It’s Go Time!

Rangers ( 23-17-5 ) vs Sabres ( 11-24-9 ). TV- MSG, NBCSN.

Last time these two teams met was an outdoor ( officially the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic ) game won by our boys in OT. J.T. Miller  scored on a rebound to give the Rangers a 3-2 win.

The Sabres are at the bottom of the league, 3 points better than Arizona with -52 goal differential. Ouch…

The Rangers have 1-2 games in hand on the Islanders, Pittsburgh, and Columbus. But those games have to be won to count. Considering their incoming  4 game trip to the West, this is clearly a MW 🙂

Looks like they’ll have to do it without both Marc Staal and Kevin Hayes. Kampfer is in, which means nobody’s prucha’d.

Hank in net.

LGR!!!!!

Ticket contest: Predict the score of tonight’s game to win two tickets.

The winner will get two tickets to the Thursday, February 1st game against Toronto at MSG. Tickets are in 200 level, lower corner, Rangers shoot twice. The contest will start now, and go until “It’s Go Time” post at 7:00 pm.

Some rules.

1. Same as the last contest. I don’t have time to go through hundreds of posts, and check IP addresses for double entries. So if you never posted on Rangers Report 2 ( since Doodie took over), your entry won’t be counted. Apologies in advance, but that’s the only way to avoid spending too much time judging the contest.

2. This one is easy.

– Pick the score. It has to be exact. Not closest. Not margin of victory

– First tiebreaker: Game winning goal

– Second tiebreaker: Rangers’ shots. This one can be the closest, but WITHOUT GOING OVER

– Third tiebreaker: Sabres’ shots. Again, it can  be the closest, but WITHOUT GOING OVER

3.  Please copy and paste my entry and make your own changes. It’s just so much easier for me to score it.

Rangers 20, Sabres 1

GWG: Grabner

Rangers shots: 60

Sabres shots: 2

Good luck, and have fun.

Rangers-5, Flyers-1

Good morning, boneheads!

Hockey is a strange game. Philadelphia came to MSG with 4-0 record, flying high. NY- three consecutive losses. Teams heading in opposite directions? Not so fast. Rick Nash got the first star, but don’t fool yourselves. Henrik Lundqvist won this game for them. Again. He made a few ( some ridiculous ) saves when the game could’ve been broken wide open by Flyers after their first goal, and especially after it was tied. We are spoiled by a great goaltending, and expect to see it every night. Flyers? Not so much. Hank is an MVP for this team by a mile. His saves, coupled with a much better defensive team effort, gave them 2 points. It was far from perfect defensively, but miles better. 26 shots against vs 40+? Baby steps.

