Game Wrap-ups

Rangers rebound with strong effort, even series

rick nash
Photo: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

After Sunday night’s debacle, there was no where to go but up for the Rangers. And boy did they ever go up. The Rangers played their most complete game of the series thus far, and probably their best hockey game of 2017, beating the Habs 2-1 to even the series.

From puck drop, you had the feeling that this was going to be a different game. The Rangers were the first to pucks, they were in on the forecheck, they were driving to the net, and they were getting good chances. When you do that, you create your own luck, as is what happened on Jesper Fast’s opening goal.

But where would the Rangers be without Henrik Lundqvist? Hank again stood tall, and in my opinion has been better than Carey Price all series. He made big saves when they needed them. The defense did a good job clogging the middle and preventing quality chances. The penalty kill was excellent and disciplined as well. Just a good all around win.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Habs 0

Andrei Markov mishandled the dump in, which caromed right to Jesper Fast. This caught Price by surprise, and Fast was able to tuck it through Price’s legs.

Habs 1, Rangers 1

Brady Skjei challenged Alex Radulov in the neutral zone, but he was able to chip a pass to Torrey Mitchell to get a 2-on-1 against Nick Holden. Holden slipped on a banana I guess.

Rangers 2, Habs 1

Ryan McDonagh made a great keep at the blue line here. He then made an even better pass to Rick Nash low. Nash was all alone as he cut in and slide the puck under Price.

Score-Adjusted Even Strength Corsi

This is what you want to see from this group. They have the skill to be able to dominate their opposition, especially one as flawed and thin as Montreal. This was a dominating performance, spending most of the time in the Montreal zone. The Rangers have the skill to match, and process like this will breed many wins in the postseason.

Scoring Chances

I wasn’t just quantity of chances either. After the first period, the Rangers really turned it on offensively and clamped down defensively. They got all the chances, while limiting Montreal’s chances. The defense woke up, and finally realized they can’t hang Hank out to dry nightly.

Now the big thing for the Rangers will be consistency. If they can do his again in Game 5, they will win. It’s about good process. Speed through the neutral zone. Forechecking. Smart dumps. Getting in passing lanes. Preventing quality chances. Fundamental hockey. The Rangers are more skilled and deeper than the Habs. If they play with proper process and have good coaching, they can win.

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  • The boys showed us something last night after a terrible game on Sunday. Glad I was there to witness it live.

    No negative, not today. LGR!!

  • I second your opinion, Henrik has been the better goalie, partly because he has had to be but Fast and Nash went hard to the net and stuff the check past Price but good.


    Bring the Rain tomorrow night! Bring it, come home and end it!

  • Great effort with Nash leading the charge. Buch gave Zinbad some life, but it didn’t seem to help Kreider too much.

    Smith was mauiled a few times but refs chose to see nothing. Hayes was better and Holden played a better game. JT was skating but not with a clear purpose.

    4th line again played strong. AV must have done something right.

    • What are you talking about? The Hayes and Zib lines looked great and giving Kreider two playmakers is a necessity if you want him to be more involved in the neutral zone and offensive zone. Zucc doesn’t have to do everything when he plays qith JT who wins board battles and Hayes who can create actual space and win battles and faceoffs. Hayes has been the better center since the start of the playoffs, he should have a few points by now. I don’t understand this undertone from your comment that feels like we’re paying him 6.5 a year to supply a top center role. We won’t win the cup, but not because Hayes has to be “better” because we have a zero top center presence.

      AV giving the top 9 a potential threat to produce as a top line quality while scratching Glass is what he did right.

  • Good job Dave. I think everyone noticed the difference from the start. I also feel that Hank has been better than Price in the series. I also think it’s another example of why we shouldn’t overreact to a loss. I realize it’s about how we lost. But it was only one game. The same goes with the win, it’s only one game. It would be great to see some consistent play and wins. There’s guys that still need to get going. I think it was a great response.

  • Warriors! All of them!! Love Buch Z Bad together! (Yes I was in the Glass camp for game 1) Rest up boys and bring it again Thursday in Montreal!!

