So after an evening at the Mausoleum, shooting the Islanders loss to les Habitants, I am watching the game on Rangers in 60. Its cool to watch, but it certainly takes a bunch of the flow out of the game. Nonetheless, it gives me a chance to rant and enjoy my two favourite things in one night - the Rangers winning and the Islanders losing.
*Marc Staal is going to win a Norris Trophy someday. Everyone said that about Dion Phaneuf, who hits like a Mac truck but rarely played under pressure. Now I am saying that about Staal, who is taking on the top lines almost every night despite being a rookie. That extra year in junior appears to have been well worth the while.
*Holy crap, the Rangers shoot the puck, and then they score? What is going on??? Prucha works like hell and Bettsy makes a sweet play back to Toots and he actually puts it on net. And you know what? The Rangers scored! Its amazing how that works. Having the defensemen jump into the play is huge. Of course, it only works when Jagr isn't on the ice as he loves to stall, circle and lose the puck, rather than keep the speed and energy of the play.
*Jan Hlavac is actually playing like he did when he first broke into the league with us. Kinda sucks because he is doing it for the Bolts rather than us. He would probably compliment Jagr well, and lord knows we have to ensure his comfort level. Moody, petulant brat. But since we are stuck with him for at least next year, if Marty Straka doesn't come back, the Rangers should look into Hlavac or Vinny Prospal - both are Czechs, but at UFAs after this season.
*At some point, a long time ago, Jagr was the best player in the league. That title now goes to Vinny Lecavalier. He just seems to do everything and do it at top speed. He is the new Joe Sakic, without the class. Cindy may take top spot sooner or later but she doesn't have the size or power that Vinny brings.
*As I am dumping on Jagr, let me reiterate my desire to see the C stripped from his jersey and given to Shanny. Yes, Shanny may be gone after this season, but he does anything and everything for this team. Him stopping the puck from going over the line by diving under Hank and grabbing it with his glove was awesome.
*I've read that both Marty Straka and Ryan Callahan have been cleared for contact and very near a return to the ice. Bye, bye Hossa, thanks for nothing!
*So Rozy finally took the night off for a bruised knee. Not the same as being pulled for his defensive incompetence, but maybe it will help nonetheless.
*So Baranka looked alright. I fully admit to thinking he was worthless as he has done nothing every time I've saw him play.
*Sam and Joe sounded shocked when Colton Orr's goal went in. Granted it was deflected, granted he scored last year, its still nice for him -- but seriously, it really did not deserve the yelling exuberance of the MSG anchors.
*Sucks to lose the shutout with 16 second left. But what can you do? That's what happens when the coach puts Jaromir Jagr out on the ice in the last minute rather than some checkers to shut down the opponent's first line. Its like the playoffs against Buffalo all over again.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Johan Holmqvist - 27 saves
2-Toots - goal
1-Hank - 32 saves
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-The iron on the net behind Hank - I heard that ping two, three times early, that would have been huge had they gone in.
2-Hank - he really has been wonderful and our MVP.
1-Toots/Staal - throughout the game they seemed to rotate shutting down the superstars on the Bolts and did a fantastic job.