The Sports Daily > NY Rangers Blog
Senators 2, Rangers 1 (Sens 1-0)

The New York Rangers lost to the Ottawa Senators by the score of 2-1 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semi-Final match-up. Ottawa leads the series 1-0. For a box score, click here.

3 Goats

1st Goat – The Rangers discipline

2nd Goat – Grabner’s finishing ability

3rd Goat – Everything leading up to Karlsson’s game winner

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

Luck is a huge part of winning in the postseason. And tonight it was on Ottawa’s side. So, in recognition of Karlsson’s bad bounce game winner, let’s drown our sorrows with a Liquid Luck.

Gif of the Game

I told you not to sleep on Anderson

Everything That Could Have Gone Wrong Did

Losing on a shot from behind the goal line is excruciating enough, but when you examine everything that led up to the winner, it’s enough to drive you to drink…even more.

Let’s break it down.

First off, the play shouldn’t have happened to begin with because it was a clear icing that was mysteriously waived off. Unfortunately, it looked liked the Rangers slowed down a bit as they anticipated a whistle, which had them on their heels as Stepan (terrible shift for him) immediately gave the puck away to Karlsson….

Despite the missed call & initial turnover, the Rangers were able to recover the puck, but Stepan (I told you it was bad) gives it right back…

The Rangers then have another chance to clear the puck, however, Methot out-races Nash at the blueline to keep the puck in the zone…

Next, after blocking Karlsson’s initial centering attempt, McDonagh completely loses sight of the puck, giving the two-time Norris winner a brief opening to again get the puck towards the Rangers net…

Finally, the puck nicks off Stepan (nice to see him finally score), then banks off Lundqvist’s head and into the goal.

I’d criticize Lundqvist for not standing tall and hugging the post, but that’s how goaltending is taught now. Everything is from their knees.

Hockey is a game of inches and this entire sequence proves that.


When Lundqvist is as locked in as he was tonight, the Rangers can absolutely not afford to waste that kind of performance…


Tonight was as noticeable as Grabner has been in weeks, but in a tight game such as this, he’s got to find a way to bury one of these golden opportunities…

Damn Province of Ontario air messing with Grabner’s finishing ability again.

Mini Recap

I know it was only the first game, so the hatred is still percolating, but compared to the Montreal series, tonight was downright docile. No hitting. No chirping. Nothing. There was literally just ONE post whistle scrum. After Game 1 against the Canadiens, I already had my own personal “hit list” that included Gallagher, Ott and Shaw. Tonight? I barely know the names of half the players on the Senators roster.

I assume that changes as the series rolls on, but the lack of intensity seemed to have a negative impact on the Rangers as they weren’t as engaged as they were against the Canadiens. Where’s Chris Neil to wake up the Rangers when you need him…

I fully expected this game to be more of a slog, but it was pretty wide open. And while you’d think that would favor the Rangers, the Senators found themselves with the majority of the odd man rushes and breakaways.

To piggyback on that thought, I felt the Rangers did a decent job breaking the Senators neutral zone trap. They were mixing it up by either dumping it in, throwing the puck into open space to retrieve it or skating it in.

I know the penalty kill has been dominant lately, but showcasing it isn’t the greatest strategy to win a playoff game.

Minus the fluky game winner, a valiant effort by the Rangers keeping Karlsson from taking over the game.

Call off the search teams, we’ve found Chris Kreider. Four shots on goal and a critical screen on the McDonagh goal.

Actually, let’s re-assign them to the Kevin Hayes & JT Miller search parties.

Pretty sure Craig Anderson encountered more traffic on the way to the rink than he did during the game.

I try to stay away from the fancy stats but Girardi was overwhelmed tonight as he had a 5-on-5 Corsi For of just 27%. That’s….wow. That’s not good.

Sooooooo, Tanner Glass in the lineup for Game 2?

Rangers down 0-1…

Despite the Rangers playing without much passion or effort tonight, it still took a fluke goal for Ottawa to defeat them. Expect this team to come out with some jump in Game 2 which should hopefully overwhelm the Senators.

