Rangers-Blue Jackets in Review

Today’s review is provided by E3. He did a great job. His legs must have been totally numb by the time he was done. He still could probably skate harder than Pirri did on the third goal, but I digress…

Just a quick note before we get to the review, I’d like it if someone here who is well-versed in advanced stats would like to either assist me in writing a weekly post and/or write one of their own. E-mail me at rangersreport2@gmail.com.

Now, for the review.

Eddie Eddie Eddie (E3)

There used to be a time, not all that long ago, that when the Rangers lost, I’d get pretty bummed out. To a degree it’s still true. But at some point I realized that it’s ludicrous to expect your team to win every game in an 82 game season. Our boys skated out in game 18 owning a 13-4 record and a chance to close out a tough road trip, their longest in the 2016-17 season, with a perfect 4-0 run. Alas, it wasn’t to be. The Rangers lost to Johnny Torts’s Blue Jackets 4-2 in a game that lacked much of the energy and speed which has been the staple of their play to date. On to the game:

1) The puck was bouncing all night. Both teams had problems keeping it on the ice all game. The Rangers best chance in the first ended with Zman whiffing on a bouncing puck inside the circle, left of a wide open net, after a beautiful pass from Zucc. Was the ice bad? How else can you explain why the puck acted like a pinky ball in an old school street game of punch ball. While it might be a reach, it explains why there so many turnovers.

2) The Rangers speed game was non-existant. In fact, any semblance of offense from either team was non-existant. With 6:10 left in the first, Derek Stepan hit the net for the Rangers second SOG. CBJ, a woeful one SOG. Each team finished the first period with three. Torts’ style of Hockey? Hardly so this season. While the Rangers came into the game leading the league in goals per game, CBJ was second nearly a full goal behind the Broadway Blueshirts.

3) The first goal of the game was one that Hank has to stop. No screen. No one anywhere near him, Clear view. Inside the blue line, Karlsson wound up a blasted a slap shot for a 1-0 Jacket lead. The score sheet said unassisted, but I think JT Miller earned the primary assist after a horrible cross ice pass from inside his zone intended for Zucc who was high tailing it at center ice along the far wall. [Editor’s note: this was the exact pass I warned about in the last game review] JT was guilty of many similar poor decisions in previous seasons in his own end and it often led to a seat on the bench. The ole AV hates Miller.

4) Now, I must point out that he’s my favorite player now that future first ballot HoFer, #1C, DRACK Brassard is no longer a Ranger, but he has to be better with the puck. He had Zman, I think, right up the boards for the safer play but the Rangers are fascinated with long breakout passes even those that are east-west. JT is having a fantastic start as he’s their leading scorer. He takes the body, has a good shot, and is more than willing to go to the all important the dirty areas where big goals are often scored, but he must be smarter with the puck in his own end.

5) There’s another play that the Rangers are using a lot this season that’s going to cost them if they’re not careful, and that’s on their PP. With the man advantage, it’s now anathema to dump and chase and what has me concerned is the following: a Ranger with the puck from deep in his own end streaks up the ice hits the red line and throws a blind back pass to one of two rangers still in their zone and that player then carries the puck into the offensive zone and the setup begins. But twice this game, that blind pass was almost intercepted and I predict there will be short handed goal given up if they’re not careful.

6) The first period ended with the Rangers down 1-0. Not to worry as this team has no problems given up the first goal, and even the first two, before mounting a strong comeback. But there were signs early on that something was off. CBJ was clogging center ice preventing the Rangers from the smooth breakouts that we’ve been accustomed to seeing every game. There was only one odd man rush and that was a 2-1 that Stepan and Nash developed but offside ended that play.

7) Neither goalie needed to make a big save because neither team did anything in the other’s zone. Bob and Hank could have sat the first period out, going empty net, and the score would have only been 3-3. Perhaps the second would be better.

