Game Wrap-ups

Puempel gets the hat trick as powerplay leads Rangers to victory

jt miller nick holden
AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

The Rangers went into Glendale last night looking to take advantage of a soft spot in their schedule. They came out with two points, but it certainly wasn’t easy. The Rangers got two powerplay tallies early, but let the Yotes hang around with sloppy overall play. It was also the powerplay that got the game winner, as Matt Puempel book-ended the powerplay scoring with the first goal and the game winner. He also added another one with ten seconds remaining to complete the hat trick.

Antti Raanta was brilliant in this game, making several difficult stops in the second and third periods as the Yotes pressed to tie the game. He could not keep them from tying it, but the Yotes’ speed was on display in the third as he was peppered with quality chances.

Don’t let the score fool you though, this was not the best of games by the Rangers. Arizona is not a good team, and the Rangers let them hang around all night. If not for a 4-for-7 night on the powerplay, this game could have been a lot different. However, it’s amazing what a good powerplay does for a team, right?

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Yotes 0

Matt Puempel threw this puck in front, trying to get it to Nick Holden. The puck hit off Alex Goligoski’s stick and by Smith.

Rangers 2, Yotes 0

Holden made a fine outlet pass to J.T. Miller to start the powerplay rush. Miller gained the zone, circled behind the net, and found Holden trailing the play in the slot for the easy goal. Tough to really pinpoint who should have picked up Holden, but Lawson Crouse (#67) didn’t do a good job of preventing the pass to the slot. I’m assuming he saw Holden, so it’s a matter of which shooter (Holden or I think Fast) is more dangerous. Holden was in the more dangerous spot.

Rangers 2, Yotes 1

It looks like Christian Dvorak’s shot hit off Brady Skjei. Tough break.

Rangers 3, Yotes 1

The top line moved the puck very well on this shift, resulting in some touch-passes along the boards that got the puck up to Holden at the mid-point. Chris Kreider got in front, and deflected Holden’s shot by Smith. Connor Murphy was slow getting to Kreider on this one.

Rangers 3, Yotes 2

Anthony Duclair undressed Skjei, then his pass hit off Dan Girardi’s stick and over Raanta. Just some bad luck.

Yotes 3, Rangers 3

This is not a good look for the penalty kill. I honestly have no idea what they were doing.

Rangers 4, Yotes 3

Boy did the powerplay bail out the Rangers in this one. It helped that neither Connor Murphy nor Alex Goligoski covered Puempel in front. It was an easy deflection for him on the McDonagh shot.

Rangers 5, Yotes 3

J.T. Miller empty netter.

Rangers 6, Yotes 3

Marek Hrivik intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, then gained the zone. Hrivik dished to Brandon Pirri, who found Puempel cutting at the back door. This was Puempel’s first career hat trick.

Even Strength Corsi

The Rangers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on powerplay goals, which turned into a 3-1 lead in the second period. That might explain some of the uptick in shot attempts by the Yotes. They certainly were getting shots on net, but it wasn’t until late in the second and the third that these turned into quality chances.

Even Strength Scoring Chances

Usually when a team is protecting a lead, you want to see the scoring chances start to come down. But it was the exact opposite, as the Rangers allowed the Yotes to triple their scoring chances in a ten minute span at the end of the second and beginning of the third. They got their act together in the final 12 or so minutes, but that was ugly.

This was one of those games where you’re happy the Rangers got two points, but not necessarily happy with the performance. The powerplay was a saving grace, as their special teams play has been strong all year. This was certainly a game where the Rangers played down to their opponent, and it almost cost them. But hey, two points is two points.

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  • They won but nothing to be proud of. Amazing how the charts really do tell the story with these games.

    Raanta was really good and the G/Skjei (poor kid) was not. Happy for Pumpernickel.

    Give the Yutes credit as they kept fighting back.

    • Since Dec 20th, the Rangers have 20 goals against with G being on the ice for 12 of them. So people here think we are picking on him unnecessarily?

      And that doesn’t include the gaffes that do not result in goals, like Vrbata’s clear shot to the net in the slot last night cutting across the ice in front of Girardi that Raanta made a big save on.

      Pay attention and watch the games please.

