Rangers-Canucks in Review

Sorry for the delay, but I think this will have been worth the wait.

1. It’s definitely odd that in a game where the Rangers scored 7 goals that Lundqvist is my  first star (spoiler), but he was. If he wasn’t as good as he was in the first period, this game could have been over long before the Rangers took over in the scoreboard.

2. Some people yesterday in the comments say that he didn’t make any great saves. I disagree. First minute in, he made a great save on a really fast and cleverly disguised wraparound by Sutter and made it look routine. Tremendous push to get across. Great job keeping McDonagh’s accidental deflection from going in. Great kick save on a low one-timer by Sutter. Late in the first, he makes a save on Gudbranson’s shot through traffic, then makes another save on a shot from the point and turns away the rebound from right in front when Staal and Skjei couldn’t clear the front of the net. Moments later, the Rangers scored. More on that below. Another awesome save at the end of the second period PK in which Fast got hurt. Third period he stopped Horvat twice right in the doorstep. Moments after that, stopped a well-deflected point shot, and held the post tightly to keep the puck out, then capped that sequence by alertly and quickly diving out to cover the loose puck. Stopped another deflected point shot a minute after that. Bottom line: he was awesome.

3. First period, two consecutive shifts against each other, Hayes’ line is pinned in by the Sedins’ line for extensive periods of time. McDonagh and Girardi were the defensemen both times. Canucks rookie defenseman Nikita Tryamakin knocked down three clearing attempts with his stick. It reminded me so much of Nik Lidstrom, behind whom it was impossible to chip the puck. At 6’7″ and 228lbs, he showed some nastiness with the dirty slash on Grabner late in the third and then knocking him down after the whistle. Wicky must have loved it. The Canucks may have found a player here.

4. Lindberg takes a penalty, then immediately takes another. If Stepan hadn’t been hurt blocking a shot during the first PK, you’d have to imagine Lindberg may have been benched for his stupidity. Penalties were a big problem for him last year. Failed to get an unchallenged puck out of the zone late in the second period. He has not covered himself in glory in his limited opportunities this season.

5. Stepan’s injury led to Brandon Pirri taking his spot on the top line with Nash and Grabner. I get AV wanting to keep lines together, but having Rick Nash playing with two guys who started the road trip on the fourth line is not ideal. At some point, you just have to play your best available players with your best available players. Of course, this was temporary

6. The Rangers were outplayed like crazy in the first period. Lundqvist was brilliant. Then, completely against the run of play, Zucarrello pulls up on the right half boards, Miller cuts to a soft spot in middle of the slot and makes a beautiful deflection off of the perfect feed from Zuccarello, 1-0. Here’s a great view of the goal. Somehow, the period ends with the Rangers holding a lead.

7. I’m on the verge of tears by the time we arrive at the second period since I’m positive Derek Stepan will be out hurt, but he isn’t, and relief washes over me in an awesome wave.

8. The Rangers finally get a foothold in the second period. They have a disjointed power play, followed by a great move by Vesey that almost scored. Then Hayes winds up a big shot and just blows it by Markstrom, short side. Bad goal, 2-0. The play was started by a great takeaway and simple pass by Skjei.

9. Sloppy PK work bailed out by Lundqvist kept the score 2-0. He really was brilliant on the last save. Fast was hurt during the kill. I’m sure BDL was devastated by this news.

10. First PP of the second period, Zibanejad is passing the puck. Stop. You’re a shooter. You need to shoot. Second PP of the period, Zibanejad shoots from the Ovechkin position and Pirri buries the rebound, 3-0. See? Shoot the puck Mika, shoot the puck. He had also passed on a break down low in the first period.

11. After the Rangers’ third goal, the Canucks began to surge. Eventually, Henrik Sedin sets a perfect screen and Sutter fires it in, 3-1. Klein gets aggressive on the left side of the ice near the blue line, leaving Rick Nash to defend/clear Sedin. I’m just going to use this opportunity to say how awesome the Sedins are, and how unlucky we’ve been as fans in the east to see so little of them. They’re both great players. It’s sad to see them get old.

12. Third period, Fast takes the puck away, skates up ice, takes a bit of a dive while getting hooked, but gets the puck up to Hayes on a breakaway from the red line in. He makes a move and goes top shelf blocker side, 4-1. Beautiful goal. The horn went off for a second and confused my son to no end. The horn doesn’t go for the Rangers when they wear white.

