Game Wrap-ups

Rangers add to win streak in Columbus

Sharp goaltending, fast paced action, and frequent use of special teams marked this game, as the Rangers topped Columbus on the road to extend their win streak further. Both teams used powerplays to swing the momentum in their favor but ultimately it was the Rangers who were able to keep up the pressure, responding to Nick Foligno’s game-tying goal with an excellent marker from Jimmy Vesey.

Antti Raanta had a 30 save game, easily matching Sergei Bobrovsky and coming up big in the last minute of the game to secure the Rangers’s lead while CBJ had the extra man. Ultimately it was a solid performance, the kind of game you like to see from your team on the road, and two big points against a divisional rival in a crucial race to the playoffs.


Brandon Saad receives a long stretch pass towards the end of a powerplay midway through the first period and provides a slick setup for Dubinsky to finish. He tips the puck into the zone at the blueline and then goes to collect it down behind the net, slipping a back-pass to Brandon Dubinsky, who’s crashing the net behind him. Pretty tough shot for Raanta to save given how in close it was; it would’ve been nice to have seen the Rangers give Dubi some trouble in front of the net, but the whole thing took place on a quick transition at the end of a powerplay so I’m not complaining.


Excellent PK pressure by JT Miller and Kevin Hayes helps set up this short-handed goal from Dan Girardi. Miller is causing some trouble along the left halfboards, drawing the attention of multiple Blue Jackets, when he slips the puck into the slot for Kevin Hayes. Hayes, realizing that his opportunities are going to be limited by the Columbus defenders closing in on him drops in back for Dan Girardi, who lets the shot fly to knot the game at 1.


Kevin Hayes with a monster play to help the Rangers get up a goal on the Jackets. Not a lot to say here other than that it’s an exceptional individual effort from Hayes – he steals the puck at the redline, goes straight to the net, and puts some nifty moves on the goaltender before slotting it home to gain the lead for the Rangers.


Columbus ties up the game here at 2 apiece with a goal from Nick Foligno. Savard skates the puck behind the net, passes it off to Foligno, who centers it in close in front of the net. The puck hits a Rangers and the game is back to being tied.


What a goal from Jimmy Vesey! Derek Stepan makes the play inside his own blueline to set up Vesey, flipping the puck to him as he skates down the wing through the neutral zone. Vesey cues up the shot and puts it on net as he skates down around the bottom of the circle, beating Bobrovsky clean.


Bear in mind that this is all situations, so you can see where the pace of the game ebbed and flowed with the penalties. The Rangers stagnated towards the end of the second, but we can see in the third they had a real solid push that culminated in Vesey’s goal. Obviously at the very end you can see where Columbus had the goalie pulled, so the Jackets ended up a little bit ahead of the Rangers, but on the whole I’d say they did a good job keeping pace.

That ability to keep pace with good teams, whether it involves grabbing the momentum on a powerplay or generating it 5v5, is going to be crucial as we make it through the back half of the season towards the playoff push. Hopefully AV can make the kinds of minor adjustments on defense to really get the most out of this team, so that they can play this way night in, night out. If he does, we may see some good hockey from the Rangers as we prepare for spring.

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  • They keep winning… They’ll be just good enough in the standings to have to play a Metro rival in the first round instead of the stiffs in the Atlantic.

    • If they meet the Habs you know it will be tough , they have a rough time there for some reason

      • I forget the year, but it was in the 90s, the Rangers played the Habs in the playoffs and lost the first 2 at home, which you would have thought wold have been disaster going back to Montreal. They won the next 2 at Montreal and won the series.

        Hey, you never know. Therrien out and Julien in. Don’t know what that does for the team but I guess we will find ot.

  • I worry that we dump and protect with a 1 goal lead way too early. We do this with 9 minutes remaining. You can’t do that with good teams and never in the playoffs.

    Defense played well.

    • Son of a gun, as I was typing my post, you put up my thoughts. Great minds, or in my case grate mind ??????????

    • And they did a lousy job of it too. on NBCSN McGuire was blathering on about how the Rangers were going to clog the neutral zone but they were backing in as Columbus wingers were flying by them. They eventually started to break up some plays between the blue lines but yeah, with a 1-goal lead and 10 min left you have to get over the red line, get the puck deep and spend some time in the the other guy’s end.

