Game Wrap-ups

Rangers fall for the trap game, losing streak now at four

The Rangers, without Filip Chytil, went into Buffalo looking to end a losing streak. Instead they laid an egg. It got so bad that even Joe Micheletti was tearing into the team. In the prior three losses, we could point to specific mental mistakes that, in time, will become few and far between. This was an entire process miss by everyone on the team. Except Alex Georgiev, who had no chance in this one.

In the grand scheme of things, faceoffs don’t have as much impact as we think. But in this one, the Rangers were losing things clean, and they were chasing the play from the start. It’s not why they lost, but it certainly didn’t help at all. The Rangers were just awful in this one. There’s no excuse.

Rangers 1, Sabres 0 – Buchnevich is really good

Pavel Buchnevich forced the turnover with a great backcheck. The puck bounced off Chris Kreider’s skate and back to the offensive zone. Buch was there with plenty of time, and looked back to read the play. Using the net to buy more time, he found Kreider the trailer for the goal.

Sabres 1, Rangers 1 – Jack Johnson penalty

This is a set play by the Sabres and there’s very little the Rangers can do on this one. Jeff Skinner in front draws attention. The puck out to Eric Staal forces a defenseman up. Dylan Cozens slides up to the high slot in open ice for the bang-bang goal.

Rangers 2, Sabres 1 – K’Andre’s first

Brendan Lemieux did a good job here circling back at the blue line and finding the empty ice in the corner. Colin Blackwell got to the puck first, read the play, and fed Miller fresh off the bench in the high slot for the goal.

Sabres 2, Rangers 2 – Missed pinch

Jacob Trouba missed on his pinch, and Tobias Rieder was off to the races. He waited out Alex Georgiev on the break. But look at Tony DeAngelo here. This is a powerplay and he’s the weak side defenseman. Get to the middle of the ice and support Trouba. You aren’t going to get a pass across the opposite boards.

Sabres 3, Rangers 2 – Almost the same powerplay goal

An almost identical powerplay goal to the first one. Bang-bang to the high slot. Buffalo has found a weakness in the Rangers powerplay.

Shot Heatmap – Poop emoji

The Rangers basically didn’t show up for the first two periods. They let the Sabres walk all over them and get the overwhelming majority of shot attempts. They were quality attempts too. The Rangers got more attempts in the third, but Buffalo locked it down and limited the quality. Just a poor showing for the Rangers.

Skater Results – Offensive black hole

This was bad all around. The key offensive guys on the Rangers were almost all in the dull zone. Just not good.

That makes a four game losing streak for the Rangers. This was by far the worst of the season. They get a day off to think about what they’ve done before trying to end the losing streak and get some revenge on the Sabres on Thursday.

Charts from Evolving-Hockey and Natural Stat Trick.

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  • ‘Trap Game’ requires some sort of prior standing – #nyr have not earned that this year. not even close.

    • I assume the headline was referring to Buffalo playing a trapping style game, because yeah, we’re not good enough now to have trap games.

      We can be happy with the play of the young guys like Miller, Fox, Lindgren, Buch, and even Kakko is lookking better to me. But if Mika keeps playing like this we’ve got no shot, especially with Chytil out, and Quinn not inspiring confidence in his ability to guide us through this.

    • here is a concept…go to the taxi squad. Bitetto,Hajek. Need wakeup calls. Move Strome to 3rd line. And how about moving up Gautier? Burying him to 4th line after 1 game is a killer for this guys confidence. DQ? hello?

  • They didn’t look good after the first. So we can’t say at least the process is working. The problems lay mostly with the top part of the line up. If there is any good news that’s it. It should be easier to get those guys going. I realize it’s early but even Panarin hasn’t been great. Buch has been our best top 6 forward on a nightly basis. Trouba needs to come off PP2 for a game or two. He missed two pinches one that led to a goal and the last game against Pittsburgh how many times did he miss the big shot? 2 or 3. He isn’t terrible but it seems that every mistake he makes turns into something bad. Let Miller take his spot for a game or two. He’s certainly earned the chance. Fox is amazing at keeping the puck in the zone. JJ has no business playing in the NHL. I guess we’ll be asking our self all year why is he in the line up? As long as he is in the line up we won’t be icing the best team possible. Face offs were a disaster. And they do matter. That’s 4 in a row, but if you go back to the play offs it’s 1-7-1. Something has to give.

