Bolts prove too much for Rangers with dominating win

As expected, the Rangers could not keep up with the Lightning last night, as the Bolts broke away in the third, handing the Rangers a 6-3 loss. The Rangers actually skated with the Bolts for a bit, but the skill difference was on display in the form of penalties taken. Sometimes stick penalties are a product of laziness, but in this case it was a product of the Bolts being that much better than the Rangers all night long.

Steven Stamkos scored twice on the powerplay and added a third at even strength, all three were absolute rockets that were just perfect shots. Kevin Hayes scored twice for the Rangers, padding that trade value.

This isn’t one of those games that you analyze every little bit. The Bolts are a Cup contender and my pick to come out of the East. The Rangers held their own for a little bit, but there wasn’t much else we should have expected. Stress free hockey, I guess.

Rangers 1, Bolts 0

There was no real issue with the coverage or anything special about this goal. Kevin Hayes threw it in front, it bounced off Ryan McDonagh’s skate and into the net. Hockey happens.

Bolts 1, Rangers 1

Another goal that doesn’t really need a breakdown. The Lightning, like the Caps, set up for one-timers from the top of the circle. Victor Hedman set up Steven Stamkos who was almost at the boards when he rifled it over Lundqvist. Perfect shot.

Rangers 2, Bolts 1

This is what happens when the forecheck is effective. Kevin Hayes is the first man in, and he knows they outnumber the Bolts, who were a little lazy. Cedric Paquette didn’t get any help, Hayes pressured him, forced the turnover, and then because of the numbers Jimmy Vesey was wide open for a chance. Domingue got the first one, but Hayes was there for the rebound.

Bolts 2, Rangers 2

Another powerplay. Another goal from that spot for Stamkos. This was another corner picked, under the crossbar stick side. Just a perfect shot. All while falling.’

Bolts 3, Rangers 2

This is one Hank wants back. McDonagh was open, sure, but that’s not exactly a rocket.

Bolts 4, Rangers 2

Anthony Cerelli snuck in and caught Fredrik Claesson off guard, stealing the puck from him. He then cut through low and around Hank to tuck it behind him.

Bolts 5, Rangers 2

Marc Staal was in pressing, which is expected when down two. Braydon Coburn was able to fight off the forecheck and get it by the forwards and Staal, which led to an odd-man rush for the bolts. Staal lost his footing on the back check, which left Brett Howden back on the 3-on-2. Ondrej Palat found Stamkos in the high slot for another rocket that Hank only got half of.

Bolts 5, Rangers 3

Stamkos was pressured into a turnover at the blue line by Filip Chytil, who turned the rush with Jesper Fast. Chytil just showed tremendous patience to wait out the snow angel on defense and thread a perfect pass to Fast for the finisher.

I asked on Twitter for a gif of that goal, but MSG killed GIF making on social media for…reasons? I don’t know. That seems incredibly short sighted to me. Leave it to the Rangers (and the NHL) to not understand how to build the sport, the team, and the fan base. Frustrating.

Bolts 6, Rangers 3

Cirelli empty netter.

Shot Heatmap

The Lightning got a lot of shots, they just owned the puck all game. Color is almost irrelevant at this point, just look at the volume. This is at even strength too. Just a clinic. Dave Maloney on the postgame said it best though, you need to look at where both teams are in their development. TB is competing for a Cup, the Rangers are rebuilding. This was expected.

What a weird schedule this is. The Rangers played last Sunday, had five days off, then played Saturday and last night. Now they are off until Friday. It comes at a good time, as the injuries to Mats Zuccarello and Pavel Buchnevich mean fewer games missed. That said, two games in ten days is not a lot of hockey. Plus they have three days off for Christmas.

44 thoughts on “Bolts prove too much for Rangers with dominating win

  • Dec 11, 2018 at 6:37 am

    Dec 10, 2018 at 6:56 am

    “Hopefully the Rangers play well tonight against probably the best team in the league right now.”

    Well I guess that was answered. But thank God Hayes scored twice so it makes re-signing him easier to swallow and bringing back this same team that can’t compete back for the next 3-4 years, because mediocrity appears to be the long-term goal.

