Game Wrap-ups

Rangers put on another clinic, even the series

nick holden kevin hayes jesper fast
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

The Rangers put on another clinic last night, coming out to a 4-1 win and a tied series. The Rangers fed off their momentum after their strong win in Game 3, playing almost the exact same game in Game 4. The big thing to notice is that the Rangers found a weakness against the Senators. The Blueshirts are pressuring the Senators’ blue liners at the blue line, which is forcing them into turnovers and odd-man rushes. It worked for the first two goals.

The important thing to take away here, aside from the tied series, is the full lineup commitment to the blue line pressure mentioned above and the team defense. The Rangers again had a strong defensive game, allowing few true scoring chances against Henrik Lundqvist. With their counterattack in full swing, they were able to get three on Craig Anderson, eventually chasing him from the game.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Sens 0

Nick Holden made a good play along the boards on Mark Stone to chip the puck by him, and then skated through to get the puck to Kevin Hayes. Hayes gained the zone with Holden cutting to the net, and fed a perfect pass to him. Holden had a solid finish.

Rangers 2, Sens 0

Tanner Glass blocked a Ben Harpur shot at the top of the cricle, and the puck ricocheted out of the zone to spring Michael Grabner and Oscar Lindberg on a 2-on-0. Grabner fed Lindberg for the finish. Tom Pyatt made a poor read on the initial shot by Harpur as well.

Rangers 3, Sens 0

Glass made a solid play to chip the puck in the zone and then chase to the boards. He forced Ottawa into a turnover, which led to a shot on goal from the half boards by Lindberg. Anderson made a bad mistake on this, crossing his glove over his blocker to catch the puck. He missed. Anderson would finish out the period, but Mike Condon relieved him for the remainder of the game.

Rangers 4, Sens 0

The Rangers lost the faceoff on the powerplay, but went to work low to regain the puck. Eventually it got to Ryan McDonagh at the point, who fired a shot from the point. Chris Kreider was there for the rebound.

Rangers 4, Sens 1

This was a great shot by Kyle Turris through the Marc Staal screen.

Even Strength Score Adjusted Corsi

This was a game that was relatively even in terms of shot attempts. But for the Rangers, the key was converting on their attempts and keeping Ottawa to the outside. They followed the same formula that worked in Game 3, which was to clamp down defensively.

Scoring Chances

As noted above, the Rangers put on another defensive clinic, limiting the shot attempts by Ottawa to low danger chances. It worked in Game 3. It worked last night. Ottawa pressured a little bit late, but the game was over by then.

The Rangers now have all the momentum, but need to continue to play like this and win in Ottawa. Every game in the playoffs is huge, but Game 5 on Saturday will be a huge one for both teams. Expect Guy Boucher to adjust to the Rangers pressuring the defensemen at the blue line. Expect Alain Vigneault to work on his team’s execution and counterattack strategies.

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  • Do these two games price the coach who inserted Glass actually knows what he’s doing…

    Two wins away from a 3rd conference finals in 4 years.

    • James

      Question for you, seriously, were you one of the many who called for Glass to play????? Just asking !!!!!!!!!!!!

      • No..But I am one of the few who know AV is a great coach and knows what he is doing. So when he puts Glass in the linuep, and it works, he should get the credit.

        • He certainly worked some magic with the Buch/Glass swap and then Glass/Buch swap in both this series and last. Both coincided with turning points in the series. At times it seems like he can’t get out of his own way, though, which makes the entire situation confusing and frustrating.

        • I’m not in that corner like some have been!!!!!!!

          As for the moves, and the coaching skill set, well a broken clock is right twice a day as well!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Glass chirp last night on 6’3 Mark Methot (I think it was Methot, anyways)…..”what are you like 5’5″

  • Expect the Sens to begin to dump and chase so as to gain the zone and not turn the puck over. We in turn need to control the puck and stay out of the box.