  • Eichel PP goal had JJ above the circle while Olofsson had an egg timer to get his feed off(not that he needed it) to Eichel. Dahlin on his off hand made the passing angle easy.

    Not to beat two dead horses, but JJ & AQA need a better view of the game, like from the press box.

    Kโ€™Andre was a bit at fault on the 1st PP.

  • The Rangers need to play more simple. Trying to pass your way through the opposition neutral ice trap is doom to failure. The Blueshirts have some big fast forwards. They need to work on winning the puck battles, going into contact and cycling the puck to make time for the defenceman to join in on the rush. This will create scoring chances and more possession time in the others teams zone. More blue collar hockey is required here and less fancy prancy plays.

    • Have to win faceoffs, have numbers supporting the puck mover out to gain the red line, then chip and chase trying to pressure shaky guys like Risto.

      They did very little of that.

      As bad an effort as game 1.

      • They started without the puck circa 40 times — and so many of them easy clean faceoff wins. No excuse, this is a talent any center should be able to learn and at least be respectable at it.

  • let’s see, 10 minutes of jump, play in the offensive zone and good defensive coverage….then we take a really stupid penalty to throw a monkey wrench in the machinery, of course Buffalo scores quickly…who takes the penalty the game turned on ? ( granted the entire team became nearly invisible after that) …oh yeah…Jaques Martin’s favorite Defenseman, Jerk Johnson…if there is some sort of blackmail at work here I would simply say it’s time to call his bluff and save the team….Jack Johnson is as bad a mistake as Pavel Brendl was….

  • Sometimes I think we are setting line combinations the same way you play Yahtzee….roll the dice and see what comes up…..hard to ask for consistent effort when there is zero consistency coming from the top…

  • If a coach can’t motivate this type of talent (and we have a lot of it), he has no business coaching in the NHL. Clock is starting to tick on him — nothing imminent, but he has to right the ship and soon.

  • Loved the consistent harping on the bad face offs from Sam and Joe. Maybe the lifeless play had something to do with the loss? Or the top 6 not doing what they are supposed to do? The bottom 6 scoring for the Rangers, so far, is light years ahead of the top 6, based on minutes played. So how would think that the Rangers, as a team, would be doing?

    Miller played 17:41 and Johnson 18:03. How is that possible? Oh, right, the coach. As JJ rewarded his coach with a penalty for being put back into the lineup. Trouba, once again, playing like a $1.1M D man, not an $8M D man.

    Another goal directly because of JJ. Fun fact: JJ has been either on the ice for a goal against or in the box that resulted in a goal against, for over 50% of the Rangers’ total goals against for the season. THAT’s why it DOES matter that the Rangers signed this guy and playing this stiff.

    Howden, a completely useless offensive player, got 16:09, while Kreider got 14:38. And Strome, another stiff, got 18:54. And the Rangers were down a goal at least half the game.

    DeAngelo looks like a player that wants to be traded. Zib HAS to be hurt or not at 100%. Panarin was a turnover machine last night.

    And, welcome to (less than) average goaltending. This is what the post-Hank Rangers look like.

    I wonder what JD and Gorton are watching? And if they still “love” this coach. Taking a #1 overall pick and turning him into a 4th line player, in a single season. I think Lafren was just put on another line combination…

    The coach’s cure for all infectious diseases is to juggle the in game lineups.

    What does the top of the 2021 draft look like?

    • Rangers’ disjointed play is a direct result of the constant line juggling. Kakko finally developing good chemistry with DeGuissepe and DQ (in his infinite wisdom) separates them yesterday. Leave LaF on the 3rd line LW, put a veteran player next to him and let the kid settle in! Laf is going to begin feeling like fellow 19-year old Kratvsov very soon. This stuff should have been sorted out by the coaches BEFORE the season began. This is not “travel hockey”!!!

