Kamis, 10 Desember 2009

Chalk Talk

Pretty sick way to finish off the Rangers in OT, right? Let's break down the goal (because I have nothing to write about) and parse what happened in this play. Keep in mind I can't spell Dustin's last name without Google's help so I'll refer to him as "Buff".

So we're in OT with plenty of skating room and Marc Staal find himself with some pressure from Andy Ladd (at least I think it's Ladd). Staal does his best to use the net and get's some space from the aggressive forecheck and hoofs it out of the zone up the right side.

Rozsival (at the end of his shift) offers a very weak outlet for Staal considering it's a 4-4, right? I think he was just looking to have the puck carried out so he could get a blow. Anyways Staal gets to the nuetral zone and hits Gabby cross ice who is waiting at the blueline.

Rozsival goes for a line change and Gilroy hits the ice. This is important but in the grand scheme of things might not have changed the end result. So I guess it isn't important but noteworthy. Roll the film.

Gabby steps into the zone unmolested and sets up camp. Staal, being the Dman he is, goes right to the net as Gabby looks for an outlet pass.

Since Rozsival changed Gabby doesn't yet have defenseman at the top of the zone to he feigns making a cross ice pass (unless I imagined this) and sends it to Staal down low.

Now Staal is a defenseman and most Dmen think that their offensive roles when not on the point is to get some traffic and look for a tip. No way another forward makes that play. Dmen are mostly meaty folks who try for steak and potato jobs. Gabby's pass wasn't nearly hard enough for Staal to try a between the legs tip but by chance the puck squirts to Vinny Prospal.

Prospal has a chance here. He's lefty and has been lucky enough that everytime Gabby has breathed on him he's been scoring. So even though Staal tried his hardest to end this play the puck gets on his stick.

When you look at the picture above you think Vinny could easily throw something on net for a Staal rebound or slide it to Staal for the finish. Wrong. Duncan Keith doesn't freak out and kicks Prospal's pass attempt out of the reach of Prospal.

Now Gilroy still isn't in this play. I thought he was an ultra-mobile dman? How slow was Rozsival getting to the bench? Buff is looking at the puck like he stares at a Sonic commericial and Gabby doesn't know whether to engage or let Gilroy play his man. Gabby gives a half-hearted sweep and it's a race to the bottom.

Buff turns on the jets. Not only that but in the above picture Buff pulls a little toey and catches Gilroy flat footed. Once Gilroy tries to pokecheck he is finished. Buff is churning and Gilroy should have got on his horse and forced Buff wide. Instead he made a play for the puck and gets sent down to the AHL.

Gilroy does his best Mike Green impression and reaches for his inhaler when physical defensive play is involed. He lunges one last time like a hipster running after a Brooklyn bound L leaving 3rd avenue. Now if Gabby were a dman he would have beaten Buff to the post to make the stop. Instead he acts like anyone would if they saw a sofa flying past them and maintains his distance. Buff gets in on Henrik who has a dog collar shock him if he steps out of his crease.

Henrik does 35% of a poke and Buff slides the puck through his legs. It's tough for Hank with Buff coming left to right with all that speed but Hank still wishes he had committed to the poke check.

It's a walkoff.

In hindsight Gabby should have tried to skate through 4 Blackhawks and get a quality shot on net. That's really all the Rangers have right now.

- Nemmy - horseshit since 1981

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