    Zucc played well and showed great restraint when put in a headlock. Oskar making that 4th line important. Did Stepan play last night?

    Defense played a system that works.

    • Are you frickin’ serious? Stepan had a real good game last night and I’m not just talking about that beautiful saucer pass to McD on the Kreider goal. 52% on faceoffs, 5 SOGs to go along with the 5 SOGs that Nash had … in fact this was one of his best games so far in the playoffs.

      • Split up his power play time to zib, lindberg and hayes and his scoring stats disappear!
        After his hockey career he is going to star in the remake of
        ‘The Invisible Man’…….
        At this point he is 3/4th on the depth chart ….and when/if hayes starts playing like he is capable he will be last!

      • yea he made some passes and won some draws but if he played like other 1C guys on other teams… we would be that much better…

      • Glass and Lindbergh have done more than Stepan and both have scored more. The 6.5 million dollar man ain’t nothing but a passenger.

  • Nice win, 2 down, now get #3!!!

    Saturday’s game may get chippy, so the guys have got to be ready for it………

  • good morning Walt it was a satisfying win and yes they will get chippy we are ready for that Glass is in there for that reason let’s win game 5 send it back here Tuesday and wrap this baby up

  • I hope that I live to see Brady Skjei mature and beat that shmuck Smith some day…

    How many times can Jesper Fast bring it in the playoffs? that guy’s my unsung hero.

    Ya gotta love Tanner Glass eh! I’m sure the younger guys he played down in the minors with are taking notes…

    Stepan, man if he played like a talented 1C during this series… boy we’d be even better…

    JG please resign Smith!!!

  • That was solid last night and a bit ugly at the end. Gotta love 2 assists from Glass…I did not see that coming but I will take it. Maybe we see Chris Neil Tomorrow? All the lines looked pretty good.

    • Andy

      When interviewed about carry over for game 5, and the possibility of chippyness, Glass remarked that he wouldn’t mind it. Gotta love his attitude, and guts!!!!!!!!!!!

      • you really do have to love it Walt. And I tell you what. Intangibles are immeasurable, but Glass is bringing something to the room and the ice that is making us better. I am on board with him at times and not on board with him at times. I am not sure every time he plays we are putting out the best line up, but AV has utilized him very well at the right times since he was called back up. so Amen and here’s hoping for another big win on Saturday…

  • I’m sitting here drinking my coffee, and thinking how ironic it is for Glass being the reason this team had a turn around like it has. I was led to believe the days of rough, and tumble hockey are over, by too many on this site. The game is too fast, and the need for goons is long gone. Well, I’m here to say the days of tough SOB’s, like Glass will always be here, they give the finesse guys plenty of ice space to do their thing!!!!!!!! Just my thought……….

    • Goon play is gone, but rough play and standing your ground never goes out of style. Game 5 will be a game played along the boards (IMO) and we need to bring grit and patience. Lets hope that our strength is there and we can play hard and smart.

      • Sorry Sal…..those last 5 minutes were prime example of goon play!
        Thankfully this team is not the 75 flyers…..

    • I thought that Glass brought some good energy and played fine for the minutes he was given. But, it’s a stretch to attribute the team turnaround and these last couple of wins to him.

      The team was desperate. They were down 0-2 in the series. I’m pretty sure that played a bigger role than inserting Glass into the lineup.

      Nothing against Glass, he acquitted himself quite well, but there’s more to these wins than him suiting up.

      • The big factor, IMO, was putting Miller on the fourth line. Somehow, dumping him on a line (Lindberg, Glass) that obviously was not going to score took the pressure off and he really played.

    • Walt I’m glad you’re enjoying your coffee. Umm….I unfortunately am one of those who knows the need for goons is over. Because it is. The problem here is that Glass is not a “goon”. He’s a physical player, who fits in certain situations, of which this is apparently one. The next series, if the Rangers get there, might be a different story. We’ll see. I will continue to believe that Buch is a better long-term answer, long-term being the next five years. Right now Glass is clearly needed for the grit he clearly provides, I can’t dispute that. My hope for Game 5 is for the Rangers to stick to playing their game, and not get bogged down with the idiocy that happened at the end last night. That’s the best revenge.

