Donato’s pair lifts Wild over Rangers…in regulation

The Rangers got outshot 45-28 against Minnesota last night, and Henrik Lundqvist’s 41 saves couldn’t keep the Rangers afloat in the 5-2 loss. Ryan Donato had a pair of first period goals, the second putting Minnesota up for good. His second also started a string of three straight for the home team. The loss leaves the Rangers with just one win in March.

The good news is that Brady Skjei and Tony DeAngelo led the Rangers in ice time for the defense. Marc Staal and Brendan Smith saw the least amount of ice time for defenders too. On the flip side, Lias Andersson played just 8:25 on 17 shifts. He finished with an even shot differential at even strength, so I’m not quite sure what David Quinn is seeing in his play that warrants such little ice time. But that’s another story for a different day.

Wild 1, Rangers 0

Neal Pionk gave the puck up to Pontus Aberg in the offensive zone, and he turned the odd man rush with Donato. Skjei played the rush well, taking out the pass. Only so much you can do on plays like these.

Rangers 1, Wild 1

Devan Dubnyk let the puck go past him behind the net, but was slow to get back to the net. Mika Zibanejad picked the puck up in the corner and just fired it to the net, knowing Dubnyk was not in position. The puck hit off Dubnyk and in.

Wild 2, Rangers 1

Filip Chytil with the bad giveaway in the corner to Jason Zucker. Fredrik Claesson didn’t circle back to find Luke Kunin at the high slot for the shot, and was in no-man’s land when Chytil lost Donato for the tip. Not a good shift for Chytil here.

Wild 3, Rangers 1

Jimmy Vesey’s shot got blocked and Kevin Fiala instantly turned this into a 2-on-1 for Eric Staal and Zach Parise. Neal Pionk with the snow angel way too early for players that skilled. Staal waited him out, and his pass went off the prone Pionk and in. Pionk actually swung his stick around and basically shot the puck past Hank.

Wild 4, Rangers 1

Fiala made a good play here to draw Brady Skjei to him in the corner and keeping Zibanejad’s attention on the puck, opening a better passing lane to Jared Spurgeon, who read the play and crept in from the point. Hank had no chance on this.

Wild 4, Rangers 2

DeAngelo made a nice backhand pass to a cutting Pavel Buchnevich in the neutral zone with speed, giving him the step on the defense for the break on Dubnyk. Nice move by Buchnevich to bury it.

Wild 5, Rangers 2

JT Brown empty netter.

Shot Heatmap

This is basically what you expect nowadays from the Rangers. Without two of their big offensive weapons, they can’t generate anything sustained on offense. When you can’t generate sustained offense, you wind up hemorrhaging shots on defense. The entire defensive zone is yellow here, with a big area of red right in front.

If not for Hank, this game could have been 10-2, not 5-2. We weren’t expecting much from this team in terms of win, but at least now the losses are in regulation. The Blueshirts now sit in the 7th overall draft slot, and are within two points of being in the top-five. It’s a mad dash to the bottom.

"Donato's pair lifts Wild over regulation", 5 out of 5 based on 4 ratings.

31 thoughts on “Donato’s pair lifts Wild over Rangers…in regulation

  • Mar 17, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Kreider is a great speed skater and an average hockey player.
    Trade him before the rest of the league catches on.

  • Mar 17, 2019 at 11:33 am

    David, maybe you can cut and paste this article for the rest of the season.

    • Mar 17, 2019 at 12:25 pm

      Correction , should have copied and pasted it 72 games ago … we should be fighting with the Sens on the basement run.

      • Mar 17, 2019 at 2:20 pm

        Up until the trade deadline they may not have won, but they competed.

        Other than the Oilers’ game, I do not think that competing is the right word to use. Which is fine, we need to get into the top 5 of the draft, if not higher.

        • Mar 17, 2019 at 3:33 pm

          They’re trying, but you’re right — chemistry was broken and they’re having trouble reconstituting it.

          • Mar 17, 2019 at 3:41 pm

            They’re a broken team, that is the correct word for the situation.

  • Mar 17, 2019 at 11:47 am

    That pass by Tony to Buch wasn’t just nice, it was great. I mean going in one direction and then flipping the perfect pass in the opposite direction in that way wasn’t just sneaky good conceptually, it’s hard to make it so precisely.

    • Mar 17, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      DeAngelos play has been one of the positives in a otherwise dismal Ranger season.

    • Mar 17, 2019 at 2:21 pm

      From the defensive blue line through to the opponents’ offensive zone, DeAngelo is one of the best in the league.

      It’s behind the defensive blue line that is the issue.

      • Mar 17, 2019 at 3:30 pm

        Come on, compared to all our other d’men he isn’t an issue in the defensive zone. Sure he makes a hiccup every now and then but it’s hardly chronic and it’s in line with all the other gifted offensive defensemen in the League. If he keeps on developing every year by the time he’s 25/26/27 he’s going to be elite — IF … 🙂

        • Mar 17, 2019 at 3:43 pm

          You can’t compare anything to our current D because they all suck.

          DeAngelo has the opportunity to be a very good NHL D man, but he needs to improve at the D side of the ice. If he does that, then we have a legit top 4 D man, and if his offense takes off, then top pair D man.