      • I’m glad someone else noticed that. I had to watch the NBC coverage too and I’m listening to Pierre talk about the Rangers clogging up the neutral zone as if it was a brick wall and meanwhile Columbus is skating right through plenty of times. Pierre always describes guys like they’re making an amazing play that’s never been done before. Every goalie that makes a save was “big as a house”.

    • Lately?
      Seems like I read a lot about AV’s system of going into the shell if leading in the 3rd. I always hated that approach, which is why I find that they play a more fun game when trailing.

  • Good outcome, but my blood pressure was elevated for about seven minutes last night.

    Hayes gets a shorty, nice hands on that play, at the 5 minute mark of the 3rd. We go into a damn shell again, Jackets came back to tie the game at 2, after some 7 minutes behind. With a lucky, and slick play by the Vesey kid we jump out to a 3-2 lead, and then defend until the end. Why can’t we continue to play aggressive hockey with 15 minutes left in the game? Just drives me nuts, but I’ll take the victory, and the two points !!!!!!!!

    • On a side note, it finally hit me who Hayes looks like. Are you ready for this, Pete Townshend of The Who, when he was young, back around 1964 time frame………

          • Walt, I was born in 1987 and even I get the reference! Just google ‘Pete Townsend Windmill’. All great guitarists have their thing, and Pete’s was the windmill : )

          • Well, I’m an old timer (born 1955) so I’m glad to see the younger generation knows of stuff like that!

            Maybe Hayes can incorporate a Townsend-style windmill with his stick into his goal celebration.

          • Hey!! Watch that “old timer” stuff. lol. I was born in 1959. What’s really scary is that it encompasses 7 decades, lol.

  • Nash’s presence was a contributing factor on Vesey’s goal because he caught Bobrovsky cheating to defend a pass to Nash, who was coming down the slot. This was a good read by Vesey. That line (Nash – Stepan – Vesey) played well when they were put together in the 2nd period (late 1st?). I’d like to see them start Thursday together to see if they can match the production of the Hayes line.

    • Well AV had Vesey playing up on the 2nd line for a few games and a lot of fans said he’s waiting Buchnevich on the 4th line. So last night he switched them back but Vesey was playing real good so AV put him back on the 2nd line and it turned out to be a great move. He’s pushed the right buttons a lot of times that way this year. It’s a good problem to have when you’re playing with a Vesey or Buchnevich on the 4th line

      • AV would make me very happy if he would just leave the Vesey-Stepan-Nash line alone. Vesey-Nash is like Miller-Hayes.

        • That’s really sad… The Stepan-Nash should be the most strong between the pairs. No offense but I disagree, when you have a center and winger showing high level of chemistry then that makes it a 180 difference of seeing two wingers that play well together. It’s why we get to see Hayes and Miller look like a Bergeron and Marchond duo, of course our boys bring their own flavor at getting the job done but you get similar stuff like PK units putting up the top shelf production on the shorthanded side.

          To me something is missing between Vesey and Nash, like a center who can skate into the zone without always dumping the puck in. Then also to not be be happy at just getting the puck back to Girardi or Staal to create for you.

    • I thought they were pinned down in their zone for majority of the game. It was frustrating especially in the game before against the Avalanche, one to many times do I see the Hayes line get matched up against the tougher line after what the Mika line has to face. Then AV will try to match Stepan’s line against the 3rd or 4th lines and they come up being on the ice for two goals against like in the last home game. It’s not impressive especially knowing how long Nash and Stepan have been together on a line and the money that’s tied up into the both of them.

      That line won’t put up as much as the Hayes line during the next 6 games, it just won’t happen. Well maybe if Nash goes on a tear, Stepan keeps squeezing out a point here and there and if Vesey can continue to skate the puck through 2 zones to score. I could see Mika and Kreider breaking out to have as many goals as Nash’s total of points.

      I could see Gorton doing som sneaky manoeuvre that sends Stepan and Nash off this team, moves up the Hayes line, get maybe Berglund as the 3c. Then sends up Buch and sends down Vesey to help be our new 3rd line for the playoffs.

  • Great win against a division rival. I’m really looking forward to Sunday’s game against the Caps!

    Now we just need Zib to get going!