13. Moments later, Skjei wins a board battle behind the net and pokes he puck through to Miller who makes a very dangerous pass, diagonally through the slot and a couple of Canucks, to Zuccarello. Zucarrello dumps and chases, and makes a perfect feed to Miller who buries it, 5-1. It ended well, but I’m certain that initial pass by Miller got him a talking to in the video room.

14. Grabner is slashed on a breakaway, no call. Nash passes the puck back to Klein for a shot and he breaks his stick. Klein busts it back to the bench for a new stick but the defense is out of sorts when the Canucks enter the zone. Klein ends up on the left boards, just as he was on the Canucks’ first goal. Holden tries to break up a centering feed for Granlund that would have been a slam dunk. The puck pops up into the air and Granlund connects with it while it is still airborne. Lundqvist gets a piece with his blocker, but not enough and the puck hits the crossbar and trickles across the line, 5-2.

15. The Rangers get an extended possession in the Vancouver zone that looked like a power play. Eventually the puck comes to Klein at the left point, who passes it to Holden at the bottom of the left circle, who sends a perfect pass across the goal to a wide open Zuccarello who buries it, 6-2. Another three points for Zuccarello, who is having another tremendous season. I know some of you suggest trading him for a defenseman, but it would have to be some defenseman to make me want to trade him.

16. For 6 goals, do we get an additional 50% off of Papa John’s pizza-flavored imitation pizza product? Still not enough of a discount for me to eat that, and I’m a big fat guy.

17. As mentioned at the top, Tryamakin slashes Grabner late in the third and the Rangers go to the PP. Pirri wins the face off cleanly to Klein, who sends it to Holden on the right point and Holden rips it through Markstrom, 7-2. Not a good goal for Markstrom, but all of the Canucks had thrown in the towel at that point.

18. Chaput is a portmanteau of chapeau and shampoo.

19. One of the big stories of the night was the debut of Boo Nieves. He was fine. Didn’t do anything great or terrible. Showed decent speed. Didn’t finish a couple of his checks. I wonder if he can fight.

20. Holden is much better on the left side. He was quite poor on the right, in my opinion. Was nice to see him rewarded with a PP goal. He still isn’t great, but he can play third pair if he stays on the left.

21. Brady Skjei is really good. He moves the puck so well. His skating completely eliminated a Sedin possession in the third period. He made lots of good subtle plays and passes. He will score soon. Hayes gave up the chance at the hat trick in the last minute to try and feed it to him.

22. McDonagh and Girardi have both been good at choosing when to pinch in the offensive zone. Very effective of keeping possession in the offensive zone.

23. Daily Nash-O-Meter: All those goals and none for Nash. I actually thought he was pretty good. Showed good burst and excellent work on taking a few bad passes without breaking stride.

24. Miller and Hayes have been tremendous this season. They were on separate lines in this game and they were both still tremendous. Aren’t you glad that they weren’t traded?

My Three Rangers Stars:

1. Henrik Lundqvist
2. Kevin Hayes
3. Brady Skjei

Your Three Rangers Stars:

1. Kevin Hayes
2. JT Miller
3. Henrik Lundqvist

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57 thoughts on “Rangers-Canucks in Review”

  1. Great review, Doodie. Worth the wait.

    … At first there was no review, then there was one and relief washed over me in an awesome wave.

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  2. Nice job Doodie enjoyed the read, but I didn’t wait for this morning to have my cup of Joe! Maybe Hayes trashed all his paraphernalia doesn’t look zoned out anymore! Great to see the pens get a real good thrashing! I hate Pittsburgh!

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  3. Good morning, boneheads!
    Great review, Doodie.
    On to Columbus. It’ll be a tough game. Torts’ squad is still playing heavy hockey, but now they have some young talent upfront capable of scoring.
    And this 19 year old Zach Werenski kid looks great on defense.

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  4. I mentioned how Henk didn’t have many memorable saves, which you validated to some extent by identifying only 5 or 6 out of 36 saves. Good positioning makes non-routine saves look easier but so do big pads. It’s not Henk per se, more annoyed at Salmon Joe screaming superlatives at every save, spectacular or not.
    .

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  5. There’s no doubt goalie equipment makes it easier than in days of yore. John Davidson, no small man, looks like a matchstick compared to today’s net minders. The catching glove alone looks to be orders of magnitude bigger when comparing then with today.

