Game Wrap-ups

Rangers slide of poor play continues, get blanked by Senators

rangers senators 2016
AP Photo/Rich Schultz

The Rangers have had a poor stretch of games lately, and while they haven’t lost all of them, the continued poor play is a cause for concern. It seems to have come to a head last night, as the Rangers played poorly and were blanked by a tired Ottawa Senators team. The defense certainly failed with a bunch of miscues, but the offense couldn’t get anything going until the third period either.

Craig Anderson had one of the easier shutouts he’s ever had, as the Rangers failed to sustain any consistent pressure throughout. Couple that with the aforementioned defensive miscues, and the Rangers were doomed to a mediocre game. It wasn’t until the second half of the third, when Ottawa started to shell, that the chances started flowing. Too little, too late.

It’s clear the Rangers miss Mika Zibanejad on the powerplay. They won’t get much done with five lefties on the man-advantage. Also, it’s clear the Rangers have a lot of trouble when teams clog the neutral zone.

On to the goals:

Senators 1, Rangers 0


This was a total fail by both Kevin Klein and Brady Skjei. First, Skjei chased the puck behind the net and all around. Then Klein went after Tom Pyatt, despite Skjei chasing, which left Jean-Gabriel Pageau wide open in front. Skjei shouldn’t have chased, Klein shouldn’t have deserted. Not a good look for the defense.

Senators 2, Rangers 0


The clearing attempt by Nick Holden hit the ref, where Mike Hoffman picked up the loose puck. Klein and Josh Jooris went to Hoffman, while Holden parked himself in front. Problem is that no one picked up Mark Stone. It was unfortunate that the puck hit the ref, but that was bad defense once the play went on. Also, Suit noted on Twitter that Jooris’ stick was pointed at the blue line, not the goal line. That left the passing lane open.

Corsi (even strength)


The Rangers had a decent amount of chances throughout, but most of them came from the outside. It wasn’t until the latter half of the third when there was a spike in both quantity and quality. That neutral zone trap by the Sens was giving the Rangers fits all night.

Scoring Chances (even strength)


This was a boring game. Neither team had hit double digits in scoring chances until the third period. The Rangers doubled their scoring chances in the last ten minutes of the game when Ottawa shelled, but to no avail.

The Rangers may not be losing games left and right, but they are not playing well at all. It’s been a while since we’ve seen them truly dominate an opponent, and they’ve faced some bad opponents lately. The injuries hurt, but the defense is really crushing the ability to generate speed through the neutral zone with the inability to make the short passes needed to breakout. This may be a bumpy ride for a while.

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    • This is true Smith. AV must have taken the blue pill and missed out on the rabbit hole. Lol “Mr Anderson!”
      I second your notion on AV and the trap but I don’t think AV has ever had a top flight puck moving defenseman. Those are the Doughty’s, Karlsson, and Keith’s of the NHL. We don’t need one of those guys (payroll and roster reasons) but we need a top pair righty shooting defenseman that can help start the play when trailing in the 3rd and teams are laying behind the Rangers blue line in a trap.
      Boston used that 1-4 against him to great effect in the SCF when AV was in Vancouver. I don’t think the Canucks had a single guy on the back end capable of defeating that trap.
      This is going to become a common theme this season unless Gorton makes a move for that guy. Teams will just keep doing it. We have to play Carolina tonight again and if we fall behind we are in trouble because Staal is still a top 4 Dman and there’s 4 lefties on defense.

      Can anyone explain why Clendening hasn’t played? He’s probably the best puck mover we have on the roster and he sits while Staal turns the puck over.
      Skjei/Clendening would be my 2nd pair tonight.

  • Welp… regression and adjustments stink don’t they? The Rangers just made 2 pretty bad teams look pretty darned good.

    Like I said and people don’t want to face reality, let’s see what this team looks like in Jan/Feb. The last 3 games have not been entertaining and fun to watch. Actually, being at the game last night, it was pretty painful to watch.

    • Hello my friend. Last night illustrates exactly what I have been afraid of. Teams will adjust to the rangers freewheeling, one dimensional style.

      • Hey pal!!

        Of course, me too, did everyone think that the rest of the league was just going to sit back and let the Rangers do whatever they want on the ice?

        • I don’t think anyone thought that. We all knew the Rangers weren’t scoring 5 goals a game over 82 games. The 3-2 loss to Carolina set a blueprint of how to beat the Rangers and it seems like some teams are following. The Rangers back end is mediocre at best and they don’t have a defenseman that scares the opposition at all. A guy like Drew Doughty would be able to use the trap against a team and at least get the puck in deep. Staal & Girardi have no clue how to make a smart 1st pass and at best the Rangers lose possession. Other times the puck is coming back 3 on 2 or 2 on 1 if the defenseman gets caught up ice.

