Rick Nash was brought in this past offseason to bring some much needed offense to the Rangers line-up. Unfortunately for Nash and Rangers fans, the rest of the team (other than Derek Stepan) have pretty much relied on him to do all the heavy lifting on offense.
Now with Nash struggling with the pressures of the playoffs, no one is stepping up in his absence.
And one look at the Rangers line-up yesterday tells you all you need to know about why that is...
Taylor Pyatt - 6g
Derek Dorsett - 3g (before he got hurt)
Brian Boyle - 2g
Arron Asham - 2g
Darrell Powe - 0g
Almost half of the Rangers line-up can't be relied on to score. In my opinion, none of those five guys are even remotely close to being an offensive threat when they're on the ice.
And that list doesn't even include Brad Richards, who is proving all his fluky late season goals where just that, a fluke and Mats Zuccarello, who I'm starting to question his ability to overcome his size in the playoffs when the physical intensity is stepped up a notch.
Even within the top six forwards, other than Nash, none of them really have the skill set to create their own shots or opportunities.
Just to put the Rangers goal scoring woes in context. The entire team has as many goals as Wade Redden (1g, 1a) through the first two games of the postseason. And just one more point (H/T to reader johnnyb3910).
So what do the Rangers need to do? I think with a line-up lacking any semblance of play-making ability this series, the Rangers need to start manufacturing some ugly goals. Get as many bodies to the net and start firing the puck at Holtby. Eventually the puck is going to take a funny hop or a rebound is going to land on the stick of a Ranger player parked on the crease.
The game plan literally needs to be "if you're a forward and you don't have the puck, crash the crease."
Torts might also need to add a little more skill to the line-up by re-inserting Chris Kreider.
I think if the Rangers can get back to these basics, they still have a real chance of getting back into this series.
with that prognosis we are not reaching the finals, ugly goals? there's so much to consider. bad officiating, for one, causes wins and losses, so called puck luck causes wins and losses. how many posts and near misses this series? they continue to plug away, right?, and they will break through. right now the Rangers look worse than the caps. when they play their game, they're just as dangerous. the goals will come.
HERE'S WHY THE RANGERS CAN'T SCORE: It's starts with John and ends in Tortorella. Period. This system has been and will continue to fail with this lineup.
Two quick items: For some reason the Rangers have really been forcing the strategy of setting up below the goal line. I'm not sure where this came from, I imagine scouting against the Caps showed some kind of weakness, but the way this team is built I don't like it. It ALLOWS these guys to spend too much time standing still, where as cycling forces you to move. second, it creates a huge void between the forwards and our D, which I think is the reason you don't see our D pinching like at the end of the season. When forwards are moving, D men know they have support and coverage, but when all 3 forwards are below the circles, the D doesn't want to get burned. Not to mention a bad feed from behind the net is essentially giving a speedy team like Washington their outlet pass for them.
Second, a question: is there a point to re-signing both Hagelin AND Zucc this off season? On a team that's showing its lack of size and physicality, do we resign two little guys? Kevin is right, Zucc was a spark at the end of the season, but he's getting pushed around in the playoffs.
Thanks for the H/T, Kevin, thankfully I didn't have to much math to figure out that stat.
Anyone see the Isanders play today? Watch how they play to score, a up tempo game while the Rangers play a slow boring , hope the other guys don't score game. It was ctually fun watching the Pens Islanders today after watchng the Rangers yesterday. Maybe the Rangers need to watch the game tape from today's game and try to copy that becasue they aren't going to win with the way they are currently playing.
Ive been reading for a long time but finally decided to comment on something. One thing I've been noticing is our D-men refuse to pinch to keep the puck in the offensive zone. The Caps do this constantly and seems to be one of the reasons they've been able to sustain pressure better than the Rangers. Every puck that comes up the boards the D-men bail to the neutral zone even when the have a shot to pick it up or at least could manage to start a battle along the boards. I could be wrong, just something I've noticed.
