Game Wrap-ups

Andersson notches first career goal, Chytil first career assist in blowout loss to Caps

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

The Rangers faced off against Washington tonight in a game that was tied for about five minutes before it was over. It might have been over before the puck dropped. The Caps jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead on some of the easiest goals I’ve seen. There was nothing Alex Georgiev could do in his short stay in net.

The Rangers clawed back, which is good to see. Lias Andersson notched his first NHL goal by going to the net. Filip Chytil grabbed his first NHL assist on Mats Zuccarello’s goal. They made it somewhat interesting, but that awful start couldn’t be overcome.

Andersson and Chytil both looked very good. Pavel Buchnevich also looked good, setting up a lumbering Cody McLeod for a good chance. The kids, they are alright.

On to the goals:

Caps 1, Rangers 0

Three guys went to Nick Backstrom, which left the pass wide open to TJ Oshie. He’s not going to miss from there.

Caps 2, Rangers 0

Jesper Fast probably should have stopped this pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov. But he didn’t and Matt Niskanen had all the time in the world to wait out Alex Georgiev. His glove dropped, and Niskanen put it over him.

Caps 3, Rangers 0

Alex Ovechkin from his spot. Unstoppable. This chased Georgiev, none of them his fault.

Caps 4, Rangers 0

So a flip out of the zone from the Caps while the Rangers are on the powerplay, and the Caps score. First it was Ryan Spooner and Brady Skjei getting beat by Kuznetsov and Alex Chiasson. Then it was the unlucky whack at the puck by Spooner that hit Chiasson and wound up as a turnover. Then his pass eludes Skjei somehow, I still don’t know how, and Kuznetsov had an empty net.

Caps 4, Rangers 1

Lias Andersson gets his first NHL goal. He went to the net, got himself open, and Jimmy Vesey hit him with the pass.

Caps 4, Rangers 2

The initial shot from the point went wide, and the bounce went right to Chytil. He whiffed a bit on his shot, but Phillippe Grubauer couldn’t control it. It landed on Zuccarello’s stick with the empty net.

The first period of this one was pretty ugly, but it was relatively expected. It’s a loss, something else we expected too. However it was nice to see the two teenagers get their first NHL points. Hopefully the first of many to come.

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  • The kids looked good. I liked their compete level a lot. Will look forward to watching them the next few games. Buch looked great out there with McLeod. (sarcasm) We actually have a pretty decent core.

      • If your contention point is that Belesky should be playing over McLeod if it has to be one or the other, then I concur. That said, I don’t think either should be on the NHL roster right now, all things considered. McLeod brings even less to the table than Glass did somehow, and Belesky looks pretty toasted overall these days. I’d personally rather see any one of the starting Wolf Pack forwards age 25 or under get the minutes to see how they respond over either of McLeod or Belesky.

        • Vinnie should be up. He has 20 goals in 47 games down in the AHL, nothing to sneeze at for a rookie even if he’s an older one.

          • I stay away from generalities like this, personally. There are plenty of top nine guys in the league who didn’t average apx. a PPG in the AHL, and there are plenty of guys who averaged apx. a PPG in the AHL who never could hang in the NHL.

          • Plenty of top 9 guys never did a ppg in the A because they jumped straight to the NHL.

      • There should be no place for McLeod or Belesky in the line up for next year. And if there is Gorton has failed in the off season. These guys are fine character players and there was a role for them in the past. Belesy’s game fell off a cliff. And McLeod has punched his way through the NHL, but as the game changes these guys really don’t fit in the league.

  • Watching the two kids last night, I’m pleased. Andersson getting his first from Vesey, and the move Chytil made, although it failed, to enter the zone, shows me that both of them are keepers. Fhil also got his first point, a highlight assist to Zucc, LOL!

    The kids started slow, but as the game progressed, they looked much more comfortable, and played better. I could see the following order for our centers starting the season: Zib, Chytil, Hayes and Andersson, unless one is traded, and or moved to the wing.