    • Me thinks Zib needs a wake-up call – like a game in the pressbox as a healthy scratch – just to light a little fire in him

      • The second game back he played like this as well, he’s still getting his timing right. He played amazing in the last two home games and definitely has been snake bitten, I’m pretty sure he’s coming off a 3 or 4 game point streak, he will be fine. He’s had to see the tougher opponents and no way does that suggestion pull through to sit him in the press box, it just won’t happen.

  • great win tonight boys now Thursday night the game against the isles in Brooklyn hopefully the guys can build off this win because after this the nationally televised game on sunday against the caps on NBC

  • Nice game overall. Hayes with, dare I say, a Grabner-esq steal of the puck and a beauty of a goal on the break-away. Dan Girardi looking better (please give him regular nights off!) A nice goal from Vesey off a nice play by Stepan too. Good defensive attention by the forwards which helped the blue liners. And, an excellent game by Raanta after a long stretch of sitting on the bench.

    The Fishsticks are next. Theyhave been playing well lately so they will not be push overs. Nice warm up for Ovechkin and the Crapitals!

    • Even when the Isles ain’t playing well we seem to play our worst games against them. I’m really tired of turning pucks over or just total giveaways when we play them. The last two seasons were usually missing key players when we play them. This time we finally have everyone on board so let’s go play one of our best games against the, for a change. They’re playing their best hockey at home so it’s gonna be a job for us for sure.

      • Ive felt like our players havent viewed the game as much as a rivally as us fans do. However their players do. Also Halak (whos in Bridgeport) seems to play his best vs Hank.

        • What do you expect? The last bunch of Ranger vets are Staal, Girardi and Stepan and they don’t stick to the code. This team doesn’t get sucked into that chippy type remember a number and a name to begin with. I think Gorton will do is best to add at least one dynamic that will bring out the hard hitting in certain players like Kreider and Miller.

  • So the question becomes do we want a 7 seed, and play Montreal in the first round, with the extra game in Montreal, or maybe a 2, with a home seventh game v. Pittsburgh or Columbus. That’s really the issue. It’s always been my preference to get a seventh game at home, and I personally don’t consider the Canadiens “stiffs”. But that’s just me.

    Look, every team in the world, in every sport from ice hockey to cricket, plays mostly defense with a late lead, because the percentages are in your favor, and you don’t want to give up a breakaway, a long touchdown pass, or whatever. Every fan and blogger screams about it when it doesn’t work, and sometimes it doesn’t. But- the guys who get paid millions of dollars to make these decisions (read: the coaches), and whose jobs depend on the relative successes of those decisions, continue to lean in that direction. So clearly there must be some confidence, somehow, that that’s the best thing to do over the long run. Also, the fans, each of whom is convinced that he knows infinitely more about the sport than the coach, never goes onto a blog when the strategy works and rhapsodizes about what a genius the coach is. What they do is scream and howl when the team gives up a late goal, and blames the coach for the epic failure. You know, sort of like Democrats around election time.

    That’s it for now, and yes Kevin Hayes does look like a young Pete Townsend, but I don’t know if Hayes even plays the guitar. Hatrick, your parents must have raised you right, with strong helpings of the Who during your childhood.

    Regards- orange

    • In football, you throw to score, but you run to win. Prevent defense is just death by a thousand cuts as your D gasses. You win by grinding the other team down with running plays, never let their O back on the field

      In hockey, the best way to limit the other team’s chances is by limiting the total number of chances. Do like Herb did with the smurfs: delay zone entry, reset the possession if need be. Get their forecheck gassed, then go to work deep. Blindly shoveling the puck out like on a PK is flirting with disaster.

        • If coaches were all geniuses, they’d never get fired, even with the Peter principal, it’d be the GMs in this CBA.

      • agreed – there’s playing a prudent, low risk offense then there’s what the rangers often do. that’s what get people worked up. I don’t know that anyone is saying keep trying long stretch passes and send four men deep in the o-zone when you’re up late in the game, but controlling the puck and continuing to play in all zones is paramount.

    • ” But- the guys who get paid millions of dollars to make these decisions (read: the coaches), and whose jobs depend on the relative successes of those decisions, continue to lean in that direction. So clearly there must be some confidence, somehow, that that’s the best thing to do over the long run.”

