Found December 05, 2011 on Blue Seat Blogs:

Well this was an interesting game to watch. The Rangers were absolutely dominated in the first 30 minutes of the game, and wound up down 3-0  midway through the second period. The Rangers had some chances during this time frame, but weren’t able to bury them. After that, the game was all Rangers, as they quickly made it 3-2, but couldn’t get that third goal. They can’t win them all, and winning 12 of 15 is still pretty damn good.

Offense

  • The Rangers had trouble getting some offensive flow to the game early on, but were able to find their stride after the first 30 minutes. The 5-on-3 powerplay goal was what the Rangers always do with a two-man advantage: try to get that cross-crease pass. It worked.
  • Artem Anisimov was a force tonight. He had some solid opportunities early, and then finally buried one after Brandon Prust flicked one into the high slot that found Anisimov’s stick. He’s been fantastic this year.
  • When Derek Stepan fed Dan Girardi for the shot from the high slot in the third period, I was wondering why he didn’t just grip it and rip it. Why don’t people take slap shots anymore?
  • The Rangers first powerplay was frustrating to watch, but the two-man advantage was a thing of beauty. Good to see the Rangers converting on these this year.
  • That Anisimov/Stepan/Gaborik line really clicks, doesn’t it? That’s why line juggling works. You never know what you’re going to get, especially when you add a game changer like Richards.
  • The Del Zotto shot from the point on the third period powerplay was a thing of beauty. It was a hard, low shot from the point that was on net and generated a rebound. Hockey 101 folks. Just before that, he had a great pass to Cally that he wound up missing the net. MDZ took charge and almost tied the game. That’s what they need form him.
  • Why can’t the Rangers hit the net?
  • Did Brandon Dubinsky even play?
  • Del Zotto needs to hit the net on that shot from the point in the final minute on that powerplay. When it goes wide the puck goes out of the zone.

Defense/Goaltending

  • The defense had their hands full with Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. Those two are fast and danced around Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh all night. But no team will be able to shut down the Leafs completely, and the Rangers didn’t play a terrible game defensively.
  • Michael Del Zotto had a strong game. He made smart plays with and without the puck. It might have been one of his strongest of the season.
  • That Tim Connolly goal was just bad luck. The puck was in his skates in a bad spot, and Connolly tapped it home. It happens, just bad luck.
  • In fact, if you look at the three goals for the Leafs, the first was a screen that Hank got a piece of, the second a fluke goal where Sauer couldn’t find it in his skates, and the third a powerplay goal.
  • On the Leafs powerplay goal, Girardi kind of blew his assignment. It was a tough call to make, but he abandoned Lupul in the slot to go after Bozak who had gotten around his man.
  • Mike Sauer might need a few games off after that hit by Dion Phaneuf in the third. It was a clean hit, but Sauer’s helmet popped off and his head hit the glass.
  • And Del Zotto going hard to the boards trying to get the icing call that wound up being negated by Dave Steckel. Both crashed into the boards.
  • MDZ stayed on the bench, Sauer did not. Paging Anton Stralman.

Opponent/Officiating

  • Tyler Bozak made a great play to prevent a Rangers goal in the first period, and then Luke Schenn made a better play to prevent a goal in the third period. Those were game changers.
  • At some point the Rangers will need to back off the 2-1-2 forecheck on the faster teams, especially the Toronto’s, Florida’s, and Montreal’s of the league. These teams just use their speed and puck movement sills to get around the forecheck. Maybe a 1-2-2 hybrid trap will have a better effect as it can slow down the opposition’s transition rush. Or they can just do what they have been doing: wait for the opposition to get tired, which happened to the Leafs and led to the two second period goals and the late Bozak penalty.
  • The Leafs get torched for the Kessel trade, but you know what? Kessel’s been fantastic, and then the Leafs got a good package from those Bruins for Tomas Kaberle. Win/win for both teams I think.
  • The officiating was consistently inconsistent. What I mean there is that it was consistent in weak calls on both teams, but inconsistent in that some penalties went uncalled, and others were called. Weird game.
  • This “horizontal stick is a penalty” stuff needs to stop. Not everything is a penalty folks.
  • Luke Schenn had a great game defensively.
  • Those Leafs sure can deliver some hits, eh?
  • Jonas Gustavsson had a great game. His save in the final 30 seconds sealed it.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Brandon Dubinsky Withdrawing from Team's Core

With the Rangers winning 12 out of their last 15 games, and five straight prior to Monday's loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, I felt that it would be out of place to write an article centered around negativity. But with the fan base in a minor state of depression following the team's third loss in the past month, I had to bring up an issue that's grown over the past few...

