV was not opinion. It was based on quotes from the players. So that’s simply reporting what is. Totally different than simply expressing his opinion. The rest of the column was more of an opinion of whether AV needs to adjust. And I agree with that. Every coach has to make adjustments constantly in order to be successful.

          So I don’t really understand your point.

          • knowing you as an independent thinker, I thought it was funny quoting Brooks that’s all !!!!!!!!!

          • Lol!

            Well, I am. And I think we all are. But I’m always interested in what the people paid to be “experts” have to say. I don’t always agree with them, but they often will bring up a point that gets you thinking.

          • Just read that Stan Fischler thinks a trade of Malkin for E Stall could happen??????

            If I’m Carolina, I’d make that deal in a heartbeat. We all know that will never happen, but it was written on the Yahoo news site!!!!!

            Now here is an example of what a so called expert is predicting. What is Stan smoking, I’d like some??????

          • Eddie–do you really expect the players to say AV sucks? They said nice things abt Torts to. It means little.

          • Paul, no I don’t. But sorry, you are wrong.

            I’ve expereinced this personally a million times. If players don’t like the coach, when asked about him they will either not comment or choose to comment as an unnamed source. In which case a guy like Brooks can then write that it seems as if AV is losing the room.

            If players like the coach, as they seem to with AV, they go on the record and say good things, as was done here, and has been done many times during his run.

            By the end of Torts’s run, there was little in the way of praise for the coach. It all dried up. As Casey Stengel used to say, you could look it up.

            Here’s another clue. What has AV’s track record been? Hasn’t he had a reputation of being a coach who’s popular with his players everywhere he’s been–pretty much the “anti-Torts”? I’m not aware that there is anything other than genuine affection for the guy in his previous stops in Montreal and Vancouver, are you? Why would that suddenly change here? What are you basing this on?

            Do you think a columnist like Brooks wants to cover AV? No. He wants Keenan, or Torts. Controversial figures that players tolerate at best, or hate at worst. That’s what sells papers. If there was any chance for Brooks to write in blaring headlines–“AV is Losing the Room”, you think he wouldn’t jump on that? He can’t because it’s likely not the case.

            Anything is possible, but in my experience in dealing with this stuff, I think your supposition is baseless.

  • This site went from a stats-based forum to a magical thinking forum in a few weeks. How is expressing uncertainty about a rookie player “denigrating” said player? It is a fact that he has played sheltered minutes, no PK, not top line match ups. But because he mashed a couple of players faces he is the answer to some of you. I will reserve judgement, and take a cautious attitude toward anointing him the savior.

    In sum: we all agree that the team is playing poorly right now. Some of us think that Dylan McIlrath is our Conor McDavid. I happen to think he will prove to be a solid player, but is not the “answer.”

    And I think some of you all just want to watch hockey fights where our guy licks their guy, and would take that as consolation even if we lose. I want to win. DM is not going to be the reason why we win a cup.

    • Agree Mythdoc. I always think it’s healthy to take a wait and see attitude with any rookie before annointing him as a difference maker. (Unless said rookie is named McDavid or Eichel).

      He’s been better than I expected thus far. That hit on Ferraro really opened my eyes much more so than the fights, that latter of which wins you nothing in the Spring. Now with Klein out, we will certainly get a real clear idea of what he can bring to this team.

    • You are the guy engaging in “magical thinking” because no one intimated that DMac was McDavid(silly,silly comment) or as you put it “the answer.” You go way beyond logic by stating DMac is not going to bring the Cup. Again hyperbole for the sake of argument. Some of us want to see more physical play.This does not mean we live for the fight as you imply. This is a team game so it is inane to suggest that any one player is “the answer.”

      • I can go back through the recent topics and find several examples of magical thinking, if you want to take me up on it.

        We can start with two, from memory alone:
        -Last year the various broken feet and ankles suffered by d men were because we were “beaten up” physically
        -in 1994 Keenan demanded we get grit to win the cup and we did win the cup. Therefore that same change, in the form of adding DM, is what is needed this year

  • Just announced, Klein out 2-3 weeks with strained oblique. (Don’t be surprised if it’s longer…..those things tend to linger). As I understand it, that’s right on the cusp of the length needed to go on LTIR. Will be interesting to see if the Rangers call someone up. With the western Canada trip coming, I’d assume so. Diaz? Skjei?

