Game Wrap-ups

Four unanswered goals give Rangers fourth straight win

chris kreider
Credit: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

The Rangers were down early against Nashville, spotting them a 2-0 lead before four straight goals gave them the lead for good. Kevin Hayes led the charge with a pair of primary assists that were just pretty passes. Henrik Lundqvist was magnificent again. He stopped everything he could stop in this game.

This was another strong game for the Blueshirts. They’ve been stringing together the strong performances lately, and very quietly have built a four game winning streak. They’ve done it on the back of Lundqvist, balanced scoring, and some better defense.

My internet was pretty terrible last night, so I couldn’t make gifs. So hooray for bullet points. Gotta change it up every now and then, right?

  • Rick Nash has been solid this year. That drive to the net in the first was one of many this season. He got pinned to the ice after, and no call. For all Nash does, I feel like he never gets a call.
  • Brady Skjei makes his gaffes as he learns, but that play on Victor Arvidsson as he came in on Henrik Lundqvist was solid. Hank stayed with Arvidsson too, but don’t discount Skjei’s development.
  • Healthy reminder that Nick Holden is Kevin Klein 2.0. When the scoring dries up, you’ll notice his bad defense more and more. That giveaway in the first was just a small sample.
  • On the Cody McLeod goal – Marc Staal had the giveaway that helped the Preds get the puck on net. Then Adam Clendening didn’t put a body on McLeod. It looked like Clendo moved so that Hank could see the shot, which is good. But he didn’t get to McLeod’s stick/body (bad).
  • On the Calle Jarnkrok goal – Derek Stepan was the intended target of Rick Nash’s clear, but it went off PK Subban’s skate. The puck went right to Mike Fisher in the slot, who found Jarnkrok on the wing. Nothing Hank could do, as Stepan couldn’t recover in time.
  • On the Grabner goal – JT Miller and Kevin Hayes forced that turnover. Grabner joined in and turned to give Hayes a target for the one-time. Phenomenal pass #1 from Hayes.
  • On the Miller goal – Remember when everyone wanted to trade Hayes? That’s why he’s so good. He just held the puck until he could get it over to Miller. Grabner forced the turnover on this one.
  • Grabner-Hayes-Miller. Reminiscent of Pouliot-Brassard-Zuccarello.
  • Grabner now has 26 goals, on pace to break his career high of 34, set when he was with the Islanders. Kreider set a career high with his 22nd last night. Miller tied his career high in points (43) and will break his career high in goals (22). That’s the Rangers’ third line.
  • On the Chris Kreider goal – Clendo gained the zone, and dished the puck to Kreider trailing. Kreider whipped it around and then circled to the front of the net, where Mats Zuccarello fired a shot to the slot that Kreider deflected.
  • Charles Oakley chant at MSG after the Kreider goal. Well done.
  • On the Ryan McDonagh goal – good things happen when you throw the puck at the net.
  • On the Roman Josi goal – there were great passes made by the Preds on their 6-on-4 with the net empty. Hank couldn’t do anything on this one.
  • Hank sure is finding his game at the right time. They really needed him to be Hank, because without him they don’t stand a chance. But with him being Hank, and a move or two to address the major issues on the blue line, this team can contend.

The Rangers have the NHL-worst Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, which ends their string of games against the Western Conference. After that, it’s the Blue Jackets and Islanders. Strap in, it’s going to get bumpy.

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  • Hayes > Stepan

    Some of you fans are going to go into a coma after they trade Stepan soon which could happen by the deadline instead of this summer. Hayes has been used as a 2c all season no matter if their all healthy or not. Stepan’s roles have been severely reduced all season with Hayes exposing what a PK looks like when he’s 1st in line to kill and Mika who basically has Kreids locked as a duo and a top line role along with being a trigger man on the PP. I’m more than sure that Gorton and AV wouldn’t mind seeing Hayes running the 2nd. Both centers have better two way and impact the game more.

    Maybe they get the 3c from the Blues like Berglund? The way I see it is that Gorton will most likely package Stepan and Klein up in the annual blockbuster trade.

    • I will not be surprised if Stephan is traded. His contract has a no trade clause kick in next year. At 6.5 a year he has to go.

      • The only way Stepan gets traded –or any blockbuster deal gets hammered out– is if management can make the draft protections work.