    The defense has got to be upgraded, we can’t go with what we have, and expect to win. As the game went on, they started playing better as well, but we are too undersized back there.

    Give the team credit where it’s due, they took it on the chin in the first, but shut down the Caps the rest of the game, and didn’t give up.

    • Defense? Was there any defense in the first period? Looked like kids against the pros in the first. Holden would have been our best defenseman last night, and that kinda says it all.

      • Sal

        Our defensive scheme is a joke, and has been for years. Go read the article I mentioned below, how spot on it is!!!!

      • At what price gene, at what price? If it’s a late 1st and one of defensive prospects that might be doable … or maybe just our 1st pick if it isn’t in the Top 7 or 8 (although it would be nice to draft a goal scoring forward).

      • Skejei could go in a lateral move to bring back decent D man. JG would need to make sure that this guy can play solid defense and than it would instantly be a good deal. Shatty and Pionk are the only active Rangers I would want to see next year. If Skejei could go in a package deal to get Trouba than JG should do it. I’m hoping the Czech kid and the KHL kid play lights out in next seasons training camp and Pionk comes back stronger. Filling in a D core and identifying who wouldn’t fit is a must this summer.

        • While Trouba certainly may be an upgrade over Skjei, it becomes more of a lateral move for the Rangers if Skjei were to be included in a deal for Trouba. Pionk has looked solid enough but he’s far from consideration as already superior to Skjei. If JG really is eyeing a Trouba deal, he will be best served to find a way to make it happen without sending them Skjei – which very may well include bringing in a third team since rumor has it Winny is hell-bent on getting a young and ready defenseman back for Trouba. I could live with it if it were Trouba for Skjei straight-up or Skjei plus a B level asset; I’m not saying that. But if it is something like Skjei plus the first 1st rounder plus a B prospect, that could very well be moving backwards in the long run.

          • I concur, it would be a step back. The idea is to “add” (upgrade), not to break even or make some marginally better lateral move. Although Skjei has regressed some this year (who hasn’t???), his skill set is undeniable. The idea should be to add Trouba on the right hand side while keeping Skjei on the left. If we’re trading a d’man for Trouba it should be a right side guy like Pionk or DeAngelo plus “something”. In the alternative if it’s going to be a LD then it shouldn’t be Skjei or our top prospect on the left side.

  • Why the Rangers would fire Alain Vigneault:

    Great article by Brooks in the NY Post today.

    The other day I said that for three years the defense was poor to say the least, and someone got all huffy about it, and said we should give AV credit for a good job. Excuse me for not remembering the name, but please read this article today, see what is being said by Brooks, and then tell me I’m wrong. I know many will get pissed off because I posted this, so be it, such is life, but the truth hurts!!!!!!!!!!!

    FYI, it deals more with the poor play of our defense than a put down of AV!

    • There was a few times in the d-zone they ran around like chickens without heads on.I don’t get that coverage what so ever.How was Staal minus 10 lastnite? :-))

      • Staal is terrible. Every time I see him now he’s smiling enjoying the ride as some fans would like to word it. He screws Pionk game over all the time. That kid needs a Muzzin from LA or Nurse from Edmonton. He won’t be looking like Girardi away from the Rangers on his next team. How Hank never jumps down his throat in the last 3 years is beyond me. Guys like Hayes relied on even strength and shorthanded points this season. Staal makes those numbers come to a stop, only a Crosby and Malkin could produce with a player like Staal on the ice.

    • The defense has been poor to awful for the last three years. But, for the record, the defense was statistically the best in the NHL from half-way through 2013-14 through the end of the 2014-15 regular season.

    • Brooks’s posts of late have featured a noticeably lower amount of front-office/behind-the-bench homer-ism than I had grown accustomed to from him. I had gotten in the habit of not even reading his stuff due to it; it was like he was blaming anyone he could think of other the captain for the sinking of the Titanic. I find it refreshing to see Brooks be a little more objective lately, so I have gone back to (sometimes) reading his stuff. This article is still softer than I’d have written it, but it’s a huge step up from his work last year especially which was largely “the coach must be right, because he wouldn’t be the coach otherwise”. Apparently, although it took far longer than it should have, Brooksie realized that results have not changed, have in fact gotten only worse over time, and at this point AV is just about the only significant constant left to point to.

