Wild stifle Rangers offense, win easily

The Rangers and Wild faced off yesterday tied for 10th worst in the league, but the Wild weren’t that far out of a playoff spot and in need of a win. They dominated the Rangers at even strength, stifling their top line and only consistent source of offense en route to a 4-1 win. The game was pretty close until the third period, when a blown call gave the Wild a two-goal cushion and secured the win.

If this was the last hurrah for Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes, it was a lackluster one. Both were nearly invisible for the entire game, which is a shame. There was a small Zucc-a-rell-o chant at the end of the game, but it didn’t get loud.

Adam McQuaid was injured in the first period then held out for precautionary reasons. There were a lot of questions about why the three amigos about to be traded were dressed, and perhaps this was the last game we see them in.

Wild 1, Rangers 0

Spurgeon PPG. Staal kinda drifts to no man’s land here, leaving Pionk to cover the man in front. That opens the lane to Spurgeon to Eric. Then Pionk kinda stares lovingly at the puck for a while before Spurgeon gets the goal.

Rangers 1, Wild 1

I think Pavel Buchnevich caught Devan Dubnyk by surprise on this one.

Wild 2, Rangers 1

Granlund goal. Shattenkirk gets outmuscled by Granlund and Pionk is…somewhere?

Wild 3, Rangers 1

That is a very blown call. Brady Skjei was tripped and it led to Zach Parise scoring.

Wild 4, Rangers 1

Jordan Greenway empty netter.

Shot Heatmap

This basically reflects how the game went. Just a whole lot of nothing for the Rangers.

The Blueshirts have a pair of matinee games over the weekend as all eyes are on Jeff Gorton. I wouldn’t be surprised if Zucc, Hayes, and McQuaid are all scratched for precautionary reasons for those games. I hope you are all glued to your Twitter accounts for updates!

31 thoughts on “Wild stifle Rangers offense, win easily

  • Feb 22, 2019 at 7:20 am
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    Snoozefest…..nothing to speak about except for Tony D……Players just seemed to be going through the motions…..especially Hayes….who looked like a healthy scratch while playing….

    • Feb 22, 2019 at 7:34 am
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      As per his typical, dogging it again……………We will see him leave soon enough, and he won’t be missed like Zucc will be!!!!!!

      • Feb 22, 2019 at 8:53 am
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        What did Hayes ever do to you Walt? lol

        All this dogging it nonsense … you’re going to miss him when he’s gone. 😉

        • Feb 22, 2019 at 9:09 am
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          Afraid not, but I can’t wait to see the returns we get. Too many think we will get a windfall for this guy, that won’t be the case at all!!!!!!!!

          • Feb 22, 2019 at 9:12 am
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            Maybe a 2nd rounder/half decent prospect and part time stick boy ?

          • Feb 22, 2019 at 9:21 am
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            So much negativity man, you’re putting out bad vibes …

            • Feb 22, 2019 at 10:13 am
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              It’s just the truth , 2nd rounder ( maybe a late late 1st ) and a prospect.

              • Feb 22, 2019 at 11:20 am
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                Um, they’re always late 1st rounders when we’re talking trade deadline deals to any decent competitive team …

          • Feb 22, 2019 at 10:15 am
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            Not sure hardly anyone expects a windfall for Hayes. I don’t, personally. Little to do with Hayes, though. It’s a buyer’s market; lots of forwards are being dangled. As a GM, you can’t lower your leverage much more with either the player or the other GMs than Gorton has managed with the Hayes situation. Nobody to blame but Rangers front office if the return is poor. It seems to me that Gorton needs two GMs to get in a bidding war for, otherwise he’s up the creek without a paddle and has to take the best offer he can get. Gonna be awesome the next few years watching Hayes put up 70 points on someone else’s 2nd line while the mediocre prospect we get in return struggles in Hartford and they use the second round pick acquired on a goalie. (I’m only partially joking about that…I think it is actually completely possible.)

            • Feb 22, 2019 at 11:46 am
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              Considering Hayes has never put up close to 70 points in a season, I think you’re being overdramatic here. Trading this guy isn’t trading Rick Middleton, Mike Ridley, Tony Amonte, or Matthias Norstrom. Hayes is a slightly above average 2nd line center, well worth moving on from if a first rounder and solid prospect can be obtained for him. This is a guy who’s got 3 years left at his current level (and forget about that if he ever hurts his knees or groin) and is asking for 6+ year deal. The Rangers and Gorton would be insane to take that deal. The money Hayes will command plus the fact that his window will be closing when the Rangers are ready to compete seriously again makes Hayes the most expendable trade piece they have.

