Lundqvist, Neuvirth put on a show as Flyers top Rangers in shootout

The Rangers came into last night’s game looking to rebound from the post-Thanksgiving clunker against the Flyers last time they played. They did just that, at least in terms of the scoreboard. The puck was almost entirely in the Rangers’ zone from the get-go, which I guess is par for the course for the Rangers lately.

It got even worse for the Blueshirts in the second, and the Flyers held a significant advantage in SOG and shot attempts. But the Rangers owned the third. While Henrik Lundqvist kept the Rangers in it in the first two periods, it was Michal Neuvirth who saved the Flyers from themselves in the third.

Both teams struggled with consistent defense, which led to a good amount of quality chances against both netminders. But both were up to the task, with Hank doing his usual thing and Neuvirth looking like Hasek out there.

Rangers 1, Flyers 0

Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider are having some kind of season. Hayes started this whole thing by poking the puck out of the zone to start the rush. When he had no more room, he had the presence of mind to know where Kreider was, spun, and fired a near perfect pass to him. Kreider just had to finish.

Flyers 1, Rangers 1

Marc Staal got caught on this one, as Michael Raffl poked the puck by him to start the 2-on-1. Maybe I’m overanalyzing here, but I don’t like the way Neal Pionk played this rush. He’s so far removed from Raffl that it’s almost a breakaway. Yes he blocks the pass, which is great, but giving Raffl that much room?

Dave and Vally (and John Gianonne later) broke this down during the intermission. Basically Pionk is taking a few things into consideration here:

  • Hank is in net, and is probably preferring the shot.
  • Raffl is on the off-wing, so the shot is significantly more dangerous.
  • Pionk isn’t over committed to either play, but he’s leaning pass, which is the right play. However ideally he’s a little more to the left to pressure the shooter a bit, without losing his stick in the passing lane.
  • JG mentioned that Lindy Ruff spoke to Pionk and said that as Raffl is about to tee up the shot, he should slide a bit to pressure the shot.

Flyers 2, Rangers 1

This is a slick passing play by the Flyers on the powerplay. Ideally you want a stick on Wayne Simmonds in front, but once that puck gets behind Hank off the post, it’s chaos.

Rangers 2, Flyers 2

When we talk about toughness, this is the kind of toughness we want. It’s the hit that separates a player from the puck to set up an offensive chance. The fourth line had a great shift here.

Shot Heatmap

This is a little misleading, There is a lot of yellow for the Rangers, showing they were shooting from all over the place. That is the right strategy against Neuvirth. As for the Flyers, they were “limited” to the slot area. There’s significant volume from right in front.

And now we enter the holiday break. For those that celebrated Hannukah, I hope you enjoyed the holiday. For those who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas. For those who celebrate neither, Happy New Year!

28 thoughts on “Lundqvist, Neuvirth put on a show as Flyers top Rangers in shootout

  • Dec 24, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Merry Christmas to those that celebrate.

    Both goalies played very well, but man, the Rangers and Flyers, who used to beat the crap out of each other can play some really boring hockey. There were stretches of that 2nd period that were brutal.

    That pass by Hayes was all-world and will justify the 28 year extension that he will get in January.

    Don’t tell me that Andersson can’t play. Stripped the Flyer clean and had the vision to see Boo all alone in front. At this point I would rather see him play than Zuc who has totally checked out, sadly. Zuc wins zero battles now, none. But they have to play him for the trade value, which I am not sure is going up at this point.

    Happy for Boo, he’s had a rough year with injuries. He’s making the most of his minutes.

    No SOG the first 7 minutes of the game by the Rangers made my ticket purchase very worth it.

