Game Wrap-ups

Bolts dismantle Blueshirts in one-sided affair

rangers lightning
AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

It’s amazing how quickly the story of a game can shift from a trade to a total dismantling of a team. The Bolts led the shots on goal count by three touchdowns by the end of the first period, with Henrik Lundqvist stopping all but two of them. The Blueshirts didn’t register a shot on goal until 11 minutes into the period. That’s a combination of how good Tampa is and how bad the Rangers are.

Andrei Vasilevskiy wasn’t tested at all. Hank was eventually pulled after allowing four goals on 31 shots, with three of them virtually unstoppable. As for the Rangers, they scored. So that’s good. That’s a positive. Right?

Fuel the tank.

On to the goals.

Bolts 1, Rangers 0

You can’t turn the puck over to the Bolts, and the Blueshirts did just that twice in the first period, and they both wound up in their net. This time, John Gilmour got too focused in the physical game along the boards, turned the puck over, and that led to a 2-on-1 for Chris Kunitz and Cedric Paquette. Brady Skjei played the rush fine, allowing the shot from Kunitz and taking the pass, but Paquette was there for the rebound. I can’t believe I have to say this, but the Hank hater crowd is obnoxiously loud, but it is incredibly difficult to control the rebound on shots that you stop with your shoulder. Even with that, the puck landed right in front, but with no back check and no one giving Skjei help, it was there for Paquette.

Bolts 2, Rangers 0

Another turnover, this time by a combination of Skjei, Ryan Spooner, and Kevin Hayes. Adam Erne picked up the loose puck in the slot with room, and beat Hank. Turnovers.

Bolts 3, Rangers 0

Anthony Cirelli made a very good deflection on this play. Folks are going to get on Hayes for this one, but I disagree. He had position on Cirelli, meaning that Cirelli didn’t have a path to the front for a rebound. He had part of Cirelli tied up, albeit with a hook. Cirelli just got his stick on a shot designed for a deflection. It was a well executed play.

Bolts 3, Rangers 1

This was a good play by Hayes to cut to the slot and get a good low shot on Vasilevskiy. Mikhail Sergachev didn’t catch Spooner behid him cutting in for the rebound.

Bolts 4, Rangers 1

Woof Hank. Stop handling the puck. But I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt here. He’s allowed to make a mistake. He’s earned it.

Bolts 5, Rangers 1

Boy the Bolts transition quickly. One save by Vasilevskiy, then a rush the other way. Sergachev’s shot was stopped, but the rebound was put in by Tyler Johnson.

Bolts 5, Rangers 2

The puck got by Johnson in the zone and out of the zone on a seemingly innocent play. But Sergachev didn’t recognize that the puck was out, and Spooner was already there to collect it for a mini 2-on-1 with Mats Zuccarello. Spooner fed Zucc for the finish.

Bolts 5, Rangers 3

Tony DeAngelo made a nifty play to keep the zone. The puck eventually wound up on Rob O’Gara’s stick at the point, who put a wrister through. Hayes was there for the deflection.

Score Adjusted Corsi/Scoring Chances

I don’t think you need to see these. Or want to see these. The Rangers were down by three touchdowns in shots in the first period and allowed 31 through the first 30 minutes. Need I say more?

No one said that the rebuild would be easy to watch. Teams like the Bolts and Jets are going to steamroll the Rangers. Such is life. We can enjoy watching some of the kids, and then see what comes in the draft. Hang in there, this is just the beginning.

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  • Hank left the game and probably the arena as he wasn’t seen or heard from again last night. That was pathetic. Embarrassing for the whole team except Hank (yes I know he made a giant mistake on the 4th goal – classic case of trying to do way too much). So what now? I think they need to sit Hank for at least a few games to allow him to regain his equilibrium (and to help the all-important tank). But they have serious work ahead as this is not an NHL team. Hell, it’s not even an AHL playoff team. And AV and Ruff need to go…

    • Sittoo please pay attention. Jeff Gorton traded away half of the NHL players on the roster; this is what most of the posters on this board wanted. We all knew what would happen; they would lose games. The future will hopefully be brighter as these players mature and the draft picks filter in. It might be a while. Sit Hank and fire the coach. Brilliant.