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  6. On 15,
    Zucc is still the guy to trade for a top 4 Dman, if, and it is a BIG IF, all forwards are healthy. If there are doubts about Kreider, and or, Buchnevich, you can’t trade Zucc. The only upgrade you would get on D then would be an upgrade of Clendenning.

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  7. SN, first of all, how many great saves does a goaltender make in a normal game? Let’s say on average a goaltender faces 30 shots. On average, he allows a little over 2 goals, but let’s keep the numbers round and say 2. That’s 28 saves in a game. How many of those saves are “great”? A quarter of them? That’s 7. I identified 12 saves, plus his work keeping out the accidental deflection and a great play to dive on a loose puck. He had a tremendous game.

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  8. That is my point, the goalie does not make many ‘great’ saves but from listening to the broadcast, one might surmise we were watching greatness in action. My point was really beyond this game. The D-zone play had a very Torts-like quality to it, maybe getting ready for tomorrow’s game.
    .
    Henk played very well, almost to his cap hit…
    .

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  9. It’s a shame Hank didn’t play in the mask-less era. Opposing Forwards coming down the wing would have been blinded by the beauty of Hank’s coif as he stood unabashedly erect in his net.

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  10. Bobby Hull is screaming down the wing on Hank … stops, winds, and what??? What he he just say? “Dear God, it’s beautiful”

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  11. Rangers have shown they can win without Kreider. He’s the forward to trade–before he gets hurt again–if you’re going to trade. But don’t trade.

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  12. Dump THE and sign Sestito (pens waived him) 🙂

    Interesting article from Kevin Allen from USA Today on how some players are “cheating” to improve their advanced stats numbers (e.g. Corsi numbers).
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/allen/2016/11/16/advanced-stats-analytics-nhl-corsi-trotz-blashill-cheveldayoff/93930520/

    He lists the top five puck possession teams based on “score/venure-adjusted Corsi” (don’t ask me) and guess which successful team is not listed.

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  13. Favorite part of the Corsi story is that the Chart-boy GM’s Coyotes are dead last in the league in Corsi (and 5-9-0). Also that the two teams tied for second-best Corsi have won just 15 of combined 34 games.

    But I’m sure Kevin Allen, who wrote the story, will be treated as if he just burned down an orphanage and a humane society. Which is another favorite part of the story.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Ricardo – every team’s goal at the beginning of the season is NOT to win Lord Stanley, but rather to finish with the highest Corsi. Who won the cup last year? Nobody knows. But every one knows who had the highest corsi. Was it the Capitals? I have no f*****+ idea.

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  15. Carp, I knew you would appreciate the chart in Allen’s Corsi stories. I have no problem using whatever metrics you want to help evaluate talent. However, some of metrics guys go overboard with their figures. I often wonder if guys “invent” these stats just to prove a point they have.

    What the metrics guys tend to leave out is that certain intangible that can’t be measured. I am sure Adam Graves wouldn’t be a darling of the metrics set, but he can play on my team any time, any day – not to mention that as good as he was on the ice, he was twice as good off it.

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  16. There’s another aspect of the eye test that’s rarely mentioned, and that’s entertainment value. Given that only one team per year wins the Stanley Cup (the Rangers every 50) it’s also important how your team plays–nobody goes to a game to appreciate Corsi point accumulation. This year’s Rangers, for instance are a dream come true for fans like me, if not ideal for those who want to see a bit more violence. It would be great to see them dominate the way they are *and* win the Cup, but you need luck with injuries and bounces for the whole enchilada. I’m thrilled to see what they’re doing now, and to me it counts.

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  17. Carp,

    He whiffed on a cross ice pass just inside the blue line…. JVR was right there to pick it up, took it to the net and well, you know the rest….

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  18. Hockey is such a difficult game to quantify, something as simple as shot attempts is not a good measure unless it takes into account time of posession, zone of posession, score at the time, weight of opposition (both team & line).
    This is why when someone starts waffling about Corsi in their articles i switch off. You cannot have a guy skate into the zone, make a poor shot then give up possession due to said poor shot be worth more than the guy who cycles and pins a team in their own zone for a minute.

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  19. No single stat tells everything you need to know. That being said, I have found that corsi is a rough way, over a large sample size, to generally tell which teams are playing well and which ones are not.

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