Welcome back to Video Breakdown; where I use the magic of #FancyArrows to give you, gentle reader, the hows and whys of a Rangers goal.
That happened in a flash and was so, so pretty. Let's see exactly what happened.
The play begins after Ryan McDonagh makes a nifty little move to create space on the blue line and fires the puck to Dan Boyle who chips down along the boards behind the goal line where Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello get on their horses to retrieve it.
In that .gif above it's Mats Zuccarello shrugging off not just Mattias Ekholm but Shea Weber to get positioning and win the puck battle to Brassard who is covering the play nicely. One of Zuccarello's more underrated aspects is just how strong and hard to knock off the puck the he is. Perfect example here.
After shrugging off both defenders Zuccarello has the presence of mind to not only check to see what the defense was giving him, as well as that he was going to have a streaking Kreider coming off of the bench while the Nashville defense were caught puck watching.
Note to opposing teams: Don't give Mats Zuccarello a mile and a half (rough estimate) of passing lane while standing flat footed around him. It won't end well for you. At all. Here Mats is in full control and absolutely blisters a pass to Kreider who has turned on the afterburners with all that time and space to get to the front of the net. Even Pekka Rinne, one of the best goaltenders in the league was caught by the speed of not only Kreider but Zuccarello's pass.
Speed thrills. Kreider takes the Predator defender by surprise and he's caught reaching as Rinne is late to react giving Kreider the "easy" deflection/tap in.
Mats Zuccarello is a wizard and he's going to be here in New York for a long, long time. Isn't it glorious?