Game Wrap-ups

Rangers survive themselves, get OT win against Sabres

The Rangers managed to survive Dustin Tokarski’s heroics, who looked more like 2014 playoffs Tokarski than Buffalo Sabre Tokarski. After sleep walking through the first, the Rangers woke up and peppered the Sabres with multiple quality chances. Tokarski made many key saves, which gave enough life to the Sabres to tie it with 3.6 seconds left in the game. Luckily the Rangers found a way to win in OT, getting the second point from the Sabres.

On the other end Igor Shesterkin kept the game 1-0 while the Rangers recovered from their hangover. The first period was brutal for most of the Rangers. But they completely dominated afterwards. That late goal was a back breaker though, and quite honestly, it’s one the Rangers shouldn’t have given up.

Every win comes with something to look at, and this time it was the ice time of the kid line. Through two periods, they had six minutes of ice time. Alexis Lafreniere got three shifts in the third period. Your number one overall pick got three shifts in the third in a one goal game when the powerplay wouldn’t shoot the puck. So much for not losing them on the bench.

Sabres 1, Rangers 0 – Rare net mouth breakdown

This is a cascade of poor defense. Brendan Smith was in another zip code. Libor Hajek should pivot to Skinner in front, as the man at the goal line isn’t a threat. Smith should read that pivot and shift to LD coverage. Julien Gauthier is *NOT* responsible for going below the hash marks in defensive zone coverage.

Rangers 1, Sabres 1 – That was a fun sequence

This was fun – both teams exchanged chances on rushes for a bit, before the Rangers finally got one. Colin Blackwell, who already had a crossbar, hit the post on a 2-on-1 with Ryan Strome. Artemi Panarin recovered the puck and no one picked up Blackwell in the same spot he got the first chance. This one he buried.

Rangers 2, Sabres 1 – Play the kids

The kids crashed the net, and came up with a goal. Julien Gauthier received a pass in the slot and tried to wait out Dustin Tokarski, which didn’t work. But he didn’t give up, and eventually fought for the puck to get to Filip Chytil, who had an empty net. Amazing what happens when you actually play the kids.

Sabres 2, Rangers 2 – Really?

Of course. Tage Thompson poked the puck through to Casey Middlestadt along the boards, then circled to the top of the circle to receive the pass back for a wide open look. It’s not really a breakdown by the Rangers, since it wasn’t from a high danger area, and the Sabres had an extra skater. Looks like the traffic in front confused Shesterkin.

Rangers 3, Sabres 2 – The OT winner

Adam Fox poked the puck along the boards away from a pair of Sabres, which sprung Panarin and Mika Zibanejad for a 2-on-1. Three Royal Road passes, and this one was over. They made us sweat. At least the Rangers got the OT win over the Sabres, when it should have been in regulation.

Shot Heatmap – Slow first, owned the rest

The Rangers started very slow in this one, ceding 1.47 xGA to the Sabres. But they owned the rest of the game, seemingly having woken up at some point in the intermission. Buffalo got nothing substantial throughout the rest of the game. I think the Rangers realized they were playing an AHL team. Until they gave up that tying goal and almost lost in OT.

Skater Results – Expected

This is about what you would expect in this kind of game. This looked much different after the first period, but the Rangers turned it on for the final 40 minutes. At least they actually woke up, that was nice. Too bad they made us sweat.

This was a needed win against a bad team to keep them relevant in the playoff race. It doesn’t seem like much, but beating the bad teams goes a long way in the standings. There are only two bad teams in the division, so getting those points matters. Granted, it would be nice if they didn’t need OT, but whatever, a win is a win.

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  • The Rangers faced a red hot goalie tonight but preserved and got the W. They gained 2 points on the Bruins and move into a tie with the Flyers who were idled. The kids are coming along just fine. They may not be getting big minutes but they are learning what it takes to win in the NHL. Tanking is for losers. Every game matters.

    • Boston has six games left with Buffalo, along with 3 games in hand—so you really should stop kidding yourself that the Rangers can catch them.

