Quick Hits – Rangers vs Senators Game 6 5/9/17

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Here is my recap of the Rangers season-ending loss to the Senators.

  • Mika Zibanejad – One of the lone bright spots on this night was the play of the former Senator, who picked up two points, including the Rangers first goal of the game. With the Blueshirts down two in the second period, Zibanejad took a beautiful pass from Mats Zuccarello in the neutral zone. Zbad broke through the defense and beat Anderson up over the glove.
  • Chris Kreider – While Kreider did score in this one, it was a crucial mistake on his part that led to Ottawa’s third goal of the game. Like Zibanejad, Kreider’s goal came on a broken play through center ice, where Kreider picked up the puck and beat Anderson on a breakaway. The goal cut the Rangers deficit to one, but if not for Kreider’s blunder, it may have tied the game. With Bobby Ryan coming down the wing, Kreider was engaged with the trailing man, Erik Karlsson. Kreider then lets Karlsson go, and Ryan dropped the puck back for Karlsson, who beat Lundqvist on the short side. Kreider did have multiple chances late, but couldn’t cash in with the Rangers hunting for the tying goal.
  • Defense – The Rangers defense had a so-so game as a whole, but were caught making mistakes that they haven’t made since October and November. After Mike Hoffman sends the puck to the half-wall from behind the net, he goes to the front of the net unmarked and deflects a point shot by Henrik. There was nobody within ten feet of Hoffman, with Staal, Holden, and Zuccarello all caught puck watching. The second goal of the game came on a 2v1, with Mark Stone putting the puck by Lundqvist on the short side. Brendan Smith, who did the right thing taking away the pass, gave Stone way too much room to shoot the puck. Henrik should have made the save, but Stone was able to stop, read the newspaper, make some food, take a dump and still get a shot on net. The defense was the Rangers biggest deficiency all season, and unfortunately, it reared its ugly head at the worst possible time.
  • Henrik Lundqvist – In a game the Rangers needed to win to extend their season, King Henrik gave a solid effort. He will probably tell you he should’ve had the Stone goal, but that’s the only one I could seriously pin on the goaltender. Defensive miscues, slow or physically weak forecheck, and a more aggressive Ottawa team all led to the Senators offensive chances in the first 40 minutes. Henrik made 22 stops on 25 shots against and made a couple of key saves early, including this amazing stop on Erik Karlsson, to keep his team in the game. There are very few players in the NHL who deserve to win a cup more than Henrik Lundqvist. He has done everything in his power to get his team to the promised land, but it just has not happened yet. Hopefully, we will see Hank win a Stanley Cup before he hangs up the skates for good.
  • Special Teams – One key factor in this one was the Rangers inability to convert on the powerplay. The Blueshirts went 0/4 in this one, including a double-minor in the first period. The man advantage was not just unable to score, but it looked inept at times. The Senators did a good job making it difficult on the Rangers, but the Blueshirts should have been able to do something with the extra man.
  • Effort and Energy – In a game that they had to have, the Rangers came out flatter than a pancake. They were chasing the Senators around the ice from the drop of the puck, and never really got into the game. And after another blown game in game five, you would have assumed the Rangers would come out firing, looking for the kill. But it was the Senators who came out with the passion and desire to end the Rangers season and not the other way around. The Senators got out to an early 2-0 lead and were able to keep the Rangers at bay for the rest of the game.

    • The effort was just not there last night the Rangers were lifeless from start to finish. The compete level and pulse they played with all game should not be overlooked it was just a heartless. They need to fix this over the off season. The coaching staff needs to be changed if not A.V. at least replace Arniel & Beuk. Now at least there are the Yankees to follow.

      • We disagree about what should be done about AV but we each have our own opinions. I just want to ask about your opinion abou two players I never want to see on this team again. Do you think that perennial playoff ghosts Kevin Hayes and JT Miller should be moved?

    • They were toast since Tuesday nite! That loss sucked everything out of them!
      The Rangers BIGGEST problem now, and it ALWAYS was, is mental! They lack that undefinable something that makes great teams great! Always have, and it looks like they always will!
      I’m sure I’ll be vilified for posting this, but that won’t make my points invalid. Look back over many, many years and you’ll see time after gut-check time, they come up short! Lots of excuses, no results. They always underperform, NEVER overperform!

      • James you have 90 years of history to back your points up. The last 77 years have produced nothing but teams that couldn’t win big games. Take the Messier trade away and we still would be shrinking from the 1940 curse. Christ the Rangers won their very 1st game 7 in 1992 vs the Devils, Messier’s 1st year. This franchise from top to bottom has made collasal mistakes through the decades. The only constant is that fans continue to show up to have their hearts broken. And will continue to because our love for this team.

