Game Wrap-ups

Rangers play 20 minutes in win over Carolina

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

The Rangers decided they only needed to play hockey for 20 minutes to beat the Carolina Hurricanes, and it wound up being true. The Rangers were outshot 25-11 in the first two periods, but still managed to escape tied heading into the third period. Then they actually decided to play hockey, scoring three times –also allowing one immediately after they scored– to take the 4-2 win.

This was not a good game by the Rangers, who played 20 minutes out of 60, but managed to eke out the win. Henrik Lundqvist kept them in it for the first two periods, which gave them the opportunity to come out with the win. After that, it was the Chris Kreider/Derek Stepan show. Stepan finished with a goal and two assists, and Kreider had a pair of goals in the third.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Canes 0

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goal-copy

Ryan McDonagh made a beautiful outlet pass to Mats Zuccarello, who touch passed it to Kevin Klein, who touch passed it to Derek Stepan. Stepan’s shot was stopped, and Leighton almost got the rebound too, but the overhead showed the puck was clearly in.

Canes 1, Rangers 1

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McDonagh committed a turnover with Viktor Stalberg harrassing him from behind. Stalberg forced the turnover, and the Canes quickly transitioned to a 3-on-1. Stalberg beat Hank glove side.

Rangers 2, Canes 1

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A solid breakout by the Rangers led to this goal. It started with Kevin Klein banking the puck around the boards to Michael Grabner, who backhanded it out of the zone to Jesper Fast. Fast made a nice cross ice pass to Brady Skjei, who hit a streaking Grabner down the slot for the breakaway goal.

Canes 2, Rangers 2

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Say it with me: “Stop trying to block point shots! Just let Hank make the save!”

Rangers 3, Canes 2

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The Rangers came to life a bit in the third, finally sustaining offensive pressure. It led directly to this goal, as the Rangers pressed hard. Dan Girardi’s point shot was stopped, and Stepan followed it up with a post. The puck slid under Leighton to the slot, where Chris Kreider banged it home. Justin Faulk lost his stick on the play, which is why he was out of position on the Stepan rebound chance.

Rangers 4, Canes 2

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Mats Zuccarello intercepted the Carolina face off win and started the rush with Kreider. Kreider’s shot went off the post, off Leighton, and in.

Even Strength Corsi

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This was ugly for the first 40 minutes. It’s like the Rangers didn’t even want to play hockey. But then the third period happened, and the Rangers did a good job recovering and securing the win.

Even Strength Scoring Chances

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Scoring chances might have been even worse. The Rangers basically hung Hank out to dry, but Hank wouldn’t let them lose. The third was when they woke up, though.

A win is a win, sure, but this is not the way you want them to win games. However, if the third period is an indication that they are getting back on track, I’ll take it. The third is how you want them to play. Let’s see if they can do that for three periods next game.

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  • Our long national nightmare (one game losing streak) has finally come to an end! Praise to the hockey gods for letting us win one! 🙂

    Seriously, I hear what you are saying Dave and you’re not wrong. That was one ugly effort for most of the game. But let’s not forget this concludes a stretch of 9 games in 16 days. They haven’t had back to back days off since the conclusion of the Western Canada trip, and haven’t had a chance to rest at home for multiple days in three weeks. They finally get that chance tomorrow and Monday. I know we expect excellence every game, every shift. But I think it’s more than reasonable to surmise that between the condensed schedule and the injuries, the team is a bit spent at the moment.

    They have one more challenging stretch coming up starting with the Islanders game (9 games in a ridiculous 15 days…and 6 of those 9 on the road). After that, the pace of the schedule eases up considerably, and hopefully Mika and Buch will be back around the holidays.

    I’m deferring judgment on this team (players and coaches alike) until we get to the All-Star Break. Then we should know who these guys really are.

    • All teams have to deal with injuries and a busy schedule eddie. The Rangers have a tough time adapting to teams that bottle up the middle and take away their quick transition game.

      They need to be coached how to adapt. This may mean that they have to occasionally dump and chase and play the cycle game. A one-dimensional attack will only take them so far. Learning how to play a more hybrid game of hockey will take them further come playoff time.

      • Bloomer-

        You are not wrong, but I think you’re missing my point. Of course every team has to eventually deal with the challenges of a condensed schedule and teams, to varying degrees, will deal with injuries at some point. When looking at a team through the spectrum of a full 82 games, I agree, all that tends to even out and there really aren’t excuses. But in a small sample of games, the schedule and injuries are legit factors and when combined together, can have a negative effect on performance in the short term. I don’t at all think it’s a coincidence that a red hot Columbus team has played the least amount of games in the East (23) and is healthy, while the Rangers have played the most (26), are dealing with injuries at the moment, and as a result have scuffled a bit.

