View Full Version : Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, McDonagh making their points; AV lacks forward depth

11-13-2013, 12:52 PM
Crushed Ice: Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, Ryan McDonagh making their points; Alain Vigneault lacks forward depth

BY Pat Leonard

Let’s dig into the Rangers’ 3-2 loss to the Devils Tuesday night at the Garden with some extra notes and quotes:

1. Chris Kreider (two assists), Mats Zuccarello (assist) and Ryan McDonagh (assist) continue to be some of the Blueshirts’ most reliable point producers. Kreider has 10 points in 11 games this season since his recall from the AHL on Oct. 20. Zuccarello and McDonagh both have career-high, four-game point streaks going. Zuccarello has 10 points in 10 games since his healthy scratch Oct. 24 in Philadelphia. McDonagh has eight points in his last eight games. McDonagh played a team-high 25:32 of ice time on Tuesday.

Zuccarello showed speed and playmaking ability with his second-period swoop down the wing and around the net to set up Marc Staal’s goal, the defenseman’s 100th career NHL point. Kreider was a force on the third period shift that led to Dan Girardi’s first goal of the year, both on the forecheck retaining the puck and on the puck protection and pass to set up Girardi’s goal. Zuccarello provided the screen of Martin Brodeur as Girardi’s wrist shot snuck through.

Of course, Kreider and Zuccarello both were on ice when the Devils scored the game-winning goal, with Jaromir Jagr pushing the puck cleanly through the neutral zone behind Derek Stepan, and then Dainius Zubrus eventually punching in a loose puck after McDonagh and Girardi slowed but did not contain the end of the rush.

The puck also slipped by McDonagh at the point on Carter’s second goal, though Carl Hagelin, Girardi and Henrik Lundqvist should have been able to snuff out that, well, routine play.

2. Staal and Girardi, both defensemen, scored New York’s only goals. So that means in 120 minutes of hockey this season, no Rangers forward has scored against the Devils. New Jersey leads the season series 2-0-0, with Cory Schneider recording the 4-0 shutout on Oct. 19 in Newark and Martin Brodeur posting Tuesday’s 3-2 win at the Garden. You have to admit: It is maddening for the Rangers that they did not get at least one point out of Tuesday night.

3. Rick Nash and Dominic Moore can’t come back soon enough. Alain Vigneault essentially shortened his rotation to nine forwards against New Jersey. Benoit Pouliot, who suddenly the last several games looks completely unreliable, played only 9:42. J.T. Miller logged just 5:04 of ice time. He took an Adam Larsson high stick to the face in the first period and also had Ryan Carter’s first goal of the game go in off his skate, an unfortunate bounce since he’d recovered to patrol the back post. Brandon Mashinter, meanwhile, played only 2:48. His defensive zone giveaway led to a Brian Boyle penalty in the first period and shortened Vigneault’s already-limited plan for Mashinter.

Moore will return to the lineup Saturday in Montreal. Nash is expected to stay out longer to improve his conditioning, but he is scheduled to practice with the team Wednesday morning in Greenburgh.

4. The Rangers’ power play is 2-for-18 in their last five games. Stepan had a particularly difficult time handling the puck on the man advantage on Tuesday, but no one really was able to generate much against a stingy Devils penalty kill.

“It seemed tonight that they did a good job of blocking our shots or we blocked our own shots,” Brad Richards said. “We had (Ryan Callahan) in front of the net like we want, but it hits him and goes right to them and they clear it out. You have to give them credit. They work hard on that penalty kill and we knew it was going to be a challenge.”

Vigneault pointed out that the Devils press to the blue line and challenge entries, something the Rangers knew would happen but we’re able to counter, partially due to Brodeur’s ability to play the puck and the Devils defense’s ability to recover.

5. It’s rare that Callahan leads all Rangers forwards in ice time (23:01) but has such a quiet offensive game. He had seven hits and three shots on goal but couldn’t penetrate the Devils’ blue line, which had been shortened to five players after Anton Volchenkov left in the first period with a lower-body injury. Oh, and by the way: Paging Derick Brassard. Come in, Derick.

6. Sean Avery was smiling somewhere when Zuccarello toppled on top over Brodeur, eliciting a Brodeur jab to Zuccarello’s face later that shift. It wasn’t quite Avery’s rule-changing faceguard of Brodeur in 2008, but this was true Rangers-Devils, angst and agitation between rivals at the Garden, the second of five meetings this season including a chilly outdoor showdown Jan. 26 at Yankee Stadium.

7. The good news: At least the Rangers don’t have Garden chairman James Dolan guaranteeing a win in their next game, being that it’s in Montreal.http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/rangers/2013/11/crushed-ice-chris-kreider-mats-zuccarello-ryan-mcdonagh-making-their-points-alain-vi

11-13-2013, 03:48 PM
Well written. I agree with everything here especially #7 haha

11-13-2013, 04:51 PM
Well written. I agree with everything here especially #7 haha

Does Jim go to the Rangers games? I have seen him often front court at the Knicks game.

Looks like some Devils noticed Mats. :)

Brodeur said last night “he’s the only guy I can take on.”

Pete DeBoer said “I saw Zuccarello stick him two or three times and he better hope that Marty doesn’t get upset.

11-13-2013, 06:47 PM
Yeah, god forbid Marty gets upset. Last time that happened he divorced his wife and married her sister.

11-13-2013, 10:17 PM
Yeah, god forbid Marty gets upset. Last time that happened he divorced his wife and married her sister.


I'm sure holidays with the entire family is AWKWARD

11-14-2013, 04:56 PM
I love that Dolan does what he's supposed to and just writes the checks for he Rangers. If only he'd do that with the Knicks too :sigh:

That said, we definitely need forward depth fast. Hopefully Moore stays healthy and Nash gets back quickly

Slightly of topic, I was just reading the article about Gaborik probably going on the Block and it got me thinking: we basically abused the Jackets in that trade. We gave up an aging forward who was slumping terribly and had a 7.5 cap hit and got back 3 rotation guys in Brassard, Dorsett, and Moore. On top of it, Gaborik did NOT help carry the Jackets offense last year, this failing in their attempt to make the playoffs. Interesting to think about