|Time||Sunday, 6:00 EST
|The Enemy||The Copper & Blue||Scoring Leaders||
R. Nash 11-3-14
||Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
||Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
|13.5 (24th)||Power Play %||13.3 (25th)|
|78.3 (21st)||Penalty Kill %||78.4 (20th)|
|48.7 (21st)||Faceoff Win %||50.2 (14th)|
|12.6 (23rd)||PIM / GP||7.7 (3rd)|
|32.1 (3rd)||Shots For / GP||29.6 (21st)|
|29.5 (14th)||Shots Against / GP||30.4 (18th)|
|50.15 (16th)||Score Adjusted Fenwick For %||49.04 (18th)|
|51.3 (15th)||5v5 Close Corsi For||50.5 (16th)|
|3.04 (3rd)||5v5 Goals For / 60||2.13 (20th)|
||5v5 Goals Against / 60||3.19 (29th)
||5v5 Goal +/-
|52.31 (12th)||5v5 OZS %||53.08 (11th)|
|9.39 (4th)||5v5 Shooting %||7.14 (22nd)|
|90.72 (23rd)||5v5 Save %||89.74 (29th)|
|100.1 (14th)||PDO||96.9 (28th)|
M. Zuccarello +6.95
J. Moore +4.72
5v5 Corsi Rel % Leaders
(min 50 min)
D. Perron +6.65
T. Hall +4.78
T. Glass -7.40
D. Girardi -5.26
5v5 Corsi Rel % Anchors
(min 50 min)
M. Marincin -6.30
N. Yakupov 5.77
R. Nash 4.92
D. Brassard 3.04
5v5 Points / 60 Leaders
(min 50 min)
J. Eberle 2.43
T. Hall 2.31
Keep Calm - We Have Lundqvist
The Rangers play the second in their weekend back-to-back tonight. Now, I know the inclination with the Oilers is to make them the butt of jokes. #herecometheoilers and all. They are at the bottom of the league in a lot of things. Namely wins and goals against. And they don't have Taylor Hall, which is a major problem. He is without a doubt their best forward. That said, Edmonton is 5-2-0 against the Eastern Conference, and have taken games from Tampa, Montreal and Washington. This is a team that can beat you.
The Oilers excel at rush offensive chances utilizing a crop of young and dynamic forwards that are creative and dangerous on the move. If you know anything about rush chances, you know that when they work, they have a good chance of going in.
The Oilers have played a track meet style not all that dissimilar to what we saw last night vs. Toronto. If you watched the game last night, you know that this gave the Rangers defense fits, and there were numerous miscues as a result. The Rangers are not playing solid 5v5 defense and appear especially susceptible to giving up quality rush opportunities. Th Oilers, if given such opportunities and space to attack a weak defense with speed, can and will score, despite their peripherals in 5v5 scoring. They aren't seriously lacking in the shot attempt battle and produce enough Corsi events on offense to be dangerous.
Unfortunately for the Rangers right now, they are still playing with one hand tied behind their back on defense. And despite their offensive prowess, they aren't sealing gaps in neutral ice because they simply aren't finding their backcheck assignments. They looked very susceptible to the rush of odd-man chances they saw against the Maple Leafs last night. AV noticed:
credit: MSG and NHL
They will look to Lundqvist to stem the tide a bit tonight and then try to clear the zone quickly on resulting loose pucks. Edmonton is not adept at zone pressure after the rush, and if you can slow them down or shut down the rush with a timely save/block, their offense falls flat thereafter. They simply do terribly at loose puck retrieval and any form of systems offense.
The Rangers just have to keep up. Which may be tough considering Edmonton is rested, and the Blueshirts are not.
Key to the Game:
The key to this game is going to be getting to the underbelly of Edmonton; their porous and often downright embarrassing defense. Despite their improved play at times, they still have one of the worst defensive corps and team defenses in hockey when it comes to tracking play that is being turned at them quickly. Call it the foibles of being a young team in the NHL. They just don't get set well to defend their own zone off rushes and turnovers.
Luckily for the Rangers, the team speed and ability to give teams fits through quick neutral zone transition and balanced offensive attacks that focus on the high probability slot and net front area has gone nowhere. It was in full effect against the Leafs, and was not the reason they lost (see above for why they lost).
At evens or on the PP or on the PK, if you get the Oilers puck watching in their own zone, as young players often do at this level, they will play mite hockey. Bad mini-mite hockey. They rarely responsibly space themselves and, as a result of what I think is a zone defensive structure, they simply lack the awareness to close off open lanes and take away available passing options when another team is pressuring their zone or turning them around with speed.
The key is to frustrate them in the neutral zone and turn play quickly. Their offense does not want to go backwards. At all. Get on their defense before they have time to settle in and zone clog the middle. They simply get lost:
All graphs created by Axel Fant-Eldh. We will get to explaining these more soon. Just wanted to toss them in for now. Feel free to discuss in the comments.
The only pumpkin beer I really thoroughly enjoy:
Parting thoughts from Michael Scott:
Tack your score predictions, musings and thoughts on the numbers in the comments homies.
Stats compiled from: nhl.com, war-on-ice.com, fenwick-stats.com and stats.hockeyanalysis.com