Game Wrap-ups

Rangers grab first win of the season in dramatic fashion

The Rangers battled against one of the NHL’s elite teams on Thursday night, and although they were outplayed by the San Jose Sharks for long stretches of the game, they came out victorious 3-2 in overtime.  Brady Skjei scored 37 seconds into overtime and David Quinn was rewarded with his first career win as a head coach in the NHL.

The first period saw the Sharks carry play, to the tune of a 17-6 shots on goal advantage. But after giving up a highlight-reel shorthanded goal to Marcus Sorensen, the Blueshirts tied things up on an equally impressive tally by Brett Howden.

Though the early season has been a struggle for these (mostly) young Rangers, Howden has shown early signs of being a potential cornerstone for the franchise moving forward.  After some good work below the goal line, Mats Zuccarello ended up with an opportunity to shoot, but fanned on his attempt.  Howden got himself to the front of the net to pick up the loose change, and slotted the puck on his backhand (and through his own legs!) through both Brent Burns and goaltender Aaron Dell.

The second period brought more Sharks dominance and they capitalized on a Rangers mistake to take a 2-1 lead.  As Chris Kreider sped up the ice on a potential odd-man rush, Howden and Marc Staal went to the bench for a change.  Unfortunately, that change resulted in a 3-on-1 chance for the Sharks just seconds later, and Joonas Donskoi scored what will likely be one of his easiest goals of the year, burying Antti Suomela’s cross-ice feed.

Though the score wasn’t lopsided after two periods, nearly every other meaningful stat was:

  • Shots on goal (all situations): SJ 33, NYR 15
  • Shot attempts (5v5): 42-26
  • Scoring chances (5v5): 23-15
  • High Danger chances (5v5): 16-5

But all of this Sharks dominance ended up amounting to nothing.  Instead, it set the stage for a dramatic Rangers comeback, and the first feel-good moment at the Garden of this young season.  Though the team’s hard work didn’t result in much through the first 17 minutes of the third, the Rangers were firmly in the game. Finally, a brilliant backhand feed from Pavel Buchnevich found Brendan Smith in the slot, who hammered home a one-timer to tie the game with 2:39 remaining.

As the horn sounded at the end of the third period, the Garden faithful rose to their feet to salute the Rangers for their effort.  37 seconds later, Brady Skjei made sure the fans wouldn’t be celebrating just a moral victory.  He skated in on a 2-on-1 with Mats Zuccarello, out-waited Aaron Dell and absolutely roofed the game-winner to send the Rangers home with their first win of the 2018-19 season.

The game was by no means perfect, but it was something to build upon.  Brett Howden stood out, Brendan Smith took a massive step forward in his comeback, and Henrik Lundqvist was Henrik Lundqvist.  It’s very possible that most of the Rangers’ victories this season will follow the formula we saw tonight.  A lot of effort, a little luck, and great goaltending adding up to two points.

Next up, the Rangers are home on Saturday afternoon to face Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.  Puck drops at 1:00 PM.

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  • Reasons why they won:

    Howden (elite goal!!)
    Skjei (made up for being undressed)
    Quinn (adjustments, holy sh-t, who would have thunk it???)
    Hank, oh, and

    • I think you missed a couple of Hanks 🙂

      Howden looks very strong…not hearing the Boo-Birds complaining about not getting back Foote, Point , or Sergachev (which was never going to happen).

      • I am really getting tired of the pessimism among Ranger fans….I don’t know what they are looking for in a rebuilding year….Hank was Hank..Howden looks like a keeper…..but in getting back to the bridge jumpers…get a grip. I understand we are not used to this rebuild stuff…and many wanted Karlsson and Panarin and Taveras and Toews and Kane…etc…..what would that have guaranteed? Playoffs?….who knows…….I am all in on Quinn and I like what I see and I agree with probably one of the most knowledgeable Ranger fans ever…Boomer E.., who said on radio this morning we are on the right track……and I agree….More Kids on the way and more vets to be shown the door……PATIENCE!!!!…PLEASE

        • I loved Zuccarello’s impression of a home plate slide on the winning goal, looked like #65 EK pulled him down but in real-time, I was like oh no Zucc is going to block the shot

          • Tony…actually had two cigars today…One for Quinn and the other for the bridge jumpers!

    • The Rangers don’t have the talent to match the Sharks. There team is stacked and that’s without Joe Thornton. A couple of positives for me were Lundqvist, Howden, Namestnikov and the whole 4th line actually, and the Smith/Claesson pair.

      A negative for me has to be Zibenajad. He’s been completely invisible so far this season. He’s got to step it up. Same can be said for Kreider, Hayes and Zuccarello. I think there’s a very high chance that Hayes and Zuccarello will be gone by the deadline.

      • See the problem is that the vets know this year is going no where, so they’ve checked out, already. They’re human. Zuc is front and center. Hayes is next. I read that Hayes’ corsi was 19 last night. NINETEEN. Mine was 19 sitting in Section 215 last night.

        But this is why the Rangers need to stop the dog and pony show and play as many young players possible, players who are just happy to play in the NHL.

  • Take em any way you get em.

    On the Euro prospect front, Pajuniemi was sent down to the Mestis after 1 point in 10 games on a good TPS squad while Patrik Virta is 4th in scoring playing 1st line minutes on a team that can’t score in Slovan.

    Gonna watch AIK-Brynas J20 tonight as Djurgarden’s Holtz has missed the last few games and Brynas has another D prospect I want to see.

    • Meanwhile, Olof Lindbom hasn’t started a game in almost a month(and wasn’t all that good when he was in.)

  • They won’t sustain anything positive being out-shot worse than 2:1. Before last nights game there was some semblance of possession hockey. Those games happen sometimes but in the long run those games need to be few and far in between.