      Snowing here in Rochester; shocker. Happy Friday, everyone. -orange

      • Oh I’m paying attention Orange. That was an embarrassment no matter what you say. There are ways to be competitive when you are outclassed (see Arizona since the first of the year) and there are ways to make a mockery of the game. AV’s utter failure to adapt his “system” to the actual real live players he has on the ice is why #30 is facing shots at an alarming, no actually at a ridiculous rate. Play a trap. Teach them how to defend. Help your effing goalie out and don’t rely on him and only him to be competitive. Sit Hank because he should not be expected to shoulder that workload at this point in a throwaway season. See what Georgiev can bring for 10 of the remaining games to see if he can be the backup. And yes fire the coach because he is not the guy to mentor these youngsters as they mature.

        • After watching an NHL team play a poor AHL team, I am beginning to understand that this will be a 2-3 year process. We need about 6 picks in the first round to even be “relevant” again. Since that won’t happen, its not wait until next year, but wait until 2021.


          All this pain has to be growing in the mind of AV. He might even want to go at this point. Bubye.

  • I usually don’t come down on Hank, but why does he even attempt to go behind the net to retrieve the puck. We all know that’s not one of his strong suits!!!!! How many goals has he given up this season doing this very thing????

    • Actually Walt Hank has been much better this season handling the puck. Last night he was under siege and there was clearly a lack of communication there between Hank and his defenseman. He was trying to get the puck out of the zone to prevent yet another lopsided scoring chance and he screwed up. Vasi did the same thing twice in the Tampa zone. Difference was his mistakes didn’t cost them a goal. It happens. But I’m inclined to give him a break after facing 30 shots in 30 minutes…

      • Hank has been under siege all season long, as a matter of fact his entire time here under this defensive scheme. It’s frustrating to watch him have to resort to this in order to get the puck out of the zone. I was under the impression that was the job of the defense, but hey who am I to say this coaching staff has their collective act together!!!!!! I truly feel for the man, he wants to win so bad, but he hasn’t had much help in front of him since the cup finals IMHO…….

      • Brother Rich, if this was not so tradgic it would be comical. We are an Original 6 team that is the laughing stock of the NHL. If it were not for Messier putting the entire world on his shoulders, it would be 78 years with no Cup, let that sink in….. Your comments about Yzerman taking total advantage of us , ring loud and clear. Watch Tampa hoist the Cup this Year, Watch Vegas hoist it next year. Watch the Rangers continue to stock pile small finese players, who are European league caliber, Hank will be 45 and still our goalie, AV will still be our coach. Modern day tortue!!

        • Yup. Bobby B…..we keep getting smaller and smaller…….”smurf city”……..maybe we should be called ”the land of misfit toys”…….
          The sad part is that we had the makings of a solid , young, big, physical core to build around and we just traded our most physical, hardest hitting yet talented forward……for a 180 pounder who doesnt put up the goals Miller did!!! and will for the next ten years……I hope they trade Buch, kreider and vesey to tampa so I will just start rooting for them after almost 60 years a rangers fan………IDIOTIC and CLUELESS FRONT OFFICE !!!!!

        • Laughing stock of the League? Where have you been the last 12-13 years?

          PS: re : TB and Yzerman, let them win the Cup first … I mean how many times did I hear the Caps were favorites to compete for the Cup and they never got out of the 2nd round.

    • There was absolutely no defense in front of Hank last night, he thought maybe he needed to play goalie and defense all by himself.

  • That Tampa team is stocked with good young players–and lots of ex Rangers, and McD wasn’t even playing!

    • And Cooper is one hell of a good coach!!! I’ll also say that he slowed his men down not to embarrass us last night……..

  • Lighting look scary GOOD!!, they also have a great Coach & GM. Rangers were outclassed, A very embarrassing performance, This was a game that saw a Cup Bound Elite NHL team vs a rebuild team. I feel for Hank, he deserves much better, maybe he should have given his list of potential trade location to Gorton.

    • Bobby. – believe me when I tell you it was way worse live then it was on TV.

      17 shots to 1 after 10 minutes and it could have easily been 25 – 30. Hank looked shell-shocked and who could blame him.

      The Lightning are scary good and when McD shows up they will be sitting three d-men that could start on pretty much every team in the league.

      I look forward to watching the juggernaut work it’s way through the Cup race.

      Let’s get that lightning #1 pick in 2019.

      Seize the tank…

      • Spot on, Swarty, it just kills me to see how Yzerman destroyed us on all trades he made with us. Trades should never be so one sided.

