Saturday, January 10, 2009
24-15-4: Lotta Shots, Notsomany Goals
First off I want to apologize for the lack of a Peepin' Foes on this one (and for Ottawa today) - an unfortunate case of food poisoning has been taking quite the toll on me. I managed to catch most of the match last night but due to obvious reasons, I will keep this short.
Despite putting 44 shots on goal, the Rangers rarely got good scoring opportunities and Ryan Miller was easily able to handle the barrage due to his his solid positioning. The Blueshirts didn't make him move laterally all that much and rarely tested the upper reaches of the net, allowing for a whole lotta easy stops for the former Michigan State Spartan. At times it seemed like they were aiming for that classic logo on his chest - speaking of which, how long until the Sabres ditch the Buffaslug entirely and go back to those classic jerseys full time?
But back to the game and the Ranger power play luckily didn't give up a single shorthanded goal, which is something we have to be thankful for nowadays. I mean, if this was a real special team, then we would be disappointed that they didn't score on either opportunity, but we have to take what we can get from these guys. On the other side of trhe coin, the Rangers weren't called for a single penalty. It isn't that they played a penalty-free game, but that the refs gave the teams some leeway and only called the blatantly obvious puck off the rink and a clear trip.
So all in all, despite a pretty dominating performance, the Rangers left Buffalo with a point. Something more than nothing ...
*Paul Gaustad plays some old time hockey, I can appreciate that.
*There is nothing about how Mexican't Scott Gomez plays that I can appreciate. He is boring and predictable and is far from a top flight center.
*Can I show my love for the Ranger fourth liners now? While you may disagree that they were the best Ranger line out there, but everyone could see their worth to the team. And not using Sjostrom in the shootout was a huge mistake by Tom Renney.
*I mean, I can understand that he felt obligated to give Chris Drury a shot in front of his old team, but this player's coach should feel obligated to win games.
*While the Ranger broadcasters were so very impressed with the way that the Ranger defense played after Michal Rozsival went down, Buffalo was essentially playing with five guys all game - Toni Lydman skated for a game-high 27:46. At one point it seemed like he was there to clear the puck out on every Ranger rush.
*Joe Micheletti ... listening to him almost made me as sick as the food poisoning.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Scott Gomez - no goals, no assists, nine shots (four that missed the net), 7-9 in the faceoff dot ... I have no idea why these "Professional Hockey Writers" selected him.
2-Derek Roy - one goal in regulation.
1-Ryan Miller - 43 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Miller - While I do think he wasn't particularly tested, some credit is due.
2-Paul Mara - Mara was the steadiest of the Ranger blueliners and he chipped in a goal (thank you Colton Orr). I guess that without Patrick Kaleta playing, it was easier for him to focus on actually playing.
1-Stephen Valiquette - Valley was cool as a cucumber and gave the Rangers with the steady goaltending that Henrik Lundqvist has been unable to provide of late.