Gm 3: EDM 4 NYR 1, McDavid/Draisaitl carry Oilers over Blueshirts
The Rangers returned to action Saturday after a week off. I am sure some will harp on the time off between games as a reason for the 4-1 loss to the Oilers. But it was more ineffective play and a failure to get shots on net rather than rust that resulted in the loss. New York is off again until Thursday, when they face the struggling Devils at the Rock.
David Quinn Postgame:
"I can think of five instances off the top of my head where we have incredible chances to shoot a puck and we don't, and off of that might come four other shots," Quinn said. "You get a loose puck sitting in front of the net, you better get rid of it in a hurry. We just didn't have that shooting mentality. We didn't do a lot of things in a hurry today."
New York started the game with the following line combinations:
A few thoughts:
1) Kaapo Kakko - the one highlight in the loss was Kaako's first goal. A beautiful backhand feed by Ryan Strome send Kakko, who had a step on Oscar Klefbom, in all alone on Mike Smith. A shift of the puck from the forehand to backhand led to Kaako's marker.
2) Panarin-Zibanejad-Buchnevich - so good the first two games, so average Saturday. As Carp noted, that trio was fairly solid the first two-plus periods. Not great and not to the level at which they played last week, passing up several shots, but they had held Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in check. In the last 10:16 of the game, the AMP line was on the ice for all three goals against, all of which were scored by McDavid and Draisaitl. Zib won 58.65 of his draws, but he lost key ones, especially after icings when New York couldn't shift personnel, that led to goals.
3) Strome - besides the pass to Kaako for the goal, not noticeable. Was swapped out for Brett Howden in the third period. This could be a change for Thursday's game.
4) Lias Andersson - coach David Quinn said after Game 1 he would get Andersson more time. That proved to be mildly true, as Andersson's minutes did tick up slightly. Saturday, this went out the window, as Andersson skated just 7:16 in the contest. McKegg wasn't much better while Smith saw two more minutes of ice time that each of his linemates. I am unsure how Andersson is to improve and/or prove his worth if he barely sees the ice.
5) Vladislav Namestnikov - got revenge on one of his former teams, scoring two goals and an assist against Tampa on Saturday. Good for Nam as he tries to earn a big contract. But his solid game doesn't change the fact that the deal made sense. I might have tried Nam over Strome as the 2c, but once a deal became possible, he needed to be moved since he isn't part of the future plans in New York.
6) Filip Chytil - one reason why Nam was moved was to create room for the kids. Chytil and Vitali Kravtsov are those two kids. Chytil had a solid contest in Hartford's third game of the season, as seen below, while Kravtsov continues to struggle as he adjusts.
Not every rookie dominates immediately. We all would love to see it but that is Pleasantville material, where everything works perfectly, especially immediately. Give Kravtsov time to adjust to North America and his surroundings. Let him learn and settle in. It's a marathon not a sprint.
7) Henrik Lundqvist - not a bad game, but marred but a weak third goal, on a shot that should have been stopped. Until then, was solid between the pipes. On Klefbom's goal, Lundqvist was completely screened and never saw the puck. The second goal, off an attempted pass by McDavid, deflected off Jacob Trouba's leg past Hank but the third goal squeezed through the pads and should have been stopped.
8) Tone of the game: as Larry Brooks pointed out, the Blueshirts were out-attempted 51-22 at even-strength in this one and by 165-113 through their three games for a small sample size Corsi of 40.6 percent, per Naturalstattrick.com. Not positive numbers at all, despite the 2-1 start.
I am out Monday-Tuesday for the Jewish holiday. Expect a blog Wednesday and then a pre-game one Thursday. i will be at the Rock on Thursday, let me know if you are going. My schedule next week is the same in regards to the Jewish holiday.