Tuesday, November 6, 2007
7-6-1: Rangers Shoot Their Way To Another Win
Man am I going to get an ulcer if the Rangers keep playing like this. They had yet another game where they sent a barrage at the other team's goaltender. They yet again had a very narrow margin of error ... and yet, you knew they were going to win the game. My faith came off the opening drop, then Sean toyed with Mike Richards, then decided to fight him and won. My faith was tested, several times in fact, but the Rangers came through and defeated the Flyers 2-0. Onto my random thoughts as I ride home on the train:
*Several people came up to me and said that 'if our defense keeps playing like this, we are going to win them all!' Now I know they were being a bit overly dramatic, but I understand the sentiment. And I disagree. There is only so long that Hank will be able to last, that the injury bug won't hit and that they will play teams that are willing to condense the ice. The Flyers, like the Devils before them, were willing to play a tight three zone game - tightly defend the puck in their zone, battle through the neutral zone, dump the puck in and fight through the defense to create chances down low. The Leafs didn't care about defense and stretched out the ice to create scoring chances. And it worked, they scored four goals and won because our offense is having a ton of trouble capitalizing on chances. The Rangers had 45 shots tonight and two went in. Biron played well, but not that well.
*Toots was our best defenseman, again. Girardi was alright, but Tyutin came up with a few big stops. Staal played with great poise, especially considering that his partner, the supposed top defenseman on the team, had the terrible tendency of turning over the puck. C'mon Rozy, get your sh-t together already.
*Jason Studwick ... what to say. People booed him when he passed up a chance to pinch and keep the puck in the Flyers zone to turn around and cover the oncoming Flyers charge. People are stupid. Strudwick knows he is slow. Strudwick knows he doesn't have great hands. Strudwick also knows that his main responsibility is to play defense and he did just that. Yet again he made all of the smart little plays that helped keep the Flyers offense at bay. His fight against Cote was silly, but whatever, he was defending the honour of the Chiefs!
*If not for the fluke that is the incredible start by Pascal Leclaire in Columbus, Hank would be recognized as the best goaltender in the league. Whenever Leclaire and the Blue Jackets come back to earth you can start inscribing Hank's name on the Vezina.
*The Rangers have made some mediocre goaltenders look like superstars this season - Manny Fernandez for one - but as I said, tonight Marty Biron played well and earned his paycheck.
*Ben Eager bitched out of the Flyers lineup with dizziness or something like that. So totally not fun. I would have much rather seen him get his ass kicked by Sean than that weasel Richards - who, by the way, had to be embarrassed into taking off his helmet and visor to fight. What scum.
*The two Rangers goals were kinda funny ... Jagr was just trying to throw it at the net and it rocketed right into the upper corner and I'm pretty sure Shanny doesn't look at the net anymore when he shoots and he made a perfect one-timer go through Biron. Shanny practices that every pregame skate and it finally paid off. Maybe this will be a turning point for him.
*I give Jagr hell, and still don't believe he deserves the C, but he worked hard tonight. He was double teamed much of the evening and battled through some really tight checking. It was impressive.
*Drury was also impressive, at least on the defensive side of the puck. He blocked shots, backchecked and moved the puck well. He just needs to work on scoring off the rush since he earns so many chances ...
*Goddammit Bettsy!!!! Look before you shoot and aim for something other than the logo on the goaltender's jersey!!!!
*As a Flyer fan pointed out, we railed on Poti. We rail on Malik. Once he is gone, who are we going to berate?!?! My bet is whatever name they overpay to come play here next season, Bryan McCabe maybe?
*And before the train pulls into my station, let me do the three stars:
PHW Three Stars:
3-Dubi-the kid had yet another good game playing with Jagr; I am still dumbfounded he is the first line center.
2-Jagr-like I said, worked hard, got a goal and an assist.
1-Hank-shutout a tough team.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars: