Rangers-Hurricanes in Review

Before I get to the review, I want to repeat my request for volunteers, not just for reviews, but to write guest posts on any subject, especially anything that looks at systems or advanced stats. Also, this is not fight club. Tell everyone you know to come here and participate.

1. This is one of the easier games for me to review because outside of the goals, there isn’t much for me to say at all about the first two periods. If watching the Senators game was watching paint dry, the first two periods against the Hurricanes was the second coat.

2. The larger narrative about their lackluster performance in the first two frames is that they are just not generating enough offense. Too often they are looking for a long pass (I refuse to use the term “stretch pass”) which Carolina, as well as many other teams over the past 10 games or so, eliminates by setting up a neutral zone trap. Alternatively, the Rangers would try to skate into the Carolina zone with possession, which is normally an admirable endeavor, but not when the defense is literally set up to stop such a play. Generally speaking, a controlled entry is a higher percentage play than dump and chase, but when the entire defense is waiting at the blue line, trying to skate through them isn’t going to work. This was especially true on the early PP entries, which were just awful. 12 shots through the first two periods, at home, including only 5 in the second, is just unacceptable.

3. And the struggles for the Rangers were infectious. Did anybody else notice Sam struggling even more than usual? Must be a HOF hangover. Or maybe he was nervous to be in the presence of coach Bryce.

4. For as good as Carolina’s game plan was and how well they worked to execute it, that team sure does stink if they could lose a game when the Rangers only played for a sum total of 25 minutes.

5. So let’s get the first three goals out of the way. The first goal was just a nightmare for Holden. After some extended zone time by the Hurricanes, the puck went into the left corner where Miller went to retrieve it. Holden did well to provide Miller with an outlet towards the middle of the ice and Miller makes a good play to find Holden there. Holden one touches the puck up ice, softly, right to a waiting Victor Stalberg at the top of the circle who one-times a shot high. The puck comes around to the right point where Tennyson keeps in by firing a low percentage shot towards goal. Holden blocks it in the slot with his skate where it falls neatly to Stalberg at the top of the slot and his shot is deflected by Holden’s stick through the five hole, 1-0. There wasn’t really anyone behind Holden, so letting Tennyson’s shot get through to Lundqvist probably is an easy save and also a whistle for that tired group.

6. When Stempniak signed in Carolina, did he transfer his spurned Ranger powers to Stalberg? A simple dump later in he period and he blows by Skjei and Klein who were standing still at the blue line for a good opportunity that Lundqvist did well to save.

7. A few minutes later, the Rangers can’t clear the zone again, leading to a battle in the right corner. It’s three Rangers (Klein, Skjei, and Kreider) against two Hurricanes, plus Hayes is nearby for an outlet. Should be an easy retrieval and clear. Not so. Stalberg emerges with the puck moving towards the goal. Klein disposes the Stalberg, but in doing so, puts it on the stick of McClement, the other Hurricane who was down low. Now Klein is the only man between McClement and the goal, with Stalberg behind him and three Rangers (Skjei, Kreider, Hayes) standing still on the wall. Nash admirably tries to get back to take Stalberg. McClement puts a weak one towards the goal that Nash blocks with his skate while falling down and the puck comes to a wide open Stalberg who buries his second, 2-0.

8. The rest of the period was more of the same. The Rangers were stuck in second gear and we’re lucky to be down only 2.

9. You would think that maybe the Rangers would come out with some jump to start the second, but no. Staal takes an early high sticking penalty. The Rangers actually get a little momentum off of the kill but don’t turn any of their zone time into meaningful offense.

10. After generating only two shots on goal through the first ten minutes of the second, Kevin Hayes (who was not good) carries in and falls trying a dumb spin move. The Hurricanes player pushes the loose puck into the corner, where Vesey works it around to Nash. Good hustle by both of them to get down low so quickly. Nash picks out the perfect pass to Holden, who had come down into the slot. Holden fans a bit on the shot and it’s blocked by the Carolina player (not passed by Vesey) right back to Holden. He takes a stride to his left and Ward goes down flailing, his stick on the ice his only remaining defense of the goal. Holden gets it up and over, 2-1. Good for him to get that first one back. Starting tomorrow he needs to shave that pedostache.

