Blame Game: Breaking down the last 9 goals against Toronto and Montreal with video

Gotta stop that!

The Rangers have come out of the break sputtering. Against Toronto, they seemed slow and not sharp. Last night in Montreal, they played a better game and then fell apart. You win as a team, and you lose as a team but it doesn’t hurt to look at what went wrong.

In order for this post to be effective, you need to watch the videos first.

Nylander bad angle goal, 1-0 TOR

Zuccarello, Lindberg, and Vesey all fail to get the puck out. McDonagh is a hair slow to get over, but Lundqvist gets beat on a bad angle. He is obviously not set and thus the goal against. This should’ve been stopped.

Blame Breakdown:
Forwards 15%
McDonagh 5%
Lundqvist 80%


First off, it’s a PP which by its nature is harder to defend. That being said, McDonagh fails to clear and Girardi totally misplays the cross ice feed. That said, Lundqvist has ample time to set himself and is once again caught moving.

Blame Breakdown:
McDonagh 20%
Girardi 40%
Lundqvist 40%

Brown deflection, 3-1 TOR

This is a bad break that is only compounded by the previous two goals. Girardi gives way too much room at the blue line, and McDonagh inexplicably deflects the puck. Lundqvist has no chance here.

Blame Breakdown:
McDonagh 50%
Girardi 50%
Lundqvist 0%

Carrick PPG, 4-1 TOR

This is on Miller and Hayes. They give up way too much room and Hayes is in no man’s land and doesn’t pick up Carrick.

Blame Breakdown:
Miller 10%
Hayes 90%
Lundqvist 0%

Where’s the D? Galchenyuk deflection, 1-1 MTL

I don’t even have words for this flaming garbage pile of defense. McDonagh is doing what exactly? Klein is where? Forwards are no help here. Henrik is helpless to stop that uncontested deflection from the most dangerous spot on the ice.

Blame Breakdown:
Lundqvist 0%
Everybody else 100%

Flynn having a Snickers bar in front, 2-2 MTL

What are you doing Kevin Klein? Why is he leaving his man in front to chase the guy coming from behind the net? Why did Oscar Lindberg take so long to get in front? Maybe you give Hank a little blame for failing to cover the puck after the first stop…very little.

Blame Breakdown:
Klein 80%
Lindberg 10%
Skjei 5%
Lundqvist 5%

Emelin ties it at 3, Hank has to stop this 3-3 MTL

Yes, the face off is in the zone off an icing (spilled milk). Yes, Hayes need to win the draw. Yes, Clendening screens Hank. But sorry, this is one your big game goalie has to stop. He isn’t the only goalie in the NHL that has to contend with screens and/or deflections. Henrik is not playing his angle right, and is not out enough to make that shot hit him. He gets beat short side. He didn’t see it, but he played it small.

If this shot gets stopped, the whole meltdown of 3 goals in 1:02 never happens.

Blame Breakdown:
Hayes 20%
Clendening 10%
Lundqvist 70%

Pacioretty breaks the Rangers backs, 4-3 MTL

What are you doing McDonagh? He completely misreads this play and gets blown out of the water by Pacioretty. Fault Girardi for not anticipating that McDonagh may not get to the puck, but Henrik needs to make a big stop here too. Yes, it’s a partial breakaway but Lundqvist is caught moving and gets beat 5-hole. It’s a bad goal against, end of story. Vintage Hank doesn’t move first and forces Pacioretty to beat him with a deke.

Blame Breakdown:
McDonagh 40%
Girardi 10%
Lundqvist 50%

Byron seals the deal, 5-3 MTL

This is called an avalanche. The proverbial snowball that started with the Emelin goal, ends with this complete breakdown in coverage and Adam Clendening losing his whereabouts in front of Henrik and thus deflecting it in.

Blame Breakdown:
Clendening 50%
Everybody else 50%
Lundqvist 0%


As you can see, when you give up 9 goals against there is plenty of blame to go around. Henrik needs help, of that there is no doubt but he needs to help his teammates too. Of the 9 goals against he has to own the Nylander goal against Toronto and the Emelin goal in Montreal. They are both back breaking goals against and momentum setters.

Henrik is basically blameless on 5 of the 9 against, but is no doubt struggling. Simply put, he is over playing some shots and out of position by a hair on others. Hopefully Allaire can set it straight before Dallas on Tuesday.

Shockingly, McDonagh has struggled the most of all defensemen on these last 9 goals, with Girardi continuing to make his dubious appearances. Clendening and Klein have also made some really bad plays.

Anyone notice how Holden isn’t mentioned….once? Solid play by 22.

Lastly, you can see that the forwards share plenty of blame as well and should be supporting this defense more.

Did I get it right? Share yours thoughts below.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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