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2021/22 NY Rangers thread


EM31
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They could have stolen this game but they gut ultra conservative in the 3rd and it cost them. If Kakko hits the open net its 2-0 and most likely game over.

Best line by far was the kid line last night followed by the 4th line. Gotta be better than that.

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The Kid Leads the way for the Rangers: "It's a good sign for our team and for them"

By Author Staple

 

RALEIGH, N.C. — Ryan Strome remembers what it was like to be a 21-year-old NHLer in his first playoff series. It was with the Islanders in 2015, and Strome, playing on the wing with John Tavares, had a strong series, with four points in a seven-game first-round loss.

The experience gives him some perspective on the Rangers’ Kid Line of Alexis Lafrenière, 20, Filip Chytil, 22, and Kaapo Kakko, 20 — and on why it is that sometimes the young players with zero playoff experience can be the ones leading the charge for a team, as the Chytil line did in Game 1 of the second-round series against the Hurricanes and as it did at times against the Penguins in the first round.

“They look fresh and hungry,” Strome said. “Sometimes when you’re with younger guys, it feels like there’s a little bit less pressure, and you just go and play. Every game, there could be a different X-factor, and I think they’ve been that for a few games. It’s a good sign for our team and for them. They’ve worked really hard to earn it.”

The trajectory to being Game 1’s most impactful line has been a windy one.

Lafrenière had the best regular season of the three with 19 goals — all at even strength — in his second NHL season. Of the 69 NHLers with more than those 19 even-strength goals this season, only Tampa Bay’s Ross Colton (21 goals, 12:48 per game) averaged less ice time than Lafrenière’s 13:59 per game.

And from his first shift in the postseason, when Lafrenière nearly drove Penguins defenseman John Marino into the fifth row with a hit on the forecheck, the 2020 No. 1 pick has shown that postseason moments suit him just fine.

“Laffy’s personality, he just goes out there and has fun,” Gerard Gallant said. “I think it’s rubbing off on the other two.”

Alexis Lafrenière and Igor Shesterkin (Danny Wild / USA Today)

Chytil had a very down year on offense, with just eight goals in 67 games a year after posting eight goals in 45 games. Even in a season when he hardly ever left the third line, though, he was third among the team’s full-season forwards in five-on-five Corsi share at 50.2 percent, according to Evolving-Hockey. First? That would be Kakko, who missed 39 games with two injuries and managed just 18 points — the same total Andrew Copp had in just 16 games with the Rangers after the trade deadline.

The expectations on a trio of first-round picks were high. Lafrenière being a No. 1 and Kakko being a No. 2 made those expectations even higher.

“To do it 82 times a year is hard for any kid,” one longtime European scout said. “Especially the European kids, it’s been shown time and time again that leaving them in Europe for an extra year or two years is much more beneficial than bringing them over right away. We put them in environments they’re not prepared for, get frustrated with them, they lose their confidence. We then can’t put them in the minors unless they decide to do it themselves.

“You think about a player like Chytil. He’s been here, what, five years? And he’d be a junior in college if he was from Minnesota. We maybe need to be better students of history at times.”

Reuniting a line that played the most minutes together last season has worked for Gallant, who was named a Jack Adams finalist for a third time Thursday in his first Rangers season. All three young players understood that coming into the playoffs, the Kid Line was really the fourth line — Barclay Goodrow, Kevin Rooney and Ryan Reaves were going to see bigger minutes and a more demanding share of the assignments.

Goodrow didn’t play beyond Game 1 against the Penguins after breaking a bone in his foot/ankle, so that changed the assignments. So did the way the Kid Line played. They produced goals in each of the two debacle games in Pittsburgh, then produced the tying goal in the Game 5 comeback. Chytil still has struggled at the faceoff dot, winning just 37.9 percent of his playoff draws, and he had a serious brain cramp in leaving Evgeni Malkin alone in front of Igor Shesterkin to deflect home the triple-overtime winner in Game 1 against the Penguins.

But he’s been positionally better than he was all season at both ends of the ice, playing at the high pace Lafrenière has set for the line. And Kakko has been perhaps the best Rangers forward in the playoffs at digging below the opposing goal line, which is where he set up Lafrenière’s Game 5 goal against the Penguins. Kakko may still be reeling from his Game 1 open-net miss in the third period Wednesday, which would have given the Rangers a 2-0 lead, but he’s been in the middle of every shift when the Kid Line drives the puck in deep.