        The Rangers can only protect 7 forwards / 3 defensemen, or 8 skaters total. Obviously, with this forward depth, they have to go with 7/3.

        Skjei is exempt, but Staal/Girardi have to be protected, which only leaves McDonagh to be protected.

        So, bringing back a major blueliner only works if the Rangers intend to buy out Girardi, or if the rules allow exposure of Staal/Girardi were they to waive their NMC. Absent one of those scenarios, Rangers cannot bring in a major, long term defender until the summer.

    • What has been reduced? He is a leader in time played per game, tops among forwards with zuc, and actually more than last season . He continues to play a key role on both special teams. Rarely misses a shift.

      There are some things you can say about Stepan I would agree with but “his roles have been severely reduced” isn’t one of them.

      • Top PP- Not anymore
        Top PK- Not anymore
        Top line minutes- Not anymore or at least it’s rare thing to see now.
        Gets paid 6.5- Fans can’t stay tap dancing around the fact that we have solid 2 two way centers and possibly JT.

        The fact that he isn’t with Kreids is almost like a reduced role imo. He was suppose to be the “it” duo with that hybrid unicorn that’s built like a mini van. He’s expandable and I believe Mika was brought in to make this all work resulting in why they flipped Brass.

        The question is how don’t you see him with reduce role?

        • easily. Stepan playing more minutes and more even-strength minutes this year than prior years. he is consistently against the top players on the ice. except for OT he is doing everything for this team in all situations.

          i don’t think you can identify the “top” center anymore by who plays with one particular other player e.g. kreider in your example. this team hasn’t had a “top” line for years with the talent being more diffuse through the lineup.

          you can quibble what is the “top” pp or “top” pk unit but among centers on this team, but the way AV deploys them is that Stepan plays both units in about the same amount of time that Mika does on the pp and Hayes does on pk now. does kreider and zuc (Mika’s current even strength linemates) playing with stepan on the pp make that the “top” pp? i don’t know and i don’t think it really matters, but by your explanation that would be the top PP, centered by stepan.

  • Still of the opinion that they make a minor tweak move and not a move that really brings in more than a 3rd line defenseman as an insurance policy. While I wouldn’t mind a Stepan move, I feel AV would not welcome that move. NYR have a history of surprising us at the deadline. Many of their past moves had no rumors.

    • I think AV would… I also think Gorton would too…

      That “one last kick at the can” meant Stepan as well with Girardi, Staal, and Nash.

      • Wait, last year was the “one last kick at the can” year.

        So if it meant Stepan, Girardi, Staal and Nash, and we’re still playing all 4 major minutes…..something is wrong with either your theory, or the facts.

        Do I see Stepan being moved? Yes. Do I see them wanting to move Stepan? No. Do I see them accepting the fact that you have to give to get? Yes.

          • I am going to throw a name out here as a near-over-the-hill, right-handed defenseman we can get on the cheap. Dennis Wideman from Calgary. Expiring contract. A bit more mobile that both Klein and Girardi and can be there as an insurance policy for probably a 5th or 6th round pick. Is he worth it?

        • They used that line coming into this season therefore those players have 1 more good chance of staying a Ranger after the 17 season ends

          • When and who said this?

            The only time that was used was around last years trade deadline.

  • I am very impressed with the Hayes-Miller-Grabner line, and the way they seem to know where each other is at any given time on the ice.

    Having said that, I would be very comfortable if they did indeed trade Step, and get a decent right d-man who can help us long term. Let’s be real folks, Z, Hayes, Lindberg, and possibly a return of a 3rd line center could be a strong line up.

    As for the game last night, down 2-0, the team maintained their composure, and played some steady hockey, with 4 unanswered goals to take the lead, and eventually the game. Nice comeback, and two necessary points. As an aside note, Hank gets his 399 win, not bad !!!!!!!

    • and you have Nieves in Hartford who can slot in most likely next season as a 4th line center. also would not mind bringing back Brian Boyle for a play off run if the price is right.

      • Never was a fan of BB but a 4th line of him between Fast and Hrivic would do it for me, that’s as traditional as it should get.

    • Hayes always plays against the top lines this year and Mika usually saw north of 17 minutes a game so that’s a good one two punch in the top 6.

