The New York Rangers (16-17-1) defeated the Calgary Flames (13-15-5) by the score of 4-3 in a shootout, tonight. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...amazing what happens when this team plays with a little nastiness to their game. They initiated scrums after the whistle, won puck battles and actually competed for ice. I get that they were playing an inferior opponent, but with the way this team has been playing, I sure as heck ain't complaining.
...that had to easily have been the most productive shootout I've ever seen from the Rangers. Ridiculous move, after ridiculous move. You know, minus Nash's nothing attempt. Anyone else scream "Dominic Moore?!?!?!" at their TV before his attempt? Good thing I don't make the shootout lineup.
...when Lundqvist is shaky in the shootout, you know he's off his game.
...absolutely loved Kreider's physicality. Mixed it up in front of the net all night and was finally rewarded with the tying goal. Needs to be more disciplined though as he's taken way too many penalties lately.
...good to see Stepan finally earn his salary. In all seriousness, he might have scored the biggest goal of the season, because if the Rangers go into the locker room down 2-0, I don't think they come back. And with the Penguins up next, this losing streak might have lasted another week.
...fun to watch Hagelin use his speed for a purpose. He's been way too invisible this season for a guy with those kind of wheels.
...McIlrath looked real timid again in the first period, but I thought after that he settled down and played a solid game. And while he didn't exactly impress in his fight against McGratton, I think it sent a message to the rest of the league that the Rangers now have a presence in the lineup who's not afraid to dance with the big boys.
...i guess the solution to the Rangers scoring problems was to just play with one less crappy forward. Smart move AV.
...speaking of crappy forwards, easily Pouliot's best performance since the Red Wings game. If he can play with that kind of desire on a consistent basis, he might actually be a productive player for the Rangers.
...Rangers were very lucky that all the good they did tonight was not undermine by the absurd amount of giveaways. Need to clean that up.
...you know you're terrible when you're a career backup and you can't beat the Rangers.
...while I'm not doing cartwheels over this win, as I stated the other day, it's amazing how a boost of confidence can lift a team's performance, so I don't think I can understate how important these two points are to the Rangers psyche. Should allow them to be much looser when they take on the Metro Division leading Penguins on Wednesday. The next test for the Rangers will be finding that elusive consistency that has plagued them the first third of the season.
Post game talk...
I still don't think Ulf Samuelsson has done much of a coaching job with the defense. Way too many stick checks and getting caught out of position. Of course MDZ is usually out of position, but Girardi and even Stralman look lost out there sometimes. Good positioning should have been taught after 30 games unless Ulf is dealing with players who can't read the play or have no anticipation. Moore looks like he is regressing too. That's on the coach!
i know kreider's not known as a fighter but his game will become even better when he finally gets pi**ed at somebody for pickin on one of his teammates. all i think he has to do is get involved and his strength will take care of things for him. as for mcilrath, his fight wasn't the cause of anyhting that i could see, it was just one of those staged fights which are senseless. if it was from a dirty hit or to that effect it would mean more to the team and the league would take more notice. as for pulliot, that's the 1st game i've seen him put any effort in at all, he actually skated !!!!
Zuccarello first or second in hits every night win or lose. I would be embarrassed if I was a Ranger over 6' or I guess even 5'.
It seems to me over the last few years if Haglin plays well the Rangers play well. Yes he has stone hands and probably weighs 160Lbs but when he is buzzing around it seems lift them.
Obviously the Rangers needed someone to stick up for hem. They needed it last year when they got Clowe. Maybe that's the trade you make instead of being worried about getting a defense men back for MDZ. I am sure the organization should notice it at some point.
As for McIlrath your going to make mistakes if you are rookie or Girardi but I liked that he made some good first passes out of zone under pressure as the game went on. Let him play
@TheNYRBlog I know McI didnt win the fight last night,but the Flames seemed to act a little different when he was on the ice.I like him here
I think this was just what the doctor ordered. Its games like last night that teams begin to turn it around, I am not saying its all rainbows and butterflies from here on in but a resilient effort was nice to see. The crowd got going in the 3rd which I think helped a lot. Now the nest two games are rivalry games and I expect a high level of competition from the rangers.
Team's got a long way to go before they "turn the corner" and become a contender, but 2 points are 2 points. It wasn't the prettiest of games, but I was extremely excited to see guys like Kreider, McDonagh, Stepan, and even McIlrath doing their things. Kreider and McDonagh in particular are absolute beasts. Kreider also seems to have a knack for getting the big goal, which is something this team has sorely lacked since Jagr left. He gets a TON of abuse (much of it deserved), but that pass MDZ made to spring Kreider was absolute artistry! Hopefully they can use this win as a springboard to start playing more cohesively. The potential is there, they just need to realize it!