          • Mar 17, 2019 at 4:34 pm

            That’s the tough part of the whole season with D , if say Skjei,ADA and Pionk for that matter were paired with actual top 4 D men would it be a different outcome most times ? Every D makes mistakes , you put these kids in there ( not so much Skjei) and we expect them to excel . I agree Pionk has made some bonehead plays and forced lots of stuff that really isn’t there but he’s also young , playing top minutes with Staal most times ( Staal is 2-3 steps off the game and really should be playing 4th pair minutes not top pair minutes ). That’s a mess , 2 guys moved would help tremendously! Then you throw a pile of money for a half assed 3rd pair guy . Now we’re in more trouble .

            • Mar 17, 2019 at 4:50 pm

              You’re not off base IMO, but I disagree about Pionk. He’s just not physically suited for the NHL. He’s a decent skater and puck handler, but he’s too often treated like a rag doll and is man handled a lot in crucial situations.

              I’m not totally off the Skjei band wagon, and ADA is awesome (not hyperbole). And including Claesson would constitute 50% of an adequate back line. Hajek and cap space closes the crap gap we now have back there. Staal, Pionk, and Smith are so extraneous it’s really pathetic.

            • Mar 17, 2019 at 4:58 pm

              Pionk is not a good D man. We felt good in the beginning because the offensive pts outweighed the pts against.

              But not now, not since the start of 2019.

          • Mar 17, 2019 at 8:59 pm

            Maybe not but I still have ZERO complaints about the way DeAngelo is playing. I see no evidence that ADA makes more mistakes in the defensive zone than any other real good offensive defenseman in the League. Sign him NOW to a long term contract.

            • Mar 18, 2019 at 5:35 am

              I’m not complaining about the way he’s playing, just stating what it will take to make him a legit top pair D man.

  • Mar 17, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    This game, like the one before was a dumpster fire. That’s unfortunate because the first 5 or so games after the trade deadline the team played with heart. They lost but played close games against good teams. Now they just have no effort. Buch, ADA and Lemieux have been exceptions. Kreider has been very disappointing. Is he going to get 30 goals this year? Looking like Buch more likely to get 20 than Kreider to get 30. Pionk has also been pretty bad too. Tanking helps us with the draft, in theory, but this team is going in the wrong direction.

    • Mar 17, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      I agree about Kreider, he’s been disappointing of late (and Z has missed Zucc, a lot as well) …. but you couldn’t have realistically expected much more from the team. We’ve been stripped of our top d’man and 6 top 9 forwards (4 top 6) — Hayes, Zucc, Stepan, Miller, Grabner and Nash — in just the last year and a half. They’re entitled to a few clunker games. Add to that poor play from Staal and Pionk who are a mess defensively, a little less apart but a disaster together. In fact the defensive play has been the reason these last couple of games haven’t even been close in terms of play and goals.

      Also, the minute we stripped Zucc and Hayes the scoring lines pretty much stopped working — a whole new chemistry has to be developed. That will take some time, like a summertime of hard work by the youngsters and a long training camp of practice, practice and more practice. At least that’s how I’m looking at the whole situation. The positive NOW is we have a chance to get a Top 5 or 6 pick … and if the ping pong balls are favorable, maybe a top 2 or 3 pick (I would love Kakko, a sniping winger) — so much so I could see passing on Hughes for him. I suggest everyone start performing the appropriate good luck rituals now in time for the NHL ping pong festival, maybe this time it will be different.

    • Mar 17, 2019 at 2:23 pm

      The team is done, they are going through the motions right now.

      Kreider might be the next C.

      • Mar 17, 2019 at 2:41 pm

        C as in C U Later… it’s funny how his trade value has tanked since the deadline… talk about “going through the motions “.

        • Mar 17, 2019 at 3:22 pm

          Who said it tanked? I mean how could you even gauge that since the TRADE DEADLINE has passed, no one is talking trades until everything reopens in mid-June.

          • Mar 17, 2019 at 3:52 pm

            “Mailing it in” really raises your trade value… get a grip Kemosabbe.

        • Mar 17, 2019 at 3:44 pm

          CK was great up until the trade deadline. Evaluating him now is useless, as well as the rest of the roster at this time.

      • Mar 17, 2019 at 3:25 pm

        In all honesty he needs to show us more in the next 10 games. I supported him for the C earlier, but I have to admit this hiccup in his play (and we’ve seen this before many times) gives me pause. Z hasn’t played as well either, but he’s putting in the effort at least. Perhaps he misses his buddy Hayes even more than Z is missing Zucc. These are hard times on the guys, bonds are being broken — sad.

        • Mar 17, 2019 at 3:46 pm

          The only valid point here, IMO, is that if you’re going to be the C, then you lead by example, not get caught up in the tank mode.

          • Mar 17, 2019 at 4:39 pm

            From what’s seen on the ice ( don’t know what goes on off ice ) Zib maybe the only guy worthy of the C

            • Mar 17, 2019 at 4:59 pm

              It’s possible and he would be a good choice too. Zib has certainly been the most consistent Ranger all season.

            • Mar 17, 2019 at 5:04 pm

              I agree re Mika, but disagree that Kreider would make a good C. He lacks consistency and at times lacks effort. He’s also very cerebral and I think the weight of the C would be far more detrimental to him than it was to McDonagh.

              • Mar 17, 2019 at 6:42 pm

                Look at that , we agree Sittoo ! ?

          • Mar 17, 2019 at 8:57 pm

            I wouldn’t say he’s gotten caught up in the tank mode, he may just be depressed the same way Zucc was at the beginning of the year. I don’t think either is a good thing, but I can understand sadness for the loss of a friend as opposed to “oh no, this team is probably going to trade me …”.

  • Mar 18, 2019 at 7:01 am

    If we keep moving in the same direction maybe the Ducks can let us slide into #5 , doubt the Devils catch up.

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