Sunday, January 11, 2009

25-15-4: How The Mighty Have Fallen


Wow, to think that this Ottawa Senator squad made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in the not-too-distant past is utterly shocking. They were unorganized, unmotivated and had trouble even completing simple passes while constantly sitting on their heels as the Rangers attacked. However, that isn't to take anything away from the 2-0 Ranger victory, as the Blueshirts played a pretty solid game, but it was just very, very surprising. You see the Sens low in the standings, but to actually see them is something else ...

Whatever, we won:

*It was quite heartening to see Brandon Dubinsky get off of the shnide. He has been battling hard to get into good positions for weeks and it finally paid off in this one, as he banged home a bouncing puck for the first goal of the night.

*Lauri Korpikoski also got his first goal in a long while, a nice tally thanks to the stellar stickhandling of Nik Zherdev. Big Z played his most motivated game in weeks and seemed to have a magnet on his stick, drawing the puck to him every shift. He has always seemed better as a playmaker rather than a sniper and perhaps this will boost his confidence so he can get back in the boxscores more often.

*Don Cherry moment of the night: Chris Neil runs Marc Staal in the second period. Brandon Dubinsky comes right over to challenge Neil as the play is blown dead. Neil doesn't bite. Tom Renney, to his credit, puts Colton Orr out on the ice across from Neil. Neil doesn't bite. If there was no instigator rule, than the idiot goon would have faced the ramifications of his actions. Instead? He is allowed to keep playing chickensh-t hockey and runs Staal again in the third. As Cherry said in this evening's Coach's Corner, there is a Code. Neil isn't man enough to live by it and he should be forced to live with the consequences.

*Priceless MSG moment - after the third period scrum when Staal got sucker punched by Neil, MSG rolls in a 'Elmo Makes Music' Sesame Street Live commercial. You just can't make that stuff up.

*Don't go thinking that this win is a cure-all; the major faults in the team still exist. Despite playing against such a poor defensive team who had a goaltender making his second career start, the Rangers "big guns" couldn't get on the scoreboard and went 0-3 on the power play (even though the third was just the final 22 seconds of the game). The Mexican'ts inability to do anything worthwhile (5-11 in faceoffs?? ugh) is consistently infuriating, while Markus Naslund keeps putting on his invisibility cloak. At least Chris Drury is contributing defensively, but for seven million dollars a year you would expect a little bit of offense.

*Colton Orr was somehow limited to less than nine minutes of ice time - one night after playing a big role in the shootout loss against Buffalo.

*Dmitri Kalinin played one of his best games as a Ranger; he looked solid and strong while chipping in an assist.

*Petr Prucha continues to play motivated hockey, shaming Gomez and most of his teammates. Hopefully they don't wear off on him and he can keep up his stellar work.

*Nigel Dawes and Ryan Callahan were consistently dangerous by being proactive, they just need to figure out how to translate that into points consistently. Cally seems to be right on the doorstep time after time but isn't finishing.

*Michal Rozsival looked good considering he got his brains scrambled in Buffalo. To be honest, I was glad to see him go instead of Bobby Sanguinetti. Marc Staal spent a full season in Hartford (EDIT: I suck) is a lot stronger positionally than Bobby, so let Bobby ride buses and learn the ways of the world from former defenseman J.J. Daigneault for a full season. There is no reason to rush him up - especially when Corey Potter has proven capable of playing with the big boys when needed.

*PHW Three Stars
3-Brian Elliot - 25 saves.
2-Henrik Lundqvist - 33 saves.
1-Lauri Korpikoski - one goal and one assist.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Hank - A shutout is a shutout, even if it is against a sad team that hardly challenged him.
2-Rozy - The blueliner skated a team-high 23:27, had a coupla blocked shots, a hit and all of it just a day after a scary hit that sent him head-first into the edge of the bench door. And baseball players take games off for hang nails and sleeping funny.
1-Pru - The way he singlehandedly pressured the Sens, gained possession, held off a defender and fed the puck right to the Kor-pedo was amazing. I can't stress it enough - HARD WORK PAYS OFF!!

9 comments:

nyrmike21 said...

Can you tell me why Sam kept on saying that the Devils would be on MSG-plus at 10:30? If you're watching the Rangers, their is no way in hell you should want to watch the Devils.

Blue Blood said...

Sorry to say, but Marc Staal did not play a full season with Hartford. He actually never even played one regular season game for them. He did however play 12 playoff games with Hartford back in 2005. Staal made the big club right out of juniors.

Anonymous said...

didn't we lose to buffalo?

Scotty Hockey said...

Thanks for catchin' me guys. My heads been scrambled bein so sick. Yes Staalsie only spent a playoff season with the Pack, it was the extra year with the Wolves that got me. And yes, we lost to the Sabres, it just felt like a win to me, lol. A road point against a better team and all that ...

And Mike - the game was on MSG+, the regular home of the Devils so of course they kept popping in promos for them ...

nyrmike21 said...

Yea i get that, I just don't understand why they would waste the time. You'd think they'd know that no Rangers fan would watch the Devils and no Devils fan would watch the Rangers.

Scotty Hockey said...

... and I watched the Devs Kings ... granted I could hardly get out of bed to change the channel, but I watched it. Kinda bummed that the Kings didn't show up. Dustin Brown had a helluva hit on Jamie Langenbrunner tho ...

Anonymous said...

Zherdev will always look great vs. a team that isn't checking hard or coming after him. As soon as the games get tough, he disappears. Classic Zherdev.

The Boogie man said...

Wait you are wanting to compare Marc Staal to Bobby Sanguinetti? Sorry but they are 2 different types of players so comparing them is unfair to either player.

Staal has close to no offense while Sanguinetti is going to give you a power play QB from the point down the road.

And here is the other reason WHY Sanguinetti and not Potter in this instance. If Rosy was unable to go then it made more sense for the offensively gifted Sanguinetti to get the call over the defensive minded Potter.

Yes Potter is ready for the NHL but it would have been dumb to use Potter as a replacement for Rosy.

Sorry if this comes off as harsh but after seeing Del Zotto being made out as a possible bust, HF calling the Ranger prospects as 24th and now you with this on Sanguinetti it is frustrating to see people acting so down on Ranger prospects.

I spend just about all of my time covering these prospects and they are much better than people think.

Scotty Hockey said...

Jess,
You are one of the big sources when it comes to Ranger prospects so if anyone would know, its you.

But I do disagree in that I think Staal does have a lot of offense in him and as he gets more and more confident with the puck, he will be able to swing shifts on the power play. A better version of Chris Phillips ...

And I will be honest, I don't think Sanguinetti is going to give us much of anything. Both Redden and Rozsival will be in his way on the depth chart for the length of his contract. Where will he fit in? Kalinin and Mara are both up after this year and, frankly, the Rangers had better re-sign Mara. Even if Kalinin goes, that doesn't open up any power play time for a kid like Bobby ...

As for Del Zotto, how could he not be anything but a bust when he can't even make the AMERICAN junior team? They suuuuucked on the back end. Just sayin ...