At 8:39 last night, Carl Hagelin scored after a backhand attempt fluttered off of the stick of Johnny Boychuck and past a fallen Tuuka Rask who tripped over himself and left the net open.
The Rangers had eight shots on goal in the second period and five of them came after that goal. Prior to the goal, the Rangers had six shots on goal.
Derek Stepan said on MSG last night that he didn’t know how to explain what happened, but the Rangers found new life when Hagelin’s shot trickled into the net.
With a smile, John Tortorella said that it’s funny how it works sometimes and that the bounce the Rangers got brought them to life.
Henrik Lundqvist told Katie Strang, at ESPN NY, that Hagelin’s goal was probably the “ugliest” one he has ever seen. Lundqvist said that the Rangers seemed to gain energy and confidence from the fluttering shot.
When asked about the play, Rask told the Daily News that his skate dug into the ice and that “it looks pretty bad on TV, I bet.”
The New York Times described the play as “an opposing goaltender sprawled on the ice, decked by an invisible force.”
Over the weekend, John Tortorella said that Carl Hagelin “stinks” on the power play.
Tortorella also said that he loves Hagelin, that he is effective in all other areas of the game and that he is a very important player on the team.
Yesterday, Hagelin responded, in the NY Times, to those comments and said “I definitely don’t think I stink on the power play.”
Hagelin said that he was a little surprised to hear the remarks because he hasn’t spent that much time on the PP this season.
In the playoffs, Hagelin ranks 15th on the Rangers in total power play time with 2 minutes and 37 seconds.
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In the regular season, Carl Hagelin averaged 1:02 on the PP per game and had one goal.
Hagelin has averaged 13 seconds on the PP in the playoffs.
Last season, Hagelin averaged 20 seconds on the PP per game.
John Tortorella was asked yesterday why Hagelin doesn’t see more power play time and said, “…he stinks. Every time I put him on the PP he stinks. I wish I could but he stinks.”
When asked why, Tortorella said that he thinks Hagelin is too quick, “a jitterbug,” and screws up on the PP.
To clarify and make sure everyone understood, Tortorella said “I’m not trying to be a smart ass…he stinks on the PP.”
Tortorella then went on to say that Hagelin does everything else well besides the power play, “I love the guy, he is such an effective player.He is a good player and very important to us. It just hasn’t worked out for him on the power play.”
On Thursday against the Caps, Carl Hagelin scored the only Rangers goal.
Hagelin was also stopped on a breakaway and hit the crossbar in the third period off a feed from Derek Stepan.
Hagelin played 17:15, had four shots on goal, one that was blocked and one that missed the net.
The goal was Hagelin’s first career playoff goal and he told the Daily News that he felt good and understands that he needs to be at a higher level than he was at during the regular season.
Dan Girardi said in Newsday that Hagelin was the best Ranger in game one.
Brian Leetch said that Hagelin was “excellent” on Thursday and was noticeable on every shift.
After scoring 11 points in 12 February games, Carl Hagelin only has nine points in his last 21 games.
Hagelin had a goal and an assist against the Maple Leafs on Wednesday for his first multi-point game since March 10th.
His last goal prior to Wednesday was on March 19th and his last assist was March 26th.
Joe Micheletti said that Hagelin had the look of a frustrated player who was waiting for a bounce to go his way. A bounce that he got last night when the puck want to his stick.
When asked about his reaction/celebration to scoring, Hagelin said that he had wanted to get off the ice, he went down twice on the shift, but the puck came down by his stick and he was able to score. Hagelin added that he was especially happy about scoring because it meant he could get off the ice.
Dave Maloney and Brian Leetch then discussed what kind of offensive player Hagelin could develop into. Leetch said that Hagelin puts himself in good positions and he plays with good players, so he could be a nice offensive producer. Leetch added that since Hagelin is not a natural goal scorer, he will need to use his speed and other assets to manufacture goals.
Based on his numbers this year, Hagelin would have 18 goals and 22 assists over an 82 game season.
Carl Hagelin played seven games in January, was scoreless, a minus three and averaged 16:28 per game.
Hagelin played in 12 games in February and had seven goals, four assists, a plus five rating and an average of 18:35 per night.
Of Hagelin’s seven goals:
- Three gave the Rangers the lead
- Two tied the game
- One gave the Rangers an insurance goal.
At Rangers Report, Carp writes “Hagelin just keeps getting better and better. Not just with that amazing speed, but also with his smarts and his hands, and not a bad shot, either. And when he plays the wall, he doesn’t look or play very small.”
John Tortorella said of Hagelin recently, “He does a lot without the puck and in today’s game, the important stuff is done without the puck, especially when you are trying to forecheck. When you push a puck by a guy, you can be a really effective player and I think he has embraced it. He creates a ton of offense for us.
Brian Leetch praised Hagelin for his ability to use his speed to spread out the defense.
Dave Maloney said, “you can not say enough about the play of Hagelin” and noted that John Tortorella mentions Hagelin when he talks about how he wants to see Chris Kreider and Marian Gaborik play.
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Last night, Carl Hagelin scored four the fourth straight game and his fifth in that time.
Hagelin had four shots on goal in 16:41 of ice time and was also on the ice for Derek Stepan’s game winning goal.
In terms of what is working for Hagelin, John Tortorella said last night, “just creating offense. He has had the most energy. His skates are on top of the ice. Some guys have their skates in the ice. He’s just….he’s just that fast. He is a big player for us. He creates a lot of havoc and a lot of puck control. He is a big piece and helped that line tremendously.”
On Saturday, Hagelin was asked about his mindset during his point scoring streak and told the Rangers website, “I am always positive no matter what. I am a pretty easy going guy. I try not to get too high or too low because it isn’t going to do any good for me or anyone around me. It’s important to stay humble and always working hard and keeping your head up. If you become negative it’s only going to be be more negative.”
Hagelin said that he is also benefiting from the chance to play with Rick Nash and Carl Hagelin.
Nash said, in the Daily News, that Hagelin has an ability that few other players have, “when he uses his speed, it’s a huge advantage for him. He can outskate anyone, so it’s easy for me and Step to find him.”
The Rangers number one line in recent games has seen Carl Hagelin on the left, Derek Stepan in the middle and Rick Nash on the right.
When asked why two young players in Stepan in Hagelin are so comfortable playing with a star like Nash, John Tortorella told the Daily News, “I just don’t think they are afraid. I think sometimes when you start playing with top players, you end up trying to get them the puck all the time or you just change your game because you might be a little nervous about it. Hags is a very confident guy, which is good, and Step is a guy that’s been here and understands the personnel. I thought played his best game of the year in Boston. He was killing penalties, everything, strong on the puck. He is a guy that needs to be able to do that. We had him kind of looking in as a second line center here for this year. Right now he’s playing on our top line. So he can handle that.”
Joe Micheletti, on the MSG Post game show that “game after game” Hagelin has been the Rangers best player,”It just seems like he never gets tired. He is non-stop and he makes things happen whether he has the puck or not.”
Micheletti says that what makes those two work well together is that Stepan is able to put the puck in a place where Hagelin can make something happen with his legs.
Adam Rotter: Stepan doesn’t have the points that Hagelin and Nash have had on that line, but his game has been rock solid at both ends of the ice. His faceoffs, besides a big struggle in the first period against the Islanders, have improved dramatically and he is around 50%.