    • I haven’t felt this sickening after a series lost since the Pens eliminated the Rangers way back in 1992. This team wasn’t a cup team going into the season especially how the season ended last year. However the path that was laid out for them to reach the eastern confernce finals with the least amount of resistance, this is a tough pill to swallow. The series on paper should have been a rout, but we all know the saying. The AV must go will dominate the next few days and I do not agree with that. Yeah he made some coaching mistakes but to fire him I think will be a mistake. For those who want him gone where is the same outrage for players like JT Miller and Kevin Hayes who have shown in their time in NY that they completely disappear in the playoffs?

      There are players here that need to face the music. Kreider was a beast in the 3rd period and the ONLY Ranger that showed up to battle with the season on the line. However where was that all playoffs? He hasn’t shown throughout his time in NY that he scored in the playoffs but showed little this entire playoffs. Step and Nash were MIA this series. Moving Step and Nash will be extremely difficult with their salary cap numbers. Hank needs to be held accountable this series. Hank was not main reason why they lost this series but his play was at best average and cost the Rangers dearly.

      Hopefully we have seen the last of Marc Staal. He clearly has lost a step he never had and looks like he’s playing with a shovel rather than a hockey stick when he does have the puck.

      But the two players I have ZERO and I mean absolutely ZERO desire to see with the Rangers are JT Miller and Kevin Hayes. For all those who want AV gone I haven’t heard a peep about these two who played spineless hockey. These two have combined for 3 goals in 74 playoff games. How many more do we have to see to be convinced that they cannot help this team when the games count the most. JT Miller is one of the crowd favorites but he’s never been held accountable for his play. 1 goal in 40 playoff games just doesn’t cut it. This player has shown for his career as a Ranger that once the calendar hits Feb he wilts when the games ramp up in pressure. Kevin Hayes, how many more times do we need to see him skate ten feet into the zone and turn away and lose the puck. I was shocked to see him have 21 shots in these playoffs because for the life of me I can’t remember a single one. I know this is an unpopular notion but enough is enough with these two. This team cannot afford players who have contracts coming up with little cap space who just plainly SUCK in the playoffs.

      There is a lot of work that needs to be done by Gorton this off season. Salary cap space, player buy outs and the need to shore up the defense.

      • Mike if I didn’t see your name at the top of the comment I would swear it was my comment. I see this Ranger team and situation the same as you, right down to Hayes skating ten feet over the line and lose the puck. I also agree with AV not being fired. To me if you’re complains about so many bad players then you can’t expect the coach to be able to win the series. I understand fans feeling on Staal n Holden being on the ice in the last minutes but wasn’t it Girardi n Mac out there when we gave up the two late goals in game 2? Besides that my point is once you’re in the last 5 minutes of the game you can’t just keep your two best D men out there so Staal n Holden are gonna have to spend some time out there. Would it have been ok if Ottawa scored to tie it with them on the ice if there were still 4 minutes left? Of course I’m not asking you. I’m just saying they had o be out there at so,e point. I do think AV could have done a better job with them though so I’m not giving him a total pass. I’m just saying it’s the players that need a change n not the coach. I keep thinking about the offseason when we kept hearing how teams were calling about JT but Gorton kept saying NO. Well of he gets those calls this offseason I think he should consider saying YES. We haven’t won since we had Messier like you mentioned. Well there’s something else Messier brought besides his skill and that’s the attitude of we can’t lose. I’m still waiting for that guy, the guy that plays with the attitude of I’m doing whatever I have to do because we can’t lose this game, we must win at any cost. It’s one thing to have a bad game or two but you played with everything you had. It’s one thing to just get beat by a better team. It’s one thing to get beat on a bad bounce. But I can’t deal with a guy who plays real hard one game and then takes a break and goes into cruise control for a few games. I was wondering if Kreider was hurt by the way he played this playoff season. But after seeing him in the 3rd period I said where the hell was this guy this whole playoff run. Just look at how many chances and real good looks Grabner gets and how he continues to the net when he’s going fast n hard over the blue line. Kreider has that speed and more strength but we don’t see those plays even close to the amount of times we see from Grabner. I’m sorry for the long story folks but after close to 50 years of watching Rangers hockey it gets me just a tiny bit pissed off. A team is not supposed to 17 goals in 4 games and only win two of them. Hank had a great series against Montreal but let in some bad ones I think in this series. Now hopefully we’re gonna see some of these big young D men that I’ve been reading about and they’re gonna help us get back to a team that’s hard to play against. Go get guys that refuse to lose.

    • A lot of people are going to get on my case with this, but this team should be looking to totally rebuild. We tried with this core and could not make it work. Trade, buyout, unprotect for expansion. Yes, that includes Lindquist. Get back young, hungry prospects and start over. I would trade kreider, Hayes, grabner. I would listen to offers on everyone. I would try to even trade hank for maybe a young prospect goalie. Time to hit the reset button or else we will be talking about this next year with the same result. I don’t know about you, but I would rather not make the playoffs with a future ahead of me that make the playoffs with an early exit and no future.

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