Rangers vs. Avalanche: Rangers Get Their Second Win of the Season
- The Rangers started off the game horribly, getting pinned in the defensive zone for almost a full two minutes. This would end up being a problem for New York throughout most of the game, as there were two many times where Colorado was able to keep possession of the puck in the offensive zone for extended periods of time and dominate the Rangers. The start of the first period was the worst and the Rangers did eventually warm up, so at least it got better as the game wore on.
- The game would mostly be characterized as a tug of war between the Rangers and Avalanche’s offense, with stretches of one team dominating the one until it would reverse back. The Avalanche started putting the pressure on the Rangers until New York’s first power play goal, where they started fighting back and getting into an offensive grove. It would go back and forth most of the game with each team generating a lot of shots (ending with 43 shots by the Rangers and 33 from the Avalanche).
- The defensemen too often looked slow and a full step behind the Avalanche. Too many times the Avalanche were able to attack the offensive zone with speed and enter the zone with control and skate around the defenders. The Avalanche were getting to the puck first in the defensive end and this was a large part of the reason why the Rangers struggled with stopping the Colorado attack./
- The penalty kill wasn’t very great, giving up several dangerous scoring chances and one power play goal
- While Jesper Fast played a decent game, I think he looked a little out of place on the first line. He put in the work and showed some physicality but missed too many prime scoring opportunities. More than once he was put in a great spot to score or even register a shot attempt and fanned on the opportunity.
- On the positive side, the Rangers looked very dangerous in the offensive zone. Specifically the Chytil – Hayes – Zuccarello line was consistently excellent in the attacking end, moving the puck well across the ice and getting creative with the puck. Kevin Hayes’ goal in the second period was a gorgeous one-timer from a cross-ice pass from Zuccarello, which gave the Rangers their 2-1 lead in the middle of the second period.
- Jimmy Vesey had a strong showing, generating plenty of scoring chances and being very noticeable when he was on the ice. He didn’t dominate the game but was arguably one of the few players generating much at even-strength that wasn’t on the second line.
- The Rangers’ power play was VERY good, especially more towards the beginning of the contest. Kreider scored his third of the year off a deflection from a Shattenkirk point shot./
But even besides the first goal, this was probably the Rangers best power play we’ve seen so far in the regular season. I’ll be publishing a more in-depth analysis of the Rangers’ power play soon but they were incredibly dangerous against the Avalanche this game.
- Without Lundqvist in net, there’s a decent chance the Rangers would be on the losing end of this game instead of coming out with the win. Several times Lundqvist made phenomenal stops to keep the Rangers in it, including this beautiful save that earned King Henrik a standing ovation from the crowd./
- Overall, the Rangers played well this game. Defensively there is much room for improvement but offensively the Rangers shined./