Game Wrap-ups

Twitter recap: One minute in Montreal

Last night I did something I haven’t done in at least a year. I sat on my couch and just watched the Ranger game. No goal breakdown. Limited tweeting (we will get to that). No gifs. Nothing. Just sat and watched as a fan of the team. Suffice it to say, I was not overly happy with what I saw. And after reviewing Twitter last night, I see a bunch of you feel the same way. There was a wide range of emotions last night.

Ok I lied. I ranted on Twitter after that one minute stretch in the third. That’s the first tweet. Read if you dare.

“We need to fix our team character.”
“I have an idea! Let’s trade for Andrew Shaw!”
“Brilliant! Also let’s get rid of that awful P.K. Subban. Kids in hospitals don’t want to see him smiling around them and making them feel better!”

Yup. Agree.


When Becky makes mistakes she calls herself out. Side note: She also talks to herself. Her head also rotates a full 360 degrees. Someone find a priest.

Me neither, Jeff.

Yea I don’t know why he didn’t. He still had the timeout, the challenge in the first was successful.

Perhaps we’ve identified the real problem with Kevin Klein.

Leaving it with that one, since it’s funny. Two days off to fix things before back at it on Tuesday. Hopefully they remember how to play hockey for a full 60 minutes.

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  1. “Hopefully they remember how to play hockey for a full 60 minutes”

    What’s to remember, they haven’t done it all year.

    1. Dec 11, 5-0 drubbing of the Devs at home. Complete game.

      But not too many. Even when scoring 4-5 goals per game earlier in the year, their shooting % was very high so they were scoring goals and winning games.

      But the charts that show the actual play during games don’t lie. Even in those wins, the charts were not pretty.

      And it’s funny because I was trashed for “throwing cold water” on a team that was scoring goals like crazy and being called a “Cup contender.” Not hearing that anymore. Shocking. Not.

      Now, go get a big and small D man upgrade and then we will have something, even if it costs a top 6 player because the depth is there in the forward spots to cover it.

      But look at the goals against, the bad positioning of the Rangers’ D, and how in a lot of cases there are no Rangers covering opponents on the door step of their goal line. At what point does the coach take some responsibility for that?

      1. Richter, you make some valid points. But you yourself have acknowledged the defense isn’t good because the talent isn’t good. So what exactly is AV supposed to do about it? What better options are there? After all the hand wringing about getting Clendening in, it doesn’t look to me like he is any kind of upgrade. Shocking. Not. 🙂

        Of course the coach gets some of the blame for what ails the team. That’s part of the territory. But how about Beuek? What blame does he get? What about the front office? Taking it a step further, should Allaire be on the hot seat for Hank’s struggles?

        You can certainly argue your point, and I’m not saying you are entirely wrong. But the flip side has as much if not more merit. Despite a mediocre defense, pedestrian goaltending, injuries to three of our top offensive weapons for lengthy periods, and a roster that largely devoid of A list stars, this team has one of the better records in the league, including the best road record, a dynamic offensive attack, and has made dramatic improvement year to year with special teams.

        So if the defensive issues are on the coach, all the above mentioned positives that have come out of this season thus far have to be on him as well, right?

        On balance, it’s been a net positive and the coach and team has overachieved expectations, not underachieved.

        1. Hey bro. Here are the points:

          1) The talent on the back end is not good. And we can go back to the Stralman debacle to determine who is at fault for letting go/bringing/re-signing players that has resulted in who we currently have on the roster. All GM? Split between GM and coach? Who knows? Let’s say the GM and give the coach the benefit of the doubt here (but I do believe that AV has input on personnel decisions).

          2) Playing the cards you’re dealt. I think the coach fails miserably here. His insistence on playing G on top pair and trying to force that issue is ridiculous. I’m not sure that G should even be in the league at this point much less top pair. If he played 3rd pair then I would be ok with it. We have beaten the alternatives to death. While Skjei and Clendening are no where near top NHL D men, they can SKATE and they can play the puck moving system THE COACH himself has put in. Wanting to force anchors like G, KK, and Staal into that type of system is sending mixed signals at best. And BTW, it was the COACH that continuously said during the offseason who said that G and Staal would bounce back from last year in a big way. Nyet, as we say in Wantagh.

          3) Positioning and defensive structure. Man they are bad. The Rangers consistently are out of control, and that includes the forwards. Remember the beginning part of the year when the forwards were coming back all the way to the defensive zone hash marks, and I said that was not sustainable? Well, here we are, and the forwards are no longer doing that resulting in the defensive zone train wreck I thought they would be once the beginning season “effort” stopped. Don’t the coaches, including Beuk, have responsibility for their defensive system and structure? They have none and that’s on the coaches.