    The bad news is we are losing the guy who has arguably been, for most of the season, our best defenseman thus far. The good news is it will mean an extended look at McIlrath, so we can really see what he can do. The test against a speedy physical Islanders team will be particularly informative I would think.

      • yA let’s. Just like we need to see what all the other D got too. So far they have struggled as has the whole team.

    • Funny out of all our starting defensemen…

      No pun!


      I for one hope the kid sticks! I like him, last home game he a got solid taste of the fans cheering for him, I hope it boosts his confidence and he does what he can do!!!!


  • Who is not in favor of a physical Dmen given our current back line’s inability (save for Klein) to play a steady physical game? Do you want Raffy Diaz up here? Please.
    Not expecting Larry Robinson or Scott Stevens but a Beuk-a-Boomer in training would be great.

    • Stranger, other than Mcllrath , we do not have that type of player. I always admired the Stevens /Danyko combo during the Devils cup years. The opposition certainly had a difficult time dealing with the Physicality of those 2 . .

      • Good grief. Sometimes I think that at 55 I may be one of the youngest posters on this forum, given the old timey examples I keep reading from the bygone days of hockey. Yeah, and there was a two line pass then and teams played trap defenses all the time too, and goals per game were still almost twice what they are now.

    • Here’s my answer to your slanted question. If I could have one thing I’d take Anton Stralman back. The guy never fights and is not particularly gritty, he skates and passes and sees the play. If we had him instead of Girardi or Boyle, now we’re talking a player who is great in reality. Too bad we let him go. I blame Sather for it.

      • Who could disagree with your post?? Others would say his contract will hurt Tampa down the road, like these 2 don’t now??????

        • I think we all wish we had Stralman. Remember though, while both he and Boyle have the same annual cap hit, Boyle is done after this year. Stralman has another three years yet. I’m thinking that they didn’t want to go long term with Stralman since they projected ahead and figured they would be in cap hell and wouldnt be able to retain Zuc or Stepan, or Kreider once he became a RFA. On that part, I think Sather probably made the right call.

          Girardi is the trickier one. Think back to pre-deadline 2014. Callahan and Girardi, two heart and soul players, both approaching their UFA summer. They had Staal coming off of a potentially career ending injury that I’m sure left management wondering about his long range future. Stralman was solid, but he hadn’t yet become a star. Sather realized he was likley going to have to trade Cally. Does he trade Girardi, a 2012 NHL All-star who was 29 at the time, or leave him dangling? Would we have gotten as far as we did in ’14 without Girardi? (I know he had a rough series vs LA, but he was real good before that).

          Now in hindsight, clearly the Rangers would have liked to have found a way to keep Stralman. But I do think that given the information they had at the time, and the opportunity they saw to make a run, Sather’s decision was understandable. And most writers in the know will tell you Girardi would have made that and more on the open market.

          • All good points. I am mainly addressing the fact that Stralman is not a fighter but would be a huge asset to our team right now.

          • Another non sequiter. Just because a guy is a fighter or non fighter doesn’t mean he can’t be an asset. But Stralman is history and why cry over a guy that’s long gone. And he is no All-Star either.

  • Lets hope Klein heals quickly, he has been one of the better players so far this season. Mcllrath gets a chance to play on a regular basis. He has done an admirable job to this point. His Physical play and protection of teammates have not gone unnoticed. . Lets remember, he is a rookie, he is a 6th defense-man , not to be compared with McDavid or Eichel . Will he make mistakes, sure he will, just as some of our million dollar babies have done all year. Play your game Dylan, stay with in your self. You will be fine!

  • As stated earlier, I think Dylan has the makings of a solid d man. Let’s remember to look at his STATS and make a reality based assessment of what he brings to the ice in the ways he will be used.

    • Stats aren’t the be all & end all. As Disraeli said, “There are lies, damn lies & statistics.” Did you read the article by Anthony Scultore who showed a regression analysis on Corsi that showed it was not predictive at all. As I said last year if you don’t use significance tests on data it means very little.

      • Oh please. By that argument Girardi’s terrible corsi also means nothing. This is exactly what I am pointing out, magical thinking, poor analogies, and argument from feelings instead of logic.

        • Ok, I won’t demand we consider corsi and other analytics when Girardi’s corsi regresses to the mean.

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