  • the ranger rebuild is going great but we need a strong defense the d men we got through trades are learning as for AV give him one more chance

    • You mean like the chance AV gave Chytil early in the season, 8 minutes in two games???? Sorry he has to go, like yesterday!!!!!!!!

        • He looked pretty great the first few WJC games actually … what happened in the last few games though remains a bit of a mystery. Seems like his ice time got reduced. Then again what does that have to do with what AV did to him the first 2 games. I mean what’s the point of having him make the team if the first mistake he makes gets him benched? I’m all for some tough love now and then with a young rookie, but you have to at least give him some small chance to succeed and learn IF he makes the team out of camp.

  • Andersson’s goal was good old fashioned work in front of the net. He went there and got some room and didn’t miss when Vesey made a nice pass to him. It is the type of goal we might expect from him as the kid is known to work and scrap and be strong on the puck. Chytil on the other hand has the moves and some of those shots are going to go in eventually. They are just getting their first tastes of hockey at this level and have a lot to learn but I think they will slide into the lineup nicely.

    The nice shots of Andersson’s family in the stands after his notched the goal and a much better effort in the final two periods by the Rangers made watching fun even though they got torched in the first period.

  • Defense can not be blamed completely on the defense-men there needs to be a middle ground between Torts block everything all over the ice and AV with what ever you want to call his run and gun system (would be nice to have guns)

      • Seem to me people were getting hurt left and right from blocking shots when Torts was here. Maybe I’m mis-remembering.

      • I’ve considered this aspect before in the past, because I was surprised to find out the numbers didn’t line up with the narrative either. I suspect that perhaps what was more encouraged by Torts was the full-committal “snow angel” or down on one knee methods of blocking, which understandably could lead to more injuries for a few different reasons. Also with AV running the overload hybrid more consistently rather than overloading only occasionally or as a tactical implement, perhaps more of these blocks are simply coincidental because there are more bodies in a condensed area?

  • Here is a thought: how bout a coach who says: I have my way of playing man-d, I have my way of playing zone d, I have my way of playing a hybrid, but at the end of the day I suit my d scheme to the roster I have each year. How bout that?? And how bout a coach that doesn’t neuter the intensity and healthy dose of nasty in his players? Just sayin….

  • They were an easy open net away from making it a 1 goal game with 9+ minutes to play, so I’m happy with the fight they put up.

    The kids started slowly but both their games picked up as the game went on, so I’m happy.

    The defense …. ugh. I guess the d’ played better as the game went on, but I’m not happy with the defensive scheme utilized nor am I happy with the play of some of our d’men. There’s a lot of work to be done and it has to start with firing AV, getting Shattenkirk and DeAngelo back in the lineup and hoping that Brendan Smith comes back next season with a vengeance. Pionk looks like a keeper, but I’m not sure Gilmour will ever amount to more than a AHL/NHL tweener (same for O’Gara and Sproul). Time will tell.

    • ADA was mediocre at best. When we’re honestly talking about him filling the lineup than it’s to play 3rd pair sheltered minutes with PP2 time.

      Smith on his best day or off-season when he wants to work out will be a serviceable for 40% of the season as a 3rd pair/shitty PK’er. I go by his rep and past that he had in Detroit. Go check out the Wings vs the Lighting from previous playoffs because he was terrible in those. He looked like a scrub in his last one that he played in when the Red Wings were apart of the West, I believe it was against a rebounding LA Kings team. Besides coaches and players have called him out and he just got in a fight with a guy who’s 5 or 6 years younger than him. He’s not the model citizen to add around for this rebuild. Klein>Smith and at least Klein could get AV’s trust because he can make a breakout past and play shutdown D.

      • I’m quickly coming to realize that you’re one of the most negative posters here on the blog.

