Defensive woes cost Rangers dearly against Carolina

rangers hurricanes pavel buchnevich

The Rangers went into yesterday’s game having been unable to sustain offense, but were somewhat sound on defense. The law of averages came to play, as the Blueshirts generated a ton of offense, but also were unable to play defense at all. In the end, they wasted an early 2-0 lead and then traded goals with the Canes, before losing by a 7-5 score.

The Rangers had a lot of defensive issues in this one. They were unable to tie up sticks in front, they were caught puck watching, and were just poor in their own zone. Alex Georgiev looked human and rusty, but the defense didn’t help him out that much anyway. The offense was clicking, and usually five goals is enough. But it’s October, it’s the third game, and it’s a new coach. Such is life.

Rangers 1, Canes 0

This was a good play by Jesper Fast here, as he recognized he had a chance to spring Jimmy Vesey and Kevin Hayes on a 2-on-1, and did just that with a little chip pass. Vesey got the puck across to Hayes, who waited out Trevor van Riemsdyk and fed the puck back to Vesey for the tap-in.

Rangers 2, Canes 0

The Canes had a lot of trouble on the defensive end on this play. They got caught puck watching Brett Howden as Chris Kreider recognized the lane to the front was open. Howden fed him the puck and he buried it.

Rangers 2, Canes 1

Simply put, Kevin Shattenkirk missed his assignment on this one. He followed the puck to Justin Williams, which left his man Warren Foegele wide open at the net mouth. Ideally you want Georgiev to stop this, but he shouldn’t have been open to begin with.

Rangers 2, Canes 2

This was just awful defense by Mats Zuccarello and Mika Zibanejad. Jordan Martinook skated right by both of them to get to the slot. Georgiev didn’t stand a chance here.

Rangers 3, Canes 2

Filip Chytil got this going by beating Andrei Svechnikov to the puck, holding for a second, and then dishing to Brady Skjei as the trailer. Skjei did the rest here, as I have no idea how this pass got through. Look at all the bodies. There was no opening. But it got through to Vesey, who buried it.

Canes 3, Rangers 3

The Canes executed a near perfect breakout here. It ended with Eric Staal catching Brady Skjei flat footed and torching him before receiving the pass for the break.

Rangers 4, Canes 3

Tony DeAngelo made an excellent play here. He got the puck at the point and then faked a shot to draw the coverage away, and then cut to the slot to give himself a lane to shoot. Pavel Buchnevich provided the screen and got to the rebound for the goal.

Canes 4, Rangers 4

Georgiev needs to stop this. No questions asked.

Rangers 5, Canes 4

There’s no real breakdown here. Kreider is just too fast for a lot of defensemen. He received the pass and simply blew by Dougie Hamilton, shifted to the backhand, and slid it through Mrazek’s legs.

Canes 5, Rangers 5

Four Rangers low, and no one covers the trailer. Sigh.

Canes 6, Rangers 5

There was a lot of running around on this shift. Eventually Svechnikov got position in front and was in a perfect spot to deflect the Justin Fault shot from the point. I don’t think this was a breakdown per se, just a bang-bang type play.

Canes 7, Rangers 5

Foegele was in front and covered, but no one tied up his stick for the tap-in.

Canes 8, Rangers 5

Teuvo Teravainen empty netter.

Game Flow Chart

This was one of those games that Carolina pretty much controlled from the get go. Yes, the Rangers put up two quick ones, but did you ever get the feeling they had sustained pressure? Yea, me neither. Carolina really controlled this game, and eventually broke it open.

Heatmap

Three games, three holes on the left side. At this point, it’s a pattern.

The Rangers have a few days off now before they play again. Hopefully they can find some consistency on defense, and find a way to plug that issue on the left side.

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