    • Dec 24, 2018 at 10:53 am

      Yeah Lias is a bottom 6 player who will be on the 4th line for the next 4-6 years (if he mains with the Rangers for that long). Howden> and Boo is a better center. 4th liners other than guy’s like Glass could make plays like that. Lias gave good good ole chicken wing to send his man down. It was also terrible fundamental hockey play on the Flyer player. Turns his back and didn’t protect himself ( don’t do that kids ) to delay the play. Someone like Carcillo would have delivered the same kind of hit and got called for boarding and ridiculed by the ref with elbow or boarding play.

      • Dec 24, 2018 at 12:22 pm

        I want to say “give it a rest”, but in the spirit of the Holidays I think I should refrain from doing so. lol

      • Dec 24, 2018 at 12:24 pm

        Now Boo is a better player than Andersson, bro?

        Either start on the egg nog or get off of it, whichever applies, lol.

        • Dec 24, 2018 at 1:59 pm

          Andersson isn’t flashy like Chytil, not even like Howden who isn’t exactly the flashiest guy around … BUT his play on Boo’s goal was exactly as advertised. I’m actually buoyed by his play recently, he (like Chytil) is just starting to assert/find himself.

          • Dec 25, 2018 at 7:42 am

            Brilliant play by Andersson. Stripped the Flyer clean and made a great pass (great vision as well) for the goal.

            I would like to see Andersson and Howden get the same minutes.

      • Dec 24, 2018 at 4:33 pm

        It’s truly baffling that In this digital age, not one NHL executive has seen your inspirational and awe inspiring talent evaluation skills and not offered you a job righting all the wrongs in an NHL organization

        • Dec 24, 2018 at 9:49 pm

          Mint as GM: “The New York Rangers announced today that Kevin Hayes has been signed to a lifetime contract, to play all four center slots for the team for the next 31 years, and then to ease into a front office position. We made this deal because JG said that CK wasn’t as good as KH on third Sundays, while Zib and Lias cried a lot about how good KH is/was. We intend to abbreviate everything into simple two and three-initial hipster lingo from here on out. ADA, HL, FC, and J Dilla Dolan all approve the signing of Panarin to drive Hayes (the greatest hockey player and human being of all time) to MSG 24/7. More incoherence to follow.”

          • Dec 25, 2018 at 7:45 am

            “The New York Rangers announced today that Kevin Hayes has been signed to a lifetime contract”

            Unfortunately, from what I am hearing, this is pretty close to being true. We will know soon enough.

            And if it’s true, makes me wonder the status of Kreider, because I don’t see the Rangers keeping both, which also answer as to why CK was not named Captain.

    • Dec 24, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      Merry Christmas to you Richter and to everyone on the blog.

      Anyone see Brandon Pirri was up with Vegas for three games (3G/1A= 4 pts) but got sent back down. In the AHL for Chicago he has 17G/24A = 41 pts. in 28 games.

      If we are not going to play D again this year maybe we should give him a try 🙂

      • Dec 25, 2018 at 7:47 am

        Merry Christmas my friend.

        Pirri would fit right in, lol. There’s no D in Pirri, that’s for sure, lol.

        And BTW, I think they should go all out on the offensive side, to take the pressure off the (bad) D. If they’re not going to pay D, then might as well own the puck.

  • Dec 24, 2018 at 8:27 am

    well done my friend.

    • Dec 24, 2018 at 8:46 am

      And it’s still waiting moderation …. lmao

  • Dec 24, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Merry Christmas Richter and to the rest of you folk out there. What a boring game when it comes to Rangers vs Flyers. Amazing how Howden is never rarely out of position. He is not scoring but man he has hockey off the charts. These kids are learning, they are exactly where they should be.

    • Dec 24, 2018 at 8:29 am

      Merry Christmas bro. thank you for your service and all that have and still serve.

    • Dec 24, 2018 at 9:58 pm

      Gimme a break on Howden, he’s got 3 points in his last 17 games. The guy has been horrible for the last 4 weeks and everyday you’re like “look at Howden, he’s your future captain”. Might be captain in Connecticut someday at this rate. Hell of an eye for talent there you’ve got.