Here is something else... I have been a Ranger fan for 40-yrs & cause of that I know something Torts doesn't get. If we lose this series & I still think we can win the fans r going to blame Torts. The media already hates him so he will have very little support next year unless the Rangers have a great start the FIRE TORTS chance will start. Especially if Torts does not make adjustments & we lose. If he insists on being stubborn going down w-Powe Boyle et al the fans will revolt. Now I think he will adjust but if he doesn't he will lose steadfast supporters like me. He has to see he can't win w-a lineup like yesterday. He also has to see he needs more goal scoring. He needs more offensive pressure. If we lose the fans r going to take their frustration on him. Especially when he refuses to see the obvious like Richards does not belong on the point on the PP. Or if teams know all u r going to do is dump & chase then teams will just stay back then play the puck. If he insists on dressing 2-lines that have no offensive game teams will be more aggressive. If he insists on playing Girardi & McDonough & ridiculous amount of minutes & wearing them out which then causes mistakes due to fatigue then he will be blamed. I saw it happen to Shero, Brooks, Sator, Bergeron, Espo, Campbell, Renney & even Neil Smith. I still think he will adjust but if he doesn't he will b gone soon....it's just a matter of when.
This is not a problem we can fix now. It's the coach. Why do we run a system that is so defensive, when we have 3 great dmen and the best goalie in the league. How about not sitting back in in front of hank while the point gets to have 1 timer practice. Move up in the defensive zone and don't allow the points to wind up like teams do to us. Long shots lead to long rebounds and it is very easy for the opposition to get it right back to the points because our wingers are on the ground blocking shots and our center and dmen are standing 10 ft in front of hank. We end up being flat footed coming out of the zone and that is why we are forced to dump and chase every single shift. Never do we get odd man rushes.
They need to let Hank do his job. The Rangers have some good players up front and there is no reason why we should make them dive on the ice to play defense. You can't win if you don't score. The entire offense is passing on the boards and taking weak shots from the goal line in the corner or high wristers from the point
Islanders are a much better team than the Rangers. They are what we are last year, and thhey are fun to watch
Rangers need grit in order to score in the playoffs. They don't need more Gaboriks and they definitely do not need any more Richards. A couple of playoffs observations:
(1) the vast makority of playoff goals are scored in front of the net. Rarely are meaningful goals scored from 30 to 50 feet.
(2) An aggressive forecheck will eventually lead to needed garbage goals
(3) An aggressive fore check in your offensive zone will also provide the best defense for your team.
(4) Fore checking is a willful decision that a player makes to give hits and to receive hits. It is an act of the will that a player makes in order to win in the playoffs
(5) Gaborik said 'No" when he was asked to forecheck....so he is gone!
(6) Richards said, "I'll try hard to do that." Trying is all about being a victim. Richards depresses the energy out of any Ranger situation he plays in (as all victims do!) Richards will be gone after the playoffs.....does any Ranger fan think his salary cap hit could be put to better use??
(7) Nash is willfully learning to play that fore checking way. He has never had to play like that in his entire career...we have to be patient
(8) Some big question that eventually will be answered.....Can Zuke learn to play that fore checking way and because of his size will it all matter? Will Brassard develop into that kind of center? Will Boyle stop being a nice guy and develop a mean streak? Will the talent The Rangers have down on the Farm be willing to play that fore checking way?
(9) Watch the Kings-Blues series where both teams have great goal tending, great defense and a relentless fore-checking. Would you fire Sutter and Hitchcock?
It makes me sick watching the Pitt/NYI game. They both look so much more skilled than us it's sickening. People scoring on PP. Great passing. Proper board cycling. Shooting from the point, etc. Why the F can't we do that stuff?
I made al the same points in the comments of the game recap. U can't have 2-lines that r not a threat on offense. Powe Pyatt Asham Dorsett & even Hags R absolutely no threat to score. That makes it easy on the opponent. If u play Dorsett sit Powe. If u play Boyle sit Pyatt or Asham. Get Miller & Kreider in there & live w-their mistakes. I get why Torts didn't play them down the stretch cause he wanted to make the playoffs & didn't't want to hurt their development by putting pressure on them but now it's a new season, we need some more skill or we r going to lose anyway. Maybe they provide a spark. NHL history is littered w-teams who got a spark from unexpected players. Sometimes its a rookie sometimes its a veteran like Bobby Sheehan for 79-Rangers, the 90-Oilers had the kid line of Graves,Gelinas, & Murphy, Neil Broten in 95 for te Devs, even in 94 Doug Lidster came out of nowhere & stabilized our back line. I could go on and on but I am sure u get the point. The time is now for the kids. U need D & grit to win but u need skil as well.