      I don’t blame DeAngelo for “tuning out” DQ. Tony is looking at the goals against stats you highlighted and is saying “WTF” am I sitting out 2 games while this lumbering beer league player is getting 18:03 minutes of paying time every game.

      Mika is missing that 5th gear (COVID-related?), which is where he was ALL the time last year.

      • It was funny because, after the first game after the Canes’ series, I thought Quinn lost the room (the players). Even though it was one game, but that first game mirrored the malaise they showed over the summer.

        But then they played a solid 2nd game, so you say, “the first game was just a blip.”

        The Rangers should have won the 2 Pitts’ games. If Hank is in nets, the Rangers win both. It just can’t be that every Ranger mistake o the ice ends up as a goal against. That’s what the goalies are for.

        It’s a big difference going from “back up” to “#1” no matter how many games the goalie plays as a “back up.” It’s a different mindset. Totally.

        So the average goaltending is exposing the average to bad play on the ice, and what used to be “stolen wins” are now losses. Even when they play well enough to win, like in Pitts.

        So the coach, who has zero answers, in game adjustment wise, goes back to the only tool in his arsenal: Change the lines and change the D pairings.

        So, what I am trying to say is, the goalie situation is making the Rangers’ coach do what he really should be doing. And that is, be a good NHL coach. Which Quinn is not. The only question is, how long does the FO let this go on for?

    • To be fair, Miller was second in even strength TOI (behind only Fox). JJ only got more playing time because of his PK work (if you can call it that). Doesn’t mean I think JJ should playing – and Howden was poor on the PK last year and continues this year.

      “And, welcome to (less than) average goaltending. This is what the post-Hank Rangers look like.”

      We shall see. I agree that if Georgiev plays 25 games, the Rangers don’t make the playoffs. He’s passable, but nothing to brag about. I still think that Shesterkin is something special and we only have 3 games on view so far. Admittedly the evidence so far is not in my favor, but it is scant.

      I believe that Shesterkin will over the long haul give up more bad goals than Hank did, and he may hold the puck too much on a team that can’t win face-offs, but I think his dynamic play will more than offset that. Unfortunately, his talents can be offset by really bad coaching.

      In any case, if I am far wrong about Shesterkin, the Rangers don’t make the playoffs this year.

      “DeAngelo looks like a player that wants to be traded.”

      I do think we think underestimate how much damage a single player with a bad attitude can do to the team. It is perhaps not a coincidence that the Rangers best game was their first without him.

      • I think that Shesty is a special player as well, and that this period of bad play is temporary.

        But Brooks just wrote an article that insinuates that something is rotten within the team. That the Rangers do not have a healthy environment.

        I think he’s right. A good part of the game last night, the Rangers not only played badly, but they looked disinterested. 6 games in and they’re disinterested? Doesn’t sound right.

        And my feeling is that players only buy into an over matched coach for so long before they feel like it is some sort of bad joke, or something like that.

        It was very clear to me last year, and confirmed for me over the summer, that Quinn is not an NHL level coach. It’s now up to the FO to see it and do something about it.

        And if Martin is the fallback position, then we will still have a problem.

        • Thanks for pointing me in the direction of that article. I personally think the loss of Fast is important, not only because of his value to the team in play and chemistry – but to the way it happened. Players may be disappointed when a McDonagh or a Zuccarello is dealt, but they understand why things happen. They understand the motives; they understand the cap. But not signing Fast at a relatively low price because he wanted three years and they only wanted to give him two was just dumb. And it is hard for Ranger players to wrap their heads around the idea that Ranger brass gave away a popular cog on the team because they were dumb.

          And once lack of confidence in management creeps in, it feeds on itself. It is pretty clear that DQ is playing overmatched kids somewhat haphazardly. Some get tons of chances, others banished quickly.