        Yes, I see ADA as the sheltered 3rd pairing d’man for NOW — whether he progresses from there is up to him, but he’s still young and has a lot to learn — not to mention he needs to gain more strength over the summer.

        Regarding Smith, I saw how he played in last year’s playoffs. That’s enough for me to know what he’s capable of bringing to the table. Maybe he’s hopeless and won’t contribute … then again maybe he’ll come back with something to prove. I don’t know and neither do you. We should have a new coach and with that a clean slate for him as well as everybody else that’s left on the team.

  • Kreider nominated for the Masterton Trophy today. At least some folks know the extent of the ordeal he went through this season. Coming back as strongly as he has indicates that this medical issue must’ve been hard to deal with earlier.

    • No Kreider vouch to play to his strengths and so far he’s had 1 of that. He’s one of the weaker power forwards on a daily basis in this league. He needs many moving parts to become successful or most importantly to score goals in this league. He could have 1/3 of his production right now and he would have still been nominated.

      Tom Wilson drilling him twice where one of them led to a goal is a awful brand of hockey. Sean Avery, Dubi and Cally would have handled that in different but effective ways before the night would be up. You don’t see that stuff in Dallas or else you have to see Jamie Benn’ s shoulder to your chest. I can name alot of other power forwards who would take runs at you for the rest of the game. Kreider is still Kreider…..This award showed good support by the league but don’t expect anyone outside of NYR land to prop his game up on the big screen or have him skate in a team USA jersey.

      • Mint: Your stuff is so rambling, incoherent, negative, and stupid that I don’t know where to start, but here goes:

        I congratulated Kreider on his nomination for an award that has to do with dedication to the game at the NHL level. It has nothing to do with your insanely biased perceptions of what Kreider should’ve done in last night’s game. Players who receive nominations for this award have usually gone through some level of personal hardship, whether through serious injury or other off ice issues. All the dumb crap you’ve said on this site about Kreider’s dedication to hockey is clearly made up nonsense, as Masterton nominees aren’t generally known for being slackers.

        As regards the other “tougher” players you mention: Avery was a selfish jackass whose career has already been surpassed by Kreider, Dubinsky is a troubled soul on his way out of the NHL, and Cally is a glorified third-liner who used his Ranger captaincy as a negotiating hammer with the team. I’ll take Kreider over all 3 of these guys, along with your boy Hayes.

        Try being an adult when you root for the Rangers, the team has many players on it, not just Kevin “Kid Bambu” Hayes.

        • Well said …. well said.

          Besides … Callahan 0.52 ppg Dubinsky 0.56 ppg, Kreider 0.58 ppg … and Kreider is just entering his PRIME and will increase his ppg … I’ll take Kreider thank you. Defenses never feared Callahan or Dubinsky, they fear Kreider and his speed.

    • Boyle will win the award and I have no issue with that whatsoever, but yes, this was no minor scare or small thing for Kreider, either – that’s for sure.

      • A friend of the family passed away suddenly from a blood clot. Healthy one day, gone the next—some people don’t know how dangerous this situation is. And to come back quickly and play well? Even more impressive.

        • MC

          Just think back a few years, Pascal Dupwee had the same issue, and was forced to retire. That’s some serious sh*t!!!!!!

      • Egelstein

        I have to agree, fighting leukemia is no game, and Brian Boyle handled it with the class of a true trooper. I still wish him well, and hope he doesn’t ever have to deal with it again!!!!!!!!

