Goal Box

MICHAEL GRABNER — BEST IN CLASS (BREAKAWAY)

2017-04-15T19:27:05+00:00 April 15th, 2017|Goal Box|

MICHAEL GRABNER, Rangers
BEST IN CLASS — BREAKAWAY
  • Side of Crease
  • Backhand
  • Carry (2 Zones, Behind Red Line)
  • Breakaway
  • Unassisted
  • First Period

Michael Grabner seemed to score on plays when he was ahead of the pack with staggering regularity for the Rangers during the first half of the season. Grabner’s breakaway productivity halted abruptly during the second half of the year, but Montreal must be wondering if he was saving his legs for a moment like last night’s.

Or maybe the league’s goaltenders had just gone to school on Grabner’s moves when he was in alone on the net. If that’s the case, then Grabner grabbed a PhD in fakes and feints while they were studying history.

In the first period, Grabner anticipated a pass between the two Canadiens defensemen just inside the Rangers blue line, and after knocking it down with his upper body, was away.

From there it was a straight-on dash to the Montreal net, with the explosive Grabner unhampered by any pressure from behind. So he unveiled one of the most difficult moves to execute on a breakaway. He went forehand / backhand . . . twice.

First he froze Montreal goaltender Carey Price by straightening up as if to shoot as he entered the mid-slot. From there we went to his backhand for an instant — but just long enough to get Price to lean forward. Shifting the puck again to his forehand, Grabner now had Price lunging slightly toward the puck.

Grabner, despite skating full-tilt, had allowed himself enough space to once more shift to his backhand once Price had left his feet. Now the net was all Grabner’s to convert his speed and craftiness into a goal. He had timed the entire assault perfectly and still had plenty of net to shoot at and deposited the puck over the prone Price to tie the game at 1-1.

If Grabner has his legs fully back and has added a new repertoire of moves to polish off his breakaway bursts, New York will have one of its biggest weapons back, repurposed and more dangerous than ever.

4/14/2017 vs. Montreal.
Highlight available at NHL.com.

MICHAEL GRABNER, RANGERS — BEST IN CLASS (FINAL MINUTE)

2017-03-14T15:30:45+00:00 March 14th, 2017|Exclude From Main Feed, Featured Goal Box, Goal Box|

MICHAEL GRABNER, Rangers
BEST IN CLASS (FINAL MINUTE)

One of the greatest games of the season was turned in by the Rangers Michael Grabner in a contest against the powerhouse Blue Jackets in Columbus.

Grabner compiled a hat trick — but that was the least of his exploits. Two of the three goals came on 3-zone carries. Other than Grabner, no one in the league, as of March 14, has had more than two for the entire year (Grabner now has three). Two of his three goals were unassisted. One of the goals — to be fair and balanced — was a gift (the most incidental body carom you’ll ever see). But the finale was incredibly clutch.

21.7 seconds remained in regulation with the score tied 4-4, when Grabner intercepted a cross-ice pass between Blue Jacket defenseman at the Rangers blue line. You’d think he’d be off to the races, but Columbus was making a player change as this was happening and Boone Jenner had hopped over the boards on the Columbus side of the red line.

As Grabner and Jenner headed for the Blue Jackets blue line they were in a dead heat. By the middle of the faceoff circles, the explosive Ranger forward had gained a full step. Jenner reached with his stick and tried to tug at Grabner’s from behind just as goalie Curtis McIlhenney dove forward with his own stick trying to poke the puck away from the flying Grabner as he closed in on the net.

Grabner, sensing the pressure fore and aft, quickly shifted the puck to his backhand and before McIlhenney could reach the puck, Grabner lifted it over his sprawled body with 17.5 seconds left on the clock.

Naturally the Rangers went bananas following this breathtakingly clutch goal. Oscar Lindberg who was trailing the play completely threw caution to the wind and hurdled over the fallen McIlhenney in full stride, so eager was he to congratulate his teammate.

1/7/2017 vs. Columbus