Tag Archives: New York Rangers

NYR-OTT Game 4 Period By Period

First Period
Very quickly it is obvious that the Senators have a better structure. They are trapping and trying to turn the puck over at center ice. But, while they are better tonight, there are still some holes. Kevin Hayes springs Michael Grabner on a breakaway, and gets stopped by goalie Craig Anderson. As the period unfolds, it’s clear that the Ottawa netminder is in better form than the last 2 games. Hayes gets stopped on a 2 on 1, but it is also clear that he is way more involved on the offense in this game. Coach Alain Vigneault prefers the matchup with Hayes playing against former Ranger, Derrick Brassard. As we have seen with Brassard, he is a streaky player. When he isn’t scoring, his defensive game wanes considerably. Kevin Hayes is taking advantage of this every shift. Fourteen minutes in, Hayes and the Rangers break out on a 4 on 2. The Blueshirts center brilliantly feeds Holden with a clear path to the net down left wing. Holden looks like a pure goal score, going backhand to forehand, and flipping it over Anderson’s left pad. Despite a couple of turnovers at center ice, the Rangers are playing with discipline. Their support of the puck and each other is perfect. There is always a blue shirt right where he is supposed to be. The whole team is keeping themselves between the Senators, and their goalie, Henrik Lundqvist. New York is also finishing their checks with gusto. These two things see to be frustrating Ottawa, as they go 13 minutes without a shot on goal. The Rangers end the period up 1-0, and up 11-7 on shots on goal.

Second period
The Rangers are firing on all cylinders. Their forwards are coming back hard and deep, overwhelming and smothering Ottawa. Mika Zibanajad picked up where he left off on Tuesday, being extremely hard to handle. Tanner Glass, dishing out checks like it was the first of the month, blocks a shot from the point and springs a 2 on 0. Grabner feeds Oscar Lindberg who fires it home. The goal adds to the momentum. It is also a reward for the fantastic team effort being displayed all over the ice. Craig Anderson is called on to make several huge stops on Rick Nash twice, and Derek Stepan. But, that line again, Glass retrieving his own dump in got it to Miller. J.T. fed it to Lindberg who rifled a high shot through Glass’ partial screen, and past a stunned Anderson. At 3-0 you could see the Senators noticeably sag. The blueshirts kept their hit parade going. Erik Karlsson was a frequent target. He and Chris Kreider seemed to get tangled with Karlsson coming away limping in an obvious fashion. Tanner Glass had a terrific period all over the ice.

Third Period
The third starts with Mike Condon replacing Anderson in net, and Karlsson in the dressing room. The Rangers get an early power play and score quickly. Ryan McDonagh one-times a Stepan pass on net that Kreider cleans up to make it 4-0. Lundqvist reminds Ottawa that he is still at the top of his game by making a stellar right pad save on Mark Stone to preserve the shutout. With just under 7 minutes to play Kyle Turris fires a rising wrist shot through the legs of Marc Staal and under the crossbar, beating Lundqvist and ending his shutout bid. Off the next draw at center ice the Senators decide they want to prove their manhood by fighting until the final buzzer. First Dion Phaneuf starts an altercation with Brendan Smith. Then a few minutes later off an innocent draw outside a blue line, Bobby Ryan hacks Dan Girardi, and drops his gloves. The linesmen quickly intercede and only Ryan is penalized. Over the next two minutes there are 2 more altercations involving multiple players. 5 players from each side are thrown out, with the Sens obviously initiating all of the rough stuff. For the Rangers, they certainly bruised Ottawa’s collective ego. Basically saying, no matter how well you play, you can’t handle our best. Which is why we had the rough stuff. It would not surprise me at all if they dressed enforcer Chris Neil on home ice on Saturday. In fact, I would be shocked if they didn’t. They are desperate. Yes, each team has held serve on home ice. But, the Sens have given up 13 goals in the last 3 games.They lost the last 2 games 4-1, and they weren’t that close. In my opinion, they will try and rally the crowd with fighting and try and get the Rangers off their game. Game 5 will be an interesting and pivotal contest. Will Erik Karlsson play? My guess is probably, but he isn’t close to 100%. And I think, led by Neil, they will be very protective of their injured captain.