          So yeah, the coaches do get a big share of the blame in this. I strongly believe that Gorton did not fully take over until this past offseason and I think the shrewd, subtle moves prove it. The Brass trade, the Holden trade, and the low level forward signings all have one thing in common: an improvement in talent/skill level. A Gorton trade mark going back to his days in Boston when he was a top scout. Jeff had nothing to do with the Seguin trade. I have faith in Gorton and he is hamstrung this year unless he’s willing to deal a top 6 player, which remains to be seen.

        2. ” Clendening in, it doesn’t look to me like he is any kind of upgrade. Shocking. Not. ?”

          Again, numbers do not support your theory. Since Jan 1:

          Clendening CF 52.43. When he’s off ice the CF for team 49.45. So team is spending more time with the puck in offensive zone when’s he on the ice at 5×5. We have a positive shot differential and a lower xGA marks as well. All of this while being coupled with Kevin Klein or Dan Girardi, he’s still a positive possession player.

          I still think you focus on small positives and ignore the larger deeper telling issues. 1) The offense. Better, of course. But that is being held afloat by the start. In 17 games we scored 49 goals. In the next 27 or 28 we’ve scored….49 goals. The league figured out the offense and we’re still trying the same attack. And who is that on? The players are there to score. The players can score. However the system being asked to play has been eliminated and we’re failing to adapt.

          2) Tired of the injuries reasoning. Nash missed 11 games. Buch missed the most, but he’s a 21 yo rookie. Our entire game is dependent on a rookie???? Other teams are/have missed bigger names

          3) not touching pedisterian goaltending. Numbers again only suggest a minor drop in performance.

          4) Dramatic improvement in special teams? The power play is only slightly better this year from same time period last year, but we’ve given up more short handed goals against. The kill however is just as bad. The only difference, we’ve scored more short handed goals. Please tell me that’s not your definition of a dramatic improvement?

          The team is over achieving because of the start. If you take that out, we’re closer to under achieving. And as the numbers are indicating it is getting worse.

  2. After the Shaw hit. Kreisler should have canonballed price a few times.

    Unfortunately today’s NHL is about retaliation. Not deterrence.

  3. I never want the NHL to turn back into the 70’s 80’s and 90’s when sitting goons that couldn’t play a lick on the end of the bench. Before that in the 60’s they had guys that kept things on the up and up. More of an eye for an eye thing. They basically policed them selves. Now it seems it’s just vicious cheapshots that go on continuously through out the game, with very little of it called. The game is is so much faster and better today. It’s fun to watch, but with the speed it’s much harder to control. So much goes on undetected that it puts teams in a are we going to take it or do something about it situation. In my opinion the Rangers have been taking more than their share. They are going to have to start standing up for them selves sometime soon. They are giving way to much, and getting pushed around to easy.

  4. The three goals in a minute wasn’t caused by the lack of retaliation. It was caused by inexcusably lousy hockey.

    1. Exactly. We always default to the same cry we’ve been hearing for 43 years….we are not tough enough, which first of all is overstating reality and second had little if anything to do with what happen in that hideous 62 seconds of pitiful focus and execution.

  5. Mercifully I was out celebrating my son in law’s birthday, so I missed three goals in one minute. My blood pressure would have been off the charts. I bet AV didn’t call a time out after number two.

    1. He didn’t, and he should have. I agree. He loves hanging onto his TO, which in this case he shouldn’t have done.

    2. he did not. and the place was nuts after 2 of them. At the third I thought the roof was falling in.

  6. We were at that fiasco last night turning the long weekend as a chance to get up to Bell Centre to see the Rangers on the road. First…a real solid turn out of the Ranger Faithful ( who never lost faith btw as the chants were loud and strong in the face of 19500 Hab fans). The Shaw hit got a collective groan from the Habs fans I was sitting with. Dirt bag hit and JT took the shot at him. Defense? What can we say. Soooo many turn overs and saw Klein on 3 occasions simply get welded to the ice on the break. The guy not only has handling issues but my gosh has he lost stepS…plural. Similarly while Clendo is spirited and has fast hands…body placement, position awareness is not there and he was beaten on a number of rushes. I have no clue what the heck Hank was doing but on one set the other guys were hanging on the front porch like we did as kids. No one on the D cleaning that out.
    This team is a mystery. I don’t know what to expect night to night. Good to see Buchenevich back out. Really hope Mika Z returns soon too.

