Game Wrap-ups

Caps, Ovechkin prove too much for Rangers in OT loss

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Alex Ovechkin scores goals. He scored twice, both from his usual spot, as the Caps beat the Rangers in overtime last night. It’s not just Ovechkin, obviously, as the Caps are a very good team. The Rangers played another competitive game –they haven’t really had one where they weren’t at least competitive– but came up short.

Special teams were a bit of a train wreck in this one. The Rangers had some issues on the powerplay before the Kreider goal and had issues stopping the Caps’ powerplay. That will take some time to figure out as well. But that is life in a rebuild.

Some positives before we get into the goals:

  • Henrik Lundqvist was really good again.
  • The Rangers seem to like to hang around the front of the net. That’s a welcome change and leading to a good amount of second and third chances.
  • Say what you want about Neal Pionk in the defensive zone, but the kid can skate and handle the puck. The first goal was all created by Pionk.
  • The Blueshirts didn’t have that many breakdowns defensively in this game. I get the impression that as time goes on, the players will get used to the system. The system itself is designed to limit chances from high danger areas, so it’s logical that as time passes, we see fewer of those.
  • The blue line may have some issues, but they are certainly much more mobile this year. At least half of them can carry the puck out with speed, another welcome change from last year.
  • Another late goal to tie it and push – this team really won’t quit.

Rangers 1, Caps 0

Neal Pionk did a great job here of recognizing there was open ice through the neutral zone, and he skated through it with tons of speed. Vinni Lettieri did a good job setting a pick on Dmitry Orlov to give Pionk the ability to gain the zone. After that, it was a numbers game. It’s a 3-on-2, and Holtby was forced to make a great save on Chris Kreider once Pionk got the pass through. Mika Zibanejad had a wide open net with the rebound.

Rangers 1, Caps 1

After hearing Doc ask if folks were hungry, John Carlson got one by Hank off a faceoff. Hank was screened by Brady Skjei in front on that. When a goalie can’t see the shot, he will drop to butterfly and try to take up as much room as possible, hoping the puck hits him. This time it didn’t.

Caps 2, Rangers 1

The amount of skill it takes for Alex Ovechkin to not only get this shot off, but get it off hard and on net is just unreal. Maybe five people in the league can do that, and maybe 10% of those shots are actually on net. The shot threw Hank off, which is why he was so delayed in his reaction.

Caps 2, Rangers 2

Might want to cover that Jimmy Vesey guy in front.

Caps 3, Rangers 2

The Ovi spot is incredibly difficult to defend, and it’s not as easy as “shadow him.” It’s deadly because the Caps move the puck so quickly from boards to point to Ovi, and Ovi’s shot is deadly. The PK can’t adjust in time and the goalie can’t move over and get set for the shot. The PP unit for Washington has great puck movers that are also legitimate shot threats. So many factors go into this other than just the “Ovi spot.”

Rangers 3, Caps 3

Looks like the Caps have a problem looking behind them. Chris Kreider was alone for the deflection on this one while Orlov didn’t even notice.

Caps 4, Rangers 3

Pionk lost Matt Niskanen behind him after a long shift, who had time to bury the rebound. It’s 3-on-3 hockey, everyone loses everyone, which is why there is always a ton of action and chances. That’s the nature of it.

I have an awful migraine so I’m wrapping this up quickly. Sorry for the lack of a close out folks.

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  • As I have said in the past, I LOVE PIONK. What a game by that kid, at both ends of the ice, but especially in the neutral and O zones.

    Honestly, nothing for anyone to complain about last night, even though it was an OT loss. Honest effort and they played with the Caps all night, even dominated at times.

    Buch needs to accept that this is not the KHL or European hockey any more, and stop playing on the perimeter, or he will be the odd man out, which would be tragic given his skills. The Rangers need him badly.

    Henrik has been magnificent, although he was taken by surprise on the one Ovi goal. But other than that, great. Memo to Skjei: If you’re going to totally screen your goalie then you better block the shot. That didn’t happen and a goal resulted.

    • Buch and Hayes to Toronto for Nylander and a prospect/ mid to late round pick?