      Which brings me to my next point, which I have held for a long time, and for which I have been attacked on this site repeatedly. I am of the opinion that the coach knows what he is doing, and is not an idiot/clown/cretin/moron (pick one) as he has been described every time something goes wrong on the ice. Some writers here gave up on the team on April 1, the coach is a stiff, Montreal will sweep the Rangers, blah blah blah. I guess that didn’t happen. Then they gave up after the second Ottawa game. I guess that didn’t happen.

      Enjoy your coffee, Walt. Have a good day, everyone, Happy Cinco de Mayo. Regards- orange

      • I think Glass has been a goon, agitator, energy guy, and overall spark in the clubhouse since he was given the chance.

        it’s hard to not notice these things in him, he was talking smack on the bench the whole game, really taking some of the send off their game…

        Zucc can do this, but he gets beat and can’t win some of the battles…

        Glass is giving us all reason to see his worth on the chart…

      • Mike,
        While I agree with most of your points AV’s poor management of his defensive assets is a problem. It took him, in my opinion, way too long to realize his most effective 2nd pairing was Skjei and Smith. The fact he made the adjustment certainly supports your position.

        • For the record, as much as I love Skjei/Smith, that was our worst pair last night. They hemmhoraged shots all game.

          They probably do less dumb stuff than Staal/Holden, but they actually tend to give up more.

      • orange

        I’m not advocating we get goons on this team, I do realize the game has changed, and if you read the post closely, that’s my point. The fact that we have two players who showed backbone, Smith & Glass, gave the rest of the players plenty of room to do their thing. We need a few more of these type players, with skill, and gonads, who will stand up to anyone. Tough, physical players will NEVER go out of style, in spite of some coaches who don’t want these players, until they are in a tight spot, and need help!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Anyone who thinks the rangers/senators is a physical series has not watched the Predators/Blues games!!! Much more physical and nasty!!!
          You and I Walt and many others are iagreement…..Hockey is a physical game and unless all checking and all body contact is removed it will always be.
          Unless you are one of few teams to have a kane/towes or a crosby/ malkin combo … one will be able to win a cup while getting pushed around and beaten up physically.
          Smith and Glass are extremely valuable to have , gives all the rest of players confidence/backbone….Now if kreider and hayes start throwing their weight around more……..
          I remember the players getting interviewed after McIlrath went after wayne simmonds and how positive they were at what it meant to the team…

          • Rich

            Your right, and what level headed person on this site wouldn’t want a Simmons on this team. On numerous occasions I said he was the type of player I’d want, skates well, scores with his soft hands, great PP guy, and has a nasty streak in him, and will drop the gloves with anyone. My kind of player!!!!!!!!

    • Rangers played really physical against Montreal & they are beating Ottawa up, wearing them down. Thiose who think physicality is not important are clueless about hockey.

    • I think that, while the age of playing goons may have ended, goons that CAN play, if anything, have only increased in value.

      Most people who say the rough stuff has no place whatsoever in winning a hockey game never played contact sports growing up.

  • They need to put an APB out on Stepan because he has missing during the playoffs. He gets out muscled in the corners every time and won’t take a hit to make a play.

      • Hey Hat,
        Note to Gorton, find a way to protect Lindberg and Fast. I’ve been saying that for quite some time.
        I’m on board with you!

        And PS Gorton, please sign Smith.

        • I’ll say this…. just about everyone here is off base with the Stepan/1C/elite conversation. He objectivity stablizes our team. That said, with the cap in mind…..

          The perfect scenario…. Trade Stepan, so you can protect Lindberg (given age, caphit, trajectory, yada yada) AND get back a top 4 RD (say Spurgeron). Then get Girardi or Staal to waive in order to protect that D along with McDonagh.