Rangers shining bright on Broadway

Going into the 2011-12 NHL campaign, not many knew what to expect of the New York Rangers. Sure, the team had signed highly-coveted free agent Brad Richards to a nine-year deal, made Ryan Callahan the team captain and partly renovated Madison Square Garden. Other than that, the team was somewhat of a question mark.As we enter December, pundits are no longer wondering about the Blueshirts...

Two Rangers Prospects Win Player of Week Honors

Christian Thomas had a poor start to the 2011-12 season, but the 20010 second round pick was on fire last week with three goals and six assists in just two games for the Oshawa Generals.  That performance was good enough to land Thomas the Ontario Hockey League Player of the Week award.  With the huge week Thomas now has 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points in 20 games so far...

Despite Being Undrafted Girardi Has Always Proven He Could Play

Katie Strang at ESPN NY has an great piece on the unheralded Dan Girardi's path from undrafted free agent to cornerstone of the Rangers' defense including this nugget on why Rangers amateur scout Rich Brown was immediately drawn to the undrafted defenseman..."Matched up against Corey Perry in the 2004 Ontario Hockey League playoffs, the undrafted 19-year-old defenseman...

Postgame: Rangers Have Streak Snapped by Leafs

Prior to tonight’s 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Rangers had won five straight games and 12 out of their last 14. So one loss certainly isn’t the end of the world, nor is it something anyone should be getting overly frustrated about. However, without a doubt in my mind, the Rangers very well could’ve won this game, and had plenty of chances to do so when it was 3...

Derek Boogaard: An Enforcer’s Story

Derek Boogaard fought his way to center ice as one of the N.H.L.’s most feared fighters. But the role exposed him to repeated head traumas.

DEVELOPING: Boogaard Diagnosed With CTE

Derek Boogaard was diagnosed with CTE by Boston University researchers at the school's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.The disease has been diagnosed in the brains of more than 20 former football players, but can be diagnosed only after an individual dies.The researchers who examined Boogaard’s brain said the case was particularly sobering because Boogaard...

Stepan Steppin' Up

Derek Stepan, who, despite playing with a sore ankle, scored the game winner in the Rangers 4-2 win over Tampa last night, now has 5g, 9a in the Rangers last 15 games....so much for the sophomore slump. Stepan has taken his game to another level this year and his chemistry with Gaborik and AA has been fun to watch so far this season.Also @TheBroadwayHat was very happy to be sitting...

Report: Rangers brawler Boogaard had brain ailment

Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain ailment related to Alzheimer's disease that is caused by repeated blows to the head, the New York Times reported.

NHL roundup: Derek Boogaard suffered from brain ailment

Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain ailment related to Alzheimer's disease that is caused by repeated blows to the head, the New York Times reported.

Exclusive Photos Of Marty Biron’s Winter Classic Helmet – Beginning Stages

Ranger Nation is very happy to show our readers the beginning stages and exclusive photos of New York Rangers goalie Marty Biron’s helmet for the NHL Winter Classic on January 2nd in Philadelphia. Biron’s helmet is being done by our good friend and artist Steve Nash and the wonderful people at Eye Candy Air. Picture [...]

Callahan Quote: “We Had Our Chances”

Against any team in this league if you get down 3-0 it’s going to be a hard game to fight back in and win or tie up. Obviously I think that had a big part to do in (the Rangers losing). I feel like we had our chances in the third (period), but it was [...]

Study: Boogard had brain disease 

A POSTHUMOUS study of the brain of Derek Boogaard, who died at the age of 28 on May 13 from an accidental combination of alcohol and oxycodone toxicity, found that the former Minnesota Wild and Rangers enforcer had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease of the brain that has been identified in more than 20 dead NFL players and several boxers, the New York...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.