      Gorton will probably speed up the process of forming this new core since nobody saw the duo of Hayes and JT being a force together. I love Grabner’s speed but those two will demand more attention and at the end of the day you could play around with combo’s for the other winger spot if they were to officially be in the top 6. The fact that those two players not only look good individualy but as a item like on the PK will probably rush Nash and Stepan out of town.

      • “Hayes always plays against the top lines this year and Mika usually saw north of 17 minutes a game so that’s a good one two punch in the top 6.”

        Usage charts show that this is incorrect. Stepan, Kreider, Nash, Zucc, and Zib log the greater minutes against opponents QoC.

        I agree with your premise that Stepan is likely to be traded, but the reasons are purely money. Nothing to do with time on ice, usage or production. Pure, simple money.

    • We agree Walt!!! Nice comeback. In the first they seemed to be relying to heavily on the stretch pass. In the 2nd and 3rd, they carried the puck up the ice and actually ran some plays instead of just trying to break Kreider free. Now, some people, myself included, might call that an “in-game adjustment.” But nooooo!!!!!! That can’t be true—-can it????? (;!!!!!!

  • since kevin came back the third line has clicked keep it going will see you guys tomorrow sorry couldn’t come on Thursday because of the blizzard

    • Blizzard…..? Back in my day, we walked to the Garden! (What? People walk to the Garden now?)

      Anyway, there is a very famous NYR game from way back where the Rangers used to all live in Long Beach, because that’s where they practiced. And there was a big storm, and only about 4,000 people showed up at the Garden and most of the Rangers rode the LIRR into the Garden because it was RUNNING.

      And then there’s that Devil game where a bunch of players got stuck on RT 280 in Jersey going home from the game and didn’t get plowed out until the next morning.

  • Wouldn’t mind having that D man Ryan Ellis from the Predators on the Rangers. Is he right handed and what’s his status? Nice thought…

    • I have noticed this for the last few years. NYR are currently 25th in power play opportunities after finishing LAST in ’15-’16 and 24th the year before that. And NYR always run a deficit with more penalties against than for.

      Oakley chant right up there with “Sloppy Seconds”.

  • Nashville with all their big name defencemen: Subban, Josi, Ekholm and Ellis weren’t all that impressive. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the players bench. I guess we are suppose to be elated now that Lundqvist is doing what he is paid to do….stopping pucks.

    • Well, lets look at your theory.

      Nashville Defenseman (5×5)
      Ekholm CF% 62.8 xGA60 1.46
      Irwin CF%40.7 xGA60 5.85
      Subban CF% 62.8 xGA60 1.47
      Josi CF% 55.8 xGA60 2.75
      Ellis CF% 54.5 xGA60 3.28
      Weber CF% 43.4 xGA60 4.16

      NYR (5×5)
      Clendening CF% 36.4 xGA60 2.0

      • Somehow I hit Tab, sorry.

        Skjei CF% 41.1 xGA60 1.7
        Klein CF% 35.1 xGA60 1.4
        Staal CF% 26.9 xGA60 2.2
        Holden CF% 66.9 xGA60 3.6
        Mac CF% 67.8 xGA60 3.4

        So the big 4 of Nashville were impressive. We victimized Irwin and Weber.

        • How do Nashville’s d men compare over the year with the by d men? Am I right assume that Holden and McD were our best yesterday in CF, but we’re on ice for the most goals? Still trying to learn to interpret.

          • It’s based off of time. In simple easy number MacDonagh and Holden gave up 1 5×5 goal in roughly 20 minutes of play. Therefore, if you give up 1:20, the correlating ration would be 3:60. There are other factors that go into it, I just summed it up as easily as possible. What the numbers indicate, is that when Mac and Holden were on the ice, the puck was in the Nashville end more.

            I’ll pull up the Nashville group of 6 vs ours when I get home.

        • Your numbers don’t mean dilly squat. The Rangers forwards exploited Nashvilles’ defence and New York were the victors. The stat that counts is in the win lost column and Nashville with their Corsi number superstars are struggling for a playoff spot.

          • There’s homer-loyalty, and then there’s what you’re doing.

            If you can’t objectively look at the skill and talent of the Nashville blue line and think they’re worse than ours, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you at a good price.

          • Worse should be better.

            Was typing and talking. My multi-tasking ability today is shot

          • I agree John B. I am somewhat of a homer. I am also highly skeptical when the number cruncher’s try to quantified the game of hockey using fancy stats.