          We can all sit here and say we want this guy or that guy but the fact of the matter is teams want something in return for top 4 defenseman, especially righties since they’re so rare. We need the trade to happen but what we may have to give up may not make Ranger fans happy. The Pens scored Daley last season and he paid huge dividends in the long run. He gave Pittsburgh depth beyond Letang. Gorton needs to search for an affordable Dman that can slide into a top 4 spot to help in 2-0 games in the 3rd period. That game against Ottawa was winnable. Even the final 10 minutes we could have scored a couple goals had we had someone to pass to a teammate.

          • yep, I agree on the Carolina game, 100%. I also think the Columbus game started the current string of teams clogging the neutral zone.

  • A trapping team that collapses gives our offense trouble. Sure the defense left a few guys open, but 2 goals is not a horror show. What is horrible is switching lines on an offense that works. Putting Fast on a top line and burying Vesey. That is the horror story of last night.

    AV is tinkering again. Klein or Girardi need a day off.

    • I think you should have used AND instead of OR in your last statement.

      I knew the Rangers were in trouble when they went shotless on two consecutive power plays. The team is becoming pass happy again.

  • last night the rangers could of beaten Ottawa they played the night before and had to travel but the Sens won last night Vesey should be on the top line not fast and it is time to rest Klein or Girardi

  • This team’s sudden spiral coincides with Girardi’s elevation to the 1st defensive pairing with McD….shots allowed numbers have gone down the tubes, and McD’s offensive resurgence has been effectively nullified once again by having to cover for the NHL’s worst defenseman. And AV’s picking a heck of a time to become a lineup moron again….Fast on the 2nd line of an NHL team is a joke. How do you get Vesey more involved? Play him on the lines that’ve allowed him early-season success. Fast offers nothing to this team except sound defensive positional play–he can’t score and has no business being in this team’s top 6.

    Looks like a promising start is on its way to being completely derailed…and once again, the coach looks helpless to stop the downward spiral. Not looking good for NYR at the moment.

  • They need to make better passes. Far too many giveaways.

    And they looked like the team that had played three in four, not Ottawa.

    • Problem is that our system is not one size fits all. Vs certain d schemes ours simply doesn’t work. In 3 years this coaching staff has not figured out how to adjust on an in game basis or game to game basis.

      • I fully agree with you that the coaching staff doesn’t adjust in-game…but I’m also pretty sure they haven’t really tried, either. I think it’s more “won’t” than “can’t” adjust. I don’t see adjustments being tried and not working out. Same approach for three periods yesterday, even though it was painfully obvious after the first that they were going to be, yet again, likely stifled by a neutral zone trap if they kept up with the same approach. I’m glad every team doesn’t run that against us…but they probably should. AV has shown a distinct pattern that he has no interest in adjusting his scheme/”proh-cess” whatsoever as needed.

  • Dave. My very first thought when I heard Zibanejad was hurt was that our PP would suffer. And so it is…………………………..

    • It has suffered because no one else gets “dirty” in front. Pirri likes to “wind up and fire” but he needs to be open. Unless Krieder causes some havoc in front, we become too pass happy (as stated above) instead of making a mess in front like Z-bad did. Nash had a good game, but other than that, the offense was flat. We need to play the body a bit more against a team like Ottawa. Maybe Vesey gets benched next game and Fast centers the 1st line.

      • I would prefer to see Hayes on the PP, Vesey playing with Stepan and Fast on the 4th line or pressbox.

      • I agree. I don’t know why Kreider stopped going hard to the net once again. But you’re right nobody else really goes to those dirty areas much if at all. Nash tries to use his size and carries the puck in deep but Kreider is back to drifting over the blue line and shooting from out far past the circle or near the blue line. Fans can blame AV or the D but we’re not giving up a bunch of goals and getting blown out. Every D makes their share of mistakes and we did last game but if we don’t score goals it don’t matter anyway. I do think we’ll be in better shape when Buchnivech gets back too. He’s always around the play it seems.

    • It doesn’t help that Pirri flubbed 3 chances as well, to be honest. I’m sure that’s the coach’s fault as well, just give me time to connect the dots. 🙂

  • Zibanejad’ injury does hurt I think a lot more than people might realize. He is a shoot first pass later guy, and fast as hell. No shots on the power play? Missing Mika is part of the reason.

    • guys standing around like statues not moving their feet also a part of the problem. not hard for the pk to block the passing lanes when the passing lanes never change.

