Rangers Recap: Metro Runner ups

Scouting the Hurricanes Systems

So the Rangers are now the Metro runner ups. The Canes are a tough team and a deep team. Let them deal with the Boston Bruins, who have been playing pretty well of late, and go to war with them. At the risk of this totally coming back to bite me, Pittsburgh is my preferred opponent in the playoffs. They are basically a one line team and are currently down a starting goaltender. Feed me and grant me revenge for the regulation season shenanigans like the Tyler Motte injury and the Malkin extra curricular’s. Would be an absolute pleasure to watch.

Despite losing Andrew Copp and Artemiy Panarin halfway through the game, with neither returning out of caution per the head coach, I thought the Rangers did about as well as they could have. This is a tough time of year; trying to compete night while ensuring the team is healthy going into the playoffs.

Partially a joke, but can we bubble wrap the top six, Lafrenière, Fox, Miller, and Shesterkin?

We discussed in the BSB group chat that the Rangers historically have gotten some serious injuries to high profile players that derailed playoff runs. The team addressed depth, making them far better able to handle an injury, but it feels like the Rangers are losing two players a night these last few games. Take the Metro runner ups, stay healthy.

Kudos to Chris Kreider, for getting his 52nd goal of the season to tie Adam Graves for 2nd all time in a single season. Now, can he score three in two games to take the record? We shall see.

Canes 1, Rangers 0

Ryan Lindgren tripped over K’Andre Miller’s stick, which more or less left the Rangers shorthanded. While I would usually defer to Conall screaming at getting off the ice without a stick, this was bang-bang with Vincent Trochek exploiting the stickless Miller.

Canes 2, Rangers 0

Derek Stepan should not have been this open in the slot. Say what you want about the luck that it hit Jordan Martinook and changed directions, this chance shouldn’t have happened.

Canes 2, Rangers 1

Seth Jarvis turned the puck over at the blue line, and this sprung Frank Vatrano, who was gassed, and he just led Chris Kreider with a perfect touch pass.

Canes 3, Rangers 1

Neutral zone turnover by the fourth line, then Patrik Nemeth with the snow angel.

Canes 4, Rangers 1

Miller made a great defensive play on Jarvis, but Sebastian Aho beat Jacob Trouba to the loose puck and beat Shesterkin.

Canes 4, Rangers 2

An innocent Trouba shot hit Jesper Fast and went in. There wasn’t really a defensive breakdown by the Canes here.

Canes 4, Rangers 3

This looked like a set play off the faceoff, with Alexis Lafreniere creeping in off the turnover and keep by Adam Fox. Fox got the puck to Kreider low, and Kreider found Lafreniere.

Shot Heatmap

The Rangers made a lot of silly mistakes that cost them, and it shows with the big blue circle in front of the net. It hurts losing two forwards, and it’s clear the Rangers were in damage control mode from the second period on, but the defensive mistakes were there regardless.

Game Flow

Before the Rangers bubble wrapped both Copp and Panarin, they were skating well with the Canes. After that, the 10 forward rotation, losing two top six forwards, showed. Such is hockey, sometimes. Not much to read into here.

Last thoughts about this season as a whole we wind down. The Rangers went from being a fringe playoff team last season and a team lacking personality, stability, direction, and perseverance to:

  • the Metro runner ups
  • 100+ points
  • 4 players with over 70 points
  • 5 players with at least 20 goals, and
  • Igor putting up a Vezina caliber season,

Gerard Gallant has been instrumental in instilling a winning culture and should be in massive consideration for the Jack Adams. Yes, the Rangers banked some points real early on in this season as they learned the Gallant system, but you aren’t the Metro runner ups without the coach righting the ship. Post deadline, they are a legitimately deep team, and it’s going to be so fun to watch this team this year and the years to come. Let’s have some fun the next couple of games.