Road Wise Rangers take game one
Photo: Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire
The Rangers continued their mastery of the road with a rare win in Montreal and the unexpected heroes are already beginning to emerge.
Tanner Glass and Brendan Smith are rarely mentioned as difference makers, yet they led all Ranger forwards and defensemen respectively in play-by-play contributions.
Glass made the most of his one shot on net with a high backhander over Price’s shoulder, but also managed to move the puck well, forecheck, and play solid defense. His single game contribution exceeded his regular season average by 265%.
Smith managed the puck well and had a few shots that generated quality scoring chances. On a night when all Ranger defensemen were strong defensively, Smith more than doubled any other d-man contributions, excelling both on defending the rush and in DZC. He exceeded his regular season average contribution level by 217%.
From the rest of the Ranger forwards;
Oscar Lindberg exceeded his regular season offense by 122%, partly by making several great passes,
Mika Zibanejad was by far the highest defensive contributor with several key defensive plays, and
Jimmy Vesey’s contribution was almost identical to his season average, showing he was not overwhelmed in his first playoff game.
On the blue line;
Brendan Smith, Dan Girardi, Brady Skjei and Marc Staal all outperformed their regular season contribution averages,
All d-men except Ryan McDonagh outperformed their regular season defensive averages, and
Dan Girardi led all Ranger d-men offensively, which was 156% above his regular season average.
Not exactly a conventional win for the Rangers, based on their regular season formula, but style points count for nothing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.......it's all about results.
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