          Protected forwards: Zib, Zuc, Nash, Hayes, Miller, Kreider, Lindberg
          Protected defense: McDonagh, New D (ie Spurgeron), Girardi or Staal (one waives protection right)
          Protect Lundqvist

          We would lose Fast, Grabner or Raanta. Probably Fast, but hopefully not.

          Then after the expansion draft, sign Smith for a top 4 D of McDonagh, Skjei, Smith, New guy (ie Spurgeron). Somehow part ways with Holden and Klein and roll Staal/Graves or recent euro signings on the 3rd pair.

          Top 3 centers are Zib/Hayes/Lindberg (Honestly would be nice if Hayes would show some life and cement our belief that he can consistently play at a competitive level, but given the cap and what he’s shown in spurts, I’m willing to roll the dice).

          Wingers for next season: Kreider/Zuc, Nash/Vesey, Miller/Buch, Fast/or/Grabner/other moving parts

          • Win the cup this year and then its ok if we make a few offseason mistakes… I’ll take that scenario… eh!

            Oy I have next season heart burn and its May 5th!

          • Hatrick,

            Love your next years roster!!!

            Spot on about hayes…if he had the drive of fast or zucc or oscar he’d be something.

            Anyway to keep grabner and fast even after trading stepan?

            Figure that out and you should be the GM!!!!

          • I would even entertain moving nash, [and I know he is a terrific all around player] to keep the youngsters…
            With the wing combos you mentioned and more production from vesey/buck/lindberg/hayes we can easily make up goals ……
            Trade him before his value deteriorates because of age…..

      • I think Gorton and re-sign Pirri and expose Pirri while protecting one of Fast or Oscar L. I’m not sure but I read somewhere a few months ago this is a possibility.

        • Re-signing Pirri and exposing him doesn’t somehow protect one of Lindberg / Fast. The framework isn’t built around organizations exposing a certain number of players, it’s about protecting a certain number of players, and we’re sort of maxed out on that front.

    • Let’s not forget – this is the same Oscar Lindberg – that our ‘genius’ coach played for 5 minutes in an 84 minute game.

      I still say the first line should be Grabner/Lindberg/Fast

      • Yeah…that game 2 was a monumental fail from coaching on down.

        Hope to make that one ancient history.

          • RFiB…. yes it was.

            Paul, while I agree with your premise, time and time again you fail to realize that AV is a big part of why we are competitive. Yes, as game 2 showed us, his bench management can fail in spectacular fashion at times. As can his lineup choices. However he also get things in those departments right. Namely, Buch/Glass switches in game 3 of both series really proved to turn the tides. Does that hurt your theory that he doesn’t have his finger on the pulse?

            What i think you’re missing is what while it’s obvious to note what we don’t like, what we do like are subtle and forgotten. The system can be awesome, as we have seen them dominate an inferior Ottawa team the past 2 games.

            He is by no means the best coach in the world and his decisions can be maddening at times. But given the fact that we’re likely looking at an ECF for the 3rd time in 4 years, I can’t agree that AV’s only mark on the franchise has been getting in the way.

      • Does it ever occur to people that the 4th line looks amazing because they get matchups that 4th liners get? Our 4th line is good, but they aren’t matched up against the same people that Stepan and Zib lines see every single night. The Rangers greatest strength is their depth. Their bottom 6 happen to be better than most other teams bottom 6. So when they are on the ice together our teams looks awesome.

      • How could we ever forget? We get reminded of it every f@#$ing thread. I swear, if this team wins the Cup, there will still be people posting, “Yea, but he lost us that game in the 2nd round!”

        • I mean, his bench management was BRUTAL that game. If we rattle off 4 straight wins, all will be forgotten though.

          • It was mismanaged, but was it brutal?

