Rangers-Penguins in Review

Sorry for the delay in posting. I accidentally scheduled it for tomorrow instead of today. HAV.

1. Mere moments after I wrote about Jake Guentzel making his NHL debut, he enters the Rangers’ zone on his first shift and fires a low shot towards goal that somehow gets through Raanta, 1-0. Woof. Terrible goal for Raanta. Still, it was worth it for his family’s reaction.

2. OK, so this was going to have to be a big boy pants game, and it was, although it took the Rangers some time to get dressed, so to speak. I counted no less than four 3 on 2s in the first period for the Penguins, and I didn’t even start counting until they stood out to me.

3. Vesey makes a bad play at the Penguins blue line and turns it over and then falls down. The Penguins come in on one of those 3 on 2s. Kessel centers it for Malkin who tips it on goal and Raanta makes a good save, but the rebound goes to Guentzel who gets to put home his second career NHL goal, uncontested. Klein was the defenseman and was just nowhere to be found This time, someone in his family was getting a beer instead.

4. On what seemed like Klein’s next shift, Lindberg turned it over to Crosby at the blueline. Klein was the last man back but let Sheary get behind him. Crosby found Sheary down low for a short breakaway but Raanta came up big to keep it at only 2-0.

5. Boy, I loved going back and reading the comments after the first period. We stink. It was all a mirage. I never believed it. Eric being Eric. Just great stuff. By the time the second period ended, we were great again. By the time the game ended we were favorites for the Cup.

6. But the second period didn’t start great. Malkin steals the puck from Staal and centers it to Guentzel who is robbed of his hat trick by Raanta.

7. After that, the Rangers took over. Klein dumps it in and Nash wins a battle (with some help from Grabner) against the Penguins defender in the corner. He walks it towards the goal and tries to center it to Stepan. The Pittsburgh defender snow angles and stops the pass, but the puck goes back to Nash, who followed himself up on the play and then buried it, 2-1.

8. Moments after that, Fast had a Pouliot. Lindberg didn’t have a penalty, so a different Swedish fourth liner took his place.

9. The Rangers’ penalty kill was fantastic, just completing removing any quality chances from the Penguins. In fact, the Penguins only had one other quality chance until halfway through the third period. The Rangers really tilted the ice.

10. Speaking of that chance, Staal loses a board battle with Crosby by the Rangers’ bench, resulting in a 2 on 1 for Crosby and Hagelin. Crosby drilled the crossbar, still 2-1.

11. Late second period, offensive zone faceoff. Jooris wins it back to Girardi. His centering feed is deflected into the corner. McDonagh makes a good pinch to keep it in the zone. Grabner’s shot goes wide. McDonagh continues to stay in deep and sends a centering pass, off Fleury, that comes to Grabner who puts in a backhander for his 12th goal of the season, 2-2.

12. A little bit later, the refs make a pansification call of interference on Skjei as two players battled for a 50/50 puck. No matter. Miller breaks up a centering feed and breaks out with Hayes.  They try to work a give and go, but Hayes’ pass doesn’t quite connect with Miller, except it hits Miller and goes in, 3-2. Miller wasn’t even looking at the goal when it went in.

13. Just like that, 3-0 in the second period. Maybe Roe was helping the boys out.

14. In the third period, the Rangers started playing mostly bend don’t break defense, absorbing pressure but not allowing shots to get through, either by blocking them or by breaking up passes in the offensive zone. Most of the Rangers’ chances came on the rush, especially Rick Nash.

15. About 2/3s into the period, the Rangers dump the puck in and the Penguins change while Dumoulin holds it behind the goal. Hayes stays in front of the goal to challenge the breakout. Dumoulin tries a wish pass up the middle that is picked off by McDonagh at the blue line. He toe drags it around Schultz and throws it in front for Hayes, and it deflects off of Hayes and into the goal, 4-2. What a play by McDonagh. No word yet if Schultz’s ankles are in better condition than Zibanejad’s fibula.

16. The Penguins pull their goaltender with three minutes to go, and although there was a lot of pressure and traffic in front of Raanta, nothing really gets through. Then, after the Penguins timeout, Raanta makes a couple of big saves.  That was the last threat from the Penguins.  Off of an icing, Nash wins a board battle, it comes to Stepan in the middle and he sends it down the ice into the empty net, 5-2. Did he mean to pass that, Joe? That’s a lot of empty net goals this year.