8) Well no, it wasn’t. More shots yes, but the play was uneven and uneventful. The Rangers could not establish zone time and had trouble making consecutive passes. That is until Jasper Fast spotted Sam Gagner alone in front who wristed a shot that hit Hank and flew up in the air over his head hitting his back and bouncing into the net for a 2-0 lead. [Editor’s note: BDL must have loved that] Fast has been the worst Ranger in uniform most games this year. The exceptions are when Charles Lindberg steps out of the cockpit of the Spirit of St. Louis, puts on #24, and goes on to commit his guaranteed one, two, or three minor penalties per game. Maybe Lindberg is still finding his way after off season hip surgery but he’s far and away not even close to the player he was last year.

9) But was Lindberg really a good player last year? Certainly started strong but went the last 50 or so games doing very little offensively. Once Boosh comes back, Lindberg will be watching the games from the press box. The Rangers might need to send him down to get some playing time. Can he go without being exposed? How many games can he play before a conditioning stint is considered laughable and an attempt to get around the rules?

10) The Rangers pulled within one when potential 50 goal scorer Michael Grabner intercepted a bad pass and turned on the jets and scored his 11th on a breakaway. He is such a smooth beautiful skater that he doesn’t seem like he’s accelerating, say like Hags did. Grabner has been the biggest surprise in the league this season and is on pace to score 50+ this year. Hard to not love what he brings to this team and he must be signed to a longer deal as I don’t think he’s a flash in the pan.

11) The second ended down 2-1 and while the game was choppy, the Rangers were poised, one hoped, for a strong third period earning the 2 points. But the third was no different from the first two. Sloppy play, bad bounces, little zone time, no attack, little speed if any at all on display. And then with 11:30 left in the game, Zman tied it at 2. The play started with zucc from his own right circle lifting a long pass that landed near the CBJ blue line where THE Kreider batted it down taking it to the net and tried to tuck it in near the left post. Zman took the puck threw it back to Holden who shot it through a crowd. Z again took possession and passed it to Shay who centered a nice pass for Z to one time a snap shot. Best zone time possession of the game.

12) Two minutes later, the Rangers went on a power play and I’m thinking, big time to score a PP goal escape with a not-so-well-desserved win and it’s on to the Garden and lets win 5 in a row. Ahh, not to be. JT from behind the BJ’s net tried to hit Pirri at the right dot but it was tipped by Ryan Murray or it bounced away from Pirri where Karlsson took the puck at his blue line and hit Matt Calvert and the Jackets had a 2 on 1. Calvert went stick side, far side, beating Hank for a 3-2 lead effectively ending the Ranger three game winning streak.

13) Matt Calvert scored the shorthanded GWG. Amazing really because earlier in the second period Hazy ripped a rolling puck that split his head open and Calvert was leaking serious blood. He came back after it was announced he wouldn’t be back wearing a mummy like bandage around his forehead.

14) Empty netter by Boone Kardashian, errr Jenner, with no time on the clock at it ended 4-2.

15) In between periods Sam Rosen was interviewed along with JD and they revisited some memories of the two decades they worked together. Sam has lost plenty off his fastball and I cannot stand listening to Salmon Joe but it was a nice touch.

16) I expect a better effort Sunday and another two points.

Your Three (sort of) Rangers’ Stars:

1) Michael Grabner

2-4) Brady Skjei, Nick Holden, Antti Raanta (tied)

 

 

 

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70 thoughts on “Rangers-Blue Jackets in Review”

  1. Great review E3.

    you touched on all the comments I had.

    JT stinks on the powerplay. I expected the Ranger’s comeback, not the shortie. Torts and Dubinsky have a pretty good team.

    Rangers were playing broomball out there. It looked my no-check league at times.

    Hank had his moments. but he missed one save I remember.

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  2. Calvert with over 30 stitches in his noodle. If that was another player in another sport, he’d be out a month. Hockey dudes are tough mofos.

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  3. I think we can take the elite tag off of Hank. He’s a run of the mill goalie that every so often has a good game. Last night he was bad.

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  4. i forgot about that…………. I made screenshot of the blood too.