    • They’re 1-3 and Hank just stole one from the Sharks, who are one of the most talented teams in the NHL. This Ranger team isn’t gonna have too many aesthetic masterpieces for victories this year, just enjoy it.

    • They DOMINATED a SC contended for the entire 3rd period. Maybe SJS was sitting back and trying not to lose, but it seemed much more of the relentless pressure NYR was bringing SJS couldn’t match the intensity. It was an impressive and positive 3rd period.

  • Knowing that this is going to be a long season, with plenty of heartbreaks, I’ll take last night’s victory anytime. The more I see of Howden, the more I like the kid.

  • This season of “no expectations “ might be just what the doctor ordered for Hank. He seems positively “relaxed” in net and in the postgame. If he can continue to give them a chance to win it will at least be an entertaining season.

    • It isn’t just the Lower Expectations. It is having a coach that will not blame him and single him out if he gives up 4 goals but 40+ saves.

      “Timely Saves” and “Gotta be Better” will not be regurgitated by Quinn, and if he does say either of these things, my guess is that he will include some substance around it.

    • he’s also out of net another 6 inches, seems to be coming out a bit more as time passes

      • Sieve, he has actually said that he has gone back to playing deeper in net. Said the last couple of years he got away from playing “his game” and was too aggressive. To me he looks much calmer in net with far less movement. Hope he can stay that way even if they continue to bleed shots.

      • He went through a small stretch where he use to make a save from the top of his crease. He was never known to be a aggressive goalie but during his prime but I think he switched it up back in 2016 or 2017.

    • What do you mean no expectations?….We most certainly have expectations of seeing the kids play and develop

      • Was referring to playoff expectations Township. Fair to say that since 2006 or 7 the expectations were that the Rangers would be a playoff team and that Lundqvist was the primary reason why. With this “rebuilding retool” the pressure is off Henrik and he seems to have found his game early. I doubt he’s going to be a .945/2.0 all year, but he looks calm and focused despite the occasional chaos in front of him.

          • Not gonna get much , we would have to eat half or more of the contract and maybe get a 2nd rounder and a prospect or 2

          • Unfortunately that is probably the case….More Ranger FO ineptness…We lead the NHL in buyouts

  • It’s good to watch with low expectations and see us win. Howden is the real deal. That goal was so sweet and a great heads up play. He also gave Brent Burns trouble most of the night, as he seemed to drive a lot of our offense as well is win a lot of face offs.

    I also think DeAngelo stood out again last night. But more for his defense. He was well positioned most of the night. He got caught pinching on the 2nd SJ goal, but it did not phase him. I also liked how he came in to fore-check aggressively early in the third. He had over 20 minutes of ice time too. Seemed to see less of him after the penalty he took late in the 3rd(the game was almost over too) He also tripped himself on a weird play. But a big step forward for him too.

    It was good to see Skeji get that goal. He had a pretty good game too after the first. And Smith played well too and glad to see him get that late goal.

    Hank was in late season form and really kept them in the game. They got out played for long stretches, but still found a way to win…and gottta love that

  • The Rangers win is certainly good news but overall they were outplayed by the Sharks and allowed 43 shots on goal. Still too many give-a-ways like the one Hayes gave them in a shorthanded situation. Howden has been a bright spot and I hope that he keeps it going

  • 2 points! We did not play the greatest game, but showed a lot of effort. Once again our first line proved to be a non-factor. Need our big name/money players to step up.

    Did not watch the whole game, but didn’t think Chytil played too well and didn’t think Staal played too bad from what I saw.

  • This is the Blue Seat Blogs site correct? For a minute there I was absolutely sure I had gone to the wrong site.

    It is wonderful to see all of the positive remarks this morning. And perhaps even a bit of an adjustment to expectations.

    Good to see. What a difference a win makes….

    • They sucked last night, that’s a fact. King was unreal.

      But as I have said many times, if yo expect wins this year then you’re going to be miserable (saying thie rhetorically).

  • thoughts:

    lack of shooters is GLARING.

    No first pairing d vs 2 Norris d….yikes

    Re howden i knew he was good at draws, but 28/47 first 4 games?
    but the real part of his game caught me offgaurd is how he can accelerate in open ice.

    • The last time I saw him, he was flying up and down at the world junior’s. His highlights always showed some good skate ability and mobility to him. He’s a better skater than Lias is with and without the puck, the kid can really fly.

    • Nothing different than last year, we have shooters, but not scorers. Zib is a shooter, but can rarely hit the net at all, Letteri shoots straight into the gollie, like most of the rest. Noticed that Smith put the pack in the upper corner on the tying goal, and Skjei picked the same corner too? And most of the goals against Rangers are also scored in the net corners. That is a skill that needs to be practiced perhaps the same way they do it in the all-star skills competition.

  • I use to see alot of Chytil and Andersson are the future and how Brett will have to play down in the AHL. It’s nice to see a different tune from that lol, speculation can never measure up to the eye test.

    Is the AHL better for development? Howden got to climb up the ranks pass Chytil and now is apart of all the special teams. The management made the smart decision in picking him to stay with the NYR.

    • I am thinking both Chytil and Andersson need more time to develop. Howden, on the other hand is a little more mature and ready for the NHL game today. Not thinking Chytil & Andersson are washouts, just under developed today. By Thanksgiving, I expect Chytil to find his game and Andersson leading the Pack.

    • Smart: the AHL is better for development, Howden passes Chytil on depth chart.

      Smarter: Howden never played greater than 0.0000001 milliseconds in the AHL.

  • I really could care less if they win or lose it’s about development. Why are there playing Chytil on the 4th line? Move him to wing if you have to but play him in the top 6.

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