Game Wrap-ups

Rangers Win (in Regulation!) on the Road in Nashville

The Rangers entered last night’s game in Nashville owning a dubious distinction: in their 16 road games coming into this one, the Rangers had won zero of them in regulation. The Blueshirts finally bucked the trend and locked up two points in 60 minutes against a good (though struggling) Predators team.

Jesper Fast and Cody McLeod returned to the lineup after extended absences, and both players made immediate impacts. David Quinn reunited Fast with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider and the unit rewarded the coach with a combined 10 point outing, including two goals from Fast and four assists from Zibanejad. Cody McLeod decided to hit everything in sight during his first couple of shifts, which if nothing else made the first period more entertaining.

Henrik Lundqvist had to be good often in this one, though the Rangers tightened up defensively as the game wore on. It was an encouraging performance from the Rangers who are trying to right the ship as a disappointing December comes to a close.

Let’s take a look at the goals…

NYR 1, NSH 0

On Thursday night, Chris Kreider scored a deflected goal seven seconds into a power play. On Saturday night, Chris Kreider scored a deflected goal seven seconds into a power play. The Rangers’ top guys are still quite capable offensively, and the five forward power play unit has now cashed in twice in a row after coach Quinn threatened to blow it up.

NYR 1, NSH 1

This is great puck movement by Nashville, as the subtle interchange of PK Subban, Kevin Fiala and Mattias Ekholm opens up the shooting lane. The Rangers could have given Nick Bonino a more difficult time in front, but this is still a heck of a deflection.

NYR 2, NSH 1

Chris Kreider creates this goal with an aggressive forecheck, forcing the Ekholm turnover. Nashville had mostly fled the zone thinking Ekholm had the puck, leaving Jesper Fast wide open in front to convert Mika Zibanejad’s feed.

NYR 2, NSH 2

Pavel Buchnevich gets tangled with the linesman in the neutral zone, creating a fairly fortunate 2-on-1 scenario for Fiala. Neal Pionk backs in too far, and Marc Staal is too slow to get back, leaving Fiala an eternity to pick his spot and beat Lundqvist to the stick side.

NSH 3, NYR 2

Mats Zuccarello was sent to penalty box just moments after the referees missed a blatant cross-check on Kevin Hayes, but that’s really beside the point. The Rangers couldn’t get set after losing the face-off, and the ensuing scramble led to a Bonino rebound goal.

NSH 3, NYR 3

The Rangers actually executed a clean zone exit and rush up ice! A rare sight these days, but all five players contributed on this sequence, with Marc Staal finishing from the slot after receiving a beautiful saucer pass from Fast.

NYR 4, NSH 3

Jesper Fast slams home his second of the game, and Mika Zibanejad collects his fourth assist by putting it on a platter. The Rangers created offense again off of their forecheck, with Adam McQuaid initiating this play with a smart dump-in that evaded Pekka Rinne.

Heatmap and other fancy stats (from

The diagram above only accounts for un-blocked shot attempts at 5v5, but illustrates that the Rangers were fairly effective in keeping the Predators out of the slot, which generating their fair share of grade-A opportunities. After giving up 5 high-danger chances in the first period, they limited Nashville to just one the rest of the night. The penalty kill and 6-on-5 defense in the third period were very solid as well, as the Rangers figured out how to hold onto a lead, at least for a night.

Next up for the Rangers is a New Year’s Eve clash with the St. Louis Blues. Game time is 7:00 PM.

Show More
  • Nice quality win on the road.

    Great seeing Zib have a great game on the road as well.

    Rinaldo continues to be a POS, and the type of player the NHL (and the PA oddly enough) consistently defends. Another disgrace for the NHL if he gets nothing for the Zib hit to the head.

    Preds are talented but will not win the Cup with that goaltending.

    • if I cant a get a replay or gif of the Rinaldo hit I don’t care what he did. that’s my new policy.

      • Petulance = wisdom, eh? Did history exist before cameras? Pretty sure it did.

        The utter self-absorption of your statement is remarkable.

        • in case it wasn’t clear- my comment was a shot at big business MSG and their homer network. I even made such a comment towards their twatter people. so in a sense they do deserve no discipline on Rinaldo, because usually momentum from social media drives these things.