    No. 2 Star: Matt Calvert, Columbus Blue Jackets
    As we covered earlier, Calvert was hit in the face with a New York Rangers’ shot, needed 36 stitches to close his wound and then ended up scoring the game-winning shorthanded goal in their 4-2 win. Wow! (He was also a plus-3.)

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  5. Nice review E3 and yes they are certainly not going to win them all! True Hanks is no longer elite, and in games like this championship teams have a net minder that makes the big save in these not so well played games! I’m just not convinced he’s the guy lead us to Lord Stanley!

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  6. Poor effort all around. HL is giving up a cheapy every game now, tired of hearing how he must do this or that better. Maybe time for an eye exam? JT and others have been playing on the edge as some have pointed out – not surprising it comes back to bite them in the ass now and then. I can live with that, just hard to sit there and watch when it looks like they are mailing a game in as a group.

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  7. Splendid job E3!

    My 3 observations…win or lose hank is overpaid, win or lose this team is a one trick pony, this team still needs a centre that can win a crucial faceoff.

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  8. I think those stitches on Calvert are fake. The pictures that are on the widget show the scar on both sides of his head. 😊

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  9. From my can to yours….well done 3 x E. I had my own game last night & we lost in similar fashion & score. Coincidence? At least we had beer in the locker room!
    LGR!!!!

    Sire Father!!!

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  10. In the coming decades, fantasy sports and virtual reality headsets will allow each of us to enter a psychological twilight zone and we will each follow our favorite team in a choice of specific sport throughout a long, grueling season to an eventual j0yful cerebral championship. We will be able also (if we choose) to assign our goalie and all three players on our favorite line with literally broken legs, yet have that line dominate in the 7th and deciding final game.

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  11. Wassup!!! Me here’s!!! What the jive is goin on here’s. we gets beat 4-2 by Cleveland? What, was Lebron skating? Talk to me. I’m disgusted by that score.

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  12. Good morning, boneheads!
    Great review, Eddie.
    Before the game even started I decided that if they lose, I will write this one off as a “can’t win them all” thingy. So I’m officially doing that now.
    Everyone was sluggish and not playing up to their abilities. Hank included. Move on.

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  13. While Skjei is better in the R than Holden, he is also better in the L. But how many this year times his rush down the left deep in the zone ended up in a goal? He is a great passer from this position, and that’s one of many reasons they need a steady R D-man at some point.

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  14. Ilb – I know that fat fingered feeling. This guest blog had even more typos than my last. The wife normally edits for me but she was in bed early last night.

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  15. When do we get the PP back in action. Grabner is working out well. Good to see. Lundqvist is slowing down. He has t won too many low scoring games. Let’s see how he does by the common Thanksgiving Day mark before I rate the team as a whole. Shot percentages are ok. Corsi is ok. Fendwick doesn’t count anymore. Maybe Kreider is not as important as we thought? Is Hank playing too little? Is he hiding some nagging injury? Is the team holding well, or about to crash under AVs watch?

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  16. Also, let me know if we’re gonna also do a “Boneheads 4 Trump” game? Someone mentioned it to me before. Liberals hate hockey. Obama hates hockey. Hillary hates sports. Trump owned his own football league once. Trump likes hockey. Trump loves the NY Rangers and hates the NJ Devils. Let’s support him!

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  17. Don’t worry about the typos, the content is most important, which was great.
    I think you let Hank off the hook a little bit. For a tired team, that first goal was tough. Not many college goalies would’ve let that in.

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  18. noble-wines, Hank sure wasn’t good last night, agreed. In fact he really hasn’t been spectacular, or worth his cap hit, in a long long time. Sacra religious for sure, but I wish the Rangers kept TAM and traded Hank for a monster pick or a monster body. Would anyone have listened? What would have been the return?

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  19. If the Rangers kept Talbot, AV and Gorton probably get fired last season and it’s a firesale at the deadline. Just saying.

    and if they want to win going forward, their hope is that Lundqvist finds his A game. Otherwise they’re done no matter.

    and I’m not arguing that he’s been good so far. Certainly not great.