      I’m sure Dan Quinn and the Atlanta Falcon coaching staff is thinking exactly this right now.

      The best way I can debate this is using “Joe-Fan” as an example. You know Joe-Fan right? The guy who HAS to wear a certain pair of underwear, while wearing his “lucky” hat at exactly a 15 degree leftward angle in flip flops while sitting in the exact same spot because he has “confidence” the team always wins when this is met? Sure it give him “confidence” but is there is ample evidence that shows that none of that matters, and in fact plenty of evidence that shows that it does nothing but aggravate “Joe-Fan’s” family and wife.

      Last night was a perfect example of why falling back to a prevent defense isn’t the best option. Columbus had very good chances in that closing time. Again, the other team CAN’T score if you have the puck.

      “never goes onto a blog when the strategy works and rhapsodizes about what a genius the coach is. What they do is scream and howl when the team gives up a late goal, and blames the coach for the epic failure”.

      No, I’m not going to cheer and holler and scream that we survived last night. Also, people would have a right to complain if a strategy that has pretty consistently proven to not be successful is the strategy that the team employs.

      “You know, sort of like Democrats around election time.”

      I’m not going to speak for anyone, and honestly due to my occupation I lean neither “left” nor “right”. However, this last line really wasn’t needed. I can debate without disparaging the person. I fully believe in the Farewell Address by President Washington where we warned us all about the evil of a two party system, that it would divide the Nation and should be avoided. Both parties kick and scream when they don’t get their way. It is unfair, and insulting to a person to be singled out for moral beliefs.

      • “Again, the other team CAN’T score if you have the puck.”

        Not exactly true – you can accidentally put the puck in your own net. However, your analysis is correct.

    • It could be Ottawa instead of the Canadians…and who is to say there would be a 7th game between NYR and the Canadians? and who is to say there would be a 7th game between NYR and the Penns?

      • No one is to say.

        Devils advocate….we can beat Montreal at home, we struggle to win there. So using that formula puts it at 3-3, with the 7th in Montreal.

        As for the Pens? 7 Games? No. More like 5 or less, just like last year.

    • There you go again, lobbing hand grenades orange!!!!!! It’s frustrating as hell to see your defense, that’s weak to begin with, have to break their collective butts off when they could have some help by attacking the other zone, with some 15 minutes left in the game. But what do we know, we aren’t paid the money Marv is, to piss everyone off!!!!!

    • Coaches have a functional fixedness bias as they do what has always worked, no meter if someone has figured out a better solution to the issue at had.

      Most fans have a negativity bias when they see their team shell/prevent their way into a loss.

      I just read an interesting stats analysis about shelling and the net result is teams with good CF% do it better than bad teams and there’s no correlation to end of game CF and winning beyond regular CF.

      My theory as previously presented, is to use all three zones more deliberately to maximize time between scoring chances, (keeping normal CF on trend) rather than shelling where scoring chances trend to the team who’s behind.

      Coaches are willing to shell because of the loser point, but it gets you into bad habits and bad playoff outcomes.

  • Hayes > Stepan

    Anybody thinking Gorton will invest all that money down the middle while our top paid center gets reduced roles with the current structure of Mika on the top line and PP while Hayes runs the pk isn’t a predictable fan.

  • Anyone think we should trade Nash for defenseman prospects? It would open up offseason salary to sign a ‘D’ and protect Grabner? We can fill Nash slot with Pirri or Pumpel for now (both who can score).

    • I can see our 3rd line move to full time 2nd line duties. Then put Buch and Vesey where they belong on the 3rd line, trade both Nash and Stepan and keep Grabs around for awhile.

      I wouldn’t want Pirri in the top 9 to begin with or Pumpel in the top 6 with a rookie like Vesey at the other wing spot, besides the fact that it won’t happen. This opens up the idea of return of Hrivic with Oscar and Fast or to go get a banger to give us a more traditional 4th line.

      • Wow….love this post…….could not agree any more….like to see hrivik back!!!!
        If we can trade both maybe we can package girardi with one also….
        put zibs line back together—-
        kreider- zib –buch
        vesey –lindberg–zucc

      • Both Stepan and Nash are not being dealt. That’s a non-starter. We do not need Peumpel or Pirri in the everyday lineup. Pirri makes Girardi look good.