            Skjei/Smith sit the final handful of minutes in the 3rd. OK. We all like Skjei/Smith better than Staal/Holden, but two points on that:

            1) I’m still not convinced that Skjei is the best guy to protect a lead late in the third, yet.
            2) It was McDonagh and Girardi who gave up both of those late goals.

            Presumably playing those two wasn’t a bad decision, absent the hindsight of knowing they yield 2 goals in 3 minutes, right?

            As for OT and shortening the forward bench, I mean we got plenty of chances throughout OT and didn’t look particularly gassed, so again, was that really the cause of the loss or was it just a bad pinch decision by a single player in a single moment?

          • Put McDonagh and Smith out to protect a lead, for a couple shifts with under 5 mins left in the 3rd.

  • Even in the goon days I didn’t like goonery…lol but I loved great physical play and still enjoy the fights as much as a great goal or save. Bench clearing brawls were fun to watch but yeah….no need for that…but if it happened….good…let’s go. I will never forget the brawl against LA in the playoffs….with Beck, Maloney Kotstopulous, Laidlaw Doogie and et al….fighting in that bench clearing brawl… I was wide awake at zero dark thirty glued to WOR.
    This team yesterday showed me something I didn’t they had. I especially love how they responded after the Phaneuf fight.
    I guarantee Chris Neil will be dressed and that’s ok. To be frank I loved the fact Ottawa did what they did. Good on them, this is something the Rangers never have done with AV as coach. They showed pride and good for them. To my amazement Rangers sent the message right back. To be frank, without Glass and Smith they would not have done that.
    They needed two dominating wins and they got it. Let’s hope this becomes contagious that the notion of good dominating and easy wins is not such a bad thing. We don’t need 7 games to call it exciting….eh
    Let’s go Rangers

    Oh yeah I am still in the fire AV camp

  • I wanna give this site a shout out. I’ve been excited to see Oscar perform in big games for us after the way you guys covered him while a prospect and playing in the Swedish Elite League. I remember reading how he was the MVP in the playoffs for his team and how well he played as a young kid there in that men’s league. You guys really got me pumped for him to come up. I wouldn’t have known any of that if not for BSB.

    It’s been a long time coming for him it seems (especially after last years team debacle against Pittsburgh) but man, we can’t lost him in the expansion draft. He’s a good, smart, sound hockey player. He doesn’t back down from anyone and he has played far better than I imagined. I’m loving his play.

    When you see him out there, he’s the kind of player that makes you feel like everything is gonna be alright because he will be in position to make the right play (whether its offensively or defensively).

    Let’s do it again tomorrow!!

    • Dan

      Like you I remember reading the same thing, and was excited when he led the team in scoring before he came up to the parent club. I really like this kid, and have stated so on many occasions, and would hate it if we lost him to the draft!!!!!!!!!!

  • Let me flip this one around for a second.

    OTT is In This series because of some dramatic luck. They get a fluke goal to win game one, they get a bounce off a referee skate to tie game two, before winning on an awful pinch. They have scored 3 goals in the last 8 periods of play. And last night, their coach sets up a 1-3-1 with NO forechecking pressure on the NHL’s worst set of zone exiters?

    What was that?

    • It’s a 1-1-3, not a 1-3-1.

      Sorry to nitpick, but that’s been bothering me about the media coverage. They are blatantly wrong.

      • What I saw at the game last night was 1-3-1. No second guy up top.
        They might not be evenly spaced in the 3 but there wasn’t a whole lot of separation between the three of them. They were all pretty much across the red line.

    • I think Ottawa is better than people give them credit for. Yeah, they beat a pretty mediocre Boston team to advance, and yeah, the game 1 winning goal was a fluke, probably doesn’t go in but once on 1000 tries against Hank. That said, in pro sports, finding a way to win is the definition of good. So far, at home, they’ve been pretty good.

      • No, truthfully, they aren’t very good. They have one star player. And a goaltender. They play a system that is set up to grab a one goal lead and hang on. They got in the playoffs because their division was awful this year. They traded an offensive player (Zib) because he was going to make money. And, the worst of it is they are absolutely BORING!