Did anyone see what Holtby said, he said yesterday was an easy game for him. If that doesnt tell you how the Rangers offense has been playing idk what will. This should get under the Rangers skin, their goalie is making fun of you and making you guys look like a bunch of fools... And the worst part is that he is not even good
Is anyone really surprised? This is the team we've watched all season. Inconsistent - except to be consistently terrible at offense - power play or otherwise. The team that lost twice to bottom feeding Florida. The team that failed to get it going time and time again - especially in "must win" games. They are mediocre at best. Without the King we have a crap record and everyone's playing golf. We all can hope for the best with all the love we have in our bleed blue Ranger hearts but that doesn't change the current lineup or the weak coaching personnel. We are a team of grinders plus the King, Nash, Stepan and Callahan. Overpaid aging stars or tiny Norwegian Hobbits do not make a good team. Hopefully next year will be beter. No matter what happens this series - this is not a team strong enough to compete with top clubs. No bones about it - the Caps are a better team and are better coached. They got out of their early season funk and play a much better brand of hockey.
What's the worst thing about all this for Ranger fans? I am lothed to admit it but we are not better than the Islanders any more. Disgraceful. They are more talented offensively and more fun to watch - even when they are losing. I HATE that.
I am looking forward to better days for our club - but not to all the crap I have to hear from my Islander fan brother.
peace out and pray for miracles on ice!
Can't fire shots from behind the net. This cycle down low system isn't creating chances. This coaching staff has continued to double down on a system that doesn't produce goals. Hope their taking notes while watching the Caps.
I think once we get Clowe back (which will be game 3 it seems), things may not be perfect but Torts can go back to rolling lines that worked before the injury. Hags-Step-Cally; Nash-Brassard-Clowe; Zucc-Richie-Pyatt; Dorsett-Powe-Boyle.
Say what you will about Pyatt, but towards the end of the season he looked good along with those two. And I'm not the only one who thinks so since I've read the comments when that line was put together and several other people were saying the same. I think that with the injury to Clowe, Torts felt pressure to try and put lines together that didn't work.
Richie again is getting too much ice time. When you look at the games he played well, he had about 14 minutes. He's now getting over 20 again he doesn't look as solid. Clowe may not provide a huge amount of offense, but he helps to balance the lines. As for Powe, we take him out we lose a solid penalty killer and we all saw how awful the penalty kill was during the season when we scratched him. We know we're not getting goals from him, but we're getting hits, blocked shots, and a guy who plays hard every shift.
Honestly I know I am being very ambitious right now, but if we can find a way to get out of this round... Which is asking a lot, I really think we have a chance. If somehow, Boston, Pitt and Montreal all lose, we could be in a very nice position. Clearly we need to learn how to score first, and step has to figure out how to play in the playoffs
Freaking Islanders score 2 in first 8 minutes of game 3....
I always try and stay optimistic and I still think this series can turn but if the Rangers don't come out swinging tomorrow and end up losing I'm going to be genuinely disgusted. No reason why we can't beat this team.
Wow - did not know the numbers were that horrible, but I should have guessed.
Agee with Muggs that they've played the same boring hockey for four years now. While I don't mind a defensive system, you can see how it really stifles the creativity of the offensive players - something that;s sorely lacking on this team (and teams past).
This can all change in one night... And you didn't even mention Callahan, who has been nonexistent also, in terms of offense
Nothing is goin to change with this team until Tortorella is gone along with Richards. We have ben watching the same boring hockey for 4 years now. every one knows what the Rangers are going to do because they are so static and that is on the coaching staff. Why bring up Kreider if he's going to get 4-5 minutes for the game? I doubt the Rangers can get back in this series and if it means Tortorella will be fired then so be it. Wait till next year!
Kreider won't be of any help because Torts won't put him out there in a position of Kreider's strength. And if Kreider was the one on the ice when Chimera had that brilliant chance he would have never seen the ice again. Dorsett didn't miss a shift.
Bring in Kreider.
I'm already sick of Boyle. I often find myself getting excited when it looks like a play is developing and the Rangers are breaking out... until I notice Boyle taking lead and die a little on the inside.