  7. The failure to call TO to defuse the eventual 3-goals in a minute outburst is just astounding. We saw the same thing in the 2015 ECF against TB. I will never, ever, understand AV’s thinking (or lack of same) on this point.

    Hank is clearly not at the top of his game (reads? positioning? lack of playing time?) but he’s being left out to dry on a regular basis. Yes, I know, in 2017 the main job of D-men is to move the puck out of the zone, but you can’t always have the puck and sometimes its going to be in your zone in which case it behooves D-men to, you know, play some defense in front of their goalie. A little Beukeboom or RoboCop (Ulfie) action. Also, if you’re not going to block the shot then get out of the goalie’s line of sight! And if you are going to touch the puck on its way to the goal – BLOCK IT! don’t tip it in past the goalie! If the Rangers deflected as many pucks towards the opponent’s goalie as did towards their own they’d be unbeatable.

    Finally, I counted two Clendening snow angels last night in addition to his own goal. Sorry, but he seems like this year’s Etem – a lot of imagined potential but not a real solution to anything.

    1. Beuekeboom, Ulfie, players that made the opposition pay for parking in front of the net. The only D-man in the past 5 years, that played with an edge, that would deliver pay back was Mcillrath..OVERALL THIS CURRENT GROUP OF D-MEN ARE FAR TOO POLITE. The overall team save for Miller/Krieder is SOFT!!

    2. Don’t be sorry, it’s just that this team is so desperate for competent defencemen, even Clendo & Holden look good when, in truth, they are really only mediocre.

  8. I don’t know, I thought Clendo held up well in the first two periods but had a lousy one in the third, along with everyone else on defense. Holden got beat badly, and McD and Girardi were brutal on one third period goal as well. Jury is still out on Clendo, but no one was expecting him to be Bobby Orr or even Ryan McD.

  9. So I got us this game against the kids that play on the pond on the other side of town. Roger, you aren’t stopping any shots anyway so leave your pads at home and just play offense. If they get the puck out of their end they are gonna scoring anyway, so don’t even try to chase ’em back. Just save your energy, stand halfway and try to poke check them when they come out on the break.

  10. I think anyone would acknowledge that the defense isn’t what it used to be. A declining G and Klein have severely hurt the back end. But what wasn’t expected was Mac’s regression. He makes a lot more mistakes than he used to. I don’t know if it’s all the injuries but he used to be a lockdown player. Or if it’s all the minutes catching up. He started out great. But his defense has really gone downhill the past month. And if he’s bad, they’re screwed.

    It’s easy to pin it all on the D or lack there of. But Lundqvist has to be better. Raanta is more confident and the team plays that way in front of him. Hank has to play his way out of it. Now, he’ll get that opportunity.

    One other point. Under AV, defense isn’t as emphasized. It’s mostly about offensive speed and transition. They don’t pay as much attention to D. So, it leads to players getting caught and blown assignments. I watched the Flames/Oilers game and it wound up 2-1 in a shootout. And that is how our team used to play. Talbot made big saves. So did Elliott. This just isn’t the same team anymore.

  11. A tweet from today, as I and others have been saying:

    HockeyStatMiner @HockeyStatMiner
    Lundqvist faces about 10.4% more 5v5 High-Danger shots against per hour than Raanta this season. Their workloads are not equal.

  12. Do you think we could get a solid 2nd line D for Nash if we eat some of Nash’s contract?

    1. I think any and all trades this year will have more consideration than just players-prospects-draft choices.
      We will only be able to protect 3 D-men. McD is a no brainer, than Staal and Girardi have no trade clauses that force up into protecting them. There’s our three.
      So giving up ANYTHING at all for a D-man we very well might lose to the expansion draft doesn’t make very much sense.
      There is a strong possibility we can get Shattenkirk as an URA which helps our right side D without us giving up anything but $.

  13. Lots of valid points yet some place too much or all the emphasis on how bad the D is and Hanks average play.. I believe we play a concept of a fast run and gun with speed and skill. Thats where AV places all his marbles. That concept can give run high rewards but when its not clicking there is nothing to fall back on. Listening to a coach like Mike Sullivan you hear the opposite concept. He believes the Pens play their best hockey with a D first mindset and the O generates from playing a solid D concept. Two concepts. I think AV is a stubborn guy and have heard him say many times ” we want to play fast”. Everyone does! But you need 10-12 guys that are high end. No team has that and we certainly dont. Seems like all our lines want to play the same way and they all want to put points on the board. We are one dimensional. We need to have the puck. We want time and space. When that does not happen we are in trouble. Then all the finger pointing on scapegoats. We are not going to change so its high reward high risk. Its fun when it works But………

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