        • How many teams typically have more than one star player? Don’t the Rangers essentially have one star player who is the also goaltender?

          Ottawa actually traded Zibanejad because they were fed up with his blatant inconsistency and realized they could get Derick Brassard, a pretty good forward, for him.

          Also Mike Hoffman, Kyle Turris, Mark Stone, Bobby Ryan, Burrows, and, as of late, Pageau are all excellent NHL forwards. Aside Karlsson, Methot and Ceci are good defensemen, too.

          While I agree the Rangers are the superior team, I don’t see the logic claiming Ottawa isn’t a good team. Just like the “Montreal is not a good team” argument, there’s no argument supporting the claim other than overt generalizations.

          • They traded Zib because he was 22 and inconsistent? Cmon. They traded him because they weren’t going to pay him.

          • They weren’t going to pay him because they were dissatisfied with his inconsistent play.

          • Exactly, Ottawa has an internal budget and never spends to the cap. They traded for Brass, an inferior player, for Mika, because Brass carries a $5M cap hit with a $3M salary.

            The Sens were even willing to sell the Rangers a 2nd round pick in that trade for picking up Brass’ $2M July 1 roster bonus.

            Ottawa’s owner is terrible for the league, but, for whatever reason, no one talks about the guy and how he’s been hosing Sens’ fans for years.

          • 43, every NHL team has a decent top 6. Even the Coyotes and Avalanche have a solid top 6. When the Rangers were terrible in the early ’00s, they still had two really good scoring lines.

            What makes a great team is having a handful of superstars, or having 4 lines that can score and control play. Having a stud G and/or a great D corps is vital, as well.

            Anyway, my point is that Ottawa IS a bad team, wait, I’ll rephrase that, they are a decent team, but they are one of the worst teams of the 16 that made the playoffs. Montreal wasn’t much better in those relative terms. This is why it was vital for the Rangers to tank the last 1/4 of the season and get shuttled to the Atlantic division. Also, it was a nice stroke of luck that the best team in the Atlantic, Toronto, ended up as the WC2.

          • When two good players are traded for one another, it does not mean either team didn’t want the player they gave up; they just wanted the other guy more.

          • After his good game 3, how did Z-bad follow up that dominating performance? Relative invisibility.

          • 43, the Zib/Brass trade was forced by the owner. Brass has a cap of 5 mil, but only 3 or 3.5 in actual salary. He was traded right after the rangers paid his 2 mil bonus. Money is the reason we were able to get a better and younger Zibanejad and a second round pick for Brassard. Hands down win for the Rangers. Zib is the top line pivot we’ve sorely missed. Not an all world gambreaker, but the best rising 1C we’ve had in a long long time.

          • You guys aren’t telling me anything I don’t already know. But the facts still remains that one of the factors motivating the deal were Zibs’ issues with consistency.

          • Maybe I’m being overly cynical, but I don’t buy Ottawa’s public stance on why they made the trade.

            I’m sure saying “We made ourselves worse through this deal so we could save money” wouldn’t fly with Sens fans.

          • I echo Chris A. No one wanted to let Zib go because of inconsistency. Mgmt was forced to make a trade for budget reasons and they got hosed.

        • Yes, facts. Karlsson is playing through some things. Stone also does not seem like himself. The Sens top 6 is a pretty decent group. No real depth to speak of though.

          • aren’t most players dealing with things at this point of the season, I recall a few major injuries coming out post season last year… how come the sens have to talk about their injuries prior to the end of the year… wimps!



          • Yes, all teams are playing with injuries, some worse than others. Remenber when we lost to Tampa in Conf finals. Our D was decimated.

          • …..and on top of that, Zuccarello was out of the lineup with a fractured skull from that McD point shot. Yet we still managed to get by Washington before facing Tampa and taking t hem to game 7. Tough luck…..