  • I was still on the edge of my seat the entire game. Hank was amazing. That stop on Shaw. Just watch that a few times and see the cat like reflexes.

    On a side note to everyone that wanted to keep Cam Talbot. He got pulled after allowing 5 goals.

    • Lol. I was thinking the same.
      All of a sudden, not seeing too much of “leaky this, and that” and “Raanta is better”, and” “Should have kept Talbot, his one half of a good season is clearly better than Hanks HOF career”.

  • If they play with that level of energy and commitment the rest of the way, then they will win the series. Nice job all around. Keep it going.

  • There is still life in that cadaver, I can’t believe the way they came out, put together a 60 minute game, got chippy there at times. The next game is pivotal, they win, we get momentum, and could take this series. The question is “Can we play another game of 60 minutes of sustained good hockey”? If so we win, if not, well we address that later…………….Oh AV made a change for this game, whatever it was, bottle it!!!!!!

    • Its a crap shoot with these guys , anyone’s guess …. Just make an effort ! Win or loose , make an effort …. AV got a little upset for once last night on the Habs goal but both teams ended up having 7 !

        • Get my paisan Coach Walt liquored up, Chris.

          Then ask him about his stint with the AF-CIA black project cadres at Dreamland/Groom Lake/Area 51.

          Hell, Coach Walt, ever old school understated, selfless, will never let on, but he reverse-engineered a UFO. See footnote.

          (Paul Ronty: source.)

  • They were hungry and desperate for a change, and weren’t intimidated physically, to big keys! Time to show their warrior road play Thursday!

    • Playing him with Hayes and JT kind of exposed him to his over passing tendency that he has. I’m more upset at the countless times of his line that would cycled in the zone all to set up Staal, Girardi and Holden. They always ruin a perfectly good shooting opportunity by muffing the shot or missing the forwards stick for redirects.

  • This game was the polar opposite of game on Sunday. The Rangers can win the Cup if they compete at this level the rest of the way.

  • Kreider must be benched, he is invisible and must get fire under his butt. They need to shoot the puck way more and shoot low. Any high shot and Price will manage the puck. They need low shots on his pads blocker side, as it is more awkward to play with the stick. and have a man in front of him 24/7.

    Smith, what a warrior, Nash is a beast out there and Lindberg is our best center currently. Lundqvist has played great and Girardi is also a warrior out there and been our 2nd best D-man in this series

    • And since it was a win, no mention of your wanting to fire AV for sitting Glass, nor your prediction before last night’s game that the NYR’s would lose both games 5 & 6.

        • You should see my Facebook….in regards to AV….yeah….fire him and Glass should play over Kreider….nothings changed….twilight zone….nothing

        • AV could sit Kreider and put Grabner with Steps and Zuc. Glass could go back on the 4th line with the feisty swedes.But I wonder if AV did yank Kreider out of the lineup, if he would be crucified in the New York media like Torts was.

          • Lol why would you think that AV puts Zucc back with Stepan? I doubt that will happen from here on out but maybe he reunites him with Mika or something. Him and Hayes played great together and Zucc needs a center who can make plays in the neutral zone with the puck and not be the worst faceoff man of the series. Hayes will be the only one to ruin his chance to play with a guy like that. I highly doubt that AV is thinking about putting them back together. He even had to get Stepan away from him on the the PP to give him better finishers.

          • Nah, Bloomer.

            Swap out your auxiliary verb “could” for “should”.

            Moreover I don’t anticipate any firestorm in the press, or otherwise, over benching a conspicuously power-challenged power forward. It’s called spine. Acting or being decisive.

            Hell, even the hyper polite, ever diplomatic TSN/Canadian TV brain trust astutely singled out Kreider last night, calling him “lost”. “Disinterested”.

            But Bloomer, this narrative is already dated. It should’ve been the animating message after Game Two.