      • Totally agree with you and Peters. Zibanejad is definitely a guy who was taking a lot of shots and creating rebounds at the very least. The PP is just what you said guys are standing in one spot. They’re going from station to station and it makes it much easier to block shots n passes because of it. We’re supposed to be a fast team but if they’re not skating it don’t matter. I still think that Kreider is a big key to this teams success. He has to start skating his ass off. If they start cycling the puck on the PP especially they will be much better off.

  • I think it’s time to panic and blame the coach. There’s gonna be bad stretches for every team. Just remember we don’t have a bunch of superstars either. This is why you don’t get too high or low on a team. There’s gonna be more stretches when we’re gonna look great again. But for now all the AV haters can blame him and make sure you don’t give him any credit for the times he makes moves and the team responds good and wins games

    • If you don’t think we are repeating what was done last year, then there is no conversation. You’re an AV bot. You will never learn and your just a follower and a blind supporter.
      Good for you. Thinking is not for everyone.

      • You talk like you know the guy. All you just did was put words in his mouth. I don’t think he’s saying AV is great and nothing is wrong with the team right now. That’s ok. Sing a lunch bag is not for everyone. It may be just for you.

      • First of all I never said he’s great. What I’m saying is every time things go bad you guys come out of the woodwork to blame the coach but he gets no credit when we win. That’s a big difference from what you just wrote. I’m sure you’ll have nothing to say when we start winning again Enjoy your complaining for now underwear

      • Underscore the genius knows it all. Good for you. Everything you said has nothing to do with what I was saying. And for you to use “bot” tells me I’ve been watching hockey before you were born.

  • Given those Corsi and SC numbers, if the Rangers had won, everyone here would have said that they were lucky.

    That said, some teams do seem effective at trapping the Rangers. AV and his staff need to figure that out.

  • I think “eddie” is allowed to click more than one “thumbs down” per post because that would explain the numerous thumb downs every time someone says something mean about the coach, lol. love ya bro. 🙂

      • wow, I’m getting killed by telling the truth, lol.

        So now it’s up to the coach and the players to adjust their game to offset the way opponents are now going to play them. Of course, this has been going on for 2 weeks now and the best the coach can come up with is shuffling the cards (the lines).

        The next big adjustment, put in Oscar for Pumpernickel.

  • Without Mika this Rangers team goes nowhere because we have only one superstar and he’s in goal. All the parts have to be healthy for this Rangers team to win anything. Where’s as some call Stepan a number one center he’s really a two at best. Number ones put teams on their back and carry them which Stepan has never done. Step up. He’s a compiler, does make others better and keep Kreider away from him. Play Nash and Vesey with him. Krieder was a beast playing with Mika and Buch. Then the injuries to Buchnevich and him came and now Mika. Stepan should be the center piece in a trade for D help and than move Miller to center. Last nights game is one way teams without a lot of speed will play the Rangers. No one Stepped up.

    • We all suck only, only 1 superstar and he does not score 5 goals a game. Your right on 1 thing and that’s the coaches lineup. Fast with Kreider. Will he ever learn? No! Just like last year.

  • Anyone notice that Torts and the Blue Jackets have not lost 2 regulation games in a row all season. This team is for real..

  • I wish Kreider would stop floating around the ice and drifting over the blue line instead of flying over the line and trying to beat his guy so that he can get the inside position on him. Just watch Grabner and how he always uses his speed to try to get inside him and get the angle he needs to rush the net. Kreider started the season doing it and fans were saying he’s finally become the player we knew he could be. He’s done it every year. He plays real hard and is going to the net every chance he gets and then goes back into cruise control for weeks. I just don’t get it with him. If he would get back to that beast mode we seen in the first few weeks I guarantee we would see a lift in the offensive and scoring chances. Now I’m not saying he’s the whole problem. I’m just saying that’s one area we could improve in. It’s not some new concept either. It’s something we’ve seen for a while now. When Kreider is playing his best hockey the team is playing much better.

  • You read my mind. The Rangers cannot defeat the neutral zone trap. Carolina did a lot of it to us late in that 3-2 loss a few weeks back. We need a top pairing defenseman that can skate the puck thru that trap or make a clean pass (to a teammate) to start the play into the oppositions end. The Rangers are a rush team. If the opposition gets a lead and traps, they have no one on the back end that can get the puck thru center ice.
    I swear Staal passes to the opposition 75% of the time in these and other situations. He looked good to start the season but has went back to the Staal we all know.
    Hamilton may help but I don’t know he’s experienced enough for top pairing competition. I would like to see the Rangers pull off a deal for Shattenkirk.

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