Rangers eke out a win against Carolina

rangers hurricanes
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The Rangers beat the Hurricanes last night in a win that could be described in a few words – bizarre, ugly, concerning – but no matter what, a win is a win. This was a win the Rangers needed to turn around from the slight slump the top-scoring offense in the NHL needed, however strange and ugly that win may be.

Let’s take a period-by-period look at this game in bulleted form:

  • Carolina opened the game with a ton of pressure, consistently swarming the Rangers when they’d make it to the offensive zone and forcing turnovers.
  • Once trapped in their own zone, the Rangers main move was to attempt to chip the puck out to the neutral zone. When this worked, all it did was come right back in.

  • Former Rangers Viktor Stalberg scored the first goal as part of a solid rush by Carolina, highlighted by a dive-block by Nick Holden.
  • When, oh when will the Rangers learn to defend without flopping on the ice like a baby whale to do so?
  • The pressure continued throughout the first, with Carolina forcing turnovers. One particularly nasty one came off the stick of Kevin Klein and, eventually by way of rebound to the back of the net.
  • Luckily for the Rangers, those two were the only of the 28 that Henrik Lundqvist would let in.
  • The Garden was eerily quiet on TV, save for some boos that fans showered the players with at the end of the first, until there was some offensive production in the third period. Per fans in house, it was just as quiet in person.
  • Nick Holden gave back with the Rangers first goal in the second period, a good offensive play in which he stuck with the play and tossed in a rebound. With Cam Ward having played well during the month of November, crowding the net and throwing it all at him seemed to work.
  • Rick Nash was vintage Rick Nash — aka completely dominant — in the third period. His energy undoubtedly ramped up the team. His goal (the second of the game) was highlight reel worthy.
  • Throughout the third period, which was miles better than the first and second, the Rangers were still a bit lost. The majority of their zone entries consisted of forwards skating the puck in and buzzing around. There was nothing cohesive, there were few outlet passes.
  • That being said, the pressure led to a hooking call on Ron Hainsey which Hainsey contested, leading to an additional two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct. This led to lots of traffic in front of the net and a Jimmy Vesey game winning goal.
  • The Vesey goal was great, because the Rangers adapted to their missing pieces on the power play and improvised by throwing everything at Ward.

The possession chart below shows exactly why I feel unable to get pumped up about this win:

c/o hockeystats.ca
c/o hockeystats.ca

What this says to my untrained eye is exactly in line with the notes I typed as I watched this game and prepared for this recap. The Hurricanes’ forecheck was absurd, specifically in the first and second periods. Lee Stempniak, Sebastian Aho, Viktor Stalberg, and Teuvo Teravainen were all monsters this game, and that’s with Jeff Skinner (mostly) shut down by the Rangers’ competent D.

Also noted is the “grit” which works against the “grit” which does not. The Rangers looked feisty once again, which is a sign to me of inability and frustration. The current directive seems to be to finish your checks, since the Rangers had 19 hits, but still had less possession. The “good grit” was evident in the third goal: the jamming in front of the net, throwing everything you could until you hear a whistle or a horn.

The Rangers play in Buffalo on Thursday against the Sabres and recently healthy Jack Eichel.

38 thoughts on “Rangers eke out a win against Carolina

  • Nov 30, 2016 at 6:24 am

    The King and Nash were just dominant, nothing else to say.

    The Rangers were disinterested for much of this game as they have been lately, as the possession chart clearly shows. They do this against the better teams then they don’t win this way unless the goalies steal games.

    • Nov 30, 2016 at 9:17 am

      I hope this win gets them going and gives them a spark because they have looked very disinterested lately. I think teams come ready to play against them. I was glad to see Nash put the team on his back and remind people just how good he is. I just wish it didn’t have to come to that. This is the same guys that were so exciting to watch just a couple of weeks ago

      • Nov 30, 2016 at 12:07 pm

        I agree my friend. This is a group effort and if the coach does instruct them to do things a certain way then it’s on the players as well.

        The “enegy” or lack thereof at the beginning of the game after getting shutout by an awful team like Ottawa was pretty disgusting, quite honestly.