17. Daily Nash-O-Meter- I don’t want to say he scored, so he’s good, but he did score and he was good.  It wasn’t just the goal.  He was buzzing, skating hard, shooting, and playing better defensive hockey. His skating forced Crosby to take an interference penalty. Third period,he shot the puck like crazy and drove hard to the net.  Midway through the third, he and Stepan take the puck away in the neutral zone and get some offensive zone time. Won the board battle in the defensive zone that led to the empty netter. Simple plays like that which were missing in his past couple of games.

18. The same (more shooting) can be said of the rest of the team, but especially Kevin Hayes.  AV definitely got it through to them all to shoot more. Hayes was the most improved from Sunday. Hayes responded tremendously to the challenge of additional responsibility in the wake of Zibanejad getting hurt. He was great, buzzing in all three zones, on both sides of the puck. His goal, scored unintentionally, was the result of hard work and good pressure.

19. Zuccarello loves to pass in the offensive zone.  Vancouver should trade for him to play with the Sedins.  He would have 100 points, or 100 chances to have

20. McDonagh was awesome.  He skated so well, he moved the puck very well, and he defended very well. He even displayed some swagger on the fourth goal.  Just a great game for him.  His improved play is one thing we, as fans, have to be very excited about.

21. The defense was generally good. Holden had a particularly strong game. Klein and Skjei struggled in the defensive zone, but Skjei was still good in transition. It looked like Sullivan was trying to get a matchup of Malkin’s line against them and Malkin’s line dominated possession against them. Klein has generally struggled this season, and this bears watching going forward.

22. After giving up the absolute howler on Guentzel’s first goal, Raanta was very good the rest of the way.  He just let that first one in for dramatic effect.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.

23. Pirri was pretty good as the 3C.  He isn’t very good defensively, but it isn’t for a lack of trying. Wicky must have hated him.

My Three Rangers Stars:

  1. Ryan McDonagh
  2. Kevin Hayes
  3. Rick Nash

Your Three Rangers Stars:

1-2. Ryan McDonagh, JT Miller (tied)

3. Antti Raanta


150 thoughts on “Rangers-Penguins in Review”

  1. I was at Mondays warmup “game”, even my wife thought the game was slow & NYR not working much.
    When the weeks schedule was put on the scoreboard, it hit me that the team realized that the real work was Tuesday & Wednesday.


  2. Much easier to watch the game on TV with the use of DVD, than live at the Garden.
    But being at 5he Garden for Rangers is so electric, even when they’re mailing it in.


  3. Even though they weren’t really bad in the first period it was like they flipped a switch in the second. The Rangers simply dominated the last two periods until they decided to just protect the two goal lead.

    How come it seems that everybody gets their first NHL goal against the Rangers?

    This Ranger team is around the net a lot. That’s how you score goals. Miller “scores” because he was in front of the goal and it bounced off him. Hayes scores from in front. Nash too. I don’t know when they decided that the perimeter game doesn’t work game in and game out, but I’m glad that they finally learned.


  4. Thanks for the Roe shout out! 🙂 If she had a hand in last night’;s game then Girardi would have scored, too!

    Kind of funny that she got mentioned because I was on the phone with a couple of her family members last who were kicking the carcillo out of me for bailing out on Thanksgiving. As a result, did not notice if Sam or Joe mentioned that the new Ranger villain, Jake Guentzel, is the son of a former Ranger draft pick. I heard them mention his Dad, Mike, but did not hear about him being a 7th round (#135) pick of the Rangers in 1981. Pops played four games with New Haven for us in 1984-85 and then six games for us in Salt Lake (IHL) the next year.

    BTW, I loved reading the comments from the Go Time entry. It just proves that we Ranger fans are never truly happy unless we are miserable 🙂 Even during a winning streak we can’t help but wonder when the losing streak starts. It is a good thing that the ledge has lots of room for us. Oh, how I do love youse guys!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t know if the Rangers dominated, but they sure converted on more of their A1 chances than the Pens. Would have liked to see better faceoff% and time of possession but they won anyway. League is on notice, this isn’t last year’s soft team


  6. I agree with psychopub (FG?). The Rangers didn’t dominate, they just snuffed out the Pittsburgh chances, but Pittsburgh had plenty of zone time, probably more than the Rangers, who were content to counterpunch.