@Iron Mike EXACTLY - this is what I've been saying since I first joined this board around mid-season - failure to modify his system to adjust to his changing personnel. Maybe that's easier said then done? Not being a hockey coach I couldn't say but I understood how the off season changes would impact this team yet torts tried to carry the same system (with no discernible modifications) that was magical for an undertalented hard working "blue collar" team last year into this season's team which had gained in the talent department but lost some grit. I expressed this concern here before anyone that I'm aware of (though I'm sure others saw this as well), and then a good month or 2 later Torts comes out with "we underestimated the impact of losing some of our guys??? WTF? The coach is more knowledgeable than the fan. Right??? Maybe that was just press talk but still, results are what walk. There are other tidbits I've mentioned throughout the season on our coaching problems, too much to repeat now but adaptability, flexibility or lack there of are part of the rant, you know, what good coaches do but we don't: modify their systems game by game to meet and beat their opponents. Also what is needed to be a truly good coach from my experiences and observations is INTUITION. Not to be underestimated (even Donald Trump believes he owes much of his success to "following his gut"). Intellect is only half the equation, especially in a lightning fast sport where you don't have time to think. Proper use of intuition will separate a good coach from a great coach. Amongst other things it speeds and enhances the decision making process, speaking of which John what on earth were you thinking leaving Ryan (a stilll young player) out to dry for 3+ minutes, mostly pinned in his own zone (which takes way more energy from a dman) and then leave him on the ice to try to defend against the larger, stronger superstar when there are rested NHL defensemen on your bench, any which one of them could have done a better job against Ovi than a guy who's practically bent over on his stick ready to pass out. ??
Looks like Torts is down to 2 games now to prove me wrong.
Anyway, coaching problems aside in the end it's the players who will win or lose this series. This would make for a good time for Cally to take a pointer from Mess about winning the cup in spite of the coach.
@MikeNYR22 Wow Mike. I wanted to post something very similar like yours... Spot on man ! And i also notice how the Blackhawks Dmen are very involved on offence ! Or when Dan Girardi scored the OT goal vs Islanders. Hopefully that will fix the PP woes as well, Rangers D gotta step it up.
Wow Mike. I wanted to post something very similar like yours... Spot on man !
And i also notice how the Blackhawks Dmen are very involved on offence !
Or when Dan Girardi scored the OT goal vs Islanders. Hopefully that will fix the PP woes as well, Rangers D gotta step it up.
Torts wants the D to pinch. I haven't noticed that but if u right & u probably are that's a sign of a team playing w-no confidence or in the case of the Caps lots of confidence. That's why Caps r on a roll. In today's NHL u have to pinch & keep possession of the puck or u won't score.
@ThrSage Well, I've been a Ranger fan for 48 yrs. and I've seen it all too. My question to you is if you see how Tortorella and his system plays out, how can you support him? I cannot wait until this guy gets fired. How frustrating it is to have your favorite team play the most boring hockey in the entire NHL. They grind and grind along the boards until they get the puck past the iceing line to try and generate a scoring opportunity from in back of the net. This is exhausting to watch, let alone play. Do you want another year of the same? We're both getting old, let's dump this guy and move on. I yearn for the days of watching the Rangers score a goal off the rush. I can't even remember the last one i've seen. How sad is that.
Told ya Josh...Capuano...coach of the year.
Are u kidding? Do u know how many times Hitchcocks & sutter have been fired? Like Torts they play a grinding Defense first style mixed w-an in ur face demanding/confrotational coaching. They like Torts have won a Cup cause thats how u win a Cup. I agree w-most of what u wrote. I am a steadfast Torts supporter but he has been awful in this series so far. I think he needs to make adjustments & he will. If he doesn't he will deserve the criticism. As I said I agree w-most of what u wrote especially the Gabby stuff & if u see some of my posts u will see that. However ur criticism of Richards is way off. He buys in 100% to Torts way. He did in Tampa & was a Conn Smythe winner for him & thats why Torts wanted him here. Now he has certainly struggled this yr but its not cause he hasn't bought into Torts way. In fact he probably needs to be a little more offensive minded. There is no doubt Richards will be an amnesty buy out but I would wait a year unless we need the Cap space this summer.
I saw that and cringed. He was basically chuckling with Pierre about how easy of a game it was.