        • Nov 30, 2016 at 12:19 pm

          Ottawa is a well organized team that has earned 29 of a possible 56 points. They’re points total puts them in the top 3rd of the league. Calling them an awful team is a bit of a stretch. They beat the Rangers the same way they managed to beat the Habs two times this season.

          • Nov 30, 2016 at 12:52 pm

            True, maybe that was a bit harsh, but their style of play is to suffocate teams defensively as they cannot afford to give up too many goals, ala the 2011-12 Torts team.

            • Nov 30, 2016 at 1:18 pm


              Sorry Richter but Tort’s teams weren’t a neutral zone trap team.

              • Nov 30, 2016 at 1:38 pm

                maybe not neutral trap but they were definitely a defensive team because they really didn’t have the talent on offense. that was the year they blocked all those shots, remember? Torts beat the crap out of G that started G’s decline.

              • Nov 30, 2016 at 3:00 pm

                They may not have been a trap team, but Torts’ Rangers were so so boring. It was low event hockey (keep the puck on the perimeter at all costs), which is exactly what the Senators are managing right now.

                The good news for the Sens is that they actually have some legit offensive talent. Once Boucher loosens the reins a bit, they should be a decent middle of the pack team.

              • Nov 30, 2016 at 3:18 pm

                The 2012 Rangers were a basically a “bend but don’t break” type of defensive team that “waited” to counter attack to score goals.

                One of my favorite Ranger teams of all time just due to the heart that they showed game in and game out. They ran out of gas though at the end.

            • Nov 30, 2016 at 8:56 pm

              that’s exactly how the Devils won their Cups!

              Boring hockey, I know I was at the Ottawa game, it was a snore fest!

              • Dec 1, 2016 at 6:25 am

                100% Joe. It’s funny I remember watching the Wings in 1995 have the puck for long periods of time but never get a SOG. Devs really collapsed down when they needed to. D wins in the playoffs.

  • Nov 30, 2016 at 7:19 am

    We sometimes need a stud to put the team on their backs and carry us to a win. Rick Nash was that stud last night.

    Klein needs a rest. Oskar played with some fire in his belly.

    A few players were invisible most of the evening.

  • Nov 30, 2016 at 7:23 am

    last night the rangers got a deserved 3-2 win against Carolina playing without Jordan Staal but the rangers came out flat in the first then turned it on in the second and third periods

  • Nov 30, 2016 at 7:49 am

    I was there. Very quiet until Nash’s goal. I don’t think the replays do this goal justice, because it’s only in person that you really sense how big Nash is. When he combines that with being faster than the opposition, as he was on the goal, it’s unreal. It’s like a tank against cavalry.

  • Nov 30, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Just what the doctor ordered baby!

    The game started off like the past few, but then it rolled our way!

    Keep it Rolling!

    Buffalo, then these pesky canes, Isles, then a nice little road trip…
    Just what we need!


  • Nov 30, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Richter is right on the money, Nash and Hank. I also thought Vesey and Fast had excellent games. Lindberg reminded me of just what kind of player he will be.

    • Nov 30, 2016 at 8:46 am

      We have basically 3 “stars”: King, Nash, and McD. The Rangers need them to be stars for them to contend. Man, when Rick plays that way he is unstoppable.

      I love Oscar and I hope that he continues to get a chance to play. He may end up being a trade chip though.

      • Nov 30, 2016 at 9:55 am

        I have a feeling the next couple weeks make or break Oscar’s future as a Ranger. If he doesn’t start to distinguish himself soon I could see the Rangers moving on from him. Once Buch and then Mika are ready to return to the lineup someone will have to make room. And at the moment, I think I would keep Puempel and his higher ceiling over Oscar and his higher floor.

        • Nov 30, 2016 at 12:09 pm

          Oscar deserves a little slack not having a real training camp because of his injury, but unfortunately sports are not fair and when Buch comes back it seems like the #s do not favor Oscar.

          I expect him to be a trade chip at some point once the Rangers are healthy and as we closer to the trade deadline. I would trade him to Arizona for Michael Stone. Yutes drafted Oscar and are familiar with him. Oscar would be a good 2 way player for them.

          • Nov 30, 2016 at 12:27 pm

            I have no problem with Oscar, and I also had high hopes for him. I just think he’s getting squeezed out because of numbers.