        Nor do we need a “traditional” 4th line. That doesn’t work anymore. The game has evolved away from that. Look at where the game is and where it’s headed, not into the past. All 4 lines have to be able to score. Throwing a line over to hit a few people but can’t score does absolutely nothing anymore.

    • Right. A thread that includes trading Nash and Stepan so we can keep Grabner and play Pirri, Puempel, and Hrivik. Brilliant! While we’re at it, why don’t we bring McIlrath back. That way we can continue building a roster that can challenge the likes of Las Vegas & Arizona.

  • Beautiful shot by Vesey, kid got some skills and talent. But I am not convinced the young Russian would be great like everyone else here.

  • I understand why people might think that Montreal would be an easier first round matchup—-but I think they are not factoring in all the outside garbage that would come with playing the Canadiens.

    First off, Hank cannot win up there. Its only gonna’ take the first bad goal against to let loose all those demons. And frankly, Hank doesn’t seem to handle the pressure of winning up there all that well.

    Secondly, you’d have to deal with the whole ‘Kreider–Cary Price’ nonsense. The papers up there are shills for the Canadiens, always have—always will be. Add to that the chance of relighting a fuse to the whole incident from a few years ago–and it will quickly become a circus. Every time Kreider goes near someone, it will be looked at as a penalty—and the refs are only human—they will react. Kreider could be easily nullified before the Series even starts.

    And finally, just having to deal with the whole perception of another “American Invasion” into the hallowed ground of Canada, is something I don’t think the team would be looking forward to. It would be the same playing Ottawa, but not to the same extent.

    IMO, no matter who they face it will be tough. In the playoffs there just aren’t many pushovers. I don’t want to add any more outside distractions to the task of winning, if at all possible. IMO, stay away from Montreal.

      • Last 10 a lot more indicative. Heck, Rangers were dominating in the last game bar a 3 minute stretch.

        • Game log begs to differ that we ever “dominated” at any point.

          SF Mtl 31, NYR 25
          GF Mtl 5, NYR 2
          CF% Mtl 53.4%, NYR 46.6%

          So all in all, roughly 25% of our shots (8 of 33) and half our goals came on either the PP or PK.

          And case in point. Price was average, and we scored 4 goals in Montreal……and still lost.

    • And now Montreal has just fired Therrien and replaced him with Claude Julien———lets just keep away from that whole circus!!!!

      • I don’t understand this fear of the Habs.

        Julien is not a great coach for that team. He will have them playing an even more regressive style than Terrien did and make that team even less dangerous.

        Weber, much like last year, is showing that he can no longer handle the load of 25 minutes a night. Now the guy that asked the team to move their best player, Subban, over the summer has been fired? That is a recipe for extreme turmoil.

        The WC1 position in the East is gold this year. Not having to deal with the Caps/Pens/BJs until they are done taking pounds of flesh off of each other for 4 weeks is exactly where you want to be. Having to steamroll through a combination of MTL/OTT/BOS/TOR/TB on the way to the conf. finals is just an added bonus.

        The only fear is that Columbus continues their predictable slide out of the top three in the Metro, leaving the Rangers with a first round matchup with the Pens. Look, Torts is already imploding, again.

        • As I explained above, my fear of Montreal has more to do with the outside forces on the team than the Canadiens themselves. And now with the coaching change,it just adds to it. The Rangers never win up there and if they get off to a bad start, it could steamroll. Hank just doesn’t play well against them. I would just rather avoid them.

        • Montreal doesn’t have the personnel Julien wanted/had in Boston: does the GM get him the guys or does Julien adapt to the team presented before him?

          • Either way, I’m not comfortable going into that atmosphere, vs. a team that’s trying to prove something. I’d rather avoid them, right off the bat.

  • Heard a Senator radio guy say they would love to win the Atlantic so they GET NYR in first round. Really?

    Sorry, to all the naysayers, but I think NYR should go all out to finish second in the Metro, claim home ice, and then watch Pens fall to the card. We beat CBJ first round in 5 (maybe sweep), and then NYI sneaks in and beats WAS in 7 and then we beat NYI in 5 (maybe sweep) and then we beat OTT in final and finally lose to the Wild in Six. No, I haven’t been drinking.

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