    I also can’t wait to hear how Hank lost this game or the refs lost this game or the Russians lost this game, etc.

    The Rangers gave effort, that’s all we can ask for at this point, until the GM decides what to do going forward, if he hasn’t decided already (it should be pretty obvious but, hey, you never know).

    And playing Hank ad nauseum in a rebuild year seems idiotic. But that’s just me.

    • Dec 11, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      The best season save percentage in NHL history was posted by Jacques Plante at age 41 or 42 if I recall correctly. He only played 40 games, so I imagine he was playing more or less every other game. Hank does not want to go that route, but under his plan he has had more and more off games and off stretches as the years go by. Since the games don’t matter anyway, Quinn should platoon his goalies and see how well Lundqvist responds. I would presume he would be a little less physically sharp and a lot more mentally rested.

      While you and I disagree on how good Hank is on balance, I think we both agree that on his good days, he is as good as they come but that he does have off days.

      If it works out, maybe two years from now, Lundqvist can play half the playoff games like he did games 5,6,7 against Pitt in 2014 and watch Shestyorkin play the other half.

      • Dec 11, 2018 at 2:00 pm

        I would like to see Georgiev get more regular work. I don’t believe it should be too hard to have him start 30 games or so. Playing Hank 50 games should keep him sharp enough physically and rest him mentally at the same time. I don’t think they can get an accurate read on Georgiev without giving him fairly regular starts.

      • Dec 11, 2018 at 5:47 pm

        I would play Hank just about every other game because when Shesty comes I would think that they will rotate. So hank might as well get used to it now.

        Every goalie has off days Raymond. But the stats show that Hank has been good for a whole goal a game less than any average NHL goalie. I really wonder if the Rangers had a little better than average NHL goalie where they would be the last 13 years.

        • Dec 11, 2018 at 6:22 pm

          On your first paragraph, I do not know what will happen next year. If Hank wants to still play 60 games a year, will Quinn stand up to him – I don’t think we know. So far, Hank is playing well and Georgiev is not, so Quinn may very well want Hank out there every night and he might not even agree with our belief that Hank should get more rest.

          Second paragraph: A goal a game is roughly the difference between a .920 save percentage goalie and an .887 save percentage goalie. Now .920 is pretty close to Hank’s career mark and .887 is not average, it is bad enough to cost you your job. So no, the numbers are not realistic. Hank has had a good career, but not a miraculous one.

          Look, without Lundqvist, the Tom Renney Rangers are not a playoff team. The Tortorella Rangers don’t go as far as they did. But the Vigneault Rangers were a legitimate contender because they had good skaters (excluding year five of course). Obviously, they could not have gotten far with bad goaltending, but they were just as good with Talbot and Raanta as they were with Hank. The numbers don’t lie (except of course made up numbers like high difficulty shots). Whether Hank slipped or whether he simply did not mesh with AV is not clear, but also not relevant.

          By the way, in my book, Henrik Lundqvist is a Hall of Famer. He looked every bit a HOFer for the first eight years of his career. Since then, he has been above average and has padded his career numbers — and honestly I suspect that it is what most HOFers in all sports do – a long successful career framing a shorter period of true greatness.

          It is hard to convince you on this because it is clear that on his best days, Hank is as good as he ever was. OTOH, I truly believe – and I think the stats back me up – that off games like those in Florida seem to creep in more frequently than they did when he was younger.

          • Dec 11, 2018 at 7:09 pm

            Raymond, other than the teams from 2013 to 15, what Ranger teams were even close to being worthy of contending during the King’s career?

    • Dec 11, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      Totally agree. Hank critics out loud and proud but imo the only stinker was Mac’s. Give the man some time off even if he doesn’t want it. They played really well in the 1st except for the penalties. But no way they were keeping up with that team much like they couldn’t keep the Jets from coming back. Just not at the same level.

      • Dec 11, 2018 at 5:49 pm

        Even if it were 2 bad goals, the Rangers were dominated by TB pretty much after the first period. The game result was the correct one regardless of how Hank played.