    • Bobby B,
      What an organization we have!!!! 1/4 of tampa bay players, including 3 defensemen are NYRangers!!!!! And what do we have to show for it?
      Smurf Nemisticov…..and some prospects!!!!
      Tampa coach called Miller a great acquisition, a BIG physical , fast talented player who we sorely needed! These are the type of players you KEEP and rebuild around, NOT trade away!!!!! Going to remind me the next 10 years of a bigger and more physical Mike Ridley!!! 50-60+ points a year, physical and never gets hurt!!!!!!
      Mark my words, this trade will go be remembered just like the ridley trade, middleton trade, strallman trade, tinordi trade……

      • So I guess that means you’ve already written off the two good prospects we got from Tampa, the 1st and probably the 2nd round pick we got from them as well.

        PS: Stralman wasn’t traded by the Rangers.

        • Tanto….
          1. A bird in the hand…….we had a talented, young , physical , big, player who never misses a game…….
          2. Yzerman is so much smarter than gorton/sather I trust his moves more than our clowns…..
          3. If these prospects were so good he would not have given them up
          4. AV didnt like Miller and never played him on the same line consistently, yet he produced [ more than Vlad]
          5. Rangers let Strallman ”walk away” didnt even make him an offer!!!!! Ludicrous…….

          • Rich S …

            1. You have to give something to get something;
            2. Yzerman hasn’t won a SC yet and the decades long success this team gave us proves our management isn’t as incompetent as you would like to think;
            3. Reference #1 above … it’s silly to suggest that because we got a prospect from someone the prospect must not be too good;
            4. Miller and Vlad have produced about the same over the course of the last few years, that said I agree that AV is an a-hole in the way he treated Miller;
            5. Letting a player walk away isn’t the same as trading him away. Bottom line, they weren’t going to pay him anything close to his asking price. Was it a mistake? You betcha.

          • Rich, I guess I should have added that I wasn’t in favor of moving Miller, I bemoaned his cold streaks but I always loved his overall game … then again I didn’t have a bevy of scouts looking at Hajek and Howden …. so I’m willing to suspend my final judgment of the trade until we see these guys play for a couple of years (plus the players we draft with the picks). Bottom line, as much as I liked JT, he wasn’t generational and can be replaced (especially his play in the playoffs). If the Rangers find a way to replace him with 2 relatively equal quality players then that’s a clear win for us.

  • What pains me most about the game last night was the lack of fight in us. Only Vesey showed any emotion in the game. Yes, Hank was disgusted, but could we try to mix it up a little more? It looked like the Bolts had 24 minutes of PP time in the first 2 periods. Keep away at the NHL level is hard to do.

    • Zucc was pretty feisty too. Other than that not much compete level from anyone other than the goalie in the first 2 periods.

      • Dude Zucc being feisty is like a fly that would try try and land on your big toe every 2 hours. You said that as if there’s some sort of pride to it what he tries to do but hardly get attention for. If you watch multiple NHL games than you would realize that 9/10 the other team pays him no mind. Zucc needs to learn how to score goals. His passing isn’t on the level of P Kane and Johnny hockey to just rely on.

  • Hank wanted to stay – had he gone to management a month ago, and said he was open to being moved(even if Rangers had to eat some of his salary) there is a pretty good chance(considering his age and in difference to his request)he would have been moved – so save the tears – he’s a big boy who wanted to remain in NY and thus clearly knew what he was signing up for.

    • I’m not sure you would get much anyway if you tried to move Hank at the deadline. Aside from salary cap issues you have to figure that all the playoff safe teams have their #1 Goalie already. It would have to be a very specific case, like if Vasilevsky had gotten injured and was out the rest of the year … if there was ever going to be a trade for Hank, it would probably be over the summer.

      • Tanto

        You do know that the Pens wanted him, due to an injury to Murray, but we couldn’t trade him? It would have been interesting to see the return, although I’m not advocating trading the man!!!!!!!!

  • “Gilmore focusing too much on the physical game”. Yes, god forbid we should have a defenseman thinking physical instead of being a “puck mover”. I’ll take 6 Gilmores over 6 Yandles anyday.

    • That’s just stupid. Gilmore wouldn’t be able to put up Yands numbers up and even if he was on a stacked team than I would still doubt. You could have just said that you hated Yandle so much that you would cost your EA team points and good positional D because Gilly isn’t supplying neither of that stuff.

      The guy who coached Beiska, Kesler, Burrows, Glass, Higgins, Torres and Lapperrie has to like being physical. Mcloud got another chance by begging to AV that he would like to play for him. Your narrative has just alot of holes in it and already I can tell you have a Nazi like mindset towards AV. Facts ar facts and Gilmore needs to learn how to play better positional D. It’s so obvious when you can see Pionk come out a shift later and show good gap work with a mix of being physical.