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17 thoughts on “Senators 2, Rangers 1 (Sens 1-0)

  1. That just about had the intensity of a pre-season game. The Rangers are truly the Cybils of the hockey world. The defense was just atrocious. Hank faced about as many difficult scoring chances this game as he did in 6 against Montreal. The positive is we did a good job breaking the trap and probably got more quality chances for then the whole Montreal series but I looked very ragtag to me. I did caution against taking this goaltender and team lightly for what it’s worth. We’ve got a 35 year old goalie who is going to give us a chance to win if we play strong in front of him but I can’t blame him for not guarding the post and being square to the shooter on that fluky goal because making my all those incredible saves is going to wear on your aging net minder mentally as well as physically no use of strategy at all in this one at all. Defense and good hard tight checking wins best out of 7 series., and will create opportunities. I know this team is quicker and more creative offensively then Montreal but where was that tight D. It was disorganized in our own zone and even in the break outs. That playing as a unit of 5 which started in game 4 of the last series fell by the wayside. Got to get back to all the things we did right against Montreal, like ahem.. finishing your checks? . Look for a whole new lol Sat. LGR


  2. You know I’m quick to criticize Hank, I’d apologize, but I feel taking $8.5M a year and adopting the nickname “King” should open a person to criticism.

    “I’d criticize Lundqvist for not standing tall and hugging the post, but that’s how goaltending is taught now. Everything is on their knees.”

    Admittedly I am not a peewee, midget, highschool, juniors, college or pro goalie, not have I stood between the pipes even once in a streethockey game, HOWEVER. From where the puck was, it has two and only two chances to get into the back of the net. One, Karlsson makes a cross ice pass for a backside one timer. If he pulls that off, he supplants Gandalf as the greatest wizard of all time and I tip my battered NYR cap to him. Two, the highest paid goalie in NHL history gives Karlsson, a notorious sniper, an inch of room and he makes a shot that we have seen our very own Rick Nash make. IF IF IF Hank simply stands up and squares up, the higher (low) percentage opportunity is gone DESPITE the puck banking off Stepan or whomever else the fans would end up shifting the blame towards because there would be no actual room for the sniperest of snipers to sneak it in.But he didn’t, he went low as if there was an incoming wrap around shot (there wasn’t) and the mind blowing saves we were treated to earlier were wasted. PS Anderson makes half of what Hank does, and he made the same caliber saves all night, only letting in one puck on a beautifully screened shot.

    Additionally, why in the name of all that’s holy do we not go back to screens when they so obviously work?

    You are correct though about everything being on the knees Kevin. Even on the first goal, Staal is actually in as good a defensive position as he could be and takes away the low ice level shot without (cue fanfare, balloons and doves) screening Hank, and yet Hank drops low as well and the shot goes over his rapidly falling shoulder. There had to be 30 saves made that if he didn’t we’d have had to simply give props to the shooters [or more likely blame someone else on the team for A) bad defense B) bad turnover c) screening Hank D) not blocking the shot].

    All is not doom and gloom, though it does blow hobo balls that the effort was wasted, they’re capable of playing much better and I suspect they will. It’ll make my prediction of NYR in 5 a bit tougher to pull off, but they can do it.

    I never know if you’re kidding or not on the whole TG thing, but a skill-less “goon” that provides ZERO intimidation factor is not the answer in this series, hell he wasn’t the answer in the previous slug fest. If AV puts in TG, he should also start Raanta. Let that marinate a bit.


    1. Totally disagree that that goal was Hank’s fault. Refs fail to call a blatant icing, Nash fails to clear the zone, Mac loses sight of the puck and backs way off Karlsson giving him time and space to shoot, Stepan screens Hank and fails to block the shot deflecting it up instead, and the puck which Hank never sees because of the 3 guys in his line of sight banks in off his head. A fluke goal pure and simple.


      1. Agree. I find it hard to blame Hank there. Bodies in front. Deflection. Easy to Monday morning QB that he should be on the pipe when, again, every goaltender is down on their knees when the puck is on the goal line extended.