      Time for G to sit and possibly be done as a Ranger. It’s over. Thank him for his service and give him a lifetime job with the franchise as he deserves that from them.

      And please no whining about his treatment. Military people risk their lives for us around the world and come back to crap. THAT’S A TRAGEDY AND DISGRACE!!

          • I never served but I thank the military when I see them and I support military related charities.

            Congress loves to spend money? I (we) know where it can go to good use.

          • VFW, Wounded Warrior Project, V.V.A, just some who do good work for us. I personally loved the USO shows when I was overseas……..

          • good for you, the guys that receive the help do indeed appreciate it, thanks from all of them to people like you !!!!!!!

          • There are things I could say about that but I’ll pass. We are all told so many lies in so many facets of life.

          • yes paul, not so different than in Russia or China, quite honestly. sad.

            Dave is going to yell at me for this discussion, lol.

          • Why?

            I agree, there is too much spin in how stories are presented. It’s about ratings and aligning to a target audience, instead of about presenting facts.

            The premise of the HBO show “The Newsroom” was spot on – news is about ratings now, instead of presenting unbiased facts.

          • Dave, since I’m someone who has spent nearly 30 years working in and with TV news organizations all over the country, you aren’t totally wrong. You are absolutely correct when you say “it’s about ratings and aligning to a target audience”. No question that is true.

            What is false is to suggest that it is an “either/or”, that doing that means that digging for facts and getting it right is somehow not in line with growing ratings. Ultimately, good news organizations thrive when they consistently are factual. When they (and my team) fall short, we hear about it from our viewers and we quickly correct it. You won’t stay employed in the business if being loose with the facts is part of your DNA.

            Now, what IS true is that in this day and age, with more competition than ever before and profit margins harder than ever to achieve, some news organizations have to scale back, and/or pay less experienced journalists less money to do the same work. That can often lead to more mistakes, that’s true.

            You also have to remember that the purpose of a fictional show like The Newsroom, or a movie like Broadcast News, is to do the very thing you are criticizing here–which is to exaggerate a point in order to attract viewers or box office. A real life documentary of a real TV newsroom would actually not be nearly as interesting, believe me.

            And, don’t forget, it is to the benefit of blogs, radio talkers, false news sites, etc., to call into question everything the mainstream media does. There is inherent bias in that as well, because their very existence depends on it.

            Just my (admittedly biased) two cents!

          • Dave, I wasn’t sure that this type of conversation was acceptable here, so thank you for saying it’s ok.

            Hey eddie, as far as I know, the only news organization that reports the news only after getting 2 independent confirmations is the BBC. Is that a wrong statement?

          • Richter, I’ve never specifically heard that about the BBC. I know they’ve had as many questions about their credibility and bias as American media outlets.

            I will say that all of us are trained to go by the mantra “If your mother says she loves you, get a source to verify it before you run the story.” So in theory, you do want multiple sources. But good journalists have contacts they can trust.

            For example, let’s say Larry Brooks hears that the Rangers are in serious discussions to trade Stepan to the Wild. Ideally, he’d want at least two sources. However, if the one source he has is extremely reliable, it’s fine to go with that single source. The way to cover one’s rear end in that case is to simply say “we have learned from a well placed source that……”.

            So there isn’t necessarily a hard and fast rule. But if you are going to last in he business, you’d better have highly reliable sources before you report on what we call “speculative stories”.

  • Agree, not a great game, but 2 points is 2 points, and I’ll take them. As for the analysis of the game, it was covered very thoroughly by the guys last night. I refuse to pile on to G this morning, he had a bad enough night already !!!!!!!

  • On a side note, the majority of the scoring came from the 4th line, Miller g&a, still in AV’s chateau bow wow………..

  • Time for some sanity. If G is not hurt its over. That might have been the worst 13 minutes of D I’ve seen at the NHL level. Clendenning has be paired with Skjei on Saturday. Cant blame Girardi. This is 100% on coach and Gorton. You cant tell me that Ryan Graves would be any worse.

    • I could be wrong, but Graves plays the left side, and also is he really ready? Something has to be done just the same !!!

      • Graves is a lefty but has played his off hand in junior. I’m pretty sure he’s ready, but I know he’s done all he can do in Hartford for his development.