        The point is that that is the Rangers reality at the moment. But the reality four weeks from now is that the schedule lightens up and the team should be almost if not fully healthy. So if the Rangers were a stock, I’d buy some shares because they should get better. If the Jackets were a stock, I’d sell because they will likely get worse.

        And again, I think you and others are overlooking the reality of things. In the East, every single team other than Philly, Ottawa and Columbus is playing .500 hockey or worse over the last ten games. That includes the Rangers (5-4-1), Pit (5-4-1), Was (4-4-2) and TB (5-5-0)–the latter three everyone’s favorites to come out of the East. I wonder if their fans are screaming that their coaches need to change things up and adapt.

        Lastly, let’s not forget what, historically, early season performance portends for the the Spring. Last year at this time, the Caps were on their way to the Stanley Cup and the Pens were dead in the water. Two and three years ago, the Rangers were off to bad starts, only to recover to the point that they made it to the SCF in year one and won the President’s Trophy in year two–two achievements that no one saw coming at this juncture of those seasons.

        So what does early season performance portend for the future??–usually nothing. There is more than enough time to get the ship righted. The schedule lightens up, the team will get healthy, trades will be made. Nothing in these first two months thus far has screamed we are the favorites to win it all any more than we are a one and done playoff team.

        We need to get better….but there is plenty of time for that to happen.

        • Agree with most of what you’re saying here, but just want to add – oh my gosh, the horrible passing, the weak clearing attempt turnovers, losing so many puck battles, the general inability to move the puck around the ice in an effective manner or put shots on net for most of the 60 minutes, it makes these games so hard to watch lately! Not saying they won’t fix it up, not saying I’ll stop watching the games until some certain ratio of Fenwick events is achieved, but ugh. Thank goodness Rick Nash is still putting on a show nightly.

    • Eddie – forever the optimist. Agree the schedule has been brutal. That alone would seem to call for resting some of the weary legs on D and giving Clendening some time – but that topic has been beaten to death.

      To me, this year was always about patience and not making rash moves. So far – so good on that front. But…the boys need to be able to win the low scoring close games as teams adjust to their speed and clog up the ice.

      As we sit today – after 26 games the Rangers are tied for the most points in the NHL and have sustained a pretty fair amount of games lost due to injury to key contributors. There is a lot to like about that. And who would have thought on September 1 that this is where we would be the first week of December?

      That being said – it is not how you start – it is how you finish. And that should be the key lesson learned from last year.

      One of the key adjustments should be the utilization of Hank throughout the rest of the schedule. He has looked real good sometimes and not so good others. I guess that should be expected as he ages. The point is though, that Raanta is good and there is really no drop off to speak of when he starts over Hank.

      • Wwpd and Swarty-

        100% agree with what you are saying. This team was billed as a work in progress going into the season, and nothing I’ve seen has changed that. Therefore, I remain optimistic that we will see improvement–cautiously optimistic. 🙂

  • All I can say is if they play like that against some of the better teams they’ll be destroyed. Terrible passes in this game for one thing and then more of the same poor play in our end. If we were playing a team like the Pens or Caps we woulda been down by 6 goals in the first period. They gotta snap out of it already

  • we did have a little bit of time in the canes zone we just needed to shoot more then one shot on goal in that span but it was nice to see us keep it in for a few the sloppy passes gotta stop but boy do i love that pass from brady

  • What do Grabner and Kreider share? They can both fly and when they are playing right they both drive to the net with or without the puck.

    Ugly game with flashes of good play from some of the boys, but generally letting Hank keep them in the game.

    Winning ugly, may it lead to winning beautifully!

  • Krieder, Zuc and Stepan lead the way. The Nash, Vesey Hayes line is huge but they played small. They need to use their size and lean on people.

    Alaina kept his lines together and it paid off as they started to develop some chemistry in the 3rd. Henk was solid. I thought Marc Staal had a good outing and Skjei got his legs going and provided some rushes. Not a Picasso but 2 points in the win column.

  • This was a hard game to watch for an old NYR fan. Not a chance that this team will contend for the cup unless the level of play picks up substantially. HL let in a softie and, in my opinion, was no better than average for the remainder of the game.

    I am now routinely turning of SR and JM in favor of the opposition broadcast when available because, while I like NYR, the cheerleading stinks.

    • He’s been letting lots of softies slip past …. for some reason he’s deeper in his net more then ever and the glove is just plain horrible

  • On reading charts

    According to the even strength Corsi chart, the second period was even. The lines are not getting farther apart.

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