          • He’s gonna have a field day with ur writing and punctuation! ? … lmao

          • Especially since Richter says he’s hitting the sauce early!

          • Ok now I understand what you meant.

            Rinaldo’s hit was typical “look the other way” non-call. NHL will probably do nothing because it’s more important to protect the .1% as opposed to the rest of the players.

          • I was talking about the Grammer Nazi. The hit was junk but we already know how that goes. Just like the elbow last week in the Chicago game. Guys head got taken off and nothing.

          • Your illiteracy rears its head again, Sieve—Richter was responding to agentsmith. You really don’t read well, or understand sequence in threads, or think well.

            Maybe for a new year’s resolution you can improve your ability to understand what people say here. There’s $500 here that says you don’t have that ability.

  • Kypreos tweeted that the feeling around the league is that the Rangers are still the faves to land Panarin.

    That would make the Hayes re-signing make more sense and more palatable.

    • Other than Zucc’s salary, where do they get the cap space to sign those two guys? Probably talking around 15 mil per year.

      • Rangers have almost $20 million in cap space next season. To make it work they’ll need to figure something for Buch, Pionk, Deangelo too. Assuming the total raise for those guys is no more than $5M that would leave $15 for Hayes and Panarin, which should get it done, but still leave the roster short by 1 fwd and 1 D. So there will need to be some addition by subtraction, through a clever trade (wishful thinking) and the addition of more ELCs to the roster, but more likely a buyout.

        • You can start with Kravtsov and Hajek … although both you and I know there will be trades before the deadline and movement during the summer. Unless the bread man is looking for $10m they should be able to fit him in — the question is whether they will want to, for what term and what level of NMC/NTC.

      • Names would have to go, same with Smith, maybe Shatty or Skjei. Staal could be bought out.

        There will be ways to clear cap space, if they really want to.

    • that would mean that the “letter” was a complete toilet paper joke and the defense is still a train wreck. and that Kreider is good as gone and lias, kravtsov, 2019 pick are complete wastes. if they were planning to go this route why not extend mcd?

        • Agreed, let them come to you unless Blues are actually open for business. You trade for a guy like Tarasenko 10/10 times.

          I think JG and the Rangers should prepare for Eric Karlsson to jump ship from San Jose. That’s when you 100% trade Skjei to help make room for him. I rather see Doughty or even OEL in a Rangers uniform instead of him but I think he’s going to test the market. His numbers aren’t as great as Doughty right before he signed with LA so that might knock off a few dollar signs.

          A prime Kreider, Hayes, Zib, Panarin, Shatty, Karlsson and Hank ( on his last legs ). I think the minute that type of roster would give a reason to be buyer’s, than JG would go out and shore up w/e would need fixing.

          • You’re late to the party Ritch. I have been saying that since last April. Probably around the same time you assumed when Lias an Chytil would be 2c/3c. I think that prediction included Hayes as a top 9 winger or gone by than. Lol I lost track with all of those predictions… Rangers need a top line winger in general and of course for Hayes. Panarin and him were suppose to be the future for Chicago, they’re games would blend in nicely.

            Your boy Lias isn’t looking to hot.

          • I’m not late to the party, don’t confuse the Rangers’ stupidity with what the “right moves” should be.

            As of today, Chytil may be a healthy scratch an Andersson is in Hartford. Considering this is a player development year, they should like stupid moves to me.

            Bad management of their players.

  • How is it this group needs McLeod?!?!? I just don’t get it. A road win is a road win. FINALLY! Fun game to watch.

    • I said that the other day too! It’s so strange – their record when he’s in the lineup this year is 12-5 (I think I heard that on the postgame). And you can just tell that they were all pumped up last night (for obvious reasons .. them getting their first road win in regulation and not blowing the lead), but the guys rally behind him and he gets them going. I don’t get it either.

      I still believe teams need guys like that – but they also have to be somewhat skilled, good at hockey, and can’t be a liability out there … and he doesn’t really fit into any of those categories lol.