            There are three big negative marks against Oscar that are out of his control. He’s an RFA with arbitration rights next summer, he’s no longer waiver exempt, and he needs to be protected this summer from the expansion draft. Also, Boo is gaining on Oscar and could pass him on the depth chart (he may already have).

            That Stone for Oscar deal sounds like a good one for both sides. And whatever happens to Oscar, he’s certainly been better for the Rangers than Ethan Werek (traded for Oscar) would have been.

            • Nov 30, 2016 at 12:54 pm

              yep I agree on all Chris. I would love Stone here, $4M cap hit which the Rangers can absorb no problem with the allocated amount for the rest of the year, righty, great shot from the point, young, etc.

              I would do it even if it turns out to be a rental or maybe the rangers could re-sign him if it goes well. then buyout G to sign Shatty. That’s how you fix the D.

  • Nov 30, 2016 at 8:45 am

    millionaire players cannot come out “flat”. why and how can this happen? maybe the NYR aren’t as good as we think and reported or maybe the opposition gets “up” for them all the time and every game.

    • Nov 30, 2016 at 10:56 am

      the rangers are basically a finesse team and when they can’t win that way they have a hard time pulling up their shorts and going at it. they need a hard nosed body checker that can lead them into and show them how to battle. they at times act as if they are at practice rather than at a game.

      • Nov 30, 2016 at 1:24 pm

        Okay so let’s say the Rangers are a “Finesse” team, and when they can’t play their way they’re having issues, but mostly due to the Rangers not being able to move the puck out of their end.

        I don’t see how a checker would help this.

    • Nov 30, 2016 at 1:28 pm


      Did you forget the other teams have “millionaire” players too?Especially in a salary cap world.

      Millionaire players should do what they’re supposed to, unless the opposing teams millionaire players do there thing to stop them.

      • Nov 30, 2016 at 9:04 pm

        ^ …what he said…^

    • Nov 30, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      or maybe…I could be wrong, but maybe, they re human. *****

  • Nov 30, 2016 at 8:56 am

    They led in xG so that makes me feel a little better.

  • Nov 30, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Anyone else think the anthem was awful? Like I get that the kid is a part of the Garden of Dreams, only 17 and it takes stones to do that in front of a (mostly?) packed arena…but still…he butchered it.

    It started off good, but there were times were he just trailed off and lost his way and it didn’t even seem like he was playing the anthem.

    • Nov 30, 2016 at 9:55 am

      dude – take your complaint to Facebook – this is a hockey blog

      • Nov 30, 2016 at 11:23 am


    • Nov 30, 2016 at 12:42 pm

      I remember a 14 year old girl singing. By the way what the FCK are you talking about.

  • Nov 30, 2016 at 10:47 am

    rangers {no excuses !!! } better be ready for the sabres, they are playing very well right now.

  • Nov 30, 2016 at 10:52 am

    I have to give credit when credit is do. AV finally put the lineup in a position to succeed and it did not hurt that Nash woke up. Fast is where he should be but sometimes he is in the wrong place like for 20 seconds I saw him on Kreiders line. Vesey should get more ice time as should Lindberg.

    • Nov 30, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      It was on the players at first with such a lack of energy, no question. The coaches can say whatever they want but the players have to execute, so it’s on them.

      That being said, the coaches need to be in tune with their team and the way the opponents are playing them as well.

  • Nov 30, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Oscar looked much more last night like the kid did before his injury. If he keeps playing like that he deserves to stay in there.

    Hank and Nash were playing up to their full abilities and it was great to see. Need to have them playing like that every night to keep the team going while they work thru the injury bug that has hit the team.

  • Nov 30, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Why will AV not keep Hayes and JT Miller together all the time . They just don,t do anything apart like they do together. Fast is best suited for the fourth line . Would like either Murphy or Stone for either Lindberg or Joost or even Puempel if he shows he can play and produce , don not think we need all 3 players for depth at this time . Carolina might bite on one of them if J Staal is out long time with his cuncussion.Klein played the worst game he has played for us since he came over for MDZ. We still need a way to part with G or Staal or both of them if possible

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