Monday, January 23, 2017

Rangers 1, Red Wings 0, OT

The New York Rangers (30-16-1) defeated the Detroit Red Wings (20-19-8) by the score of 1-0 in overtime. For a box score, click here.

3 Stars

1st Star - Anyone who's a fan of hockey and missed this snoozefest of a game.
2nd Star - Anyone who's not on the Joe Louis Arena ice maintenance team. (Per AV and team, ice was horrible)
3rd - My daughter's lacrosse coach who scheduled practice during the game forcing me to DVR it and therefore allowing me to fast forward through the most excruciatingly boring parts.

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation 

I know I needed a Red Bull and Vodka to wake my ass up after this one.

Gif of the Game

Nick Holden lowers the boom!

That Sneaky Little Sh*t Zuccarello

Not sure if you paid attention to Zuccarello's final shift that led to Miller's game winner in overtime but it was a long, strange trip.

Let's take a look, shall we.

As you can see, the first time we see Zuccarello in the overtime is deep in the Red Wings zone at the 4:19 mark meaning he likely began his shift a couple of seconds earlier at around 4:22.

After Detroit recovers the puck, Zuccarello skates the length of the ice into the Rangers zone and plays defense. After the puck exits the defensive zone, Zuccarello skates past the Rangers bench as the puck is eventually cleared into the Red Wings end at the 3:54 mark. With his shift already at nearly 30 seconds you assume he'd be ready for a change. As did the next Ranger up as you can see him already standing on the bench anticipating Zuccarello coming off.

Instead, Zuccarello stayed on the ice and was forced to play defense again as the Red Wings advanced the puck back into the Rangers end. While playing defense, Zuccarello found the puck on his stick, raced to center ice and dumped it into the Red Wings zone.

After dumping the puck in, Zuccarello again finds himself in front of the Rangers bench. This time at the 3:44 mark. His linemate (Stepan) has just come off and he's now 40 seconds into a shift that's included two defensive stops and a full sprint through the neutral zone. Time for a change, right?

Wrong. Zuccarello, seeing his dump in quickly turned the other way by Detroit, busts it back into his own end and, yet again, finds himself playing defense. His new linemate Miller is able to clear the zone and skate the puck through center ice. Meanwhile, Zuccarello, for the third time on this shift, passes directly in front of the Rangers bench. This time at the 3:23 mark, a full minute after his shift initially began. At this point, Grabner literally has one leg over the boards ready to jump on the ice for Zucc.

Incredibly, Miller loses the puck and it of course lands at Zuccarello's feet forcing him to make a play instead of getting off the ice. Once Zuccarello touches the puck, he is run over and the Red Wings go the other way on a 3-on-2.

At this point, Zuccarello has three options: 1) hurry back into the defensive zone for the fourth time on this shift 2) finally make a line change and hope Grabner can get into the play quickly or 3) cherry pick in the neutral zone and pray one of his teammates is able to make a play.

Let's see which one he chooses Bob.

And at the 3:04 mark of overtime, 1 minute and 18 seconds after Zuccarello jumped onto the ice for his first and only shift of the extra frame, the game was over.

Hustlin' Hayes

During Hayes' sophomore slump last year, it wasn't his skills that diminished it was his compete level. Because of that, the BC product often found himself in AV's "chateau bow wow" and playing alongside Tanner Glass on the 4th line.

Instead of sulking, Hayes seems to have taken the challenge head on and been one of the hardest working Rangers day in and day out. And that work ethic was on full display against the Red Wings.

I don't care what anyone says, he doesn't bust his ass to make any of those plays last season.

Sadly, Hayes did injure his knee at the end of the second period and was walking around in a knee brace after the game. However, initial reports state that the injury does not seem serious.

Something to keep an eye on.

The DeLury Reverse Mush Part VI

In the sixth installment of the DeLury Reverse Mush (Part I, Part IIPart III, Parts IV & V), I give you my proclamation after the 7-6 debacle vs. the Stars last week:

Welp, that "shake-up" apparently came in the form of Rangers management not making a rash decision to trade away one of their young, skilled forward assets for Shattenkirk and AV only slightly tweaking the defensive pairs which has lead to a mere two goals against in the last two games.

Mini Recap

I've already said it a few times, the Rangers defense merely has to be competent and this team will be dangerous. And for the last two games, they've been competent and then some. Not surprisingly, it's culminated in the Blueshirts coming out on top in both of them.

And when the defense did falter, the resurrected Henrik Lundqvist was there to clean up the mess.

The most encouraging aspect of Lundqvist's game tonight was the confidence he was exuding. He was very decisive in his movements as well as calm under pressure. Plus the header was out in full force.

With the defense thankfully providing Lundqvist with some support and the forward group finally getting healthy, this Rangers team might officially be ready to go on a run.

Rangers go for three in a row Monday night at MSG vs. the Kings.

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  1. Be happy with the two points and the get the hell out of there. Maybe the ice will be better in March when the Rangers return.

    Nice game by Hank. He had to face the more dangerous of the shots in the game. Good for him. Hope he continues that play in net tonight vs. LA.

    Comrade had a glorious chance in front. The Detroit goalie was just about another Superman against the Rangers. I think it was his first career start against the Blueshirts and you know what that usually means. Not yesterday though.

  2. Great insight into the game! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Red Bull wasn't enough for that game Kevin. You were lucky not to be watching live! But the big plus is that is exactly the kind of game Hank needed - locked down and totally focused on not making a mistake. Here's hoping he and the blueshirts can make it 3 in a row tonight (and that we don't need to chug caffeine to stay up and watch).

  4. Hank looked real confident. The rest of the NHL should be very afraid.

  5. Larkin was was absolutely Ovechkin-esque on the back check

  6. Replies
    1. whats your take on Larkin? Is he ridiculously unlucky or ridiculously overrated? In 80 games since the middle of last season (including playoffs) 18 goals 8 assists.

    2. To be honest, I haven't followed him enough to know what his underlying issues may be.

    3. I dont know if I can follow this blog if your not willing to give a 120% opinion based on little knowledge. :)

    4. In that case, it's likely due to a sexual issue.