  7. Doodie, you never have to apologize for getting a review up late. We’re lucky you’re leading this venture even if it is a HAV… btw, it isn’t. Not even a little bit.

    The first period. Now that was a HAV. Would have been beyond interesting to be a fly on the wall during that first intermission. I’ll bet AV is a little hoarse today, maybe even totally unable to speak at all.

    I’ll also venture that Smilin’ Mike was also hoarse after the second intermission. Definitely w/o any voice by the end.

    I’m going to predict that Wednesday’s game will not be the run and gun track meet but rather a defensive battle. Final 2-1. Not predicting a winner, just the final score.

    Roe will be missed but no doubt helped tilt the ice last night.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can’t disagree Booby. He wasn’t himself last season. And you know what really irked me? When Taylor Hall/MNH trade rumors surfaced and Brooksie said that McDonagh would be a piece going the other way, and a large chunk of non-NY fans scoffed because they thought our captain was “#2D on a good team, and that’s a stretch.” This is a guy that the league should be recognizing as being in the upper echelon of defensemen. Glad he’s rounding back into form.

    As far as my highlight of last night – past the 5 unanswered goals scored and the gritty comeback win, I have to say my personal highlight was how amused Sam was at Brady Skjei’s story from Beginnings about shooting mice. Sick DaveB laugh-coughed for a solid 10 minutes after that one.


  9. Re #23…you are correct sir, not a fan at all.

    I like the Klein vs Crosby match up. I thought Klein did a good job vs Crosby.

    Most passion I’ve seen the rangers play with all season. Nice to see some chippy, big boy pants play.


  10. I misquoted on the last thread, it looked like sully (not double bubble) was trying to get that match up a lot (pens getting last change) and I thought Klein did a good job.


  11. AV needs to use some type of group hypno/dream therapy to get these guys to shoot first pass later on a consistent basis. Not sure why they are so reluctant when the results speak for themselves. Embarassing loss for the ice birds. Hopefully a repeat on Wed.


  12. Noblewines – Healy’s first year in New haven was 85/86 where he is one of eight goalies the Nighthawks used. Those were the days when the Rangers split their AHL affiliate with the L.A. Kings.


  13. I forgot to add one thing that Roe and I used to share about the Rangers. We both couldn’t wait to see what outfit Duguay would be wearing. Last night’s outfit would have done her proud. Exactly what color was that – bright burnt orange?!?


  14. That silly Las Vegas team will announce their name/logo today. If they don’t incorporate an STD into their team name, I’ll be a little disappointed.


  15. Good morning, boneheads!
    It’s still a morning officially, right?
    I was sure Wicky would notice, but not only the game was chippy, it’s when when it got a bit nasty the Rangers started to play better. They looked sharper, and it showed in their better passing and breakouts. Winning battles, hitting back. All goals ( except the shortie) were scored near the net and after they won battles. Big boy pants. Good to see.


  16. When Girardi was imploding in the ’14 cup final, it would have been awesome to swap him with Sauer. That might have made a huge difference.


  17. McDonagh should win Vezina one of those years. The way Webber has been scoring, it’ll tough this year, but plenty of games to go.
    When Yandle left I was thinking, using Carp’s words, subtraction by subtraction. I’m not so sure now. I think Yandle’s exit benefited McDonagh. He was given, and took upon himself too, I believe, more offensive responsibilities as a puck carrier and PP Q-back. And he’s been handling it with aplomb. So I think at the end of the day Yandle’s exit will benefit the team, and the fans. Not to mention that McD is much better defensively, and not to mention Yandle’s $6.35M cap hit.


  18. Good point Doodie.

    Not to totally absolve McDonagh of any subpar play the past few seasons, but I wonder how much of it has to do with Girardi’s steep decline (and his much-improved play this season).