You guys do realize that McGrattan is currently a top 3, if not the #1 HW in this league, right? The kid showed me something to step right in, in his 2nd NHL game and take on a legit fighter. He didn't go after some bum who he knew he could shitkick, he was willing to step to one of the best in the league at their craft. He looks lost in his own zone so far however and looks to need a lot of work. Thankfully we finally have someone who will punish the other team or stand up against the HWs of the league and not embarrass themselves
Do you really think a win over a lousy team is enough to spark the Rangers? I sure hope so, Kevin, but I am skeptical. We'll know soon enough.
@TheNYRBlog If they are any looser defensively vs Pens then they were last nite,people behind net are gonna get sunburn from redlite goin on
@TheNYRBlog Indeed it was. Even the fa ns were exhilarated last night. Just have to keep the faith! !
Even though Mcllrath got destroyed and it almost seemed staged it was nice to see him not back down. Lets hope next time he learns that its not good using your head to punch the guys fists.
No one mentioned Falk, he was in anyones face who came near his net. May suck as a d-man but sure was gritty. McD proves once again greatest steal in Ranger history. Maybe Sather can trade Pyatt,MDZ and Ritchie to Montreal for Prust, Subban and their best prospect.
Hey, Look! People with sweaters instead of suits in the first two rows! Must have been a weekend game...
How about McIlrath getting the Broadway Hat? AV may still be a little clueless to what a fight or some physicality can do, but its certinaly not lost on the other players. Pouliot, Step, Hags, Kreider could have all be considered, but I think giving the hat to McIlrath speaks volumes about how the group appreciates his presence, and they're letting him know it.
It wasn't pretty and it wasn't dominant, but that was the first time in weeks that looked like a hockey TEAM playing in a PROFESSIONAL level game.
Am I supposed to be excited that they had have a shootout against one of the worst teams in the NHL? Am I happy they won, yes, but to me this just delays the inevitable. They still stink.
Kreider is a beast. Love his game now and it's only getting better. He's playing in the mold of Malkin, though obviously not on that level of dominance yet. We're gonna see huge stuff from this kid. Stepan's move where he faked the shot then went to the net is THE move we've been waiting for all season. If he'd shot that puck, it would have been either blocked, wide, or right in the breadbasket, for the 10,000th time this season by a NYR shooter. That was a HUGE creative breakthrough and i hope we see more and more of that. Screw the outside shots, chip it on net and get rebounds. We have the hands, in theory.the line of richards, zucc and brass features 3 of the most creative players on the rangers and could be great if they can finish and not just be an endless loop of between-the-legs drop passes.DZ made a really nice pass. We need one of those a game from him to balance out the handful of mistakes.Nash looked pretty good too. looks like what we can expect from him is 3 to 4 incredible bursts / elite-skill plays per game. not gonna dominate the way Ovy does, but I'll take it. He was just inside his own head on the shootout... "Let's see he probably thinks I'm gonna do the Forsberg move again, so I'll fake that one then go forehand...whoops! too late.."
By the way, I don't know how anyone can't love Zucc now. At one point he was scrumming with three guys at once in front of the net. And then he had one of the most creative shootout goals I've ever seen. That move, or non-move, was on a Datsyuk level.
In Kreider's defense, that first penalty should not have been called. That was ridiculous. As was the call against McIlrath. And the high stick call against Kreids was just bad luck. He had no idea the guy was there.
For all the faults at least there was some passion and battle, which has been sorely missing. would we have been smoked by a top team? Probably but hank's save percentage was awful again and besides that we were the better team.Next, Pittsburgh, though a great team is like Cybil, especially Fleury. You never know which team you'll get. We've taken them by some pretty lopsided scores lately.. LGR
They barely scraped by a team with 2 nhl caliber players & a 4th string goalie... I wouldn't be celebrating either.