  1. So the game started alarmingly similar to what we’ve seen in October, and similar to what they looked like over the last few weeks. Chinese fire place in their own zone, no transition game, passes to nobody, no offensive zone possession. Radko Gudas with a weak shot on goal, Jordan Weal deflects it past Lundqvist. Weal had enough time to text his girlfriend in front of the net. Unless you consider Shattenkirk’s late tap on the back to be an attempt to box him out of course.
  2. The Flyers kept pushing, and it appeared like this one will end up being another blowout. But Hank made a few timely saves, their defensive game started to improve. Skjei wins the board battle, Pavel Buchnevich with a brilliant saucer over three sticks right on Nash’s blade. Nash didn’t have to break his stride going between two defenders, and beats Elliot above his blocker. Passes like that should make Gorton think twice about trading Buchnevich. He needs more ice time, and AV should let him play through his shortcomings while giving him top 6 min. That would be a part of rebuild on the fly. Playing him with borderline NHLers would be a step back.
  3. The next 10 min defined the game imo. Flyers with pressure, but the Rangers defended well. It might’ve looked boring, but NY played their defensive game exceptionally well. They didn’t create much offensively, but they also didn’t try to look for what wasn’t there. All five committed to backheck, pressured the puck, won battles, cleared the puck with intent. Change. Next shift. This it what they will have to do going forward. They don’t have enough high end talent to rely on game breakers.
  4. During these 10 min or so Hank made a few timely saves, some spectacular. It gave them enough time to regroup, and it seemingly frustrated the Flyers who started to go for too much.
  5. Filppula takes a dumb penalty against Zucc, PP looks ok but gives up a breakaway. Lundqvist makes a ridiculous save, it goes back and Miller deflects McDonagh shot past Elliot. JT replaced Kreider on PP and has done a great job. Another keeper.
  6. Fast takes a slashing penalty ( France in the Air, I think most of those slashing penalties are ), but the Flyers generate ugotz because that’s exactly what NY gave them. And then two guys who barely qualify for NHL players hook up for the first SG of the year. Would any of you have guessed that their first SG would be scored by Paul Carey assisted by Peter Holland?
  7. The second period started with a little pressure by Flyers, but it didn’t look like they believed they could come back. Hank with a couple of more timely saves. Great goaltending would do it to you. Sometimes you just don’t think you can score on them, especially on some nights.
  8. Jake Voracek ( great player ) takes a penalty that he didn’t agree with. He returns on the ice in a bad mood with an arrogant “give me the byfuglien puck” attitude. Tries to do it all by himself, loses it to Grabner who takes off with his jets and beats Elliot five hole. Game over. Nash with another over the blocker goal off the right wing after they defended well in their zone. Icing on the cake.
  9. Third period was more about whether Rick Nash could get a hattrick rather than if they could get two points. The Flyers looked defeated and wanted to go home. Both Grabner’s and Nash’s trade values just went up a notch or two. Good news.
  10. Congratulations to Henrik Lundqvist on reaching two milestones. He is now the first goaltender in NHL history to post 13 consecutive 20-win seasons. It was also his 425th career win, good for 8th place on the all-time list, passing Tony Esposito.

 

Our good friend CCCP was in attendance using a pair of tickets he won some time ago. Glad they won for him. We will have a few more contests soon.

It’s Go Time!

Rangers ( 22-17-5 ) vs Flyers ( 20-15-8 ). TV- MSG, NBCSN

The Flyers go for their fifth straight win, the Rangers lost three in a row including two losses against their divisional rivals. If they lose another on tonight, things may get ugly.

As you know, Boo Nieves, who has been struggling mightily lately, has been sent down to Hartford, and NY recalled Peter Holland. No clue what to expect from him, but I’m sure it’s not a hat trick.

Ryan McDonagh is a game time decision, Hayes is out.

Hank in net.

LGR!!!!!

 

Rangers-2, Penguins-5

Good morning, boneheads!

I’ll be driving back home from Upstate soon, hard to do much on my phone. So I’ll just give you a new post.

Their porous defense, their tendency to give up too many shots, their lack of physical play continues. Smith’s response was the only positive moment I can recall over the last 2 games.

Now they’re also playing without their best defenseman, and without two top 6 forwards ( three, if you count Nash who’s been absent for months).

Gorton has some thinking to do.

It’s Go Time!

Rangers ( 22-16-5 ) vs Penguins ( 23-19-3 ). TV-NBCSN

Our boys are going to have to forget yesterday’s embarrassing loss to the Fishsticks and get their act together. Something tells me they will be all fired up..It’s all about standings now. That, and about keeping their team together.

I’ll be out all day, so you will have to follow the Twitter to find out about the lineup on your own. My guess? Smith comes in replacing someone. There are too many candidates from last night. Let’s hope AV keeps Lettieri in and doesn’t  knee jerk Carey to replace Vinny.

Hank in net. That I can say for sure.

LGR!!!!!

No defense, no hits, subpar goaltending..

Even if I had time to review this disaster I wouldn’t want to waste it. But the title should pretty much sum it up. This is what happens if you decide to play porous defense and your goaltending can’t bail you out. Their defense has been trending in the wrong direction for weeks now, but both goaltenders have been stellar. This wasn’t Pavelec’s best game, but it wasn’t his fault either. How many hits did they throw this afternoon?

Anyway, this game is over. That’s the best news. Other good news? Let’s hope it makes them angry and more prepared for tomorrow night. Also, let’s hope Mika Zibanejad is really getting his offensive game back…