Game Wrap-ups

Blues (3) vs Rangers (1) Game Thoughts

Singing the Blues

After a tough weekend that saw two disheartening losses against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Rangers came back home to welcome the defending Stanley Cup Champions St. Louis Blues.  St. Louis came into Tuesday’s matchup on a seven game winning streak and as the number one seed in the Western Conference with 88 points to their name.  A tall task for the Baby Blueshirts.

  • After a low event start from both sides it was the Rangers Red Hot power play that struck first.  Pavel Buchnevich made a terrific play shielding the puck in the corner, before making a perfect low to high slot line pass to Ryan Strome, who made one more “Royal Road” pass to Mika Zibenajd to pick up his team leading 33 goals in ONLY 53 GAMES.  That’s my number one center.
  • The Blues responded early in the second on a power play goal by Colton Parayko.  The power play opportunity came as a result of a Tony DeAngelo turnover and then ANOTHER penalty by Ryan Strome.  I’ve expressed my opinions on Strome pretty adamantly on twitter over the past few months so I won’t delve into it much further.  Lets just say David Quinn can’t be happy.
  • The 2nd period flew by, and I mean FLEW! MSG was only able to get one commercial break in.  The Blues and Rangers traded a few chances, but they were few and far between.  The shots at the end of two were 16-14 in favor the reigning champs and only 11-10 at 5 on 5.  The Blues play a very stingy defensive system, but it was encouraging to see the Rangers rolling punch for punch with them.
  • A term that I use frequently while coaching is to tell my defenseman to “Take Ice”.  The Rangers defensemen have a tendency to make a lot of flat footed stretch and breakout passes.  This was the case on the turnover I referenced early by Tony D, and he was not the only culprit during the 2nd period.  Plays like this were made by Marc Staal and Jacob Trouba alike.
  • A perfect example of what I’d like to see more of is Adam Fox’s rush at the 19:25 mark of the third period.  Fox makes a great defensive play and immediately begins to skate and “Take Ice”. He was able to take the puck end to end for a clean entry.  It the little plays like this that can drive play and help advance the puck.  Often the easy play of just moving your feet and taking what is given to you, is the right play.
  • As the 3rd period went on the Rangers dominated the Blues…so naturally the Blues scored first on a flukey goal by Brayden Schenn that deflected off the stick of Ryan Lindgren and then off the right pad of Alex Georgiev and in.  Hockey sucks sometimes.
  • I watch a lot of hockey and the St. Louis Blues clutch and grab more than any team I have seen all year.  The officials certainly chose to cater to this type of hockey, most notably on two plays: One in the second frame when Brett Howden was very noticeably pulled down with a free hand in the offensive zone. The other one being when Adam Fox was tripped heading up ice after making a fantastic stop on a 3 on 1 late in the third period.
  • The Rangers gave it their all, but dropped this one 3-1 after the Blues iced it with an empty netter in the waining seconds.  The Blueshirts had a plethora of chances, but were once again unable to find the back of the net at 5v5.
  • With Chris Kreider out the Rangers lack of scoring depth has become very evident. Going to need someone to step up big time down the home stretch.
  • I hate this stupid sport. See you on Thursday

-Coach Conall

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  • “I watch a lot of hockey and the St. Louis Blues clutch and grab more than any team I have seen all year. The officials certainly chose to cater to this type of hockey, most notably on two plays: One in the second frame when Brett Howden was very noticeably pulled down with a free hand in the offensive zone. The other one being when Adam Fox was tripped heading up ice after making a fantastic stop on a 3 on 1 late in the third period.”

    BINGO!!! I was thinking that all night. They could have easily have been called for 6-7-8 penalties tonight, especially in light of the many ticky tack calls these refs sometimes make. No disrespect to the Blues, they play a heavy and structured game … but there’s no way they should get away with the aforementioned crapola.

    • Should have added though that I was proud of the way the team played — and I hope DQ focuses on that after the game and not the loss itself. If they play like this the rest of the way they’re going to beat a lot of teams.

  • That 2nd period was one of the most entertaining periods that I have seen in a long time. Continuous play and good hockey play by both teams.

    That was playoff hockey. I was glad to be there to see it.

  • We have to give credit where credit is due. Craig Berube is one fine coach, getting everyone on the same page, and playing such a structured game.

    The Rangers played a really big, tough team, who gave us no room to skate around when we entered the offensive zone. Our guys played very well, and this was a quick game, after that second period flew by. I’m proud that our guys played well, never gave up, and without puck luck, they held their own until the second goal by the Blues. Bottom line, this team is going to bring fear into people once these kids mature as men, and as a team!!!!!!

  • Blues got away with murder last night. It’s easy to play that style when the referees enable you to do so by swallowing the whistle.

  • The last 3 games really shows the value of Kreider and the fact that we do not have anyone yet ready to step into his skates.

    We played a very good game against a good opponent. We lost, now can only afford 4 more losses this season. Unsure if there is a savior out there at Hartford, but we need some mojo right now.

  • Very very enjoyable game to watch. Sucks we lost but this season is all about growth and it was nice to see them come out and play well after getting wooped last two games.
    I thought Kakko had a decent game. Bizarre to realize he is still a teen, he will be a beast once he fully becomes comfortable throwing his size around.

  • When you’re losing, it’s easy to blame the one beating you. The Blues have been the recipient of missed and bad calls, not to mention every other team in the league. As far as fluke goals, Who hasn’t been on the receiving end of that? It sounds like someone is scared of losing their job.

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