I hope the MSG crowd takes a page from Washingtons book tomorrow night. That crowd must be on the same dose of speed as Ovechkin, because they go apeshit every time a puck hits Holtby in the chest. The problem with an MVP Player in front of an MSG crowd is they don't always appreciate it. Washington fed off of their crowd, I hope the boo birds stay home and the crowd goes nuts for everything from faceoffs to routine saves tomorrow night..
@AveryYesBettmanNo just one question, name one "overpaid star" we have thats not Richards?
@Josh6 Not only get Powe out..... Pyatt is skating in mud and Asham looks lost. Miller and Kreider and Clowe, if healthy, and get Richards off the damn point on the PP>
@paul.dubsky11 And give up 2 PP goals in :19 seconds...
Messier on many occasions has said that Keenan was the greatest coach he ever played for...did you know that?
In the context of a Cap system Sather and Torts are committed to a winning system and they are trying to acquire, develop and coach personnel who fit the system.....not the other way around. It is the same system that the Kings, Blues have now and the same system that has brought success to The Devils over the last 20 years. You build from the goalie out....with good strong mobile defense.....hard on the puck in all zones and offense will be created out of a strong forecheck. We are very close to that kind of a team. We are in need of more grit, the kind of grit that raises the level of everyone's play.
Here is why? His style wins. It's what the Wings,Devs won a lot of Cups doing. All the good teams play that way. The Blues Kings Ducks etc etc. The exception being the Pens & Hawks cause they have so much offensive talent. The other thing is I think we have over achieved under Torts. He went to the playoffs w-Dubinsky as his leading scorer w-54 points. He almost made the playoffs w-Prospal as his #1 center. He had us within 2-games of the Finals last yr w-not a lot of talent. This team is a collection of solid Feds w-1-great Scorer in Nash, a very good bordering on great top 3-defenseman & the best goalie in the league. It's not a Cup winning team, not yet anyway. Now if Kreider,Miller,Lindbergh,Fast et al become great players then it will be but it isn't yet. He has gotten a lot more out of this group then anyone can ask. He has also developed Stepan, Mcdonough, & a bunch of others into good to great players. Throw in the fact he won a Cup in Tampa & his track record of developing players in Tampa..Lecavlier, Richards, Boyle, St. Louis & I have confidence we can win a Cup for us. I believe Torts detractors overate our talent blame him for things he is not in control of. Now keep in mind I think he has had an awful series so far but the lack of goal scoring is not all his fault. In game-1 Hags missed on a breakaway & a perfect set up on a 2 on 1. He buries those especially the breakaway & we win that game. Hags is a great example of what I mean about Torts critics overrating our talent. We all got excited about Hags but after 2-yrs it's safe to say he is not a top-6 fwd. his speed is an asset but he will never be a big time goal scorer. Now with all that said I have my issues w-Torts. He refuses to change the PP. I love Richards but he has no biz being on the point on the PP. Torts has not fixed the PP in 4-yrs here & doesn't change anything when it doesn't work. I also think he is overly reliant on Giradi & Mcdonough& it eventually leads to them getting worn down. Also his battles w-the media are childish & stupid. It leads to an everyone against the Rangers mentality & that puts a lot of undue pressure on us. And why? Cause they ask stupid questions? So what. I think his in ur face style also is why so many league calls go against us & cause he alienates the officials we don't get many calls. I agree w-his critics who say some players would score more but don't cause Torts insistence on playing safe has some guys playing scared. I don't think that's his intent but its the result. As u can seeI see his faults but his good outweighs his bad. However he is a "sandpaper type guy so he has a short shelf life & I think it's starting to be up.
Very respectfully I ask you "How does a teacher know that a student buys into doing his homework?".................."How does a parent know that his child buys into coming home on time?"......"How do you know that Richards buys into Torts' (2012-2013) system that says you take a hit and you give a hit?"
I totally respect that Richards bought into Torts' system years ago. That is no longer the case now....is it? Which is why they will let him go contractually. Richards does not infuse energy into the Rangers with his comments! Richards does not infuse energy into the Rangers with his play. This rendition of Richards saps the energy of The Rangers.
You are a knowledgeable fan, so I ask you, "How do you feel listening to Richards talk about the difficult year he has had? What kind of energy do you feel listening or reading his words?