Lafrenière has been the most impressive one of the trio. His speed and stick-positioning have won him not just easy turnovers like the one Tony DeAngelo gifted him to set up Chytil’s goal in the first period Wednesday, Lafrenière also managed to make Jaccob Slavin look indecisive at times.

The Rangers were caved in on shots and chances at five-on-five against the Penguins. But through that series and Game 1 against the Canes, Chytil (55 percent), Kakko (52.4 percent) and Lafrenière (51.8 percent) are the only three Rangers who were on the ice for more shots for than against. It’s not simply due to matchups.

“Laffy has been really good,” Strome said. “He’s elevated his game. I think he competes really hard. He obviously has special ability, which is coming out lately in a big way.”

The hard part about Game 1 was that neither of the top two lines was able to match the Chytil line’s success. If the Kid Line is the only one going, the Rangers won’t win, no matter what they do. None of the three is averaging more than 14:44 per game. But it’s not only a good sign for this series, it’s a great sign beyond the playoffs that all three could move beyond the struggles of the regular season.

“They’re playing free and they’re loose and they’re happy,” Gallant said. “We put them together, and you’re worried about, at first, in the playoffs, I’m saying, ‘Are they ready for this?’ As coaches, you let them go out there and play as a group, and they’ve responded. We’re really happy with it.”

(Top photo of Alexis Lafrenière, Kaapo Kakko, Filip Chytil and Adam Fox: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

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1 hour ago, hawk said:

This has the be the most embarrassing display of team play of any sport I have ever watched.  That 4 min power play was unacceptable.

One dam goal in 125 minutes of hockey. Totally unacceptable aaaand where the hell are Krieder, Vatrano, Panarin. Invisible this series so far If we have any chance of winning they have to step it up and fast 

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8 hours ago, JustEndTheSuffering said:

Pathetic performance. Have to win both at MSG or I doubt we can climb out of the hole. Not much else to say.

Unwatchable….  I got laughed out of a bar here in Carolina Beach.    Just like being a JETS fan.  We are accustomed to it I suppose.  

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12 minutes ago, section314 said:

Ranger fans never cease to amaze me. They played two great, not good, great road games. They play even close to that at the Garden and this thing will be 2-2 in a heartbeat. 

I missed last night because I had to work. But Game 1 was the very definition of playing to not lose. 

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7 hours ago, section314 said:

Ranger fans never cease to amaze me. They played two great, not good, great road games. They play even close to that at the Garden and this thing will be 2-2 in a heartbeat. 

They were good for two periods in game 1. They looked like sh*t all of last night.

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5 hours ago, LongTimeJetFan said:

It’s going to be a funeral today at MSG. That series ended in the 3rd period of Game 1. I don’t think the Rangers show up. 

Kakko missed an empty net and they choked away game one.

This team has not quit all year, they just made history with 3 consecutive comeback wins in elimination games.

Up 1-0 after 1.

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24 minutes ago, JustEndTheSuffering said:

Should be up 2-1 but can't dwell on it. One game at a time, make it 2-2 at MSG.

That Kreider goal was an absolute thing of beauty. Freaking bullet which hit 1” below the top right corner of the net.

Zibs goal was a rocket within a 3” gap at the near post between the blocker and knee pad.

These guys aren’t the fastest or best stick handlers but absolute artists placing the puck!

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1 hour ago, LAD_Brooklyn said:

Today was a good day

20220522_182245.thumb.jpg.c11ae5271487d8d637723fc2ab44d838.jpg

Today was a GREAT day. 
 

Rangers WIN!

Mets win. 
 

Justin Thomas comes back from 8 shots back to win the 3 hole playoff! Guy is the size of a pencil and hits the ball 340 yards 

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Anyone watching the CGY/EDM game? These referees are absolutely awful at their jobs. Either on the take or total incompetence. Those are your choices. 

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Good opening 9 minutes or so. I like Panarin playing with a shoot-first mentality. Tough call on Jarvis but it's still a penalty. Don't tell Ferraro that though. Idiot. 

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