Friday, February 24, 2017

Rangers 2, Maple Leafs 1, SO

The New York Rangers (39-19-2) defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs (28-20-12)  by the score of 2-1 in a shootout. For a box score, click here.

3 Stars

1st Star - The 3-on-3 OT format (It's taken me awhile to come around, but tonight clinched it. I'm officially on board)
2nd Star - The future of the NHL (The amount of good, young talent in tonight's game alone should have Bettman smiling from ear to ear)
3rd Star - Zuccarello in the shootout (Damn he's smooth)

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

The only way to calm my nerves after that intense overtime session is with some Ketamine aka Horse Tranquilizer.

Gif of the Game


Missed Chances

The Rangers out shot attempted the Maple Leafs 88-59. So why the hell was this game so God damn close?

It also didn't help that they missed the net 21 times...

And blew a 3-on-1...

Oh yeah, as well as not even getting a shot off on an overtime breakaway...

I guess that's why.

BTW, what a ridiculous backhanded pass by Zucc to setup that Miller breakaway. Unreal.

Bow Before Your King

Somehow, despite dominating the entire game, the Rangers still had to rely on Lundqvist to secure the two points...

Exclusive video of myself after Lundqvist's back to back OT breakaway saves...

An Almost Power Play Goal!!!

While the stats may show that the Rangers extended their power play futility with an 0-for-2 tonight, they were actually able to tie the game up just as the Zaitsev penalty expired.

And they got it done by keeping it simple. Bodies to the net. Hard shot from the point. Dirty work in front. Rebound goal.

The Rangers need to force the power play units to stare at this sign until it's ingrained in their brain.

Shattenkirk News

Every Rangers fan's favorite St. Louis Blues defenseman made some news yesterday (via St. Louis Post Dispatch):

"Discussions between the Blues and another club (reportedly the Tampa Bay Lightning) fell apart about six weeks ago on a trade that would have given Shattenkirk a seven-year, $42 million contract ($6 million AAV), as first reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie. League sources have independently confirmed that the 28-year-old pending unrestricted free agent turned down the offer."

Oh yeah, I'm pretty confident in saying that Shattenkirk is eyeing a homecoming in New York if he's turning down bank like that.

Mini Recap

Goaltending duel that ends in a shootout? Things are starting to get redundant around here. Except this time the Rangers were the victorious ones.

If you merely looked at the final score, you would have thought the defense bailed out the offense, but to be honest, I thought this might have been the Rangers worst defensive performance in a month. Turnovers. Missed assignments. And defensive breakdowns. The only difference between the rock bottom game against Dallas and tonight was Lundqvist is back being Lundqvist again.

A ton of dominant efforts by Rangers forwards tonight especially Nash (6 SOG), Zibanejad (76% Corsi For) and Zuccarello (71% Corsi For). Somehow Zib (who was also 13-of-16 on faceoffs) is at 15 games without a goal and counting. Stepan too. You read that correctly, the Rangers top two centers have combined for exactly zero goals in the last 15 games. And somehow they're 11-3-1 in those games.

Maybe DJ ZBAD needs to head over to Marquee New York and get his spin on to take his mind off of things...

One hallmark of this team all year has been their resiliency. Instead of pressing when the pucks weren't finding the back of the net, the Rangers stayed with the game plan and continued to apply pressure on the Maple Leafs defense all night. And it ultimately paid off.

After going 3-1-1 in their last five games against the Blue Jackets, Islanders, Capitals, Canadiens and Maple Leafs, the Rangers will now play 8 games in the next 14 days @Devils, vs. Blue Jackets, vs. Capitals, @Bruins, vs. Canadiens, @Lightning, @Panthers, @Hurricanes. Talk about a test of mental and physical endurance.

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