The Rangers could have very easily won Game 1 if they took advantage of the numerous opportunities presented to them. Here they are...
Carl Hagelin misses short-handed breakaway in second period...
To watch at NHL.com, click here.
...ugh, don't want to say game over if Hagelin scores there, but Rangers would have had a strangle hold on the game.
Here's Adam Oates on the importance of that short-handed Holtby save (via Newsday)...
"I thought the breakaway that Holts stopped on Hagelin was the big one, though. Penalties . . . we killed them well. Every little thing matters."
Coming up empty on second period 5-on-3...
...similar to the Hagelin missed shorty opportunity, this goal would have put the Capitals back on their heels. While the Rangers did have possession for almost all of the 5-on-3 the quality of shot that they generated just wasn't what it needed to be when you're two men up. Needed to be better in the faceoff circle during the power play as well.
Here's Henrik Lundqvist on the impact of coming up empty there (via New York Post)...
“It’s a big play in the game. It changed a lot. It really did.”
Hagelin hits crossbar in third period...
...i really hate to pick on Hagelin because not only did he score, he was flying all night, but he has to bury that. He had an empty net. No excuses for missing that.
Ryan McDonagh on Hagelin's crossbar...
"It's unfortunate. Hags hit the post. It could be [3-2] there."
And finally, the John Moore non-goal, goal in the third period...
To watch at NHL.com, click here.
...this wasn't really a missed opportunity, more of just bad luck. Was that a goal? Absolutely. Was there conclusive evidence that it went in? Absolutely not. Refs and Toronto sadly had no choice but to rule no goal.
...even with all the penalties, Hank's bad goal and faceoff ineptness, if the Rangers could have taken advantage of just two of these opportunities they probably win the game, which has me very positive about their prospects of coming back in the series.
...oh yeah, and stop shooting the puck wide!!!!!!! It's like Del Zotto was giving out free shooting lessons to his teammates before the game.
Any time you lose you can look at "missed opportunities". - it's not like they weren't trying to cash in. This was a good team effort. The team looked quick, sharp and physical (relatively speaking). Great passing, speed and beautiful transition game, Need bodies in front of the net but we did a lot of things right. This was a good game which 3 out of 4 times we win. Can't worry about missed opportunities now because that will always happen - just got to go out there and create even more opportunities next time.
Well damn....I was at this game and missed half of what you all are describing because of an abusive Islanders fan and his Capitals buddies screaming insults at us and about a dozen Rangers fans in the same section for the entire game. Now I'm really ticked!!
BTW...Verizon Center security is crap. Wouldn't remove the brain trust noted above because they said "we'll be good" despite the fact a young Caps fan was in tears from all the profanity and my 16 year old daughter got the finger from one Caps fan right in front of said security for standing up (we were in front of a wall so no one was behind us) because she couldn't see and also didn't want to get caught in a fight between these idiots and the mother of the crying child. He said they paid for their tickets and we should be removed from "their arena". Never seen anything like it in all my years of living in DC and being an away team fan.
The Rangers were not outplayed for the majority of the game. However the same issues still exist, can't wing faceoffs, the PP still sucks and trouble scoring at even strength. These are the same issues as the regular season, so why should the playoffs be any different? If the Rangres can't keep the Caps to only 1 or 2 goals ( Hank will be better ) then it's one and done.
After the midway point of the 1st we had a lot of jump. Good accurate quick passes and generated a lot of scoring chances. Yeah, missed opportunities and bad breaks but the king will return to form and if we can keep it up we win the series.
Like I've said, I'm pissed from this game, but the Caps were not impressive. We missed all of these opportunities and had very little luck last night. I'm not worried for that reason.
WSH won faceoff battle 32-30. Going deeper into the numbers, NYR won just 9 draws in the offensive zone. Can't sustain any offense if you're consistently losing o-zone draws .