11. You would think that might spark the team some, but no. Instead they downshifted to first. The Hurricanes were at least still in second gear. Speaking of twos, only two more SOG for the Rangers the rest of the period.

12. Finally, the third period. And it started with Rick Nash. With everyone on both teams still lolligagging it at both ends of the ice, Nash collects a loose puck at the Rangers blue line and just splits and blows by the two Hurricanes defenders (Faulk and Hainsey) all the way in on Ward, fires a backhand that gets a deflection off of Faulk’s stick, off the crossbar and in 2-2. That was vintage Rick Nash.

13. HAV Nash-O-Meter: in the world of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Well, in the game of guys stuck in first and second gear, the guy going in third and fourth gear stood out as the best player on the ice, on either team. Nash has been playing very well lately, at both ends of the ice. And what do you know, when he is going hard, he usually finds himself on the scoresheet. Now that he isn’t going to end up in Vegas, in two years he will have a serious choice of just cashing in for one more big deal or taking a little bit of a discount and being a key addition on a Stanley Cup contender. When he’s on, it’s really a pleasure to watch.

14. Well the Rangers are finally working a bit, but especially two guys who were skating pretty hard despite limited opportunities. Oscar Lindberg easily had his best game of the season. He was effective defensively, one time snuffing out a breakout singlehandedly with a smart play in the neutral zone. He hit other guys like crazy, including absolutely demolishing Hanifin with a clean check after an awful power play(bad entries discussed above). He gets assaulted by Hanifin and another Hurricanes player after the whistle and somehow he gets a roughing penalty for it. That’s the kind of penalty you’re more than happy to see him take. After all the talk of grit and toughness on the blog yesterday, that was awesome to see.

15. The other player I spent a bit talking about yesterday was Jesper Fast, and he had a great third period. He was good on the penalty kill, too. In the second period he had a two on one with Stepan and got the puck to Stepan who missed the net. In the third period, his hard work led to a really long spell of possession and time in the Hurricanes’ zone. I think Lindberg was involved in that as well. I chuckled to myself that despite the long spell of possession and the aforementioned two on one, he still didn’t have a SOG. Then he came out from behind the net and had a good chance that was stopped by Ward.

16. Someone else who was buzzing in the third was Jimmy Vesey. So it was fitting that when Ron Hainsey had a meltdown and got four minutes when he could have had only two, that Vesey could cash in on the PP. The Rangers finally get a good entry and set up in the offensive zone. The puck comes to Skjei at the blue line in the middle of the ice. His hard, low shot gets through and Ward has a big rebound that comes to Nash in the right circle. He skates across the goal mouth and gets Ward to flop wildly to stop his shot. But when the rebound comes to Vesey, Ward has no chance and Vesey buries it, 3-2.

17. Lundqvist, who was solid throughout, battled well for contested and loose pucks, and kept the door shut for the rest of the game, including another chance for Stalberg, after which the two had a chat.

18. So, all in all, the Rangers played about 25 minutes of this game and came away with the win. There are definitely problems with this team right now, and it’s good for them to get the two points while they figure things out, provided that they recognize there is a problem and they figure it out.

My three Rangers Stars:

1. Rick Nash
2. Jimmy Vesey
3. Jesper Fast

Your three Rangers Stars:

1. Rick Nash
2. Jimmy Vesey
3. Henrik Lundqvist

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110 thoughts on “Rangers-Hurricanes in Review”

  1. Do your job! Fast did what he was supposed to do as a 4th line checker. Nash did what he is paid to do as big ticket power forward. Henk did what he was supposed to do as the highest paid player and all time savior.
    .
    Canes do not have much Offensive push; best line was 4th line featuring 2 former NYR and current NYR killers.
    .
    When you trap, you can lose a lot of 2-1, 3-2 games.
    .
    These games are not pretty and do not think they are out of their funk, but take the 2 pts and bank them.
    .
    Step and Zucc were AWOL last night. Step, in particular, has been woeful of late.
    .
    The enigma is back to his ‘usual’ self. So much for the break out year.