      • Dan, McLeod is a huge locker room booster…Players love him……I use to think the same thing about McLeod, but good friend of mine told me McLeod is a very positive influence on the young players…McLeod will play many games this season……but I’m still confused in regards to the direction of this team……..last night’s game tells me that leadership wants to make the playoffs….if they keep winning……we might not see too many vets shown the door at the deadline……but if we start to separate from the playoff pack…then I expect a flurry of activity……

        • As long as they don’t go out and TRADE for the playoffs then I’m fine with them “wanting” to make the playoffs. You want the team to want to win, the issue is whether they go out and do something stupid to make that happen. In my mind they won’t, the only effect might be in how many players they trade for picks/prospects.

      • If the Rangers are 12-5 with McLeod then HE is the problem and must be moved ASAP. How are we going to get a strong lottery pick with that kind of stuff going on….???

        Moving him would actually solve another problem – since Lias’ ELC is now burned the FO could then bring him back up and let him play his obligatory 9 minutes or so every game.

        Sorry – sarcasm just feels right today.

    • Stats and metrics will guide you to the promised land but you need passion and leadership to get you through the gates.

      • They are a mediocre team which will hold us back a few more years! Can’t keep getting points

  • The Rangers came out in the 3rd period loaded for bear. When they want too, the Rangers can skate and their speed was more then what the Preds could handle. Hopefully they bring the same game to the Blues of ST Louis.

  • Thanks to ADA and his transition game. It could have been at the end of a long shift and Tony could skate it out during a line change. He either could decide to send it deep, keep the play alive and skate it half way down and than send it around the boards. Or else he shoots it on net to create a OZ faceoff. I would have died to play with guy’s like that 🙁 that’s on par to a offensive lineman who can block two guys at the same time.

  • So – my thought process of extracting the Sens #1 from the Av’s is now officially gaining traction – albeit Brooksie….

    From Brook’s Slap Shots column today:

    “Through Friday, the Avalanche had scored 33 goals at five-on-five with the Gabriel Landeskog-Nathan MacKinnon-Mikko Rantanen line on the ice (541 minutes) and 36 goals without any of the top three on (1,075 minutes).

    So does Colorado hang onto Ottawa’s first-rounder and top defense prospect Cale Makar and attempt to take the next step organically, or does management strike out and trade what would be the most attractive commodities on the market for immediate help?

    Asking for a friend with the initials J.G.”

    How do YOU say BLOCKBUSTER????

    The Rangers have the assets to get this done – Hayes & Zucc is a starting point. The Bolt’s are on a mission this year so we also have Tampa’s #1 (post Stanley Cup Win).

    And if we are going to really go for it let’s toss in the nine minute man Lias, a D-man (pick one – eh – while you are at it pick two- they all suck) and we will even throw in Cody the good-luck charm McLeod (He and that 12-5 will bring much needed life to the Av’s locker room ) and grab the highly touted D-man Cale Makar while we are at it.

    As of right now, the Av’s have the 3rd most available cap space in the league so they can take on players.

    Think of it – The Tampa Bay Rangers South vs. The Colorado Rangers West in the Stanley Cup Final. Can’t get any better than that.

    Sarcasm with a hint of reality. Let’s get it done…

  • JG and Hayes obviously had a unwritten agreement prior to the 1 yr deal. JG thought he could exploit Hayes defene/shutdown roles. Hayes 25 goals and other accomplishments in the season of 2018 gave back his camp the leverage. JG would had to trade him since last year. Hayes is in his mid 20s, will get paid and pick and choose on where would want to play for. Contenders would be lining up to sign him in the summer, he is a proven quality top 6 centerman with a underrated 200 ft game. It’s going to be greed from both sides that would make this fallout turn ugly.

    Hayes and his agent can play the game and not want to do a quick resign meaning JG would get next to nothing in return. From there, why would a GM waste assets for a 3 month rental and playoff run? Let alone a top draft pick and a top prospect? Jeff lost all his leverage. I suspect he’s going to want to resign Hayes between 6.4 to 6.7 mill. 7 years and a clause or else lose Hayes for next to nothing.

    • Gorton is cornered any way you look at it. Even if Hayes is pacing for 70 points .. If an extension right now, ud be signing 7*7 for someone who hasn’t hit 50 points yet. And if he waits till after the deadline he lost all his leverage. If he waits too long to trade, the market may flood.

      I don’t think u fa is a real issue
      He still will get a very good return – just look at what rick Nash got . to get a top prospect or the Ottawa pick ud likely need a sign n trade .

  • Back to top button