Einstein's definition of insanity is trying the same thing and expecting different results. 5 forwards on the 5-on-3 just hasn't worked all season. Nor has Girardi on the point at 5-on-4. Love him or hate him, MDZ is a natural point man on the PP. Let him do what he does best, unless someone proves they can do it better. No one has. Torts has got to wake up to that.
Honestly, if that is the best the caps have to offer, i think the Rangers will win the next 3. They got no puck luck tonight, and I hope Hank turned in his worst period of the playoffs in the second period. Almost every bounce went against us, and you would have to think there wont be as many PP's in the next couple of games. However, winning three would require the Rangers being consistent, which I doubt will happen.
Am i in the minority when I say Holtby did not play that well... He made a couple of nice saves like the one on Hags breakaway, but he misplayed a lot of shots. Hags had a wide open net on that 2 on 1, Hags wraparound try on the 2 on 1 he misplayed, Moores shot he cheated on, he cheated on one of Nash's shortside attempts that almost went in. IDK but I thought the saves he made were the ones shot right at him, and I guess he didnt give up many rebounds. The Rangers need to hit the net more, and get start burying these open nets, and they should be fine
Worst game for Zuccarello since he came back. Led the team in shooting wide, and he should have gotten the primary assist on the Caps' 3rd goal. That said - I agree - we can certainly come back to win game 2 and the series.
@1NYN8V I went to U of Maryland in the 80s (Boomer QB time). Anyway, I went to a Rangers Caps game and had seats behind the goalie. I was on crutches and people were yelling "break his other leg". Rangers won and I had fun but that was before the Caps had any reason to think they could win games. Sorry to hear they showed so little class last night.
@TheWrage They also had a tough time winning faceoffs on the power play.
@PharmerBern I really hate having Nash so deep on the PP. He seems to just wait there for a bad angle shot. They do better on the rush because he is still in the play.
@PharmerBern I think Moore has played better than Del Zotto when he's had the chance to play the point
@Josh6 Agree on Holtby. He was shaky, which made only scoring once that much more infuriating.
@sureshore Yeah, Zuccarello was the biggest culprit of missing the net.
@KevinDeLury @sureshore The thing is, it seemed to me anyway that a lot of Zuccs shots were from just inside the blue line. You never know when a guy is "shooting" from far out whether he's looking to get a deflection from a player closer to the net or whether he's just banking it off the back boards or whether there's a guy in front of him partially blocking his lane so he shoots wide so it doesn't get blocked and create an odd man rush the other way. I, for one, liked his instinct to put it "toward" the net as opposed to yet another pass around the perimeter.
You guys must have watched a different game then I did. IMO. Zuccarello was by far the best player on the ice for the Rangers.He was all over the ice and made some nice passes which were not finished, especially by Richards.
The guy is so lucky. And the fact that NBC pumps his tires as much as they do makes me sick. His zen, meditation bull is getting old. He's cocky and needs to be brought back to earth.
You want to know what Torts tought of Zuc, look at the ice time he's got. Torts dolls out ice time on the basis o how the guy plays.
By the way, How many goals did Nash,Richards and Callahan scored? They make about 20 mills. between them.If you are pointing fingers then poit them at guys who supposed to make a differance, the big dollar guys who were brought in to make plays and score goals.
I think you are just bias suresure.
@sureshore @KevinDeLury @scrangersfan Zucc missed the net an awful lot and his lack of size was quite evident in playoff hockey last night.. He can still be effective going forward though. He looked a bit nervous out there to me. 1st game jitters. Love his attitude and heart and has proven to be a really awesome passer.
Yeah - I guess I did watch a different game. 1 shot on goal and probably about 10 attempted. Took dumb shots far more often than making the right pass. On ice for both of Caps even strength goals including a tape to tape pass to Caps on 3rd goal. And re being all over the ice - that's not always a good thing if you're running around puck chasing and caught out of position. So - yeah - I guess we watched a different game.
@scrangersfan I didn't think he had a bad game, he just seemed to be off with his shot last night.