  19. Well said, ILB. It’s no coincidence that McD’s huge uptick in play is related to him mirroring his style of a few years ago. Thinking offensively a bit more, pinching in the o-zone a bit more and staying there when the play warrants it. He’s also skating up the ice with greater regularity. The goals will come for him, too, if he contnues to play this way.


  20. Doodie, awesome job with this HAV. Carp, we all miss you! Hope you are taking some R&R before having your pick of new employment – would you ever consider working for the NHL directly like some of your contemporaries from the Daily News? (Frank Brown comes to mind). They would be lucky to have you!

    Now to the game – the Pens always seem (to me) to carry the play a bit, get into the zone, and then cycle around. Maybe it’s the years of abuse from the Jagr/Lemieux era, but I’m always nervous when we play them. It was nice to see us pull on the big boy pants after the first and get back into the game, and that pansification call at the end of the second was awful – glad we scored the SHG to make up for that awful call!

    Agree that third period was more of us keeping them to the outside and counter punching when the opportunity arose.


  21. I don’t care how the goals go in or off who, go to the front of the net eventually something good happens. Nice review Doodie keep up the good work. You guys are my lifeline down here in the frigid south! Looking forward to the game replay on NHL network.


  22. From last night’s Go Time Thread:

    Pavel Buchnevich had an MRI today for his back spasms. The test determined that there were no structural issues, but Buchnevich will need a two to three week program to “strengthen his core.” Your guess is as good as mine, but it sounds as if he should be able to recover and help boost a rapidly depleting forwards corps. That depth was helped a bit, I suppose, with today’s claim of Matt Puempel off of waivers from the Ottawa Senators. I’m still skeptical, though, as it seems he has struggled mightily at the NHL level.


  23. Puempel scored, what, 4 goals in 55 games or something like that. Nothing in 13 games this year. The only thing I see from this guy is that he’s a first round bust, but what do I know.


  24. Odds are Puempel is nothing more than a place holder. However, there the odd times when a change of teams (or two) makes all the difference in the world based on the player getting a wakeup call and a different system.

    Cam Neely was an okay player with Vancouver and he transformed into a superstar with the Bruins. Look at Anton Stralman – he couldn’t even make the Devils and parlays his time with the Rangers into a lucrative free agent contract.


  25. Funny thing happened to me on my way to lunch today. One of Iona’s Journalism professors wanted me to speak to his Sports Journalism class. I had to turn him down because there is no way I sitting around work for two and half hours right before Thanksgiving break. He needed a last minute replacement.

    I had spoken to his class a couple of times back when I covered the Iona hockey teams circa the early 2000s. Part of the class is a trip to a minor league game that they have to “cover”. Back in the day I had my blog, covered the Iona team games plus wrote a monthly feature on them. Now, I manage to a blog entry every 17 months 🙂

    RR2, maybe I should give him your name?!?


  26. Mr. or Ms. Doodie, you continue to rock Rangersworld. Great stuff, veering dangerously close to C&C country. Though we’ll need to work on a brand other than Coffee ‘n’ Doodie.

    And I was hoping to avoid this, but Eric probably has a work-job of some kind that keeps him from his appointed task here. So, OK, I’ll do it: The Rangers got really lucky last night. If it hadn’t been for those five random goals, they would have lost by two. Really, it should have been 4-0 at a minimum, they were that soft. It’s fool’s gold, and the writing is on the wall for Wednesday. It’s hard to see how the Penguins win by less than six goals tomorrow, and the road to eighth-in-Metro is right in front of us. They need player upgrades for at least half the roster, and they can’t get a new coach in here fast enough. The slide began last night, if only we had eyes to see it. A five-game losing streak has already begun, book it.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Not holding my breath that Puempel is going to be anything special, but it’s a no-risk acquisition. He’ll get a shot playing in an up-tempo system alongside the likes of Pirri, Fast, Lindberg…who I think are a cut above your typical 4th liners. And since we’re probably waiting another 3 weeks on Buch, if Puempel doesn’t show anything in a solid handful of games, we bring up Jensen.


  28. Carp, Dave, Giannone and Howie Rose should get together to start their own underground Wayne’s World type of show about the Rangers. Carp’s mom would welcome the company in the old basement…I’d say to do it from Howie Rose’s parents’ place but they definitely still have plastic covers on their basement couches


  29. Trying to figure out the Puempel claim. Short term he is depth because of in jury. Long term I think he is Lindberg replacement.