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  2. Pretty mediocre game overall against a bottom feeder. I can never take much out of the ones they’re “supposed” to win, but what I took some satisfaction out of last night was the way Vesey played. Things being the way they are right now he’s been lost in the shuffle a bit and hasn’t looked very confident in the games I’ve seen recently. He seemed to be back to using that hockey IQ of his and hanging around the net where he’s pretty effective. Gets the game winner as a reward which will certainly help the confidence a bit.

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  3. Lindberg played like an hombre. Girardi threw a huge check late. I miss Glasser, if for no other reason than he finished his checks, something rare around here.

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  4. Don’t think Lindberg is in the long term plan anymore. Will be interesting to see what happens with him when everyone is healthy. Hayes still frustrates me when he commits the pass > shoot error (once a game at least). I really want the kid to be a player in this league but coaches really need to stay on him about that.

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  5. Went to the game last night and much of it was a snoozer. Their execution is not good right now. Too many passes in skates and the few good passes are not received well. Nash played as well as I have ever seen him play. Best player on the ice last night. They are more reluctant to shoot than most teams so the shot attempts are not entirely reflective of possession, but, the numbers were brutal after 2 periods (39 to 16?) Nash’s goal woke them up to start the third and the numbers got better. Thought I saw carp at an ATM outside the garden before the game but I guess not.

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  6. Roger Neilsen was Messier’s favorite coach, right?
    .
    it’s a 3 goal league, if you don’t have talent for potting 3, trying to hold them to 1 and trap em (Canes/Sens) or turn your D into shot blockers (Torts/NYR)

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  7. Brilliant coaching strategy from AV last night. Let Carolina dominate for two periods so that they will be too tired (and overconfident) when the Rangers make their 20-minute push. 🙂

    Great line about last night’s game being the “second coat”. I was half asleep when the game started and how I managed to get to the third period is beyond me. The Rangers better learn that if teams are going to sit back and clog the middle then they are going to have to ramp up the forechecking – even if it means taking chances and sending two guys in on an aggressive forecheck.

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  8. Good morning, boneheads!
    Nice, Doodie. #18 just about sums it all up.
    I also don’t understand their stubbornness regarding breakouts against aggressive teams, especially with the speed they have. And they can certainly win some board battles if they want to.

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  9. Just off the top of my head, I believe this the 4th game they came back from 2-0 deficit to win. Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington being the other 3. At least in 2 of those (Boston and Pittsburgh) Nash jump started a come back by scoring first goal. Yesterday he pretty much took it upon himself. Starting with winning a little battle and finding Holden with a nifty pass.

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  10. They start the season playing one way, enjoy success and then abandon that process?

    I was so encouraged when I saw our boys pushing opponents out of the crease in Oct. Nov. looks like a big regression, players looking at their skates leaving opponents to vacate the premises when they’re good and ready.

    We’re more physical in the offensive zone than behind our blue line.

    I once predicted that THE would be wearing a letter next season. Now I think he might be wearing a different jersey. noun: enigma; a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand.

    Nash deserved two stars last night.

    Why did we not re-sign Stalberg ($1.5 million)? He can skate, hit and score.

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  11. Heave, I was kind of thinking the same thing. They’ve gotten away from the style that was working for them and broke up most of the lines that were effective. That’s not making adjustments that’s changing the entire strategy so to speak. I understand the lines right now because of the injuries but they didn’t look too great last night. They looked lousy in Carolina too. Maybe it’s a playing to the level of your opponent issue. Although if they played to Pittsburgh’s level the other night they wouldn’t lose the game 6-1…

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  12. Stalberg was defended pretty frequently when people were killing him around here last season. Nevertheless people killed him for the majority of the season. Plus Carp made fun of his skating and told him he’d never be as fast as Hagelin 🙂

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  13. Allow me to open a can of worms for today…Is Kreider playing hurt? is he playing? I guess he’s going to be a ghost until after Xmas again? glad he got his money and had such an impressive camp. See ya in February Chris. if you feel like it.