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  20. Once again, e3, your redolent missive, like a Chinese diver, hit the target with almost no splash. It was sleek and probably left little residue. Not one grunt in that effort, I suspect, and much appreciated!

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  21. The way this team’s been playing, he didn’t have to be great. His status as overpaid is only obvious after he lets a softie. But, apparently, he was being payed appropriately one game before this one. Despite the score of 7-2, if it wasn’t for him, the game would’ve been over after period number 1.

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  22. OK, that’s for fun. Pavel Bure said about Rangers today (source – from “AllHockey.ru”)
    Sorry for loose translation:
    “Rangers” as it seems to me, for several seasons keep improving remarkably and today rightfully, are one of the leaders of NHL. Not for nothing, that the team gets every year to the playoffs, and even played in the Final two and a half years ago. In my opinion, first of all it is Glen Sutter’s merit and great achievement – he is the legendary general manager, the president and the outstanding organizer. He works in the club for so many years, and throughout almost all his era, manages to update structure in a due time, to achieve good enough results, not to allowing long failures. Besides, the fine, wonderful atmosphere always reigned in his teams, and the club always created and continues to make such conditions, where hockey players could think exclusively of a game and of how to contribute to the team benefit. To play hockey in such friendly environment is truly pleasure and happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. The 3rd BJ goal was deflected by McDonagh’s stick blade as the shot was taken. Micheletti claimed it didn’t, but if you watch the trajectory it doesn’t head straight off the stick blade, it angles left. Just sayin’…

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  24. Still we judging Hank by ability to make miracle saves on a constant base and not having word softie in his vocabulary.

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  25. Ricardo – I completely agree that the Brass had to sign Hank thereby letting TAM exit stage left. In my perfect world, Hank would have been 44 years old and ready to retire – and TAM then becomes #1.

    Hank was not so good last season and he really was bad in their first round loss. He’s giving up softies at an alarming rate and while it’s true, nothing is won in November, he isn’t playing anywhere near he has in the past or up to his salary cap.

    But then, neither is Stepan to be fair.

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  26. Great work, E3. Really enjoyed the review.

    While we weren’t at our best I think some credit has to go to Torts and his boys. Love him or hate him he does seem to get a lot from what talent he has.

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  27. Thanks Seedub / and thank you to everyone else for reading and commenting. Ricardo set the gold standard for combining analysis with objective reporting which is a difficult task for sure. I enjoy writing these reviews and hope doodie lets me do more in the future..,..

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  28. Cccp – he’s certainly not playing up to his cap hit (and I’m not discriminating against him because he’s a cue ball head either – I love the bald players) but our sexy boys are winning and that’s what matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Norm I agree he only needs to be great in the second season but when exactly is that going to happen? Time waits for no one!

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  30. I may be wrong, but…..

    I don’t see much from Zibanejad. He’s younger and cheaper than Brass, but he’s not as good. He’s like the store brand as compared to the national brand.

    Kreider looked a little rusty.

    I like Skjei paired with Klein.

    Hank …(big sigh)….for a guy that takes up so much salary cap space he has to stop that shot from the blue line from going 5 hole. Just put the stick on the ice Hank.

    You can’t have 23 all-stars on the roster, but Fast playing somewhere other than the 4th line is bad. Let him be a good checking forward. He offers nothing offensively. His offense is offensive.

    Lindberg is useless. Bring back Boo.

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  31. True E3…very true but imagine if they weren’t winning? Oh boy…

    Stepan is having the same season (production wise) as Jesper Fast… who’s averaging 4+ minutes less per game than Stepan.

    I mean… i’m just saying.

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  32. All is great, Eddie3! Thank you for asking. The baby is growing! 21 months now! Such a great kid! Hands full, for sure! 🙂

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  33. Great summary, this one was a radio game for me. I appreciate this HAV so much and always feel great when I see at least one comment with the Underdog avatar. Let’s get 2 today and get back to our up tempo, 5 GAG ways.

    Liked by 1 person

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