  • For people coming out of the woodwork praising Glass: even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.
    He had several good games. In the long run, he is not a good NHL player. He may be one of the best 1000 hockey players on the planet, but that doesn’t mean he’s good for the Rangers.
    He frequently overcommits to a hit, out of position, doesn’t cover his guy, forcing other players to lose their coverage to make up for it. And he’s slow.
    In the long term, Rangers are still better off with him out of the lineup.

    • Thank goodness, some sanity. Correlation is not causation. I’m thrilled we won, but Glass doing well bothers me because it’s contract year, and he’s still wasted cap and personel space.

    • Jeff –

      Sorry but you must be a blind squirrel. I know Glass is far from the top in talent but you have to admit that the Rangers’ problems don’t arise from a lack of talent – it is a lack of energy and urgency. It is like they suffer from some collective narcolepsy. Floating, coasting, playing on their heels – out of nowhere. I hate AV but I was so glad when he put Glass on the first line for the puck drop. Maybe he finally realizes that it is the Glass’s, Fast’s and Lindberg’s (and Nash) that are the key to this teams success.

      We could actually win it this year – as incredible as that is to believe….

  • Comments here after Game 2:
    * AV being out-coached by Boucher
    * AV should be fired before Game 3
    * Rangers have no heart
    * Glass will replace Buch for Game 3 (not said as a positive development)
    * Raanta should replace Hank for Game 3.

    • Both? Probably not. They have room to protect 1 if they decide to move on from Zib, Kreider, Zuc, Nash, Stepan, Hayes, Miller.

      My proabably unrealistic hope is that Grabner is chosen.

  • The NY Rangers most responsible for the past 2 wins is JT MILLER !!!!

    I said it when it happened, his HIT on Karlsson has really hurt the senators…..Karlsson was already somewhat injured , but Millers HIT finished him off….Sad to see he is a terrific , clean player!!!!

    It was just a matter of time and minutes but isn’t it clear to see that Lindberg is
    WAYYYYYYYY better than stepan!!!!!!! Given his minutes . including power play time next year Lindberg will easily put up better numbers than stepan and bring a physical component to the game!!!!

    Gorton must trade stepan asap and find a way to keep lindberg, fast and grabner!!!!!

    • I think you’re right Rich. Lindberg’s progress makes Stepan expendable. Minnesota flopping out of the 1st round means they are likely willing to make a big shakeup.

      What I am trying to say is that I would love to see Stepan sent to Minny for Dumba and a 2nd round pick.

      Also, Girardi’s rebirth these playoffs means some dumb GM might actually be willing to trade for G this summer. Would be thrilled to see Girardi, who’s admittedly been a rock through 10 playoff games, dealt, I’d even be ok with Gorton retaining a $1M+ in cap space just to make the deal go through. Would be cheaper than a buyout and the flexibility dumping G’s cap hit would give the Rangers would be amazing.

      • Two great thoughts Chris A …but is there any GM dumb enough to take girardi after just a good playoff run? I hope so, because that means we can protect Smith!

        Maybe we will get lucky with the stepan/minny connection….and does that mean we can keep all three — lindberg and fast and grabner?

          • Can’t they still draft & then try to resign him though? Might be something to look out for if he keeps playing like this

          • Because, to answer your question Joe, I think it’s the NHL’s way of creating even more freedom for LV to maneuver while making deals (you have a good point though).

            It’s been said by LV’s GMGM – they expect to have four really great third lines. That obviously won’t work if they also want to be competitive, so maybe they’ll agree to take some pending UFA for a free pick to trade elsewhere or something.

          • Also, it appears (per the nhl’s site) that Vegas must select 20 players under contract for next year, so it is possible they could do the aforementioned.