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  14. One could surmise that Grabner ($1.65) took Stalberg’s ($1.5) place so no debating how that is turning out, even though I am one that thought Victor was effective last season on 4th line. Thought the Swedish Mafia would have been en effective 4th meaning no Glass and Fast not on top 6.

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  15. Agree THE has looked mortal since return along with Oscar and Klein playing sub par this season, one has to wonder about NYR Training staff and/or coaches needing/wanting players to play injured/hurt.

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  16. SN – spot on re: Stepan. The last few games he’s been terrible. Last night he couldn’t take a pass or make one. Looked like a high school player. I’d bet he has a touch of the same flu that Grabby has…

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  17. Any of youse have experience with a deaf dog? We might be adopting a rescue Aussie – beautiful double Merle – but a genetic trait of these dogs is vision/hearing issues. He can see but is stone deaf. Sign language will be our method of training….

    Liked by 1 person

  18. James, you bring up a good point, the injuries to two of our top forwards, a caveat that does mitigate their current play. However, the team’s lack of grit is not affected by those missing players. Our boys need to be harder to play against than they currently are. Too much stick and not enough body, especially in our defensive zone. When our boys play w/ a manageable anger they are a much better team. They skate and check harder and go to the net more aggressively. They’re also a lot more fun to watch!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It really sucked when he was dying and he couldn’t hear my voice provide him with assurance.

    And thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject. While you’re at it, why don’t you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. As if this hasn’t been a tough week already, I opened the paper today and saw an article about a dog that wound upat a shelter and their owners showed up but decided they wanted a new dog instead and left her there. People suck

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Kreider the Gleider needs to sit, IMO. Either he’s fit to play and doesn’t want to, or he’s injured and needs to get healthy. Those first few games, house o’ fire, best player in the league. Now, passenger. Did his job in the crease on the PP winner, though, so… Maybe when some other wing is recuperated, he can be, too.

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  22. I can’t picture Carp covering a team other than the Rangers, but I guess as long as they paid him in US Dollars he’d go to Calgary if he had to. Or maybe he draws the line at Calgary. 🙂

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  23. Ricardo – what gets written in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

    Doodie – I know something for a paper cut much better than lemon juice, believe me.

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  24. Carp, you could get in at the ground level in Vegas. Maybe even be their internal writer, like Cerny used to be for the Rangers before they pushed him out for wiener Calamia and Not quite gorgeous Borges.

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  25. I clicked on the wrong bookmark and it went to the Journal. The headline says: RANGERS REPORT
    News, video and commentary on the NHL’s New York Rangers from Rick Carpiniello. Carpiniello has covered the Rangers since 1978 and is the author of three books on the team.

    Are they trying to still cash in on Carp’s popularity or are they just too lazy to change the heading on the page?

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  26. Lots of sunshine down here in St Pete Carp! Plenty of ATM’s if you find a job! You could always cover Cooper and Lighting! They’d make you famous down here lol!

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  27. Carp: “so you think you can keep me out of the FL? I’m moving in lock, stock and barrel. I’m gonna be in the pool. I’m gonna be in the clubhouse. I’m gonna be all over that shuffleboard court! And I dare you to keep me out!”

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  28. You put the balm on? Who told you to put the balm on? I didn’t tell you to put the balm on. Why’d you put the balm on? You haven’t even been to see the doctor. If your gonna put a balm on, let a doctor put a balm on.

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  29. Just want to say that was an excellent review, if you ask me. Even if you don’t, it was really well done! I saw the game the same way. Step, THE have not had the best last few games. Perhaps injured? So great to see Gnasher playing with gusto and confidence. Can’t remember a better NYR performance from him. He as been pretty ‘good’ this year.

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  30. And, I know coaches have to experiment. But I was there Sunday night. Putting Vesey on the 4th line made absolutely no sense. He is one of our few offensively creative players. Perhaps one of the reasons Ottawa took it to us is that our offensive wings were clipped by poor combinations.

