clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Rangers Vs. Bruins: The Comeback Kids

NHL: Boston Bruins at New York Rangers Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
  • I have a funny feeling we’re going to see more games like that than people think. Other teams making quick work of the Rangers’ (lack of) defense and the offense having to pick up the slack. We’ve seen that happen a few times this year but this time was different because ...
  • The Bruins were the first team the Rangers went up against this year that clogged the two outlet lanes the Rangers have been using for transition. There’s a longer story coming, but because the Rangers aren’t generating any of that D to O transition from their defense, they have less forwards in the neutral zone to handle those lanes. As a result, more transition attempts than not ended in the neutral zone; and the Rangers had a rough day in even strength possession (55% to 45% in favor of Boston). So how did the Rangers get around that?
  • Special teams. The Bruins did the Rangers the lovely favor of giving New York six power plays -- and while the first two looked awful, the next four looked great and the Rangers scored two power play goals to propel themselves back into the game. Rick Nash’s put the Rangers on the board and Brandon Pirri’s game the Rangers a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.
  • If the Rangers need to win games this way that’s fine. The Rangers’ biggest possession issues were Mats Zuccarello (-11 in shots and just a 10% corsi for), Mika Zibanejad (-14 in shots and just an 11% corsi — this makes me sad, too) and to a lesser extent J.T. Miller (-6 in shots and a 36% corsi). I think there’s something to be said for what Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich (both neutral zone monster) not being around does, but that line got shelled all night. Alain Vigneault talked about breaking up the Kreider-Zibanejad-Buchnevich line to replace Zuccarello with Buchnevich — hopefully last night was proof that might not be the best idea.
  • On the flip side, the Kevin Hayes, Nash and Jimmy Vesey line was dominant all night.
  • Nash is proving all the haters wrong with a fantastic first seven games. And by the way, Nash hasn’t been THAT much better this year than last year. The only difference is the puck is actually going into the net. Nash had a goal and an assist last night, giving him five points in seven games. He was a defensive monster and his playmaking abilities are ridiculous.
  • Vesey is also turning into a really solid presence on the Rangers’ offense. And I don’t say that because I didn’t expect him to be good, but I didn’t expect him to be this good this early. He had a goal and an assist, played another solid possession game (52%) and set up a few other chances, too. Against his hometown team, too.
  • Hayes scored a goal, too, and a big one at that. You might say it was bad positioning by the goalie, but Hayes knew he was banking the puck in off of him and it was fantastic effort to do so.
  • Which brings us to Brandon Pirri. On Pirri’s first goal he made a brilliant play before wiring that puck home — he waited for the two sliding Bruins to provide a screen before he let the puck go. Then he scored the opening goal of the third period to give the Rangers a two-goal lead. Pirri has four goals in seven games, and brings a level of offense to the bottom six I don’t think the Rangers have had in a long, long time. This is a really big deal for a team who is relying so heavily on its forwards.
  • So if Adam Clendening got benched for a mistake against the Capitals we have to see Nick Holden get benched for his mistakes, right? Holden’s turnover/I can’t cover my man 10 seconds in gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead. When Holden was on the power play it was a disaster. Clendening needs to be in the lineup because A) he was playing really well and B) the Rangers need his presence on the man advantage.
  • Michael Grabner is really, really, really fast. That is all.
  • The hit on Dan Girardi was filthy, a head shot and intentional so the NHL Department of Player Safety will do nothing about it.