            Hockey is not baseball, where individual player performance can be isolated. Hockey is played at the speed of light, it is the fastest game on earth.

            Team chemistry is paramount, as hockey is an instinctive game. This explains why certain players when paired together ie: Miller and Haynes are more effective then when apart. Grabner has excelled in New York but was under-performing in Toronto

            Through-out a game, the coach’s will send out many variations of line combos. Players metrics are then distorted as they play with and against different players.

            Since individual player metrics are distortions, performance can only be measure in relation to team play. This explains why a team with an all-star lineup (can you say team USA) loses against a team of inferior players.

          • Whoa wait. It’s one thing to be a homer and ignore numbers. People have been doing that for 5 years with Girardi.

            Team USA lost to what inferior team where? Please explain that one. Team USA lost due to roster construction. “We” went heavy and slow. Faster skilled teams beat us. And believe it or not, people who looked at the NHL numbers of people on the US team predicted they would struggle. They did.

            And I disagree with your baseball comparison. ALL sports are team sports. Numbers quantify and prove/disprove a players output to the team goal. Case in point, Dan Girardi SEVERLY limits and hinders the production of Ryan MacDonagh. Tanner Glass SEVERLY limited the output of his linemates. Numbers verify what the eye sees. I think you’re choosing to see something and ignoring contrary evidence.

  • Can one of you hockey guys explain to me what the difference was between last night, where Rangers didn’t get outshot/attempted by a million as opposed to the game vs the Ducks…Did our boys change their system. Were the
    Dcukies just a bigger more formidable team. It kills this Ranger lover when they give up SOOOO many shots..

  • Okay, is it me or has Zinbad been almost invisible for the past 4 games? He isn’t doing anything on the PP and really nothing to speak of 5v5. Not sure if it is his linemates or his stamina, but he just does not seem to have the “jump” he had before his injury.

  • Got another solid game in , everyone played a good overall game ( yes 3E ,Richter including The King ) …. Trading Miller away would be a huge mistake !

    • It’s going to be a big name contract with either the 1st or 2nd round pick but I think JT along with Mika, Hayes, Vesey,Kreids and Buch are all safe.

      Hopefully Skeji is safe after the 29th as well

    • King is in his net and not overreacting. It’s as simple as that.

      Miller is untouchable now. He’s their best forward right now.

    • I like Rick Nash and even though he is in decline, remains a solid contributor to the team. The problem is, if the Rangers are going to go to take the next step and land an impact defenceman they are going to need cap space. Nash with a cap hit of 7.8 million, joins the list of overpaid underperforming Rangers.

      Lundqvist 8.5 million
      Staal 5.7 million
      Girardi 5.5 million
      Klein 2.9 million
      Stepan 6.5 million

      So yes, the Rangers need to dump some contracts and create some capspace. They don’t have to blow the team apart, just make some smart moves like the Hawks, Penquins and other successful franchises have been doing, trade players before they reach their best before date.

      • The Hawks? They are paying TWO guys 22 million!!! And one of them has 17 goals and the other has 11!!!

        The Penguins? If Sid goes down they are done. Period.

  • I don’t remember this game, but I was nine at the time and started to listen
    to the games on WHN. Bert Lee did the broadcasting. This is where I learned to have a great deal of patience with the Rangers.

    Red Wings rout Rangers 15-0, set records
    By Larry Schwartz

    Jan. 23, 1944

    In the most one-sided game in NHL history, the Red Wings blast the New York Rangers, 15-0, at Olympia Stadium in Detroit. The Red Wings also break another record by becoming the first team to score 15 consecutive goals in a game.

    After scoring two goals in the first period, the Red Wings get five in the second and eight in the third. If the game lasts another second, their total would be 16 goals as a shot goes into the net just after the contest ends.

    While Rangers goalie Ken McAuley, a former truant officer from Saskatchewan, misses 15 shots, he makes 43 saves. Detroit’s rookie goalie, Connie Dion, has an easier time, having to make only nine saves for his first NHL shutout.

    Ten players score for the Red Wings, with Syd Howe leading the onslaught with a hat trick, with all three goals coming in the final eight minutes.

  • So glad you asked. To bad so few people will read this post and the one
    about 15-0 game.

    During 43-44 season the Rangers won 6 games in a 50 game schedule. They
    finished with17 points while Montreal had 83.

    However, I began my love affair.

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