    Prust saying.

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  31. Good morning, boneheads!
    Did anyone watch Pittsburgh against Islanders last night? Pittsburgh with 3 goals in the 3rd to come back from 0-3 deficit and then they lost it on Lee’s goal with 26 seconds left. I can only imagine what this place would look like today if it happened to our boys.

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  32. Simon – sorry for the late answer. I can still fit in one seat but I do need the seat belt extender.

    P.S. I like your drawings but why do your best ideas only come to you in the tub?

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  33. Not sure I even want to send this baby off to the septic tank. Might just keep it around until the wife comes home so she can take a look see…..

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  34. We’re considering adopting a large brown Rottweiler which, though in most ways rather stupid, has the ability to speak clearly. The Animal Shelter guy says the dog is very opinionated but is trained to crap outside. My question is, can an animal like this be trained to keep his opinions to himself at the dinner table?

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  35. Clendening in is a long time coming. Ein Kleiner has seemed off most of the season, which can’t be afforded given the two anvils already occupying 2 slots in the top 4.

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  36. Here’s a video of Wicky’s mancrush Gudbranson mic’d up from the other night. Should ease some of his pain. He seems like a pretty good guy even though he’s terrible at hockey.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. superstar, newest-face-of-the-NHL Stahlberg earned the right to hold the team in NYC to see the tree lighting. Called a press conference to announce his retirement and new career with the White Sox

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  38. just get healthy and get to the playoffs. It’s not too often that the seeding actually matters, and I’ll take my chances against anyone if we get rolling again.

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  39. They need to find out what Clendenning can do. (Didn’t he platoon for the Mets?) The analytics guys are Jonesing for him. Seems like he got banished for one bad clearing pass. Unless they want to be forced to use him in the playoffs like Brady last year, seems like it’s time to find out what he has.

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  40. Clendening has been sitting way too long. They should rotate him through the Elderly Gentlemen trio, none of whom should be playing 82, though Staal has been top-notch so far. (Staal, incidentally, has two brothers who also play in the NHL!)

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  41. They should make Eine Kleine sit on E3’s can. You’ll see a huge improvement the next game he plays I’m pretty sure.
    LGR!

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  42. No shame in Klein taking a seat for a game to get some rest, and get his head on straight. All major sports are skewing that way – platoons in baseball based on matchup, a good portion of football teams spreading out carries to keep their stud running back fresh, whatever the hell they do in basketball, which I haven’t watched or paid attention to in 25 years.
    So based on that line of thinking, it makes sense to rest one of Girardi, Staal or Klein in lieu of Clendening when we play a subpar team that’s going to trap the crap out of us. One guy desperate for a maintenance day gets a maintenance day, and we’ll have a guy coming out of the zone who might actually help us get through the neutral zone. Seems like everybody wins.

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  43. Agreed – Clendening’s advanced stats being so “good” would be akin to Jesper Fast scoring in his first game of the season and being on pace for 82.

    But I do think he’s a fine puck mover. If you could sneak him into the lineup against a bad team, who are going to be trapping against us anyway, it’s not a bad strategy to give him an opportunity.

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  44. Clendening played well in pre-season and then in the early season. Was removed for no real apparent reason so, outside of rust, curious to see what he brings. Playing Klein on PP last game was another reason to bring in someone who can handle the PP point. Shea butter has not played that well on PP.
    No reason not to play this kid given other options. Too bad AV doesn’t want to sit Done G for a spell as well.

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  45. Clenden was a nightmare in his own end. Especially when he deep in the corner. His instinct was to try to pass up the wall or off the wall right to the stick of an opposing player.

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  46. Carp
    Lol

    Booby
    Thanks for looking out!

    I’m sure clendening will be the whipping boy tonight because he is getting ready to get the same disease every other whipping boy has had…skjelitis

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  47. Wicky, Jay just polished off a slice of sicilian pizza from the coffee table while I was loading the dishwasher. Thought you’d want to know

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