  • Dec 11, 2018 at 8:07 am

    this game just shows how far they have to go. they are probably a whole new 6 D away and top forward talent that doesn’t think three times before shooting.

    fire sale part 2 needs to happen in a few months. kevin hayes is ranked NINETY THIRD in scoring right now…. lets slow down. Obviously they’ll accumulate assets but also it should in theory assist in moving up 4-5 draft spots. they can try to sell you (hank did last year) that it doesn’t matter. breaking news: it does matter.

    Gorton has said in multiple interviews and panels that he believes in getting the best talent , with character. (lias andersson, yeah wouldnt even make the tbl 6th line.)Well Imo the character that needs to go is himself. they’ll never get the elite talent with him driving this sideways ship. they were built for 13th place.

    • Dec 11, 2018 at 8:51 am

      Whoa Agent… put down the cyanide and slowly back away. Have you seen what Tampa’s been doing lately? They’ve literally been embarrassing almost every team they faced. They Rangers were competitive for 2 periods on Tampa’s home ice and it very much looked like an upset was possible, even if they were getting out-played. They are not that good yet, but the young guys are getting better there are more in the system. And you’re right about Hayes his point output is laughable.

      • Dec 11, 2018 at 9:24 am

        I wouldn’t say laughable but just need perspective. Its no where great relative to league pace.

        • Dec 11, 2018 at 9:36 am

          Yes you’re right, it does need perspective… it’s laughable when this guy is looking for a 6 mil plus contract replete with a NMC/NTC. He should have 7 goals just on mis-hits if he’s a main driver on this team. There’s no fire in his game, especially for a guy his size. He’s not worth that contract, IMO.

    • Dec 11, 2018 at 9:27 am

      Lias Andersson is a bottom 6 forward aka Swiss Army knife. The prospect reports were spot on about him and the analysis on draft night didn’t lie about him.

      • Dec 11, 2018 at 10:36 am

        It’s truly amusing how everyday you continue to prove how much more epically wrong you can be from the preceding day.

        You’re so far from reality that the next habitable planet is closer to us than you are to being correct on any point you ever make.

  • Dec 11, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Tampa showed us what a real team looks like last night. They also built that real team thru the draft for the most part, and then traded for the missing pieces.

    Let’s look at Stevie Y’s body of wok, and use it as a stencil to build our team as well. We did look poor at best last night, especially on the PK!!!!!!

    • Dec 11, 2018 at 9:50 am

      And ironically, as good as the team is, they also still have a great farm system. In fairness half their D are ex Rangers. Hopefully they win and we get their 2019 1st. I’ll take #31…

  • Dec 11, 2018 at 9:11 am

    The young Rangers has some work to do particularly on the PK. However, again one has to put this game in prospective. Tampa just finished troucing the AVS the young team for the west that everyone is ranting and raving about. The Blueshirts will improve, it’s a process.

  • Dec 11, 2018 at 9:34 am

    The cream in the NHL east is Tampa. Nice that we battled for 2 periods, but I fear as the year turns over, the good teams get better and the also-rans, start showing their lack of talent.

    They may actually have 6 forwards better than any of our forwards. At least 2 defenseman better than any of ours. Shows you how far we need to go to contend. Even with the addition of a top forward and defenseman, we are going to be far from competing for a Cup anytime soon.

    Quinn needs to get Andersson and Howden more ice time. They can only get better by playing more. A move of Hayes cannot come soon enough.

  • Dec 11, 2018 at 10:42 am

    I think we should not despair. It is a rebulid and when playing the Bolts, (aka Rangers South) one of the best teams in the league, the Rangers’ inexperience and missing pieces are going to be revealed. At least they held their own for two periods and once again showed up to play. That is more than could be said of last year’s squad.

    The assessments of the young players will be far more valid near the end of the season than they are now. We also will know more about who is going to be a part of the team’s future after the trading deadline.

    I prefer to enjoy the games for what they are: games being played by a team in transition.

  • Dec 11, 2018 at 11:10 am

    As always Leaky always gets a pass on here…hey Dave i got news for you…Leaky is average in every goalie category…he let a couple of stinkers in there last night…perfect shots for leaky to miss is more like it….but then you are so quick to jump on other Rangers for miscues or bad play….you don’t think you are biased? I will tell you that you are biased. My question to you is why? Are you a leaky fan or a Ranger fan?