    • Spot on again leatherneck…..
      My boy Kredier has been invisible ……play Glass?
      Stepan also invisible [ as usual] …….play Hrivik or Pirri ?

      Good things happen when we crash the net and bother price…..those high shots at price for two games should be considered turnovers!

      Whats up with mcdonagh…..he gets crosschecked, tripped, boarded and lindberg has to come help ??? Gallagher skates into hank after the play and mcdonagh goes over to him to ‘talk ‘ to him?????
      He is the most non-confrontational captain I have ever seen……what kind of leadership is it when you stand by as your goalie is abused all game and you are too???????????
      Give the C to nash right now…or even zuc or lindberg….

      • Oscar didn’t help one bit when he took that run after Mcd was cross checked in the back. These are the little things that you need to be aware of that hockey isn’t about because it will burn you. He took himself out of position and then his man fired a shot a half a second later from the middle slot.

        People said the same thing about Cally… People also thought Trump would save America but I really don’t know how you all come up with these false narratives of yours. Typical Ranger fanbase with the hit somebody and the gladiator fans will want you to rep the “C”. Give a idiot the mic and people will want them as thrir next president.

        • Jack,
          You would think differently if you heard the interview with rick dipietro and ron duguay yasterday……they both ripped the rangers for being ‘soft’ not ‘taking care of business’ when hank gets ‘abused’ and not ‘running’ price…..

          • Next time Gallagher pulls his nonsense against Hank, give him an ice wash, as opposed to a glove wash. Slam this sneaky little snake into the ice face first, see how long he pulls that garbage!!!!!!!!

          • I can’t stand that little agitator! I wish we had him on our team! He’s just what the Rangers need!

          • Who gives a shi#t about a grandpa who just learned how to dress modern enough? I mean you seriously think that’s a good reply to what I said? My old gf’s mom thought Duguay was the 1st openly gay man in the NHL due to looking like he had “eyeliner” on. Dipietro was just having flashbacks to when he got run over by the same guy 3 times in a single game. He’s funny and I’ll give him that but he should go worry about how Snow is going to keep JT around.

      • Playoffs aren’t the time for retribution.

        The Rangers and Bruins lost Game 3 because of selfish score settling. It’s up to the refs to call it. If they don’t, you have to let it go. The stakes are too high right now to let hurt fee-fees dictate what happens.

        Montreal and their ape of a head coach are trying to goad the Rangers into penalties, the one time it worked, it led to a PP goal and an insurmountable two goal lead.

      • Hey Rich S are you talking about the type of vocal and intense leader that Nick Foligno is for the CBJ? How’s that type of leadership working out for his team? Maybe Mcd should learn how to be a leader like Backes was for the Blues? Maybe Karlsson from Ottawa might do it better ever since Alfredsson left? Take the backseat with that thought process of pulling rank away from our captain to put Oscar in charge.

        • No Jack,
          I want the type of captain who is willing to be physical when his goalie is run all game, all series……even crosby gets physical when necessary!!!!
          So you condone the rangers letting hank get run into, hit , interfered with all game?
          Again find that interview from the radio show [ hahn and humpty] and listen carefully to what former goalie rick dipiertro said about this subject…..

          • If the refs aren’t going to call it, then there is nothing you can do. Why retaliate and take a penalty? You really think if McD mugged Gallagher after one of his runs at Hank, that would stop Gallagher from running Hank the rest of the series?

            Also, Nash, plowed into Price and the “Big Bad Habs” didn’t do much of anything in retaliation. Why? Because they know retaliation is a ticket to the penalty box. They happily took their PP chance.

            Absorb the dirty play, take the guys number, kick his butt next season. That’s the way it’s always been. The playoffs are not the time to be macho, it’s about winning, only winning.

          • Referees arent calling any penalties so you dont have to worry .
            If you could have sent a message earlier in the series maybe mcdonagh wouldn’t have been crosschecked dangerously into the boards……that easily could have resulted in a concussion!!!
            You think thats a chance you want to take , losing some of your best players to injury???
            When it comes to hockey, its better to give than to receive!!