      Or Buch and Tampa’s pick this year plus one of our prospects (or maybe Bigras) for Nylander?

      Probably not nearly enough for Toronto, but Buch does still have the appeal of potential…

    • ◾The Rangers seem to like to hang around the front of the net. That’s a welcome change and leading to a good amount of second and third chances….Dave..u stole my thunder…The Rangers are hovering like bees on honey in front of the oppositions net and this is something that hasn’t been seen since Richter1994’s birth…lol……

      • Is the system designed to limit chances from high danger areas when Marc Staal is on the ice? I think is a high danger area in every area Marc Staal goes too.

    • The Caps are very good and we gave it a strong effort and that is what counts.

      Stay competitive and lose = Hughes

      Ovi’s got the toughest shot in the league even when you know it’s coming, let alone when he can snap a sneaky one like that.

      Pionk was all over – Buch looked lost and out place – hope he can find his game

      • Yeah, I can’t imagine Ranger fans, at least most of them anyway, could be upset at last night’s game.

        Not to mention that it was entertaining, like the night before as well.

  • Maybe for the Caps games they should bring up Gettinger and have him & Hayes on PK1. Skating & length have their advantages.

  • Ovi is pretty much in the same spot on the PP over and over and over…. if u lean to him it leaves other options for them . Give him an inch and he’ll burn you! Pionk is a treat for sure , he’s everywhere!! It’s gonna be a long season but keeping this effort for sure is fun to watch . Now if we could get Staal to retire !! And Hayes to just shoot the damn puck instead of all this fancy stuff! Against the AV’s he had a good opportunity and passed it up instead of just firing it ( like the goal he scored , simple)

  • If I see Kevin touch pass another puck when he is in the slot 15 feet out, I will scream. Shoot the puck, Barry

  • Tony

    “Buch needs to accept that this is not the KHL or European hockey any more, and stop playing on the perimeter”.

    Truer words have never been spoken, and I suspect Buch may be history if he doesn’t get his nose dirty soon. He is becoming a major disappointment to me, all that skill, and no gonads!!!!!!!

    As for the game last night, everyone in the arena knows where Ovi will position himself, and yet the man kills you on the PP. There were many bright spots, and the fact that we didn’t roll over and play dead, coming back twice is a great sign.

    For a losing season, this is turning out to be a fun, and exciting one!!!!!!

    • I know Walt! That sonofagun Ovechkin is something else. After all this time in the league everyone on the ice knows where he is going to shoot it from. He knows that they know where he is going to shoot from, yet time after time he rifles the puck home from virtually the same spot.

      The Rangers once again played hard and didn’t give up. For a significant part of the game they were even getting the better of the Stanley Cup champs. So I am happy with what I saw. Pionk had a real nice game. He can still be an adventure in the D-zone, but that is something he will learn over time. He has a good head on his shoulders.

      I liked that McQuaid sat the game out. Now hopefully they are going to get ADA into the games. He needs the games to learn to get better in the D zone because his decision making in his own end under pressure is his greatest challenge. Hopefully they are using this time to coach him intensively

    • “and I suspect Buch may be history if he doesn’t get his nose dirty soon.”

      Totally agree my friend. But here’s the difference between this coach and, ahem, that other guy (lol), I’m sure that Quinn told Buch specifically what he needs to do. In fact, I know he did, I was there when he said it (LOL!!).

  • Really disappointed in Buchnevich last night. He actually seemed to be sulking at times. At this point, it’s concerning. Almost everyone Quinn sat down has bounced back with solid performances. It did dawn on me last night that this team may just have too many skilled perimeter players for Quinn’s style. I totally agree with Quinn saying the teams needs to play with grit. Not necessarily that they need toughness in the lineup, but just being hard on the puck all the time…. ya know, relentless. Buch (and a couple of others) have not been playing that way yet. Olczyk called him out on it last night too.

    Pionk got the message big time. So did quite a few others. I would even argue that Claesson and Vesey got the message as well for them to stay in the lineup. Buch needs to turn it around and show some emotion in his game…and soon. This roster is very fluid and DQ has no problem benching anyone. Buch can find himself as the odd man out quickly.

