Thursday, November 15, 2007

11-7-1: What A Game! Rangers Out-Fly Philly

I was at work trying to watch this and produce a show so I missed much. I will try to fill out more if I catch Rangers Rewind later or tomorrow. But what I noticed:

*I keep saying it, but really, the kids on this team are doing an incredible job. Pru had a great game, Nigel Dawes was solid, Staal was spectacular ... I love it. Just wait until Cally comes back too! Makes you wonder what kind of team we could have had if they started this rebuilding stuff years ago. I guarantee you Manny Malhotra would have become a better player if he was given the same chances that this group has gotten.

*I mentioned Pru and have to talk more. The guy is a human punching bag every game and has continued to work, to skate hard, battle to the boards and shoot, shoot, shoot. He has pretty much gone under the radar but his effort can not be denied or go unrecognized.

*I also would be remiss if I didn't point out that Gomez had a really good game. Still not one that reflects his contract, but impressive nonetheless. That holds true for the Little Leaguer too. They seem to be settling into their roles and getting that chemistry that was all-so-nonexistant at the start of the year. I told you guys not to panic.

*Sean managed not to do anything stupid, and that is to his credit as - let's face it - the Flyers are infuriating. I want to punch Ben Eager in the face ... but I want to know why, with 10 seconds left in the OT, Sean took the puck all the way back into the Rangers zone rather than giving it one last shot. I know we trust and love Hank, but why not?

*Danny Briere has been a fantastic signing for the Flyers but all I can think of is that line from a kids song, 'which one is not like the other??' The Flyers lineup is full of big bodies who hit every chance they get while he is as soft as a little girl. Don't get me wrong, he does a ton of great things, but he is definitely not a Bully of Broad Street. His buddy, Marty Biron, is the reason why they are so good right now. Everyone knew he was a treasure in Buffalo as the backup and now that he is a legit starter, he has been a star.

*I mentioned earlier this year that Steve Downie will be a bane in the Rangers existance for years to come and now I think that Scottie Upshall will join him. Upshall came to Philly in the Forsberg deal and should prove to be a helluva Flyer.

*Ya gotta wonder about Jagr. I know plenty of you still worship at his feet, but c'mon, try watching the game without that bias for a second. Offensively he keeps trying the same move - cut in from the boards and throw the puck at the net using the defenseman as a screen. Much of his early-career brilliance seems to have been worn away by all of the physical double teams that he faces shift after shift.

*Hossa made a good move in the shootout, and then missed an empty net. If he can't score in regulation and he can't score in the shootout, why is he in the lineup??? Hopefully as a placeholder but we shall see.

*The Colton Orr v. Riley Cote bout was nice, but pointless. A pair of middleweights going at it to justify their paychecks.

*Oh Hank! Best goaltender in the league in the shootout. And tonight he even showed a poke check, which I don't remember seeing him do - he usually just outwaits the shooter. I am seriously impressed. EDIT (courtesy of Blueshirt Bulletin): "I got a little inside tip from Drury," Lundqvist explained. "I went up to him before we started and asked him about Briere. He said he likes to go up really close, almost like Nylander. I took a chance there and pokedchecked him. I think it surprised him a little bit, so he couldn't get it up there, and I got him with my pad. This was the first time actually I pokechecked and did something different -- otherwise, I do the same thing over and over... I just try to be ready for anything no matter what they do." See! I pay attention! lol!

*PHW Three Stars:
3-Denis Tolpeko - yeah, I went 'who?' too. He is a rookie commie that the Flyers added who had a goal and an assist. Of course, his goal had nothing to do with any skill, but that is typical of the Flyers.
1-Shanny - He is starting to play as well as he did last year, but his shot is still a little off ...

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Hank - yeah, he let in three goals but he came through in the shutout yet again so he gets a spot. Not to mention that sweet save on Briere to start the game, it definitely sent a message.
2-Gomez - I'm as surprised as you are.
1-The Kids - its a cop out, I know, but they all did such a great job that its hard to pick. Shanny doesn't deserve a star, he deserves a C!

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