  • Yes AV must go…there is enough sample size to know it’s not the players but his coaching. The players on defense are not bad and more coming next year…. Lindgren and Hajak…maybe Smith comes back hungry….Pionk is a keeper and most interesting player to watch under a new regime will be ADA.
    At 7 Wahlstrom
    At 8 or 9 one of Bouchard or Dobson (Rumor has it Montreal wants Dobson)
    2nd 1st a forward…Samuelsson, Hayton, Kupari, (primary) Bokk
    3rd 1st Ty Dellandrea or Kaut….Dellandrea should be the pick here (my gut tells me this kid will be a home run)

    1st 2nd pick Kevin Bahl …possible Kaut if available
    2nd 2nd pick one of Ylonen, Naddo Eggenberger and Bahl (primary) if available

    I would trade for another mid round pick from player available, not picks
    Hypothetical 1st round pick one of Lunderstorm, Wilde, Veleno (primary) Hayton
    Hypothetical 2nd round pick one of Bahl, Olofsson (primary) McBain if he falls

    I would target the Islanders as trade partners for a 1st and 2nd round pick

    Islanders are in a pickle and vulnerable….they have to send a message to JT and the fan base…they still get to pick in both 1st (top 10) and 2nd (mid round) so they have to gamble with a move.

    I can not emphasize how important it is we select at least ahead of Chicago but better yet at 7

    • Unless the ping pong balls fall favorably we won’t even be in the top 8 — looks like Edmonton may pass us. Islanders and Chicago have looked bad of late, it would be a small miracle if either of those two teams passed us. I think we’re literally going to have to lose all our remaining games for that to happen and I’m not optimistic. How does Snow still have a job?

      • only 2 points separate us from Chicago and the Isles….7 is reachable Tanto

        Snow has to do something to keep his job and Tavares….and I think he will….having 2 #1s and 2 #2s….and we are perfect trading partners
        without including Lundqvist in a trade

        Ranger rebuild can be quick and sensible…if we don’t do anything stupid….get to #7….trade for another 2 picks in rounds 1 and 2

        sign short term veteran help….Grabner or Nash

        Let the D grow….we have to play Staal anyway….hopefully trade…but hard to accomplish

        Lundqvist can be a good mentor….but hopefully he wants to win a Cup and requests a trade….either is ok with him

        Sherstyorkin, Howden, Ronning, Gettinger, Lindgren and Hajak…next group to join the Rangers in a year or two

        Wahlstrom/Bouchard and a couple of the picks from this years draft….now we have depth…skill and a solid core to compete for the Cup and actually win it for several years

        Georgiev is going to be a tough choice if Lundqvist stays…so he may get traded

        • Except that the Islanders are showing NOTHING right now. They couldn’t beat some AHL teams with the way they are playing … plus we have 2 more regulation wins than they do so we win (lose in this case) any tie breaker. Chicago has played 1 more game than us and have Forsberg in net.

          Bottom line our better goaltending will probably win us a few games the rest of the way, what will win games for Chicago or the Islanders? Our best hope is that we lose to the Islanders when next we play them …. and there is a chance we lose all our games – Washington, TB, Devils and Philly all have something to play for … by the time we play Carolina they will be toast.

          Oh well, fingers crossed … the best I’m hoping for is 8th,

  • Obviously the defense is very inexperienced and fresh out of the A.H.L.. What more could you expect, especially against a number of polished world class stars on the Capitals? If they could have come out the first period and played like they did the second and third, it might have been much closer. It seems like their first period has been bad for a number of games now, and they find themselves behind trying to come back. They showed a lot of composure and competitiveness the way they played after the first period and should be commended. I thought Georgiev let in one or two that he maybe could have stopped, but he really did get bombarded in that period. There was virtually no defense to support him. I hope he can rebound and regain his confidence in his next start. The kids are exciting to watch and seem like a good young core to build around.

    • No one is stopping Ovechkin’s shot (seemed Skjei even screened Georgiev a bit there) …. and Oshie really picked his spot. Niskanen had all the time in the world, strike that and make it all the time in the universe to pick that top corner. I’m not sure any goalie is stopping those 3 shots although you hope and pray your goalie can stop one or two of them. He’ll be fine.

      • It is pretty amazing, everybody knows what Ovechkin is going to do, he knows that everyone knows what he is going to do, but he does it anyway and he executes. The guy has one helluva shot.

        • If Girardano was 7-8 years younger than I would want him. Brodie might be worth the look if the Flames want still Zucc. They need secondary scoring bad, it shows right now with the top line out. I said those two names because they would have attempted to shot block that but probably fail. However they would block more shots and supply better defense Skjei.

