- The New York Rangers have picked up points in seven straight games, and are 7-2-1 in the last 10 games played. The recent hot streak has propelled the Blueshirts to second in the Metropolitan Division, and they are two points out of first place which is currently occupied by the Columbus Blue Jackets, and one point ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. So much for tanking, eh?
- Monday night’s win was an interesting one, as the team got off to a hot start in terms of controlling play, but lost momentum after an early power play which gave the Vancouver Canucks an opportunity to start pushing the pace.
- The first period ended with a tie score, and the shots were even at 8.
- In the second period things were once again going the Canucks’ way as they gained life from the Rangers’ inability to score and make the most of yet another power play situation.
- Vancouver got on board when Nikolay Goldobin scored on a 2-on-1 situation in which Neal Pionk tried to make the best of a bad situation, but ultimately was unsuccessful.
- Moments later it appeared the Canucks had scored again, but after a review it was determined the puck did not enter the net, although the shot from Del Zotto would have made Gordon Bombay proud.
- Shortly afterwards, Cody McLeod fought Darren Archibald, and won the decision decisively. It was clear that he was trying to spark the Rangers, and the display of physicality generated raucous applause from the Garden faithful.
- The Rangers got on the board and Filip Chytil removed the monkey from his back by scoring a huge power-play goal seconds after Loui Eriksson went into the penalty box after tripping Vladislav Namestnikov.
- It was a longtime coming and it was a situation in which David Quinn’s trust in Chytil was rewarded. At 8:41 of the second period, Ben Hutton crosschecked Jesper Fast. At 10:20, Chytil was called for interference while the Rangers still had the man-advantage. Coaches hate these types of penalties, and in recent history we have seen these events earn a young player a sit down or demotion.
- That didn’t happen, as Chytil got out of the box at 12:20, and at 12:34 Eriksson took his penalty. Chytil was sent on the ice at the start of the power play, and he scored his goal eight seconds later.
- He ended the game with 14:08, 2:41 of which was on the power play, and it was the most Chytil has played since October 25, in which he skated 16:58 in a win over Florida. Since that game, and prior to Monday’s, Chytil had averaged just 9:51 a night over the eight game period.
- In the third period Chytil had seven shifts, and most of them were with Mika Zibanejad and Namestnikov on the top line. His last shift ended with 3:24 left in the game, and from that point on the Rangers went into defend mode to secure a victory.
- Brett Howden was the Rangers’ other goal scorer, and he picked up his fourth goal and 10th point of the season at 11:19 of the third period. At the start of the play he was thrown out of the faceoff circle, which led to Jesper Fast taking the draw. Fast won the draw, Howden passed it to Vesey who attempted to get a shot on net, but it was ultimately blocked. Howden picked up the rebound and just sniped it past Jacob Markstrom.
- Howden also took a number of bumps throughout the game, and it seems like he’s getting pummeled more often than not.
- Defensively, the Rangers lost the possession battle to the Canucks, but Kevin Shattenkirk and Fredrik Claesson stood out as positive 5v5. Shattenkirk finished the game with a 52.63 CF% and a 71.11 xGF%. Claesson finished with a 52 CF% and a 62.67 xGF%.
- On the negative side was Pionk with a 33.33 CF% and a 30 xGF%, and DeAngelo with a 35.48 CF% but a 52.63 xGF%. Once again this was a situation of Pionk producing and passing an eye test, but looking bad when evaluating him using underlying numbers.
- Dave from Blue Seat Blogs made a comparison of the two players during the game, and it was an interesting one which highlights the importance of context and perception.
- This is something that will be interesting to watch as both continue to get regular playing time, and it will be interesting to see if one of them draw out of the lineup when Brendan Smith draws back into the lineup.
- Henrik Lundqvist picked up career victory 437, and is now tied with Jacques Plante for the seventh in wins all-time by a goaltender.
I wanted to end this edition of notes by talking about something that happened during the game, because I have a personal connection to the situation, and feel it is important to give a shout out to a great organization.
Monday night’s game was Salute to Our Troops night at Madison Square Garden and the theme was honoring the men and women of our armed services. This season there will be four more games in which an honoree is recognized.
During the game, the Allen family was presented a scholarship check for $10,000 dollars that will go to Colin Allen who is a freshman attending the Rochester Institute of Technology.
1st Lt. Louis Allen was killed on June 8, 2005 while serving in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Below are clippings from the Times Herald Record from 2005. Barbara Allen is pictured with her four sons.
Barbara is someone who I have come to know pretty well over the last six years as she lives and works in Orange County, New York. Barbara is a Veterans Advocate for the Committee for the Families of War Veterans, an organization that helps Veterans and their families find homes, jobs, provides financial assistance and general assistance such as job training and help when it comes to finding help with the VA. The organization started in part because of what happened to her family, and she was one of the first beneficiaries of the Committee for Families of War Veterans. I have come to know Barbara through my work at ShopRite Supermarkets Inc., and for the last six years I have been directly involved with the Veterans fundraising campaign.
SRS has run this campaign since 2009 which benefits local Veterans groups, and the Committee for the Families of War Veterans is one of those organizations. I can tell you first hand that the organization is passionate and dedicated in its support of local Veterans, and is making a significant impact in the Hudson Valley.
It was touching to see Barbara and her family recognized, and for her son to receive a scholarship. She is someone who has gone through terrible tragedy, and has made it her mission to work tirelessly to support those who are going through their own struggles.
The transformation Barbara has made from being someone who was supported by the Committee to someone who seeks out opportunities to help those in need is remarkable, and a testament to the work the group is capable of.
I wanted to share a little more about her and the works she has done because she is someone who deserves some additional recognition. I also wanted to bring some attention to a great local organization that as well. If you are so inclined, you can donate to the organization, and I can assure you that every little bit helps.
5v5 data via Corsica.hockey