          One bright spot though. Given the chance, Martin will do better than you think. Not because he knows how to coach. But because he is a “proven” NHL coach and if Martin replaces DQ, the players will get the message that an adult is now in charge. And the team will rally and perhaps thrive even if that adult is an idiot.

          ********

          I do think it is important to have a coach who can win and not just develop players. If the coach is good at development (not saying DQ is), the players he developed will resent it when he is fired to get a coach who can win. So you want a winning coach even in a developmental phase. A good coach can do it all. I remember the Rangers floundering with a coach who relied on older players when he had lots of young talent. it was clear they needed to get a new coach, a coach who would focus on playing the kids. And indeed they made the necessary coaching change. Except both the old coach and the new one were named John Tortorella. He just changed his attitude.

          • One more note – Quinn seems to like guys who hit. meanwhile Gauthier had 11 hits in about 100 minutes last year and already has 7 in less than 30 this year. The reward, a whopping 3 GP.

            Maybe the Rangers should use Gauthier at LD. He has hit at a better pace than JJ and surely can’t be worse defensively.

          • I liked Jesper a lot, but to pin blame for him not being here is short-sighted. I would say that HANK not being here has a lot more impact on the team than Fast not being here.

            But even so, are the players that fragile? That not having certain players in the room would cause such a problem? If so, then they’re not going to win as a team.

            The reason the 1994 team won a Cup, not only because they had the obvious talent, but they were tough, physically and mentally. They could have easily lost the Devils’ series, giving up last second goals to have to go to OT. Or when they lost the first game of the Cup finals, even though they dominated that game, including OT (I think that they had 17 SOG in OT, if memory serves correctly), before they lost. The current Rangers have to put their big boy pants on, like now.

            And yeah, I don’t get the Gaut thing at all. I like what Blackwell is doing (I was curious to see him play, and he has more pts than Howden does, I believe), but playing Rooney over Gaut? Again, there has to be something there behind the scenes.

            And then there is the DeAngelo factor, lol.

            Seems like there is a lot of “stuff” going on with the team right now. And it’s the coach’s responsibility to sort it out and right the ship. I don’t think he’s capable of that. At all. He needs to go back to the college ranks.

            Martin, is at least an established NHL coach, yes. He may get a shot soon.

          • My main point about Fast was not that he was such a critical factor, but that his departure served no purpose and screamed to the players that management does not know what they are doing – very disheartening.

  • University of Michigan center Kent Johnson anyone?!?! lol

    You guys pretty much covered all the issues with just a handful of posts. Thank God we drafted Schneider because JD will be finding a way to move Trouba’s contract ASAP. I really thought he would come in and prve people wrong after last season, but he looks like he is thinking more about his cooking recipes than playing the game. Mika has to be hurt. Panarin struggling. Head games with Kakko and Gautheir. Thank God Kratsov didn’t come over. And I get why we need a D like JJ on the roster for the expansion but it doesn’t mean he has to play. Leave Brendan Smith in the lineup. And now we have to put Howden out on the ice for key faceoffs?!?! What the..?!!? Looking forward to seeing DQ out.

    • I’m massively disappointed in Trouba……looks like he has aged and has quickly regressed. Looks like an old hockey player.

    • Owen Power- the big D-men playing at Michigan? He is projected to be a top 5 pick? If Gorton does swing a deal in the off season for a center man using some of the blueline prospects, maybe they go blueline again in the first, I heard this kid Power is suppose to have a high ceiling.

  • Hard to win an NHL game with no forecheck and no sense of urgency from anybody not named Fox or DeGuissepe. Rangers not moving their legs and stink on face offs. There is no excuse to play like that.

  • For those of you who still think we are a very good team – just stop now.
    Poor play from the top 2 lines and losses piling up make us what we are – a young, but last place team.

  • Can anyone tell me why Laffy, kakko, and Miller have never put on a Wolfpack jersey? Are they really better than the guys grinding it out in Hartford, guys who really WANT to play. Guys who would play hard I think if you sent Kakko down it would end his career. they still allow checking in that league.

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