noun: 1. the quality or fact of being very determined; determination.
Against a strong offensive minded team, with speed, who put a lot of pucks to the net, you have to respond equally as strong or stronger on both offense and defense. For example, the Columbus Blue Jackets have tallied a total of 21 goals in the 5 games played with the New York Rangers. In interview, Captain Ryan McDonagh explained that although the Rangers had the puck a lot in the offensive zone, the Rangers weren’t as sharp and lacked energy. The offense couldn’t finish their shots, despite having a total of 30 shots on goal compared to Columbus’ 26 shots.
In the last game against the Blue Jackets, there were a lot of turnovers which led to odd man rushes. Our defense broke down too much and allowed Columbus to hurt us in their transition play, as stated by goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. The defense needed to play smart in front of their net, “get sticks down, and clear out the front for Henrik to see things.” explained by Ryan McDonagh.
The Rangers could only put in 2 goals against Bobrovsky. “I don’t think we worked hard enough to get on the inside, against a good goalie like they have. You have to get traffic in front of them.”, alternate Captain Rick Nash says before explaining how he doesn’t think anyone should be happy with the way they played. “They had better execution than we did, they stuck to their game plan and we got off track on ours.”
Changes had been made, but there wasn’t success along with it. Head coach Alain Vigneault switched Grabner into Vesey’s spot with Rick Nash and Derek Stepan to jump-start the offense in the game. “Not that we didn’t have possession time there, but we weren’t getting anything to the net.” It was clear AV had frustrations to work out in practice, before playing again on Tuesday.
Hopefully the Rangers can learn from their mistakes, and get their act together for tomorrow’s game against the Capitals. A team who has always played a strong offensive minded game. The defense will need to be sharp, and the offense will have to play a smart game. Games are never black and white, they’re ever-changing. You can’t go in with one set play and one style. Plays change, teams change, players change. Players must maintain determination and the fight to fit in with each opponent they face.
Though no one had an outstanding game, personally, Henrik Lundqvist stands out to me. There’s small whispers of him being washed out, and though scores would say otherwise, it’s what Henrik does every game that makes him our beloved king. He stands most of his ground (or crease). He made a dangerous play to poke the puck away from a possible 1 v 1. Though he struggled with his defense to scramble back into play, you could see the focus in his game. Earlier in the game a penalty shot was awarded to Columbus. Henrik stayed with Saad and deflected the puck above the net. His tenacity shows each game, win or lose. In his NHL career he has faced 20,657 shots against and 1,653 goals against, about 19,004 saves in total. Which means on average he saves 26 shots a game. Most teams only produce 20-30 shots on goal in a game. Hank is one for the rafters.
Author: @MeghanMalcolm via Twitter