        • Nobody today is better then future Hall of Famer Alex Ovechkin with the one time slapshot. Fast accurate and hard shot. I remember Hall of Famer Bobby Hull (610 lifetime goals, 560 assists, 50 or more goals a season 8 times) had a monster slap-shot back in the fifties, sixties and seventies that was unsurpassed, but Ovechkin may be one of the best I have ever seen at the one timer, even as good or even slightly better then the great Bobby Hull.

          • You may be right, but Hull didn’t have those composite sticks like Ovei does. Taking nothing away from the Great 8, he is doing it against some weaker goal-tending, where Bobby had only 5 great goalies to deal with until the first expansion, then it became 11, vs 30 weaker sisters!!!!!!

            For the record, Hulls slap shot, was clocked over 100 MPH way back then, and he scared the hell out of goalies with it, some of them playing without face masks!!!!!

          • Hull was truly one of the greats! What I meant more Wait was the one-timer, not so much the shot and it’s speed. Timing and accuracy firing a moving puck. Hull was great at it also, but rushing down the wing and taking the hard accurate shot on the fly was his greatest move. Nobody did it better. I mean more at a standstill, being fed the puck and the one time quick release and accurately. Mr Orr wasn’t to shabby at it himself!

    • craig

      “If they could have come out the first period and played like they did the second and third, it might have been much closer.”

      Isn’t this what we’ve been saying all season long????? Different team for all piratical purposes, different defense, same problem. I wonder what could be the cause???????? Oh well, it can’t be lack of motivation, or preparation by the staff could it????

  • It will never happen but Hank would really help the Islanders. I’d love to move him while he still has value. He is not in our long term solution, Hank take 1 from the team a accept a trade!

    • Yes. There was a blurb in today’s NY Post to that effect. The article was about JG. and what he is doing these days.

    • It ain’t gonna be AV

      New coach….then we can assess truly if it’s AV’s system or the players….but looking at players now on other teams,…hard not to speculate that it is AV

  • Watching the Islanders vs Ottawa…..and watching them….they are full on tank mode…..they are just going through the motions….

    What’s that tell you about this draft……any of the top 10 in this years draft would’ve been number 1 overall…from 96 to 02

  • The D is horrid. No one is communicating on breakdowns and getting their man. No one knows who their man is. It is just too complicated of a system for this team. And the point about seeing AV long enough to have a good sample size is correct. Been through 3 different d coaches and nothing has changed. Only has gotten worse each year. No one can play this system well enough or they just don’t care enough at this point but all 4 goals should never have happened. Nothing was sweet about them. The only individual goal was Ovi’s and that is so predictable in that situation it should never happen. Let someone else beat you on their powerplay.

    Skjei can’t stop and tie up his mom let alone anyone on a opposing team. Gilmour doesn’t look ready …needs more time to read plays and learn to position himself better. Poink with Staal seems like a good combo …kid seems to really learn from staal. Skjei needs a solid d partner. working with gilmour isn’t working out. That is why it is a shame to shut Shattenkirk down for the year. Skjei needs alot of help and he just hasn’t gotten it.

    One thing I have noticed is where are the point shots we were seeing when the kids first came up. It was like every night each of them was getting a couple on net a night. 2 Total shots from your d is just not enough. too many passes.

    Sorry to see Georgiev go back down in favor of Pavs. Much rather see the kid then Pavs. Not that pavs played bad just we know what he can do. None of those goals were really the kids fault. Letteri is nothing special and he should stay in the AHL with Carey and Holland. Those 3 will never be NHLers. But if given the choice between Mcleod and one of those 3 I would choose Letteri. But maybe we are in full tank mode and don’t want offense and just want fighters who don’t fight.

    I used to think it was the players but these kids have no grudges against AV or his system and should really be trying to play well and they just look lost out there most of the night. No more excuses from me. He and his system need to go til they field another cup team. It is just too complicated and there just is not enough communication out there for it to be successful.

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