      What’s really for losers is making the playoffs, and getting slaughtered again in the first round. That does nothing for the growth of this team. It puts $$$ in Dolan’s pocket, and would have the negative effect of possibly saving Quinn’s job.

  • We deserved and secured the two points…but that was yet another atrocious job of ice time allocation by our coach. Micheletti tries to convince us that the kid line was strong in the 3rd because they were fresh, like it was a good thing they were barely used all night. Meanwhile Mika is out there very other shift, is slow to get to the shooter on the game-tying goal, and we hear not a peep.

    And I can only imagine what’s going through Kravtsov’s mind as he sits and waits for his opportunity to crack this lineup and play for this coach.

    • Kravtsov playing/not playing is a GM decision, not a coaching decision.

      He still is officially not on the 23 man roster.

    • “Micheletti tries to convince us that the kid line was strong in the 3rd because they were fresh”

      The technical term for comments like this one is intelligence.

      We don’t know what Kravtsov is thinking. But we do know what Lemieux, who played sparingly so incompetent kids could play, was thinking.

      People will always second guess, but respecting merit is the best defense.

  • I have been trying to support DQ, but enough. Someone from upstairs needs to speak to him about what’s really going on this year. Or is the problem upstairs? Where is the message about letting the kids play being lost?

  • From Vince M:

    “I asked DQ why the young forwards in the bottom 6 aren’t playing very much lately.”

    “We’re in a position where it’s all about winning… We need everybody playing in all three zones if we’re going to have a chance night in and night out.”


    So, like I said the other day, we were lied to.

  • It was a win but it wasn’t pretty. It looks like Quinn will keep riding his top players the rest of the way. I read an article by Larry Brooks that said that Lemieux wanted out and the Rangers complied. So much for the so called “rebuild”. Even within three points of the Bruins, the Rangers are still far away from a playoff spot. Boston has three games in hand and they won’t lose them all. Play the youth more.

  • The median shelf life of an nhl coach is 2.5-3 years. DQ was hired in 2018. Shelf life is up, the only way he keeps his job is to win.

    If he’s a good developer of talent fine, send him down to the A. But as an nhl coach, he’s not very good, his team is bottom of the league in face offs, he does not get them consistently prepared for games, he is now in “win” mode sacrificing valuable ice time that should go to our 1st round picks. (They aren’t just kids, they are high level elite talents that need ice time). He doesn’t know how to deal with his euro players, and has had to jettison 3 players from the roster, andersson, lemieux, and tonyd. So he obviously doesn’t have control of the locker room.

    On top of all this a backup coach gets his team to score like 15 goals across a few games. When you see something like that, you dump the old news and ride the new wave.

    End point. He’s had 3 years . Oh there’s the ding, times up.

    Give me Knobby.

    • I think you’re 100% right, Geeman.
      Rangers should make a switch: Send Quinn to coach the Wolfpack and bring up Knoblauch to coach the Rangers.

      Problem solved. “Happy team”.

  • Over 28 mins for Fox. Over 25 for Zib. Nearly 24 mins for Panarin.

    Against the worst team in the NHL, in a regular season game. Who in the hell does this?

    Fire David Quinn. Now.

    • FO won’t change anything till their season is over. If they were concerned with how the coaching is going they won’t admit it till then. If DQ is not replaced and he does not get the team off to a really good start look to after Thanksgiving.
      In truth he inherited a very difficult situation and no doubt more difficult than any of his other experiences. At worst he made bank, at best he gave ? to the team. Not one of JG better moves IMO, maybe it was all about Boston.

  • Every game Coach Quinn doesn’t have our team ready to play. Our intensity is sleep skating the first 10 minutes. This is not new. 3 season of this. Benching our kids for mistakes but allows Kreider, Howden, Smith, Trouba. to make same mistakes and nothing happens to them. The locker room notices this and causes dissention within. Our defense has gotten a lot better thanks to Jacues Martin. An exeperienced NHL coach. Quinn still wants to give up the blue line every rush up the ice. You have to be blind to see how the rangers played when he wasn’t behind the bench. I’m not saying he is a bad hockey coach, but he is not ready for NHL level talent and tactics.

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