Saturday, February 16, 2008
29-24-7: Rangers Skin Buffalo
Well, I have to keep this short as I have an excessively busy night at work ahead so I will break it down real quick.
*It was nice to come off an extended break to defeat one of the teams we are battle with for a low playoff slot but let's face it, the Sabres didn't show up to play. As my Buffalo fan friend said, no one seemed to tell them that the game started at 1. The Rangers beat up the team that lost back-to-back games to the Leafs and the Coyotes, not the one on a 10 game undefeated streak. Tomorrow will be the real test, especially given the Blueshirts' recent history against Western Conference teams.
*Henrik, he of the newly inflated wallet, made 29 saves and gave up an incredibly soft goal late to blow his own shutout. Soft goals have killed this team time and time again but this time the offense ensured that it didn't matter. What will happen when he gives up marshmallows like that in tight games against teams that actually show up?
*On the same note, overshadowed by the five goals we did score, the power play went 0-5. That is just inexcusable.
*Apparently in the middle of the game (the press release is dated today at 1:40), Dan Girardi was handed a contract extension. He looked alright in the game and one has to hope that the break has done him well given how poorly he played heading into it.
*Marek Malik returned and made a pair of bad passes, lost the puck in his feet twice, missed a hit, but earned an assist. As the first three things don't show up on the scoresheet, I hope that he is improving his status as trade bait.
*Speaking of such, Jagr was ok. He skated in and around the pylons that were the Sabres defense, but could not get himself a goal on two substandard goaltenders. He did get a pair of assists, so that's good.
*Ryan Hollweg played well and didn't make any bad hits, perhaps earning himself more games on the roster, even when Hossa returns. The entire fourth line looked solid but they didn't have much they had to contend with. It was just a shame that Buffalo benched Andrew Peters so we couldn't see him scuffle against Colt.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Jagr- two assists.
2-Avery- two goals.
1-Dubi- goal and two assists.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Nigel Dawes - he had an assist and swarmed the Buffalo net all day, forcing play.
2-Dubi - the kid looked comfortable playing with Jagr again. He got called for the bad boarding penalty that was more diving style that hit substance, but what can you do?
1-Avery - both goals were spectacular. The first came 10 seconds into the game thanks to him crashing the crease and the second was off of the rush with a great wrist shot. Impressive; most impressive.