Game Wrap-ups

Rangers find a way to win, snap the losing streak against the Flyers

Panarin and the bottom six lead the way!

No rant tonight. I promise to be level headed this time around. This was by no means a pretty game, but Rangers found a way to win the hockey game. For all of the complaining, and the critiques, I thought–barring a few decisions–that David Quinn coached okay last night. My only complaint is Alexis Lafrenière continues to just not be put into positions to succeed. I really wonder what could go wrong, given the lack of center depth, how he would look at that position. His natural abilities are to be a playmaker. But that’s besides the point, let’s get to the thoughts of the game shall we? After all, the Rangers did snap their losing streak.

First Period

The Rangers let a goal in in the first minute of the game again, but what else is new this season? They seem to have followed a pretty standard script at the quarter mark of the season that they are not always there at puck drop. The Flyers took advantage of a net mouth scramble and Alex  Georgiev just did not react fast enough to stop the puck.

The Rangers turned it up though with some chances and would end up having 11 shots against Carter Hart while the Flyers only had six. Ah, remember the Alain Vigneault days of being outshot but somehow winning?

The officiating crew was pretty amateur as both teams would be awarded numerous power plays throughout the game. A full two minute 5-on-3 for the Rangers that would get negated by a Chris Kreider offensive zone hooking call. Chris, buddy, what are you doing? A quick look at CapFriendly would show that contract is going to be brutal going forward, isn’t it?

Second Period

The only conversion on the power play for either team was the Rangers. The goal was a Colin Blackwell deflection in front from an Anthony Bitetto shot. They really went from Tony D to Tony B running a power play and looking pretty good doing it. Don’t look now, but in 7 games, Blackwell has 5 points. Protect him at all costs from the expansion draft. That would be the only goal of the 2nd, and the game would be tied going into the third.

Third Period

The third period produced what has been the story for most the season. The Rangers put up lots of pressure, but just not didn’t get the puck luck for goals. That would change with about half the period to go, when the Rangers stole the puck when the Flyers attempted to exit the zone. Ryan Strome got a chance, and the rebound went to Artemi Panarin’s stick. In one motion, tapped it along to Brendan Smith for a wide open net goal. Thankfully it wasn’t Strome against that wide open net. Phew!

The period would progress and luck would once again go against the Rangers. The Flyers purposefully took a shot wide for the puck to come right out front of the net. Joel Farabee crashed the crease and tied the game with about a minute to go, and it looked like the Rangers would continue their losing streak. This team still can’t defend a 6 on 5 all these years later and it’s really just comical at this point. Any close game seems to go to OT and beyond, every single time.

Overtime

In overtime, not once did we see Lafrenière and that was frustrating. All I want is for the kid to get some actual players to succeed with, and get him away from the Kevin Rooney’s and the Brett Howden’s of this lineup. Players like Chris Kreider are not living up to their asks on this roster, and I think a guy like Lafrenière could use some open ice like that to just get the monkey off his back.

He is a very good player. I fully contribute his lack of scoring to his quality of line mates. Very few of his linemates can take an actual pass without shooting it right into the goalie’s chest. They can’t find him in the high danger areas either. I really hope that when Chytil comes back, Lafrenière is glued to him. A line of Lafrenière-Chytil-Kakko was be something to behold earlier this year.

Ok I lied, I ranted.

While in overtime, Rangers would get rewarded a rare power play in the extra frame. The Flyers needed to take a penalty with Pavel Buchnevich all alone in front off a great pass by Kaapo Kakko after some solid cycling. Adam Fox, Mika Zibanejad, Panarin, and Kreider would be the foursome on the ice for essentially the entire power play. They just hemmed the Flyers in the zone but could not score. Zibanejad fanned on two one-timer attempts but showed he was pretty much pre-loaded for the one timer the entire power play. You can tell, he just wants to rip a puck through the net. Overtime would produce no goals so we would go to the shootout.

Shootout

This was where I give Quinn major props.

His first shooter: Kaapo Kakko. Gambled with it and it paid off as Kakko absolutely ripped a quick snap shot past Hart from about 5 feet out. Georgiev let one in by Sean Couturier, and then Panarin worked his magic in the shootout and also let a quick release go and snap a shot past Hart.

James van Riemsdyk would try to extend the shootout, but Georgiev made the stop, skipped a few times to celebrate a hard fought two points. The Rangers finally, FINALLY, won a hockey game and snapped their losing streak. That 4 game skid was tough on all of us.

Follow me on Twitter @TylerRichard93.

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  • “My only complaint is Alexis Lafrenière continues to just not be put into positions to succeed.”

    That would be Hartford of course.