              • Feb 22, 2019 at 12:17 pm
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                His pace this season would produce 68 points in 82 games, and that’s without any true upper tier wingers consistently on his line. It’s really a stretch that this guy could hit 70 points while in his peak if he goes to a team with a finisher or even two on the flanks of their second line? As for “3 years left”, what are you even basing that on? His game isn’t built on speed, nor has he shown a lack of general durability in his career. Your concerns about injuries to those body areas, well, that’s any NHL player, so not sure it makes any sense to focus on it more intensely as a justification mechanism for this situation. Regarding the names you threw out, I don’t believe I ever drew any such comparisons.

                I don’t know why many Rangers fans are so quick to crap on this guy. I really don’t. There is no basis for the narrative. Is he guaranteed to haunt us by doing very well for some other team as their 2C? Certainly not. Could he? Certainly. Unless Gorton just completely pantses some other GM, the Hayes saga went from great asset management to lure a player like that for just money…to today, where Gorton may have to take the best offer he can get even if it is they type of return that usually comes back for a much lesser player.

              • Feb 22, 2019 at 1:21 pm
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                To note, as a follow up thought, if Gorton does walk away from this with truly solid assets, I will be first in line to eat crow and give him credit. Ottawa did well enough with Duchene; I don’t know as the prospects they got back are anything special, but it could end up being those and two firsts for Duchene and B level defenseman prospect Bergman. We probably can expect significantly less for Hayes for various factors, but I’ll be glad to be incorrect on that.

              • Feb 22, 2019 at 1:28 pm
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                3 years left: basing it on the fact that 95% of the players in the NHL begin declining at age 29-30. Hayes is a large fella who’s arguably defied the injuries that plague many players: law of averages may balance out cruelly with him.

                Hayes hasn’t been a steady point producer throughout his career. this season is an outlier with him due to both his production levels and his consistency, he’s been a much more streaky player in the past. Is this season a career year in a walk year, or an indicator of future success? I say it’s more choice A than choice B.

                Lastly, everyone soiled themselves over JT Miller’s increased production in a 20-game end of season run with Tampa. Look at Miller now: on pace to be the same 50-55 point player he was with the Rangers, nothing more. I mention this because no matter how good Hayes has been this season there are no guarantees he’ll repeat it, and with a higher salary and likely NMC to boot. This team needs change in its talent level for the future; Hayes’ greatest value to NYR is as a trade chip.

              • Feb 22, 2019 at 2:04 pm
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                My commentary wasn’t necessarily intended as an argument for keeping/extending Hayes now, to note – the time for that was last summer.

                Regarding why Hayes is doing better now, well, it’s because the coach is deploying him like he should have been deployed all along. Most centers like Hayes, who have a natural playmaking skill set, aren’t going to rack up counting stats consistently when put with two forwards who have brick hands on what is essentially a checking line, which is how AV rolled Hayes a lot. Quinn is proving no rocket scientist with his deployment decisions either, but at least he understands that Hayes is a bit misused if asked to be almost strictly a two-way checking center.

                Still would take Miller over Namestnikov, personally. I think Miller has as much scoring and passing touch, but more tenacity. I can’t speak for others, but not sure who was soiling themselves. For my part in not being floored by the McD return, I just simply saw Miller as an unnecessary inclusion by Gorton, plus was particularly frustrated it was Namestnikov and not futures coming back. I don’t hate Namestnikov at all; he has some impressive moments. I don’t think he should have been acquired or extended in a rebuild though, either.

                Gonna have to agree to disagree on the 3 years bit, then. Purely speculative to bank on that happening. I’ll stay on the side of the facts we have so far, which are that Kevin is built well, is fairly durable, and does not rely on speed therefore should not see a huge impact as he loses a step to Father Time. We’re not talking about Ryan Callahan, here, where you just knew his style would catch up to him like an avalanche, eventually, and probably sooner than later. The risk that Hayes has shown in this area so far is low based on his style and skills.

                Don’t get me wrong, the best outcome here is for Gorton to get a haul in return for Hayes (good for the team) and for him to go on to be subpar for another team for any number of reasons (good for our warm fuzzies and ego as fans). I do not see these things happening, personally, is all.

              • Feb 22, 2019 at 2:09 pm
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                Gotta say I was bummed to see JT go , I guess in the end it was pretty much a wash with Names coming and pretty much being almost the same player. I figured JT would have huge numbers being on a line with Stamkos ( least he was at first , not sure now? ). JT probably would have played a better game with DQ but that we will never know.

            • Feb 22, 2019 at 2:15 pm
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              Please check back with me next season when he scores some 40 points, at $6 per year, and tell me he is worth that amount for a half ass effort!!!!!!!!