  30. Headzo reporting from Hawaii. I crawl out of bed & first periods are already over. Thank God for this interwebby thing. Eddie I hope you’re a regular vactioner out here. Holy Shishkebab!
    Sire Father!


  31. Headzo – I be loving the Islands of A wah E. Surf is up big time in the North Shores. We usually go for a couple of weeks after Christmas. This year we aren’t – not sure why. Where are you?


  32. I had to laugh reading the “Go Time” posts this morning posted as the game went on. Like Carp said, we went from last place bums to Cup contenders in the span of three periods. I missed the first period as the wife and I landed back in NY around 7:30 after a trip to Barbados. She, being a daughter of Pittsburgh, gleefully held up her iPhone saying, “You know what’s going on right now in Pittsburgh?” To which I replied “How bad is it?” (Of course, end of one, it was 0-2 bad). That’s when I told her to stop checking as I was now DVRing the rest of the game. She stopped and by the time we got home and I watched the 2nd and 3rd periods she was rendered strangely silent. 🙂 Anyway, great review. Nice gutcheck win. Haze, Miller and Grabner? Who would’ve thunk they’d be playing at the level they are.


  33. E3 – Poipu in Kauai. Heading to Waikiki tomorrow for a few more days. I’d imagine your favorite dish/activity out here is the pu pu platter


  34. Headzo – I love koo-why. Remote and untouched. Why key key is great too. Headzover to the Cheesecake Factory – yummy place to munch. I like the poo poo platter. But the ahhhhh he is my favorite. Hike up Die Min Headzo.


  35. All I know is what I know egg egg egg egg. We’ll blow me down. Love the old gang…..Pot high, hash oil, and wimpy “I’ll pay you on Duesday if you front me a z today”


  36. Headzo – make sure to head over to the Dolphin for lunch or dinner on the North Shore – Bali Hai!!! Use the time change to your advantage and hit the snorkeling on North shore early in the morn.


  37. Thought Oscar, Prof Jooris and Couch had a very good game last night.
    Still don’t like Pirri at 3C or C for that matter.
    Klein played well; Rantaa saved their bacon during end of first. Staal had some boners.


  38. Just found you guys. Turned it off at 2-0 and turned it back on o see JT butt dial a goal. The building sounded like a Sunday morning Pee Wee game after his goal.


  39. Skeij getting the rookie treatment. Some really questionable calls on him the last two games. Saw him play a couple of times in the Frozen Four for the Gophers. The kid can skate for a guy his size.


  40. I’m not saying Skjei is Sherman but can you imagine if he turned into 65% of that offensively and 105% defensively? What does that add up to? 1940?


  41. You gotta be careful around everyone these days. I was walking down the street at 7:30 yesterday and a guy pulled out a pair of scissors. Luckily I was agile enough to reach into my pocket and pull out a rock. Cause if I had pulled out paper, man I would have lost.


  42. Golden Knights – that is about as generic and cheesy as they come. Wow. And they’re guaranteed a playoff spot by having a huge plethora of talent to choose from other teams. Golden Knights versus Blue Jackets for 2019 Stanley Cup!


  43. Good morning, boneheads!
    I’m a little surprised Larry Brooks hasn’t said anything about Burns’ contract yet.
    $64M over 8 years. $37M of that number is in signing bonuses, with the largest bonus of $8M paid after 2019-2020 season, which happens to be the earliest season when the current CBA may be terminated ( by either NHL or NHLPA). To break it down: if there is a lockout in 2020 and Burns gets bought out ( most likely amnesty), he pockets $59 out of $64M. Only after 3 years!. If there is a stoppage after current CBA runs for 10 years, he takes home$61 out of $64M.
    You can rest assured that one of the major sticking points in next CBA will be signing bonuses. The owners ( including the ones who signs these ridiculous contracts) will try to cap it. And the NHLPA will attempt to cap the escrow. Hello lockout!


  44. “NOW GO INSIDE AND BUY SOME MERCHANDISE!” Wow! No shame at all! Golden Showers, err, Knights off tof a “great” start!


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