Welcome back to another wonderful edition to Video Breakdown, where I use #FancyArrows to show how a Rangers goal happened.
First, let's take a look at today's subject:
There are a couple of questions that arise from watching this goal; mostly why is Dan Girardi the Rangers net front presence and why are there three defensemen on the ice for a Rangers power play?
The Rangers were just coming off of a 4 on 4 with Dan Boyle in the box for boarding, so on the ice the Rangers had Martin St. Louis and Mats Zuccarello up front, with John Moore and Dan Girardi on the points. Boyle came back onto the ice and St. Louis rotates to the point, Boyle into the slot, and Dan Girardi camps out in front of the net.
The play starts with a John Moore keep in along the left wing point after which he fired the puck to St. Louis who had to corral it with his skate and send it back to John Moore. As you can see above, all four Avalanche defenders are caught watching St. Louis' pass back to Moore and miss Mats Zuccarello sneaking into that backdoor area of the ice.
John Moore's decision making here is stellar, John Mitchell is caught committing full bore to the shot and that allows Moore to find Zuccarello wide open with time to maneuver.
With no one in a white jersey initially picking up Zuccarello; Gabriel Landeskog, Nick Holden, and Zach Redmond are all caught flat footed as the angle of the play is changed and Dan Girardi is left wide open in front for the easy tap in goal.
Here's a video of the goal again
This play is a perfect example of what makes Mats Zuccarello so dangerous, he read what the defense is giving him and find a way to sneak into the weak points and exploit them for his teammates' benefit.