Rangers at Blues Recap; Dan Girardi potentially out long term
The Rangers (1-1-0) traveled to St. Louis to face the Blues (3-0-0) for their first road game last night, and they came out on the wrong end of some puck luck in a 3-2 loss.
Despite completely dominating the game for almost the entire 60 minutes, The Rangers could not score more than two against Carter Hutton, making his debut as a Blue and making some absolutely amazing saves. The Rangers outshot the Blues 35-18, including an incredible 15-0 edge in the third as St. Louis went into full defense mode.
Here are my thoughts and observations from the game;
- The first goal of the game was an example of bad luck for the Rangers. The puck bounced over the sticks of Girardi and JT Miller as they tried to settle the puck. That leads to a chance for Tarasenko from in tight, and he doesn’t miss those.
- The Rangers tied it up shortly after that, and it was Chris Kreider scoring his second goal in as many games. Loose puck in front, Zibanejad works it over to him and Kreider goes stick side over the blocker. I love seeing him crash the net and get to the dirty areas and I love how good this line has been.
- The Blues’ second goal was an example of pretty bad defense. Statsny and Fabbri were left alone in front of the net, Holden was watching and Staal was out of the play. Also on the third goal, scored by Pietrangelo on the power play, he was left completely open on the left side of the ice. That was the one falter the Rangers penalty kill has had this season.
- Apart from that, the defense wasn’t that bad honestly. Not great, but not bad. It also helps that the forwards have been backchecking extremely well and helping out defensively.
- Speaking of the defense, it looks like we’ll see this team without Dan Girardi for a little while. AV said after the game that he’ll be out “more than day-to-day” with a hip flexor injury, according to Steve Zipay.
- The injury to Girardi and Klein’s back problems mean that McIlrath will get a fair shot to play.
- The defense didn’t really have to play defense in the third period, as the Blues didn’t record a single shot on goal. While the Blues wound up playing all-out defense, the Rangers dominated possession and kept the puck most of the period. With Girardi out, Adam Clendening wound up taking a lot of shifts with Ryan McDonagh, and their play styles matched well. Clendening had an 82% corsi for, and leads all defensemen in corsi this game. In case you didn’t know, he’s pretty darn good.
- All Rangers forwards finished 50% or above in corsi as well. It was a really good performance from everyone honestly, and a real shame that they lost.
- The fourth line is really good. It’s so nice having four scoring lines, but there’s a really good balance of skill and defensive responsibility on each line. Michael Grabner has been very good, Brandon Pirri needs to play (especially with his power play skill), and it’ll be interesting to see what happens what Oscar Lindberg comes back.
- Also good to see; the Rangers have been responding well. Just about four minutes after Tarasenko’s goal, Kreider scored. And the third Blues goal was followed up by Zibanejad’s wicked backhand goal 30 seconds later.
- The KZB line is absolutely fantastic. Buchnevich would have had another beautiful assist if it wasn’t for the cat-like reflexes of Carter Hutton. Anthony from Fulltilt NYR said it best; this line is approaching PB&J chemistry. Zibanejad and Kreider work so well together and they each have four points through two games. Zibanejad also hit the post in the game and Kreider had a potential goal stolen by Hutton. This could have been a three point night for each of them. And on top of that, Buchnevich looks like he belongs and has played very well.
- Jimmy Vesey was robbed once but quick movements from Hutton, and he also missed the net on another chance. He’s also looked pretty good in these games, and I think he’ll score his first goal before Buchnevich does.
- Henrik Lundqvist is notorious for bad starts, so I’m not worried about this. But he doesn’t look great and has been shaky lately. Hopefully he turns it around sooner rather than later.
- The Rangers will take on the San Jose Sharks at MSG tomorrow night.
Posted on October 16, 2016, in Game Recaps and tagged Alain Vigneault, Buchnevich, Girardi injury, Kreider, KZB line, New York Rangers, New York Rangers blog, NHL, NYR, NYR blog, Rangers blog, Rangers vs Blues, Vesey, Zibanejad. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.