All seriousness, this was a pretty ugly game. But a win's a win. Our forwards are struggling just as much as the defensemen with their defensive responsibilities and it showed on the Flames goals. For the most part, it seemed all seven d-men played pretty decently, better than Ash or Pyatt would have played. McIlrath, while not having the best first fight, still held his own for the most part. Let's keep in mind just exactly who he fought. It wasn't a young kid, it was an experienced fighter. Kudos to the kid who also seemed to enjoy the experience of throwing a few punches in the NHL. Holy shit lifefyre is a piece of shit I apologize for this little rant but fuck commenting has been more difficult than watching this goddamn team play. Step didn't have the best game but he wasn't as bad as some people seem to be saying. He scored a goal, got an assist, and no matter what you make of it it's a step in the right direction. I won't say much more since fuck you lifefyre but until next time.
they got their work cut out, but thankfully they were able to eke out a win against another struggling team. it's up to them to build on it.
Prison rules...find the biggest guy and take him on. Kid showed true guts and just missed on a few haymakers. He'll only get better in all aspects of the game.
Migration was hitting him with pansy punches. Not one big shot landed...no knock out.. nothing......so explain how did he get destroyed?
@johnnyb3910 I noticed the same thing! Big difference in energy with the crowd for sure.
Not to mention McGrattan is a true heavyweight in the league.
@johnnyb3910 It was good to see Mcllrath fight, but someones gotta tell him to not use his head to punch the other persons fist.
I was about to write the same thing. Sad that a come from behind, seven round shoot out win against a team full of players i have never even heard of before last night passes as good news these days!
I been saying it since day one. They comes to play.... makes BS money and earns every cent....Some guys on that team should take notice. Yes Boyle. I'm calling u out
I'm all in with Zucc now. I noticed that he has started to play with an edge, playing a little like, dare I say, Avery. He's being a pest. He bumps into everyone, especially when he's on the way to the bench after a shift or after a whistle. its kinda fun to watch.
@BetweentheworldsYou were one of the few voices who appreciated Zucc's big heart and hockey abiliity from early on. I thank you for that. Could you imagine his play if he had a hard-nosed center to play with?
I personally think it will be hard for The King to return to his "Vezina-like" form under AV's system. The King flourished under a defense first system. I don't think he will return jot fjord under an up tempo system. You might recall how AV handled the goal tending situation in Vancouver....there were a lot of confidence issues there and a lot of games giving up a lot of goals.
@JoshKaye I've been fighting with Livefyre big time lately. They suck.
It's his first fight.... in the nhl... cut the kid some slack. He threw some bombs that missed. ..... mcgratton hit him with short Lil pansy punches
A win is a win, but the Pens game will really show us how far we have come.
Huge Zucc fan ... been rootin for him all along and he's turned out to be one of our best players -- given this squad, he probably shouldn't be one of our best, but he is right now
@EHBIGAPPLE@BetweentheworldsYeah, being a small guy myself who kick boxed, played varsity basketball etc. I know a thing or 2 about overcoming a size deficit which was the major knock on Zucc. I think most of us recognized that he had the moxy and talent. I just felt like he had guile, instincts and passion on top of that combined with world class talents sufficient enough to overcome the obvious disadvantage of size. Yeah, spent hours defending him here and now he's won us over. Looks like I will be right on this one but the final answer is not revealed yet. I hope you're wrong about the king. I've been answering his detractors after the big contract by saying that Hasek, as well as all goalies have gone into ugly slumps at different points in their careers and have bounced back. Under Torts system there was a lot of shot blocking and screening. Sometimes that helped hank, sometimes it hurt him as our own players would screen him and deflect shots into the net. One would think that with a system geared towards clearing the net and reducing traffic would benefit Hank but so far that has not been the case. Some people don't understand that AV's system has a defensive side as well and some of his teams were up there in the top 10 but it's not that you never block a shot either. You have to in the NHL, especially in keeping point shots from becoming rebound chances or deflections, you just make clearing the crease your priority rather than collapsing down low. Torts' system may be superior in regards to goals against but it has it's drawbacks too like any other
@AG_Blue@mando24179 First off McGratton was taking it easy on the Kid. You could easily see he controlled the fight. He still drew blood on Mcllrath while not trying to hurt him. Im a big fan of the kid, but hes got ways to go in the fighting department. But still nice to see hes not scared though. Also i guess destroyed was a little to mucn. More like the kid really had no chance in the fight from the start.
McGratton was being a good sport. He controlled the fight from start to finish and did the kid a favor by not seriously hurting him. It's okay
@mando24179 I agree. I was kindin a half kidding. Happy he stould up though.
McGratton did the kid a favor. Call them "pansy punches" if you like, but 'Gratin is a seasoned pro and a good sport. He controlled the fight the whole time and could've beaten the kid senseless if he wanted to. McIlrath was thoroughly out-matched by a skilled pro fighter. Props to McIlrath for taking him on. The kid's only gonna get better.