      2. And we had already used our time out so the failed icing call couldn’t be contested. What a clusterfuck!


  3. wow … step has puck luck… for the other team…O M G
    Compete level: how do you come out & leave the Mont play HOME……
    no pop , no crashing & banging & forcing Otts to open up instead of 1-3-1 B S
    get puck deep crash & bang for it ..gain control & attack ..HOw f’in simple
    Hayes JT maybe sit one for Glass ??? stinkin up the ice with weak puck play & control
    not driving to net … J T checks ..Hayes ??? .where r U guys
    Sat . will be the all effort game now that we know whats coming…
    Why let one slip thru fingers like gm 2 …. learning curve for P O’s … bust it out there
    5 days off U shoulda been flying …Grabs was just take the blindfold off or open the eyes
    it may help… that move on Price .. herky jerky , DO IT …….
    D was O K PP was strong for them …we should mirror them and force it down low for the
    puck luck plays …. only that s why we got 2 -3 real chances short handed
    Not going to beat thems elves if thats what we thought … lest go … win & come home with the split …. should a been greedy and swept 2 ….. was there for the taking …


  4. Millers play is awful all over the ice, hayes looks lazy and out of it, not a terrible game, but i thought for surethey were gonna bring the heavy road game attitude, and i was disappointed. I agree that the goal was not hanks fault, but at the end of the day its ultimately on him and he realizes that. The guy has the burning passion of 1000 suns to compete and win, and a goal like that chaps his ass undoubtedly


  5. How can anyone even consider putting the loss on Hank. He is the only reason we were in the game. As for our criticism of Miller, Hayes and Zucc last night and they need to be better, it amazes me that all give our great #1 center a pass. He is the worst performing #1 center in the playoffs and has been horrendous in all aspects of the game. It is real tough watching what Brass brings to the table in the big games while we kept Stepan who can’t take over a game in any way shape or form.


    1. Derek Stepan is an absolute waste at $6.5M. He can’t even be relied on for something as simple as winning a faceoff. He is NOT a game changer. He doesn’t hit anybody, he doesn’t have a good shot, and is just soft. I have never once seen him try to carry the puck into a dirty area. Our second highest paid forward does nothing offensively and yet we seem to not even think about it because he makes the occasional good defensive play. Guess what folks…Oscar Lindberg also makes good defensive plays for a sixth of the price. This guy is a loser


      1. Agree, Step is a waste and leads me to believe Groton doesn’t evaluate talent all that well.Anyone should have been able to see Step wasn’t that talented and his contract is almost as lame as our other 2 useless overpaid defensemen.


    2. Well nobody else has to has to point out Step’s subpar play because you do such a good job of it and every chance you get lol. Seriously though I agree it killed me to see them trade Brass and keep Step. The coach seems to trust him probably because he’s good defensively and tends to commit less turnovers and all but he doesn’t possess the speed and skill of someone you’d expect to be too center of an AV team and these playoffs have been his worse so far. We may find out later that he and others are playing through injuries but whatever your perception is of him I think we can all agree he’s underperforming. Unfortunately we lack a marquee center and not too many teams I’m aware of have won a cup without one so if we’re to have a prayer we’ll lean heavily on Hank, other forwards and luck. It is what it is. I’m sure no one wanted Step at his salary and there were takers for Brass so I’m more inclined to blame Sather than Gorts…and Step for his ridiculous holdouts, I think he did that twice actually. Personally I think some of the criticism’s overstated but on a team built to win a cup he’s not your #1 center…agreed


      1. Worlds, Step at his best lacks the skills needed at the playoff level. It is one thing to run up points in the regular season while also playing on the #1 PP and against the weaker teams and a whole other thing to provide the superior skills of a #1 center against the better playoff teams and tightening defenses. As much as I rag on him it is more of a reflection of mgmt and coach leaving him at that #1 position. I’m also holding him accountable because he thinks he is worthy of #1 money. Hank on the other hand has earned every penny and yet most here have railed on him for years as if he should be the sole savior. It is laughable.


      2. In 60 playoff games since 2012 Step has 16 goals and 34 points including a few memorable clutch ones. That is pretty close to his regular season averages against the “weaker teams” . This year he had an empty netter and 2 points in 7. Quite a drop off I’d say. But why? Obviously not because he can’t produce in playoff competition because he’s done so every other season except his first. I’m not disagreeing with you and I agree actually on points about money, contracts and not being a first line guy, at least not for a top team but I think it’s a bit overstated.


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