  • As I have mentioned multiple times, there won’t be many games that we have the best player on the ice. We need a way to neutralize the other teams best players, have strong PP’s and PKs to be competitive. We had a very competitive game against the Caps, but their stars got the best of us. We will continue to gel as a team and play better, but may continue to lose some of these match-ups.

    Quinn’s system will be understood and we will play a better team game. Maybe we can buy a stud to add to our youthful talent, but in the meanwhile, we should cheer the team for the effort against the Caps (Stanley Cup Chanps).

    • I can’t stand Ovechkin, but wish he was on my team.. Constantly open….Geezus Christenson..can someone put a body on him…I’d stick Kreider on him during PP kills..

      • I love what Dan Quinn is doing . Everyone should now know they have to earn their ice time. I just hope this also applies to Zuccarello. Please drop him from the PK……Why not Kreider (or Chytil) on the Pk. With any luck, Kreider could be our answer to losing Grabner.

  • I don’t like moving Chytil around again mid game. Either find a place in the top 9 and leave him there or send him to Hartford.

      • Chytil is making as many if not more plays than Howden. If they don’t see this than send to Hartford don’t play him on the 4th line.

        • Cmon Townman, put that garbage to rest. The defending champs might as well be an advertisement for the necessity of taking all talent from all available sources. Aside from the Caps: Cup champs like Malkin, Kuznetsov, Fedorov, Chara, Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Panarin, Hossa, and Hašek would all like to contest your prejudiced view of Russian/European players. Not to mention guys like Jari Kurri, Henrik Lundqvist, Mats Sundin, or Niklas Lidstrom.

          Also Buchnevich was born in 1995. The USSR ceased to exist in 1991. Buchnevich is Russian, and never lived in the USSR. Slam his play instead of his ethnicity, eh?

          • Lol I hear you and not all of them are dogs…but we seem to get the ones that are lol

      • FYI – TR has been banned and his next comment deleted.

        I will not tolerate xenophobic bullshit on this site. Spew it elsewhere. Or better yet, educate yourself and don’t be like TR.

        • Thanks Dave!

          Now would be a good time to remind all you xenophobic knuckledraggers that the Rangers were the first team to have Soviet trained players immortalized on the Stanley Cup.

          As for Buch. Just because others reacted positively to benchings doesn’t mean there is something wrong with Buch for not reacting to his benching in a positive fashion. That’s why a Head Coach makes millions. His job is to find what will motivate each individual player. This isn’t the military. The players aren’t there to work for the coach. The coach and players are all there to work together to create wins. Going from a hands off coach to a maniac who benches everyone (Not saying Quinn is that maniac) isn’t a move forward. It’s a lateral move, though it can be satisfying for a subset of fans. Getting a coach who can find what makes enigmatic players perform at their peak, that’s the key. Buch is a talented enough player that it’s worth spending extra time and grief to go through the long process of finding his motivation. I hope Quinn is that guy.

  • I had said two years ago, Bush would be a dud and half the board jumped on me. You can tell by his lack of passion and soft play. What good is being a good stick handler and skater if that is all you do? So far, he doesn’t seem like he adapted well to the NHL at all. Namestniko has been absolutely brutal! Tampa Bay knew what they were doing by unloading this useless player. Stamkos really made him. Spooner hasn’t looked good yet either, but I think he will come around.

    • Buch is extremely talented, one of the most talented on this current team. He just has to learn how to play the North American game. He will, IMO, and Quinn will help him to be productive.

      It’s way too early to give up on him.

    • They jumped all over me too when I questioned his maturity a few months ago. Buch just doesn’t get “it”.
      He made a big deal about playing LW, and after one game he went running to the press to declare the experiment didn’t work. It’s like he didn’t even want to try. He could’ve come out and said that there’s a lot to get used to, but he’d put the work in and be better. Major red flag regarding his work ethic

  • I’ve seen Buch play hard in the past. I’m sure he can do it again. Like most young talented players, consistency is an issue. Maybe some day I’ll run out of patience, but that day isn’t here nor is it in the very near future.

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