  • Fast abandons his check on the point to check a Tampa player who is already contained along the boards. AVs golden boy has never figured out how to play positional hockey. But then again neither has the rest of the team with Alain behind the bench.

        • You can roll your eyes all you want, he’s an extremely sound defensive player and has been throughout his career here.

  • When you read the “the letter”, did you expect the short term result to be pretty? The team was in deep trouble BEFORE they traded away their leading scorer, their best 2-way forward, and their best defenseman, which is why they made the deals. Right now, all we, and the players, can do is suck it up and make the best of what we’ve got. They’re not competitive, and that has to be really eating at players like Lundqvist and Zuccarello, as well as shaking the younger guys’ confidence. There are still deals to be made, right up until draft day, and I can see a hell of a lot better team coming next October.

    • I wouldn’t count on a much better team in October. Oh, it might happen, but a rebuild requires patience and realism. If it is not realistic to compete for the 2019 Cup, and I suspect that is the case, there is no point in compromising the long term effort to put a better team on the ice next year. The guys drafted this year likely won’t make an impact until the following season and we may even see some of the present personnel (like Zuccarello) gone.

      Sure, the Rangers will maybe sign a handful of one year players to fill out the roster – and may land a Pouliot or a Grabner in the process, but they’ll also sign some clinkers and I wouldn’t count on much.

      If I’m JG, I do what Theo Epstein did with the Cubs — pick a year I am going to win the championship, circle it on the calendar, and plan my moves to make that happen.

      • Yes and No Ray … a lot can happen in just one year. A new coach, a new system tailored to the players we have, Andersson and Chytil, the experience some of these kids are getting on D, starting off with a healthy team (Shattenkirk, Kreider, etc.), etc. Sure there will be growing pains no doubt, but I don’t think we’ll see a team that consistently gives up 40-50 shots a night.

        PS: … and I’m going to think positively about the upcoming draft, I’m burning incense and chanting, I have contacted pagan witches who will influence the ping pong balls … we will draft Rasmus Dahlin come late June. lol

        • I am with you Tanto, burn the incense baby, burn!

          Ray is right though, it will take some time to finish the rebuild. 2018 -2019 is going to be another year where they struggle, although I would imagine that they will be better than they are now. They will also exude increased optimism with the arrival of some more young players.

          2019 – 2020 we might see some more players they acquired make the club. Still some growing pains as they filter in new players but the club should be getting better.

          2020 -2021 should tell us a lot about what Gorton hath wrought. Many of the pieces should arrive by then and they should start making some noise if they have chosen players well and maybe made some trades or signed a UFA or two. They should be stronger in the AHL too with the Wolf Pack being stocked with new players.

          I am willing to wait and watch and be patient. They are doing what needs to be done. Long term they will be a much better team.

          • Just lit another incense candle …

            I agree with Ray, was just suggesting that compared to what we have witnessed here the last 4-5 games we could be much better … but much better doesn’t necessarily equate to contending, more like just being competitive in every game but say inconsistent … maybe a bubble team on the fringe, not what we’re witnessing now which is a bottom tier team (and they should be after trading away so many good players).

  • No need to overreact to one game. Sure we’re outclassed, we just traded away 5 starters and you have a couple of guys out with injuries … then go and play one of the two or three best teams in the League.

    Look on the bright side, at least JT didn’t score in his 1st game against us. 😉

  • How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Tank

    Let us not lament the dismantling. The Bolts are an awesome team (who the Rangers just helped to become even more awesome!) The Rangers are playing on defense a bunch of kids who were in the AHL until a couple of weeks ago. They are playing guys who might not have even made the 4th line a couple of weeks ago in the top 6. Rebuilding means that they will get outclassed a lot for now.

    The games they play until the end of the season will help them decide who they will keep around, who they think needs more development time and who they might trade away. They will also help them decide upon their targets in the later rounds of the draft at least. (I would hope that they just go for the best players available in the early rounds.)

    The kids on defense last night were not often helped by the forward group, but they managed to make some good plays along with the bad ones. That’s the way its gonna be for a while.

  • A glance at the box score revealed Neal Pionk – led team in TOI PK TOI, Hits. Tied for team lead in Blocks and was second to Zucc in SOG. Pretty impressive, especially for a defenseman suspect in his own end.

  • Kreider took a shot to head last night, concussion? Latest victim of AV’s “Turning the other cheek while taking shots to the head” policy?

  • It was a proper game last night, Bolts put the Rangers back to the reality and maybe, but I highly doubted, stop AV daydreaming NYR making the playoff this season by playing Hank every game possible.

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