    Seriously, people here want this all to be about development, that somehow giving the kids good chances takes precedence over winning. This is extremely demoralizing for the veterans on the team. Then we complain that the veterans are not holding up their end. Guess what. If winning does not take precedence, the veterans have no responsibiity to try.

    • “If winning does not take precedence, the veterans have no responsibiity to try.”

      WRONG! Their paychecks(and in Kreider’s case a nice hefty one), make it their responsibility to try. If he is “demoralized,” then why did he sign a 7 year extension? If any of them are frustrated and want to leave, all they have to do is ask Mgmt. Your “veteran alibi” sounds like nothing more than an excuse for the veterans, to justify your idea of sending the kids to Hartford. Sure, they might not be the finished product yet, but to put obviously talented kids in the minors to play with a bunch of non-prospects serves no purpose. Its a rebuild, Mgmt has stated it time and time again. There are NO shortcuts. Until such time as it appears to be a failure, this is the way it will be. And after only 3 seasons(2 shortened by Covid), we are not there yet!

    • Alexis Lafrenière is going to be a very, very good hockey player. He is big and strong at 19, and will only get bigger and stronger. He obviously has great skills too.

      The question is: What is this season about. Short season, COVID-19 interruptions, injuries to key players, make it a rather ragged and rough season. If the Rangers want to develop their kids on the big club without worrying about the team’s record this year, then that is one approach. Kappo Kakko was rather bad last season, but now seems to be getting his game together thus far this year.

      But, if they want to win more games, yeah maybe Alexis Lafrenière should spend some time at Hartford. He could use the work, taste some success scoring goals, and work on his physical conditioning too. The only negative in sending him to Hartford now is that they started him with the big club, so it will feel like a demotion to the young man. But, he seems like a tough kid, I think he’d be able to handle it (as well as a 19 year-old might!) At Hartford, they might even consider him spending some time as a center (but probably not.)

      So, it all depends on the club’s approach to this season and whether the players are all in tune with management’s thinking, whatever that might be.

      • “The question is: What is this season about.”

        I don’t think that is ever really the question for the coach. Success in sports is winning and a winning mentality is something that is needed and hard to create when lost. The idea that some players are more important than other players is a death knell for a winning attitude.

        We tend to forget that the chief responsibility for developing young players falls to the players themselves. Players like Ryan Graves or perhaps some others mired in Hartford can justifiably gripe that the team is not giving them a path, but a simple demotion to Hartford a la Chityl hardly constitutes this.

        • Ray, if the team were dead set on winning every game, they would not have played Kakko all last season, and they would be sitting Alexis a bit this season. So I disagree with your premise at least insofar as the front office is concerned. Quinn may want to win every game (as he should) but may have been given marching order on Alexis, and Kakko last year. I have no way of knowing that to be true other than the players are playing despite not being the best choices in the short run to win.

  • Kreider again with a very dumb o-zone penalty… and this time with a 5-on-3 going on!

    The guy is playing like he already has the C on his jersey. I was worried the responsibility would weigh on him and his game like it did with McDonagh. It seems it already is. Someone wrote this already, but I’m only noticing him in the penalty box and during press conferences.

    Would like to see Laf get a turn on the wing there with Mika and bump CK20 down for a game or two. It wouldn’t hurt, neither Kreider or Zibanejad are lighting it up. They could prob use some time apart.

      • All I know is that he’s given Kreider a very long leash that he has not extended to other players here. Heck, Tony D took one bad penalty and got scratched for 2 games. And similar treatment of other players here.

        Every player is different, and as much as we’d like it to be the same, you should give some players a longer time to work through things. But to then hear CK rip his team the way he has been is just off to me. He’s been a pretty big part of the problem this season. This and that is unacceptable, they all need to look in the mirror, etc. And then he goes out and takes awful penalties the last two games.

        Aside from maybe Zib, Fox, and Panarin, everyone else would have seen a consequence if they played the way he has been…

  • watching Mika you can tell he is not himself. i know he is pressing, i think
    covid has a lot to do with the way he is playing.

    • Agreed. You can almost see him squeezing his stick tightly. He isn’t skating like himself either, though he is doing better now than he did initially.

  • There is a big, dark cloud hanging over this team right now. Forget about scoring, etc., they just seem “blah.”

    A player like Lafren may not be scoring but showing spark or energy should definitely be there. He looks defeated, as some of the other Rangers do as well.

    They just don’t seem willing to “pay a price” to win the game. The bottom players of the team are doing that, but they are not good enough to consistently win games for the team. If the better players followed suit, then this would be a very good team.

    JD and Gorton more worried about dinner plans or what a blogger says, than being out front on this debacle of a season, so far. They are MIA as far as I am concerned. Where is their responsibility to the team and the fans?

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