    • Dec 11, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      How dare you Leather!

      Voice of reason ?

    • Dec 11, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      Sorry guys but “Leaky” is top ten in most categories this year including shots against and GSAA. A couple of tough games in Florida, including vs arguably the best team in the league, does not negate what he’s done this season. Just silly to argue that he hasn’t been terrific this season. But you do you!

      • Dec 11, 2018 at 3:08 pm

        What stats are you looking at? I clearly do not see that

  • Dec 11, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Staal’s penalty early on was a momentum killer (that’s twice now in 2 games) and Hank letting in that 3rd Bolt goal was not helpful. Otherwise the Rangers played a decent game considering they were up against the beast of the east. I can’t believe all the negativity I’m hearing here from some in the peanut gallery.

  • Dec 11, 2018 at 11:39 am

    It wasn’t even as close live as the score would indicate, although there was some effort at least through the first period and some very good forechecking pressure most of the night.

    Can’t fault Hank on Stamkos rocket shots Hat Trick – the second was a thing of absolute beauty. The other ones not so much but Hank was getting shelled all night long but kept in the game through the 2nd. You wonder how long he can keep this up.

    Tough to find many positives – Hayes played well, I thought DeAngelo did OK, and Belesky was giving the extra effort all night including the fight. Lias were pretty much invisible, Fogarty missed a gimme, etc, etc…

    Siting there I could not help thinking that the Rangers bought out the wrong D-man.

    STALL, except for one spectacular poke check, had a bad night. At least twice (one a power play) failing to keep the puck in the zone on simple stick on ice possession plays. Almost think that maybe that puck to his eye a few years back might be affecting his vision.

    Meanwhile, the G-man continues to play solidly for a team that is going to be a Cup contender…again.

    Obviously the contract timing was different and the Lightning depth allows for Girardi to be deployed in less pressure situations. But still it is hard not to think that way when you put them side by side…

    • Dec 11, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      I did not see this game, but I have some idea how the season is gone and I think the Girardi-Staal story is not a contrast, but a similarity. Playing first pair defense is hard and we lose sight of hard it is, because few people are doing it. The Staal-Pionk pair has struggled this year because they are playing first pair. They often look worse than everyone else because their job is that much harder.

      Ranger fans ran Girardi out of town because he was not a stellar first pair guy. Guess what? Tampa Bay, a really shrewd organization, was thrilled to pay him that “supposedly worthless piece of crap” $3M a year. Dan was in the playoffs last year – the Rangers were not. But Swarty, don’t you see that you are doing the same thing to Staal that was done to Girardi. Marc is probably overpaid, BUT his salary is $250K less than the average salary of Shattenkirk and Skjei, two defensemen who likely never were nor never will be as good as Staal still is.

      The Rangers probably do not have a legitimate first defensive pair, but we should not run down the best pair we have.

      • Dec 11, 2018 at 1:51 pm

        Marc Staal wouldn’t be in the top 6 of this team without his awful contract. Take away the contract and there’s not a team in this league that Staal would be first pair for, including the Rangers. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, obviously he has persevered thru awful injury luck to still be playing. But it doesn’t hide the fact that he’s not a good NHL player anymore, and hasn’t been since being hit in the face by that slapper against Philly.

        Lastly, your whole “defense is HARD, guys” excuse for the lack of success of the Rangers’ D as a whole is laughable. You certainly extend no ready made excuses for the best Ranger player of this and the last 14 seasons inclusive—Henrik Lundqvist.

      • Dec 11, 2018 at 3:52 pm

        Sorry Ray, but if I skated with Victor Hedman, I would look like an all star, even with two knee replacements. Tampa plays a solid game, so Dan can thrive, but he was an abject failure under the AV system, and couldn’t skate worth a damn!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Dec 11, 2018 at 4:20 pm

          How right you are, Walt. I guess Ray missed the Stanley Cup Finals against LA as well, where Gaborik and Toffoli repeatedly toasted Dan Girardi for scoring opportunities and goals throughout the series. LA gave the rest of the NHL a handbook on how to exploit Girardi’s lack of speed.