  • A young RHD on Arizona stood out last night and I would for the Rangers to try to trade for him. DeAngelo is really good, young,fast, skilled and tough. Would love to have him and the Duke back for Stepan. Buyout G . Some thoughts.

    • Love the idea HB but arizone GM would have to be as dumb as Sather to make that trade…….every time DeAngelo was on the ice you heard his name called a dozen times which means he is constanly involved in play….

  • Yes, D’Angelo is the type of kid the Rangers could shoot for and possibly obtain at a lower cost than some of the names that have been bandied about. It would be a very Gorton-like move, wouldn’t it?

    That Arizona team is stocked with a load of big, fast and extremely young talent. They could deal some of them to filter in a few veteran players while keeping their best youngsters. If they make some deft moves they could be a lot better a lot quicker than many might expect.

  • Not much to say other than that was a sloppy horrible game by our D. I also find it interesting that Annti (and I do think he saved this game so don’t crucify me) can give up 3 goals and no one bats an eye, especially the coach. If that was Hank on the exact same plays, the haters would be out in force talking about his decline and AV would be very dismissive of his game. The Rangers need to do something fast about their D corps or we won’t be in the playoff picture for long the way the Metro is shaping up. Let’s hope they don’t let the Avs hang around in the game tomorrow the way the Yotes did. LGR!

    • Screened/redirected, tic tac toe tap in where the D failed and another redirected goal:; none can really be pinned on Raanta.

      • Oh I agree with you – but it doesn’t alter the fact that when those things happen to Henrik he is roasted for letting in soft goals. I’m just annoyed that even the Coach is on the bandwagon of dissing Hank this year despite the fact that he has 15 wins in 25 starts. And yes I know that “wins” are a team stat, but by that same token so are goals against…

  • They’re not giving up young guns like Duke and D.

    Just wanted to say, when I clicked on my bookmark link for this and it opened, I read it as “blues eat blogs” and had a strange sensation for a second that I had gone to a totally unexpected site. Now that I saw it I can’t unsee it.

  • Some nights everything clicks, and the team dominates. Great win.
    Some nights the offense sucks, but the D bails you out. Great win.

    Other nights, the D sucks, but the O just outscores the other team. Great win.
    Some nights, the team sucks, but the goalie stands on his head. Great win.

    Now, just plug the other team into each of those situations, and they get the wins. My point: You don’t win the same way every night, or lose the same way every night, but, in the end, if there are more W’s than L’s, you’ve had a good season.

    • and then you enter the playoffs if your lucky and teams that have defense beat you and you go play golf. great season, NOT!

      or you enter the playoffs and teams that have stella offensive skills beat you and you go play golf. great season, NOT!

    • Not every win is a great win. Forgettable wins are a thing. Most say “take the 2 points and run”.

      Anti stats people don’t like it but after all that running, you get tired and the trend (winning) stops. Aka negative regression, like we saw last year and have begun to see this year.

      I’ll be happy when we have the puck in the other zone for longer stretches than they have it in ours. I’ll be happy when our defensive mechanisms and shot suppression techniques keep the other teams overall shot attempts and quality scoring chances to a minimum. And believe it or not, such stats will directly coincide with both of our eye tests earning full marks.

  • Glad to see Puempel frill the net on the PP. Maybe he replaces Pirri in that regard, who seems to have fallen off a cliff. Holden’s scoring streak reminds me of what went on with Klein for a couple of years, sort of like a welcome aberration.

    • Holden has stabilized defensively, that’s what matters. He was putting up points even when he was a mess in his own end.

      Apparently everybody on D had the green light to not just pinch, but actively jump into the play last night. G might of spent more time below the other team’s goal line than his own. The benefit at least once was that Kreider was covering the point when G jumped in, so we had somebody who could actually get back and win the puck.

  • Lindberg, Fast and Pirri, three for trade bait. Throw in one of our young goalie prospects if need be. Gordan needs to pull the trigger when Rangers get healthy within a few weeks. Not to sure I want to trade Stepan anymore with how he is playing lately. When is Kreider going to break out into the consistent star player we are all waiting for? He is a good power forward, great skater, but his skill level is still lacking. Maybe that will develop more in time. Nash, we desperately need you in the lineup!

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