      • Dec 25, 2018 at 7:50 am

        Which is why Howden and Andersson need to get the same minutes. It’s a long season for these kids.

  • Dec 24, 2018 at 9:41 am

    A Very Merry Christmas to all, and Walt, a special wish to you and Maria this Holiday season.

  • Dec 24, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Merry Christmas,even to the Butthurt one! These are the people who deserve respect. Day in and day they put their lives on the line so we can go about our days in peace. I don’t remember a sports superstar doing such. Without these men and women there is no freedom! Merry Christmas Everyone from ur favorite troll ?

    Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
    In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.
    I had come down the chimney with presents to give
    And to see just who in this home did live.

    I looked all about a strange sight I did see,
    No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
    No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand,
    On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

    With medals and badges, awards of all kind
    A sober thought came through my mind.
    For this house was different, so dark and dreary,
    I knew I had found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

    I heard stories about them, I had to see more
    So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
    And there he lay sleeping silent alone,
    Curled up on the floor in his one bedroom home.

    His face so gentle, his room in such disorder,
    Not how I pictured a United States soldier.
    Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
    Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

    His head was clean shaven, his weathered face tan,
    I soon understood this was more than a man.
    For I realized the families that I saw that night
    Owed their lives to these men who were willing to fight.

    Soon ‘round the world, the children would play,
    And grownups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
    They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
    Because of soldiers like this one lying here.

    I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone
    On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
    Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye,
    I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

    The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
    “Santa don’t cry, this life is my choice;
    I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more,
    my life is my God, my country, my Corps.”

    With that he rolled over and drifted off into sleep,
    I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
    I watched him for hours, so silent and still,
    I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.

    So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
    And I covered this Soldier from his toes to his head.
    And I put on his T-shirt of gray and black,
    With an eagle and an Army patch embroidered on back.

    And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
    And for a shining moment, I was United States Army deep inside.
    I didn’t want to leave him on that cold dark night,
    This guardian of honor so willing to fight.

    Then the soldier rolled over, whispered with a voice so clean and pure,
    “Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all is secure.”
    One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,
    Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night!

    • Dec 24, 2018 at 3:59 pm

      3 thumbs down , lmao … must be the football guys who don’t like the national anthem ???

  • Dec 24, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Merry Christmas Everybody!

  • Dec 24, 2018 at 11:05 am

    I’m sorry for the persecuted, unfortunate and orphans of the world. It’s a war zone to be Catholic or born without a leg up in today’s world. Spending Christmas like that makes it 10× worst. Remember to donate to your local soup kitchens.

    Oh yeah…
    Please never give Buch a chance on the shootout again. I had a nightmare of that shake n bake move of his.

  • Dec 24, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Happy Festivus to all … or Happy Whatever Holiday you wish to celebrate during the period surrounding the Winter Solstice. 😉

  • Dec 24, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    I want one present for Christmas … and that’s for David Quinn to stop sitting ADA, especially while Shattenkirk is out. This 5 forward PP unit he’s been trotting out the last 2 games gives me nightmares. If you’re going to bench a PP QB like ADA, then the least Quinn can do is try to get Skjei on the PP.

    • Dec 24, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      Never liked the 5 forwards PP type unit. Two blue liners jic something bad happens!

      • Dec 24, 2018 at 4:42 pm

        I would say something about the effectiveness of our blue liners in that regard, but instead, merry Christmas!

  • Dec 24, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    great result: Filip looked great , a lias sighting ! , Hayes value up , and gain ground in tank battle

  • Dec 25, 2018 at 7:41 am

    Merry Christmas to all who celebrate. It’s a day to spend with family and friends.

    Please keep our military and their families in your thoughts and prayers, as well as first responders. And thank them for their service.

    Please also pray for the sick, the underprivileged, and the people who have no family and friends, as the Holidays are a tough time of the year for them.

    If the worst day for us is to argue about our Rangers, then we are doing well.

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