        • Dec 11, 2018 at 5:41 pm

          Neither of us frankly knows very much; we just have opinions. There is very strong evidence that Tampa Bay does actually know stuff, since they have been quite successful. They seemed to think Girardi was worth a lot of money and they think he can play a valuable role — and they have continued to win. The Rangers thought they could improve their team by replacing Girardi with Shattenkirk and the team fell apart.

          People here loved Yandle and hated Girardi. Well, Yandle went to a division winner that has not made the playoffs since he got there. Girardi went to a team that had missed the playoffs and made them while the Rangers did not.

          • Dec 11, 2018 at 7:22 pm

            So, Girardi is better than Yandke or Shatty because Girardi’s team made the playoffs? Then to follow your absurd logic: I guess Connor McDavid isn’t as good as the 368 skaters who made the NHL playoffs then. And here I was thinking he was the best player in the NHL, when he’s really 369th.

            Do you see how absurd your system of comparison is yet, Ray?

      • Dec 11, 2018 at 5:55 pm

        Holy s–t Raymond. Any team that has forwards like TB, Pittts, Wash, or Toronto, teams that have the puck all the time, then you and I could play D on those teams.

        A little perspective?

        And, as I said back when he won a Cup, Matt Murray is average and a benefactor of his forwards’ play. Not the stud the media and others proclaimed him to be.

        I wonder how Marty Brodeur does on any team other than the 90s/early 2000s Devils, with those stud D men and great defensive system.

        • Dec 11, 2018 at 7:14 pm

          Obviously in the Ray version of events, Richter, it was the Devils backup goaltenders that actually were better than their HoF goalie Martin Brodeur. Guys like Corey Schwab, Scott Clemmensen, and Yann Danis are the REAL reason Cup banners hang in whatever flaming garbage dump the Devils call home.

          • Dec 12, 2018 at 6:30 am

            The 2 most popular players in sports: The back up QB and the back up goalie. All better than the guys in front of them, for 10 minutes. But give them a full time gig, then not so much.

            How are Raanta and Talbot doing? (whispering: I already know the answer).

            • Dec 12, 2018 at 8:13 am

              I know the answer too Richter—but I’m gonna put it out here for Ray and the other members of the Chorus of Statistical Misunderstanding & Distortion.

              Cam Talbot has a SV% of .895 so far this year, following up a year where he posted a SV% of .906. He was largely blamed for Edmonton’s regression last year after their playoff season. In other words, he is not an NHL-caliber starting goaltender any more.

              Antti Raanta has managed a mere 12 starts, and has had 2 significant injuries already this season. He’d given up 14 goals in his last 3 starts before his second injury shelved him. While healthy Raanta has compiled a poor .906 SV%.

              Come @ me, o Chorus. I await your attempts to explain this.

              • Dec 12, 2018 at 6:17 pm

                Hank plays at a high level, sometimes elite level, for years, and never misses games. Except when he was hit in the throat with a puck.

  • Dec 11, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    i dreaded watching this game, the lightning just to strong and talented. That said we played hard, at this point we need to give the kids more ice time. Give hank a blow play Georgiev more, trade hayes and free up his spot forLias Andersson

    • Dec 11, 2018 at 4:59 pm

      It wouldn’t be so bad if they let Andersson kill penalties — it’s not like our PK could be any worse.

  • Dec 11, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Does anyone else want to acknowledge that we’ve been playing the last few weeks without 2 of our Top 6 forwards or that we played most of the game last night with just 5 d’men against one of the most potent offenses in the League?

    • Dec 11, 2018 at 6:39 pm

      Acknowledged! I feel like Captain Picard…

      • Dec 11, 2018 at 8:32 pm

        Then I’ll be Riker …. and get all the women. 😉

    • Dec 12, 2018 at 6:36 am

      Two 50 pt guys. Golf clap.. Zucc hadn’t got points in 5 games.

      • Dec 12, 2018 at 7:55 am

        Awesome how you typed out “golf clap”, and made a lame internet cliche somehow even lamer.

      • Dec 12, 2018 at 12:32 pm

        It is what it is, they’re both Top 6 players … and what you wrote has no bearing on that fact. If you’re going to speak up in class, then please try to contribute.

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