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Rangers Vs. Capitals: Take Those Two Points And Run Away

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Notes from the Rangers win over the Capitals.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

- Like I said in the headline, you take these points and you run so far away you don't even remember where you're running. You run until your legs give out and you feel your body crash to the cold, unforgiving earth. And you pray that you weren't followed. The Rangers got slaughtered in this game the final 40 minutes. They had a good first period, and then the wheels fell off the wagon.

- Here's some raw statistics. The Rangers had 33 shot attempts in the game (the Capitals had 62) while the Capitals had 33 scoring chances in the game. No matter how you slice this game it's a disaster. I've already seen a few people say the Rangers had a good first and third period. I'm beginning to suspect that's because they're against metrics and don't want to admit that the eye test on its own doesn't work. One team did dominate this game, but that team lost 5-2.

- The Rangers won for two reasons: 1) Henrik Lundqvist, and 2) The Rangers actually finished their chances on offense. They took two shots in the second period and scored on both of them.

- Oscar Lindberg (goal and an assist), Viktor Stalberg, Kevin Hayes (goal and an assist), Keith Yandle (assist) and Dylan McIlrath were the only Rangers to finish the game with a positive shot differential. The rest of the list is disgusting. Derek Stepan was the worst of all players with a -19. Ryan McDonagh was the worst of all the defenseman at -17, Kevin Klein was a -13, Dan Girardi was a -11 and Marc Staal was a -10.

- Klein and Derick Brassard were the other two goal scorers. Rick Nash didn't score because he sucks apparently.

- Let's look at the positives (because there are a few). Lindberg, Hayes and Stalberg dominated. Lindberg is much better passer than advertised, and made a perfect bank pass off the boards to Hayes for his goal. And give Hayes a lot of credit, he did some work to open Braden Holtby up for that goal. Hayes had two points, both of them primary, of course.

- This game is a lot of what I'm talking about when I'm talking about how getting hemmed in your own zone and leaking shot attempts is a really bad thing. People love to argue "the shots were from the outside" or "this is what happens when you collapse and play tough defense." The problem is, shots become increasingly dangerous the longer a line is stuck on the ice. And the more shots you leak, the more goals that are likely to come from it.

In the NHL a player can score from anywhere.  Yes, there are more high quality shots than others, but to assume that leaking shots isn't bad because that's how the system works is foolish. Last night proves my point: Elite goaltending (Lundqvist) masks defensive problems.

- Boy it's easy to hate the Capitals. They whine and complain all game. Alex Ovechkin is annoyed because he thinks Staal speared him and cried the entire night. Barry Trotz complained the Rangers used stall tactics during the game and he "felt bad for the refs." There's no way Holtby is doing that when he throws his mask off. And there's no way that immaculate hockey player that is Ovechkin has been involved in less than clean hits or activities on the ice, right? I wonder if it's hard for the Capitals to put their shoulder pads on over their angel wings.

That's enough of this game. Thoughts.