Game Wrap-ups

NY Rangers Goal Breakdown: Two Blue Jackets third period goals down Rangers

Oliver Bjorkstrand sends Rangers home with the L

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored a pair of third period goals to erase a 1-0 deficit as the New York Rangers were downed by the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 2-1. The Rangers actually played a pretty good game, but a pair of miscues in the third wound up being their downfall. That and a hot goalie who stopped 31 of 32 shots.

The story was really Matiss Kivlenieks. The Rangers got a solid amount of quality chances in the first two periods, but it was Kivlenieks that stood tall and kept the Jackets in it. It is worth noting that both of Columbus’ third period goals, while a direct result of miscues, was a step backwards in defensive zone coverage. On both, the Rangers’ blue liners were backed up/backing up way too far.

Rangers 1, Jackets 0

Brady Skjei, out of the box and with the snipe.

Jackets 1, Rangers 1

This looked to just be a miscue by Artemi Panarin, overskating the puck. That led to Bjorkstrand collecting the puck with room. Jacob Trouba got caught between going after the puck and backing up on Bjorkstrand, which was a tough call to make. Obviously hindsight is 20/20, but I’ve been preaching that the Rangers need to step up before the top of the circle, and Trouba was at the faceoff dot when Bjorkstrand let it loose.

Jackets 2, Rangers 1

This was a very ill-timed change by Ryan Strome, which turned a non-rush into an odd-man rush and a goal. With the third man uncovered, it left the defense scrambling to cover the odd-man rush, and Bjorkstrand took advantage. That said, the same defensive issues for the first goal apply here. There is very little gap control on the entry, with Trouba and Skjei at least two stick lengths off the rushers, giving them again to the top of the circle before stepping up. This was a step backwards from the better neutral and defensive zone play we’ve seen in the past.

Shot Heatmap

The Rangers wound up with a 60-52 shot attempt advantage in this one, but based off the shot map they weren’t generating too many Grade-A chances. Kivlenieks still made some great saves –that pad stop on Panarin in the third stands out– and kept them in it, but this was certainly a game where Columbus’ defensive system kept the Rangers from their usual high quality standard.

Skater Results

From a shot attempt standpoint, the Rangers were pretty solid, as mentioned above. When factoring in quality, the Blue Jackets really forced the Rangers into their system, with most Blueshirts in the “dull” section. Regardless, there’s nothing really glaring here. Columbus is good.

The Rangers have one more game against the Isles on Tuesday before nine days off for their bye week and the All Star Game. This is one of those games you just move on from, a rather forgettable game that no one will remember come next month.

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  • Was at the game, and neither goalie had to stand on their heads, as this was a plodding, defensive game. The type of game the Rangers need to learn to win, when they are not filling the net on any given game.

    Of course, let’s start by shooting the puck. Panarin had several great looks and passed the play into no SOG. Same for Strome and several others. Man, I don’t know what it is with them, especially with a young back up goalie in nets for the CBJs. Pepper the kid.

    The Rangers played a good defensive game. I mean the CBJs are not an offensive juggernaut but still, the Rangers had good structure, overall.

    You have to hand it to Torts. Look at the talent they lost this past offseason, and yet, his team is usually ready to play most nights. He gets the most out of them. He is a really good coach.

    • Tony

      Oh oh, now you’ve done it, calling Torts a good coach. LOL…..

      I thought the game was pretty good, but we got burnt in the end by a god pass from Seth Jones, setting up the goal. Wish the outcome were different but the Czar played a good game in net for us…………

      • Walt, that “change” right there caused the 3 on 2, it just can’t happen.

        Torts seems to have mellowed when it comes to his players. They appear to play for him. I mean they really have minimal talent on that team (though Seth Jones and Werenski are great) overall, and they are still fighting for a playoff spot.

        • Tony

          Your right on all counts, and it just shows what a good coach can do when the players truly buy into his system. I’m not putting DQ down with that statement, but I’m stating fact, JT know’s how to coach, and has indeed mellowed out considerably since his days at the garden!!!!!!!

          • I will say that the Rangers have more structure on D. David mentioning last week there is a noticeable change in DQ’s system.

            The Rangers had been playing a 1-2-2 “soft” forecheck system, which created all sorts of space all over the ice. Now it appears like they are sending 2 men in and having the 3rd player high near the neutral zone to not give the opponents so much freedom coming out of their own zone. It’s working better.

          • Yes Tony they definitely have adjusted the system and they are not as soft on zone entries. They finally listened to us! Haha 🙂

    • Your darn tootin Torts is a good coach Richter. And from my view CBJ first goal came off a well executed 3-2. Jesper got this going with a blind backhand pass to no one while the Rangers were on the attack. BSB favorite whipping boy Brady Skjei open the scoring when he roofed one over the shoulder of the young Elvis. As I mentioned before Brady has a excellent shot and we need to see that more.

      • I don’t think Elvis played last night. I thought it was him too, but I think that it was his back up in goal last night.

        Torts’ demise here was for his “antics” off the ice, the stupid little rules that he had for the players, that got him fired here. Age seems to have mellowed him and his players have certainly bought in. I admire him and his team that has been decimated with talent departures.

        • Now that Torts has donned the college professor look, it coordinates with the kinder, gentler Torts persona he has managed to figure out. No doubt about his ability as a NHL coach although he was late coming to the speed game, he has adjusted well. His team is always ready to play. He made his mistakes other places but has been quite good in Columbus.

  • a theme of this year is that they struggle playing a low scoring chess match game. they were pretty good for 40 mins and it got away from them in the third where they reverted back to pond hockey, the fancy drop passes (what on earth are you doing fast?) , they still don’t understand there are moments of the game where you need to make certain types of plays and that yes, getting to overtime is Good! this season is quite infuriating in that you can see they are close yet there is still a substantial barrier they need to climb through. A playoff worthy team gets at least point there, vs Anaheim, vs mtl… that’s 3 pissed away points in under 2 mins to go, potentially 6.

  • Sorry….but Torts is still a crazy bastard….but a very good coach…….mellowed a bit? Perhaps…..but I remember when the majority was calling for his head….now to the game…

    What in the orange hell was that with the line change that led to the loss?…..Quinn? ..the pylon trying to get off the ice…..Staal…enough of Staal already…….we missed so many damn opportunities to put the game away……seeeee below…

    How many times have we all seen this? A no-name goalie comes into the garden and stands on his head? Oh well……..so much for the winning streak…….at least JD is happy with the direction…..right Righter?…lol

    • “at least JD is happy with the direction…..right Righter?…lol”

      I am invoking my right to exercise my 5th Amendment rights.

  • Yes, just a tight defensive game, (it alomost had that playoff feel to it) and nothing especially spectacular going on in the crease. Like Strome, but oh man what a time to head off for a line change.

  • Shesterkin looked great and has a fabulous poke check but why wasn’t he stopping the puck when it was shot around the goal behind him. Was he told to keep letting it go?

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