Rangers Waltz Past Flyers At Garden

Rangers celebrate McDonagh's goal. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Rangers celebrate McDonagh’s goal. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Tonight’s 3-1 win over Philly reminds us that sometimes the eye-test and the statistics don’t quite align.

Before assisting on Jakob Voracek’s 58th minute goal, Flyers captain Claude Giroux epitomized his Flyer’s inability to actively threaten the Rangers physically, mentally or on the scoreboard. His stat sheet read zeroes across the board in over 20 minutes of playing time.
This isn’t meant to disparage, rather it’s meant to express that if there’s one thing a hockey box score still doesn’t quantify, it’s quality of play.
Here, in ExtraSkater’s Win Expectancy Chart, the Rangers were in control from just before the ninth minute onward, after Derek Dorsett’s opening goal. Ironically, Ryan McDonagh’s sixth minute goal in the second didn’t sway the chart much, and it gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
Win Chart NYR PHI (extra skater)

Win Chart NYR PHI (extra skater)

The game wasn’t chippy, it wasn’t violent (despite Zach Rinaldo nearly decapitating Raphael Diaz in the first), it wasn’t passionately physical, and it sure wasn’t all that emotional. The importance of the game itself for both teams, especially to win in regulation, was repeated as though a mantra by the broadcasters, yes, if anything, the teams looked hyper focused on the tasks at hand; the Rangers dictating play, and the Flyers trying to counter.
Here’s what I think: this’ll go down as an immemorable game for it’s utter blandness. It’s also a possible example of the kind of series that these two eternal rivals will play come April or May. That is until one person, and it can be anybody, takes a single (seemingly) outlandish liberty.
And you know how the City of Brotherly Love and Statue of Liberty herself feel about folks taking the wrong kinds of liberties.
[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gSHp2IAGiQ”]Game Seven Highlights – [/su_youtube]

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