Why I Am Embarrassed To Be a Rangers Fan Today

Getty Images

I’m not usually one to speak out about stuff like this, but it really bothered me last night. Sitting next to me at MSG was a man who was taking notes on the game. Today I found out that it was the Pittsburgh Penguins’ general manager, Jim Rutherford. And there is nothing wrong with what he was doing. But on the other side of the aisle were a few drunk and rude Rangers fans who were taunting the man, calling him KGB, a spy, and Nazi. And because of all of this harassment, Mr. Rutherford picked up his stuff and walked away from the situation. Read more

Rangers Win Series, Send Habs Packing

Overjoyed Lundqvist celebrates (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Well, tonight was quite exciting, with the Rangers eliminating the Canadiens, and sending Price and his cronies back to Montreal. Henrik Lundqvist was on his game and Mats Zuccarello showed everyone why he’s a fan (and teammate) favorite. Read more

The Young Guns Must Lead The Charge…

Kreider celebrates PP goal (Getty Images)

The NHL playoffs are right around the corner. When I realistically look at the Rangers chances, I see a team that is in better shape than last year, but not as good as the two years previous. Despite the presence of Ryan McDonagh, and the unreal emergence of Brady Skjei, the Rangers defense is their Achilles’ heel. Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein are coming back from injury, and at best are the second pair, but more likely third-pair defensemen. Marc Staal and Nick Holden have lost their chemistry as a pair, and have both been uneven from game to game. Trade deadline acquisition Brendan Smith has brought some bite, but hasn’t found chemistry with any one player to form a consistent pairing. Read more

So what’s it like to catch a Rangers game in Carolina?

Tickets (photo by author)

Last Thursday I traveled with my wife and son to Raleigh, Carolina, to see the Rangers take on the Hurricanes. Some have called Carolina the sixth borough, because of the amount of Rangers fans that attend games at PNC Arena in Raleigh. And Thursday night was no exception. The announced crowd was 11,404, and at least half or more were Rangers fans. Some are transplanted New Yorkers, and some made their way down from the metropolitan area. I spoke to one former Queens resident named Larry, who said that if it was a weekend game “it would have been closer to 75% Rangers fans”.

Your Money Goes Far

There are a lot of great reasons to go on a road trip to Carolina. Number one, it’s very economical from every aspect. I was able to get 3 round trip tickets from JFK to Raleigh Durham airport for under $400. Your time in air is just over an hour there, and an hour exactly back to NYC. I rented a full size car for $27 a day, and my hotel was $125 a night, which included a very extensive breakfast buffet each day. I bought tickets thru seat geek in section 101, row J, 10 rows off the glass, for $90 each. My partial season tickets in section 209 are $92 each. So, for a change, I sat almost rink side, in a section that was predominantly Rangers fans.

Getting to PNC arena was very easy. My hotel was 4 and a half miles away, and a very simple drive. No traffic at all. Parking was $15, and a lot of Rangers fans tailgated in the lot. “Let’s go Rangers”, could be heard all over, as fans started making their way in. The employees of the arena couldn’t be more friendly and courteous. The food options are plentiful and also, much less expensive then MSG. I recommend going with North Carolina bbq fare (definitely avoid the Italian food, you will be disappointed). Pulled pork, pulled chicken and prime rib sandwiches at a carving station are top options.

If you go to the pre-game warmup a half hour before the game, unlike MSG, they will let you go all the way down to the glass. Rangers players tossed many pucks to fans populating the area around the zone the Rangers were skating in. Also, the Rangers backup goaltender, Brandon Halverson on this night, was seated in front of section 123, and kind enough to sign autographs to Rangers fans seated in sections 123 and 124 before the start of the second and third periods.

The Game

Getting ready (photo by author)

The game itself wasn’t the best played game I have ever seen, but was pretty exciting, and of course controversial. Fans took turns chanting for their favorite team. I have heard some horror stories about traveling to Philadelphia and dealing with abusive fans, but this environment was safe and friendly.

The Rangers power play finally did some business, as they scored 3 goals up a man or two. But, the penalty unit let them down with two third period goals against. As we all know, the tying goal should not have counted. It happened right in front of me. I could clearly hear one referee screaming at Antti Raanta, then at the Rangers coaching staff, “He was not in the paint!”, repeatedly. That this same official, gets to review his screw up, and makes the whole league look like a Mickey Mouse operation. Different eyes in Toronto or New York, or wherever, should be reviewing that. Especially, after that official was so vociferous it almost seemed personal, when making a call that should have been reversed.

The bottom line is rather then any referee or linseman review a call on some 10 inch tablet, have off ice officials who aren’t in the thick of the game, determine the coaches challenge. I mean, there is a review room that buzzes down if a puck went into the net and play never had stopped. Adding to that responsibility wouldn’t be hard.

Bottom Line

I have traveled to Montreal, Tampa, and Buffalo, (as well as Long Island and New Jersey), and all were unique and fine experiences. I will say that Carolina was surely the most economical. The weather was great too. When we landed and it was 76 degrees, and sunny, and the following day it was 67 and sunny. It felt good to escape the low temps in NYC for a few days. The only downside to me was the small crowd. It seemed to me every section in the arena was half full or less. I know I would surely go back there to see a Rangers game.

The guide to permanently fixing the New York Rangers power play

Here’s how to get the power play back to an elite level (Getty Images)

Since the All-Star Break, the New York Rangers power play has been as pathetic as they come. With just a 9.2% success rate (5.1% before last night’s outburst) on the man advantage in the 23 contests since the break, the Blueshirts special teams free fall has dropped them to 17th in the NHL with a 18.4% conversion clip. Read more

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