              • Feb 22, 2019 at 2:28 pm
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                Why, exactly, do you think Quinn and AV – both quick to bench players for perceived dogging – haven’t taken that issue with Hayes?

                (Hint: That issue doesn’t exist.)

              • Feb 22, 2019 at 4:18 pm
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                How about DQ likes the kid, and is a friend of the family, and AV didn’t know the difference between shit, and shinola!!!!!!!

              • Feb 22, 2019 at 4:47 pm
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                Had a hillbilly tell me one day with a mouth full of dip … here I’m a stubborn 19 from Long Island – Boy you don’t know shit from apple butter …. I died laughing first and then had to figure out what in the hell he was talking about … lol

  • Feb 22, 2019 at 8:06 am
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    It was interesting to see Brooks think out loud with Lias being possibility up on the trade block. It’s not like he was really playing well in the AHL before this.

    Lol I thought that they brought him up to scare one of our UFA’s into re-signing.

    The Kreider steam picked up last night. Team’s like Tornonto understand the asking price and now they have to go back and ponder all the trade chips. A lot of scouts that might have wanted him or Zucc. He certainly played the Strome line and showcased Zucc and Kreider.

    Why are we paying all that $$ to Shatty and Skjei again?

    • Feb 22, 2019 at 8:38 am
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      We got a discount on Shitty …. lol

    • Feb 22, 2019 at 11:25 am
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      In all honesty Skjei has been playing much better of late — when he plays like Skjei the rookie he’s worth the money, when he tries to do too much he looks like a 3rd pairing d’man.

  • Feb 22, 2019 at 11:07 am
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    The Rangers don’t perform well against heavy teams. Their Blueline is too undersize to handle large forwards who protect the puck well. Gorton should be shopping Pionk and Shattenkirk.

    • Feb 22, 2019 at 11:24 am
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      Can’t argue with that, both are expendable assuming Tony D continues to play the way he’s been playing the last month — and I feel pretty confident that he will, he oozes talent. I don’t know if Pionk’s defense will ever be “good enough” and Shattenkirk just seems on the decline, despite the fact he can play well in spurts.

    • Feb 22, 2019 at 11:53 am
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      Unfortunately, Hampus Lindholm types don’t exactly grow on trees…but with that noted, this front office and coaching staff under both AV and now Quinn seem to have an especially difficult time evaluating defenders lately. They seem to go to the extremes on both sides of the blue-line gamut in recent years – either the Staals and McQuaids of the world who are big, and I presume strong guys, but just can’t keep up with the speed of today’s game and get burned constantly, or the DeAngelos and Pionks of the world who can skate and pass like forwards…but unfortunately defend like forwards, as well. They’re looking for balance in the wrong way IMO, by trying to pair two players with what they might think are “offsetting” flaws or strengths, too often. Simply put, they need to identify and avoid players with major individual flaws better when it comes to defense evaluation. If they are going to run a hybrid defensive system, they should be acquiring and developing hybrid defenders. I think it says a lot about their evaluation skills that Claesson – who is nothing special of course, but has played pretty well when he’s had the chance and does a little bit of everything – can’t even get a regular spot in the lineup. This goes all the way back to Stralman at least, in a way – that’s a defender great for a hybrid system, yet they completely failed to properly gauge his value in that sort of scheme.

      • Feb 22, 2019 at 12:27 pm
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        Interesting, well-thought-out take on the defense. I’ll add that I, too, have been impressed with Claesson, one of the few d-men who actually challenges the puck carrier at the blueline instead of backing in.

        • Feb 22, 2019 at 2:09 pm
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          I think part of Quinn’s philosophy is giving up the line. Maybe that’s why he’s not high on Claesson, haha.

  • Feb 22, 2019 at 11:56 am
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    Duchene to Columbus is done per mutilate folks on twitter…details to come…

    • Feb 22, 2019 at 12:03 pm
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      looks like Panarin is also off the market…good news for us if that is the case…Ottawa signs Stone and/or Dzingel our guys value will move up nicely.

      • Feb 22, 2019 at 2:27 pm
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        Let’s hope that is the case, then we can get some quality for Hayes!!!!!!!

  • Feb 22, 2019 at 8:21 pm
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    The 2 most important things out of last night’s game, that I had the extreme pleasure to pay for:

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    1) We are one of the dumbest teams in the league, playing Hayes, Zuc, and McQuaid (even the Sens have more sense).

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    2) That non-call on the Parise goal is a fireable offense. I would love to hear the reason why the refs did not call it (even though it helped me take an earlier train).

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