Game Wrap-ups

Rangers get a needed point, but can’t get two in OT loss to Isles

The Rangers needed two points here, given the loss by Boston, but came away with just one in an OT loss to the Isles. This one stings, but they did get a needed point. The problem for the Rangers was right out of the gate, as the Rangers were dominated in the entire first period. It was actually laughable how bad they were. Slow starts are a trend with this team, and that is a problem.

That said, the kids dominated the second period and got the Rangers a point. Make no mistake, the point tonight was not because of the veterans. It was because of the kids. Play the kids. They are good, they are skilled, and they can put the damn puck in the net. While it is still unlikely the Rangers make the playoffs, at least they are fighting.

Some positives:

  • The kids – they were good.
  • Bodies were in front of the net regularly.
  • Very few clean faceoff losses. I know a lot of people focus on faceoff wins and losses, but it’s about clean wins and losses. The rest don’t matter.
  • Brendan Smith deserves all the credit he can come across. Dude has done everything this team has asked.
  • Igor Shesterkin is 100% better than Ilya Sorokin. Yes I’m a homer.
  • The kids – they are alright.
  • Vitali Kravtsov is better than Oliver Wahlstrom.

Isles 1, Rangers 0 – Death to the puck over the glass rule

After a delay of game to Chris Kreider, the Isles got one early. Brock Nelson got his stick on the initial Josh Bailey shot, which forced the rebound to be out of Igor Shesterkin’s control. It went right to Kyle Palmieri who had an empty net.

Isles 2, Rangers 0 – Speed through the neutral zone

If there is one takeaway from this season that I want you all to learn, it’s that speed through the neutral zone kills. Mat Barzal was given way too much room here, triangles be damned. Everyone was backing up to the tops of the circles, which allowed time for a cross-ice pass to Ranger killer JG Pageau.

Isles 2, Rangers 1 – The kids

Brendan Smith and Alexis Lafreniere pressured low to force the Isles into a turnover. This led to a Filip Chytil chance that was stopped. Kaapo Kakko got the puck back out to the point where Libor Hajek put one past Ilya Sorokin. Proof Shesty is better: He didn’t give up a goal to Hajek.

Rangers 2, Isles 2 – Mr. Smith is invisible

A clean faceoff win started this, but the key is Brendan Smith leaving the puck for Pavel Buchnevich at the point, then circling between the defense and the forwards in the high slot. He picked up the loose pick and fired it home. Vitali Kravtsov’s first point – an assist.

Isles 3, Rangers 2 – Cross ice pass

Ryan Pulock took the cross ice feed here. Barzal and Travis Zajac forced Buchnevich into the turnover, which led to the cross ice feed and the goal. Rough OT loss for the Rangers, but at least they aren’t chasing the Isles.

Shot Heatmap – Isles Control

There’s no denying that the Isles controlled most of the play in this game. A good portion of this game was in the Rangers zone, which is expected given how the Rangers were playing heading in, and how the Isles have played all season. This doesn’t include OT, naturally.

Skater Results – Not bad actually

Given how the game went, this could have been much worse. Usually we see the Rangers control more quality than quantity, but tonight it was the opposite. That’s rare for both teams, quite honestly.

Getting a point here does matter for the Rangers. Regulation losses hurt, but in a night where the Bruins lost, the Rangers gained a point in the OT loss to the Isles. It’s still a longshot for the Blueshirts, but a point is a point. They need to win all four against the Devils though. The next eight days will tell us if the Rangers are going to make a push.

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  • It stung for like 1 minute, they played hard and well while dominating the Islanders in the 2nd and the 3rd periods — especially the kids. The 1st was bad for about half the period, they played them evenly the rest of the period despite the 2nd goal.

  • Well, now that we’ve seen Kravtsov a few games, we can certainly understand why it took so long for Quinn to get him into the lineup instead of DiGiuseppe.

  • They started slow and the team gained momentum. The difference was that there were no goals scored by the forward lines. If they have to rely on Smith and Hajek for scoring the team is in big trouble. B+ for the team defense but D for the forwards offense. Shesterkin kept them in the game tonight.

  • Lafreniere is a good faceoff man on a team that isn’t so great on the dot.

    I find it concerning that the vets dont seem to bring it in the big games. It really makes me wonder if the Rangers should sign Zib, Buch or Strome to long-term deals.