          • They are calling retaliation penalties, just not on the Habs.

            Like Petey Laviolette likes to say “Typical Montreal!”

          • Rich

            It’s never been in Mac Trucks DNA, he’s a nice Minnesota boy, like the #1 center without gonads. Have you ever seen Mac drop the gloves? Never, and the guy is no small dude either, strong as a bull, but he let’s these fools get away with crap all season long, why change for the PO’s????????????

      • Totally agree!!! McDonagh is NO leader!!! Might be best defenseman but we never hear a thing about him rallying his troops. Nash would be better for sure. Need someone to get the guys attention between periods (other than coaches). Leading by action is not enough!!!

    • Mcd, Brady and Smith were the top 3 D men of last night, Girardi wasn’t that good to even give him a place in that order.

  • No matter what someone will do in the spot light, the media will create controversy and drama because they feel that is what sells. Real fans will understand hockey moves, sporting moves and be able to ignore the false news

  • this was the way that this team should of played on Friday and on Sunday they finally solved the Montreal Structure continue this tomorrow night in Montreal take the crowd out of the game and let’s finnish them on Saturday

  • Nash is the true leader of this team. His efforts last night, I believe, fired up the rest of the team.

  • Great all around performance. Really was the best game of the season. Nash and Hank have been best players through the first 4 games; hands down. If they could only play this way every night. Kreider needs to find his mojo and start using his speed and size.

    • I like that attitude Chris. I would have liked a bigger lead to work with at the end but I thought we played a solid game. Great to see Nash scoring as well as all the things he does besides that. Hopefully Kreider can shoot more and him and some others can get on the board. Like Walt said let’s see if they can keep up this kind of play. Amazing how different they can look game to game

  • Balance!
    With Glass in, we have 1 good line. With Butch in, we 4 good lines.
    When we were scoring 5 goals a game we had this line up in. Then Grabner started scoring lots of goals. Butch got hurt. AV wanted to use Fast as a third line player. Fast got hurt and we were playing like wimps. They brought Glass up and seemed to be the only one playing hard. AV could not see past his Love for Glass and Fast so he would throw the balance off needed to have the machine run at its maximum capacity.
    In desperation, the coach stumbles across the only line that worked properly during the year.
    The players were moments away in folding for the summer and the stupid coach finally made the right decision. The team played and played well.
    Everyone has a story they tell themselves about what happened.
    Lets see if AV wants to keep his job or lose it by putting Glass back in.

    • Yeah, moving Grabner to the 4th with Fast and Lindberg makes the entire lineup dangerous. Also, it means Grabner isn’t killing the interplay between Miller and Hayes by simply flinging the puck at the net and killing any sort of attack those two are trying to build. 40 foot wristers from the wing are wastes of possession.

      • I get what you are saying Chris but many of the 40 ft wristers from Grabner led to faceoffs in the zone, so not all bad

        • Hayes also likes passing to speed demons like Grabner, who goes to the net much more than the most of the other wingers. But, whatever works is fine. They won, playing the best game they’ve played in a long while. So, more of the same is fine with me. Just win baby!

        • That’s a good point, maybe wasted possession is a bit harsh. I would add that that’s what I want from my fourth line, not my line of offensive specialists.

  • Why did it seem like Holden was on the ice every other shift ? …. I thought maybe Klein would have upped his game to stay in the lineup … That’s a problem if they keep going with Holden , that goal was just a mess ….

    • The NYR fanbase that treated Klein like puke is disgraceful, they forgot what purpose he served in the past. In 14-16 he was putting up numbers that came in a clutch fashion and was a steady bottom 4 D man that made MDZ and that D man CBJ club ( I for his name) not a issue to lose sleep over.

  • Wow, make a lineup change and dominate!!! Oh wait, they only scored 2 goals, 1/2″ the other way on Weber’s shot with a minute left and we likely have OT again. I read these posts and most have the Ranger game confused with the Sharks game. Did they play better … yep, but could just as easily have lost this game …

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