  • What was really nice to say last night (for those paying attention) was Lundqvist’s return to form. In Game 1, I saw Hank play about the best game I’ve ever seen from him, stopping everything cleanly and even handling the puck very well. Then he gives up a fluke goal to lose the game. I don’t fault him on that goal, but it could have been prevented and I think Hank took it to heart. That loss prompted “Why bother” thinking, which he sometimes suffers from. [You can see his Olympic play crater when he realizes Sweden won’t win.]

    Anyway, I did not see Game 2, but I presume he wasn’t good – giving up one bad goal admitted here and six in all. In Game 3, he sort of did what he had to do, but he was hemorrhaging rebounds and it was just superlative play by the defense in clearing that prevented a repeat of Game 2. Last night, he did not have to do much, but he did it well. So far, the Rangers haven’t really needed him to get their wins against Ottawa, but I have a sense that if they do, he will be there.


    Related: We pay too little attention to psyche. Stepan’s faceoff troubles against Montreal affected his whole game. Scoring droughts for players like Kreider and Miller simply change their self-confidence and the way they play. Kudo to AV for creating the Lindberg-Miller-Glass unit. I think Glass’s contribution to that line is overrated, but there is just a great dynamic. In some ways, putting Miller on the fourth line is maybe the best way to handle these things – telling him that it doesn’t matter if he can’t score because DOESN’T need him (and so the pressure is off). Sort of like two games where the Rangers tell Hank they don’t need him to be a great goalie.

    And maybe last night’s goal will fix Kreider.

    • Ray, that second part of your post is so important. I think fans fall into a trap of seeing a player with sagging confidence and mistake that for a lack of effort. These guys are all pros and the NHL is too competitive for players to reach this level without giving maximum effort. All these guys try hard, sometimes you happen to get hot or lucky and you start filling up the scoresheet. Like Pageau has this series or Grabner did the first 35 games of this season.

    • With all due respect Ray, you have no clue what you’re talking about. Hank disappeared in the Olympics? Sweden won Gold in 2006 and Hank was widely recognized as the catalyst for the win. He was the main reason they won Silver in 2014 after losing their top players to injury and suspension. There is literally no player in the NHL who suffers less from “why bother” thinking than Hank. He cares every single second of every single game as all of his teammates have said for the past 12 years. Narratives like yours are so off base it’s mind-boggling. In Game 1 of this series he was absolutely the only reason they were not down 3 or 4 goals. In Game 2 he struggled along with the rest of the team. In Games 2 and 3 he stopped 48 of 50 shots for a .960 sv % and a 1.0 GAA. Against Montreal he was a brick wall. So what exactly are you talking about? And why are you so unable to give the man credit where it is due?

    • Its amazing to say the physical play is the cause of it , no great big bone crushing hits but just good clean hits ,finishing the check plays

      • 100% correct. All the Rangers had to do was play the same way against the Sens as they did against the Habs and it’s a mismatch. The Rangers finally played that way in Games 3 and 4.

      • Very true. I have a friend who has a Ranger mole in Hartford and the mole said that the Rangers really were too confident against the Sens and really did not take them seriously.

        Makes sense after watching the first 2 games though Game 2 was given away as opposed to the Sens winning the game.

        The Rangers should have won this in 5. But we will take the clinching game at home on Tuesday. But the Rangers need to jump all over them in Game 5 and crush their will.

  • I’m not a big Tanner Glass fan, but he must be given credit for how he has really contributed in the playoffs. He is not only a spark plug (on and off the ice) and a tenacious checker, but he has certainly not hurt the team offensively. He has in reality, preformed better then Miller and Krieder in the time he has played. Dan Girardi as well as Mark Staal have really stepped up and have played some solid games also to their credit. Hopefully if we get past Ottawa, they all can continue that strong play against the more elite teams and maybe some of the bashers can be quiet for a little while more.

    • Agreed Craig. I am in the same position as you on Glass, but the reality is that he is playing his best hockey as a Ranger right now. You can making crushing hits but they should be timely hits, not just hitting anything that moves and taking yourself out of the play.

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