  • This is the best overtime loss we have had in a while. If you can’t be happy about this game then you can’t enjoy development on display.

    I thought Fox was off and so was Lindgren. Strone had a game to forget Kreider has been MUA fir several games. Ponarin was not himself But the kids all showed up. Great display of skills and love for the game

    I will take this loss over many wins.

      • Thanks, tanto. I do not care about dislikes or likes. I am too old to seek the approvals.

        DQ deserved he credit for last night game. Loved seeing passion coming from young kids. Loved seeing Butch communicating and educating Kravtsov. Loved the kids energy. Kravtsov was great. Putting him on the left wing was an interesting and unconventional move. When was the last time we saw anything creative from DQ? Perhaps he would listen to me and try him at center? Lol

        • NP … my thumbs down comment was more a reference to the fact that there are people here that will thumb down the most uncontroversial crap imaginable. Anyone that watched the game last night would have to, at least basically, agree with what you’re saying.

          I agree about Kravs … at least as an experiment I would like to see him and Chytil switch, not that I think Chytil can’t be a center.

          • From some comments I have been reading I sometimes wonder if we all watched the same game. But that is all fine

            I am glad we agree on Kravs. I believe he will be a great talent for the team. I surely can see him playing center. He has all raw skills to develop him there

          • Skill was always there, but now he looks 100% engaged, aggressive and assertive — we’re seeing the same “light bulb” moment for Kakko and Chytil … Lafreniere is a little behind but starting to exhibit the same attitude. Last night we went toe to toe with one of the best teams in the League because of the youngsters, not in spite of them.

          • Here we differ. I did see the same skill set last year in preseason. He was not number 1 on TSN for nothing. They mishandled him and that took a year for him to recover. It is obvious to me the Rangers do not handle young players individually. Some players require more confidence building than others. I am glad Kravtsov managed to fight back. Lias got a real raw deal and he was right to point fingers

            I can’t explain why Kaako can’t find his game. I had seen hi prior to the draft and he was showing then much more than showing now. And it is not the ice size. He still not where we want him to be.

            Lafs is going to be fine. He surely needs a better center. Chytil still a wing in my assessment. And he can be a very good one too.

            We need solid centers. There is noone in the pipeline promissing. I do not know where they can get them but certainly would stay awat from Eichel. My wish is someone like Ryan O’Reilly type

  • This period of time is when you hate kreider’s contract. I don’t know what his problem is, that he goes so long a period of time, playing ineffectively, and sometimes, really bad.

    But hey, the kids got minutes, and that’s all that counts as far as I am concerned.

    Playoffs? Take all 4 against the Devs, and then we’ll talk.

    • Krieder’s defensive play has been especially poor in the last few weeks. Just too much puck watching.

      • OMG, he just skates aimlessly. And after a dominant period of play.

        Jekyll and Hyde. I don’t get it at all.

    • Kreider’s had nine of his 17 biscuits in a 6-game stretch this year. 8 in 35 other contests. Nothing new for Kreider, this pattern.

      I know why folks get upset about him, but at this point it’s not surprising—he is who he is. Either totally off or totally on in terms of his production. They should make him into a Tim Kerr-type of player, Kreider’s best part of his offensive game is his net-front presence. He’s not much of a one-time or distance shooter. They should use him to stretch the other team’s defense, and then just park him in front of the goalie. That might help decrease his scoring droughts and keep him physically engaged on a nightly basis.

      • Yeah, he does disappear a lot. But those hot stretches says that he can do it, so why not more often?

  • Howden is just not a good hockey player. I don’t care that he is a center or can take faceoff’s…he is good at nothing…they had a 3 on 1, at one point on the penalty kill…which is supposed to by were he earns his money…treated the puck like a grenade and absolutely did nothing with it.

    At this point, I hope they trade Gauthier…kid doesn’t deserve the treatment.

  • The Rangers played two games against a division leader and came away with three points. Not too shabby in my opinion. They played well in both games, and the young players have been stepping up. Those are my take aways.

  • In a season that has few games remaining, every point is big. Could have mailed it in after the 1st, but didn’t.

    Need the top line to get points every game. Didn’t happen.
    Interesting trade deadline day. Can see us moving Smith and Buch at the deadline. Still need strength down the middle, which was absent again.

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