As a Ranger fan are you energized by the play of this present day version of Richards? What kind of energy do you feel watching Richards execute Torts' system? Would you follow Richards through a wall to win?
We have plenty of skilled players ...they're just not scoring. It's always the same thing...no scoring...blame the 4th line. Blame the guys who do their job...take the body, bring energy....play strong on the puck..etc.....
Hey skilled players.....do your jobs...and put the puck in the freaking net. And stop looking so pathetic on the PP...can't blame the "unskilled" players for that hot mess.
@EHBIGAPPLE @Betweentheworlds @Iron Mike In some ways Mess and Keenan were similar and yes, when there was controversy, and even afterwards Mess did publically defend his coach, however there were also unconfirmed reports that told a different story, not to mention other players, like Tony Amonte's accounts - but whether or not it's true that Mess essentially "coached" this team after Keenan lost the locker room we won, and Keenan is a proven Stanley Cup champion coach - as is Torts. Don't like either of them but end of story.
Also in response EH I have not questioned the system but rather the lack of flexibility and imagination within that system, (and BTW the Devils used a Neutral Zone trap to be successful, very different from what we do). Building from the goalie out? Yes. Definitely. Strong mobile d? Of course. Need more grit? Really??? Bring in players to match the system? Didn't we ship those kind of players out for the more offensive Nash???? Hard on the puck in all zones? The Rangers currently are not hard on the puck in all zones, especially in their own zone but rather collapse in front of the net and rely on blocked shots while trying to keep the opposing forecheck on the perimeter. They've always played that way and that strategy will get them absolutely plastered against Sid, Iglina, Malkin and Co. Our system is very sound if it can be properly augmented and adjusted to meet our competition and only if we play the puck hard, punish the opposition and only collapse when the puck is down low. LGR
I think at best Richards is a declining player who can use experience smarts & his ability to rise up in big moments to have one more really good season. Or at least one more big playoff run. At worst he is another in a looonnngg line of guys who were brought here after great success elsewhere & was done. U know the names...Blane Stoughton, Marcel Dionne, Bobby Carpenter, Pavel Bure,Keane, Skrudland, Drury,Gomez, and on and on. Either way he will be bought out this yr or next. all I am saying is wait til next yr unless there is a reason to buy him out now ie; Cap room to bring in other players. My frustration is not I what he says its in his struggles w-the puck. He spent 2/3 of the season losing the puck while not being touched. I am also frustrated at Torts refusal to take him off the point on the PP. He is doesn't have the shot tob there & unlike Riberio on the game winning goal yesterday he doesn't use his skill to create space for others Remember though he did play well in the final 10-games including scoring the tying goal in Carolina and he did score the biggest goal of the playoffs last yr. He is one of those guys who rise up in big spots. So to answer ur question yeah I would go thru a wall for him & so would many Rangers. He is the rare player who won a Cup & Conn Smythe. He is on the decline but he is a good guy who knows how to win!!!! Seems like u and I agree on a lot just maybe not this.
No Hags is not. He has 1-big time skill...his speed. He has very little creativity w-the puck. He has limited vision on the ice. He does not posses a big time wrist or slap shot. He will never be a 30 or 40 goal scorer. He will always be in the 15-20 area & on a good year maybe maybe 25. In short he is a3rd line player. Or a 2nd line player who plays w-2 top players. Like say if he was on Pens u put him w-Neal & Malkin & he would add some straight ahead speed. Or like he is w-us play him Stepan & Nash & his speed creates room and it allows him to get the puck but he is not a top 6 fwd in the talent sense. He is an asset but just another complimentary player.
Good point Kevin. Cally and step are hard working guys. They are the heart of the team. But they also need some guys whose main skill is scoring to complement the diggers.
@McPhee37 @Dminches I wouldn't say "plenty" of skilled players. We have a couple, imo, Nash, Zucc, and possibly Brassard and Callahan. These players are the only ones who seem to create plays while the rest just grind it out until an opportunity arises. Then it's hit or miss whether they capitalize on those opportunities.
So you disagree with Kevin's analysis? Also, how come you only comment when I say play Miller and Kreider and not when others do? I am not alone in this. I can't watch this team score 1 goal in 2 games.