Thursday, February 12, 2009
30-20-5: Wild One Vs. Washington
Wild is the best way to describe the Rangers 5-4 shootout win over the Capitals tonight. What else can you say? There were back-to-back-fights early on, the inept Ranger offense scored four goals in regulation despite the inept power play going 0-5 with the man advantage and a fluky goal in the fourth round of the skills competition secured two points for the home side.
It wasn't pretty, it was infuriating at times and it was far from reassuring but as my buddy Mr. X from the Blue Seats said, you just gotta win them right now. It isn't about style points.
*During our postgame chat, Mr. X brought up an interesting thought - because of Lauri Korpikoski's development, Brandon Dubinsky has become expendable. I am not sure I am ready to write Dubi off at this point, but if he doesn't regain his scoring touch soon, he could make for some great trade bait. Nigel Dawes made a great play on the Naslund goal and scored in the shootout but certainly should be worried come deadline day as he can't seem to keep a consistent effort this season.
*Can anyone explain why Aaron Voros felt the need to fight Matt Bradley right after the exciting main event of Brashear and Orr? Does Voros actually think he needs to earn his roster position by fighting? The spot is his as long as Petr Prucha is the only other player vying for the slot.
*Pru had 22 power play points over 68 games played coming out of the lockout so why shouldn't he be given a look over Voros? If not for the pathetic "man advantage," the Rangers could have won this in regulation. Redden and Drury got a ton of ice time and neither one put together anything resembling a good scoring chance. Mr. X thinks that Drury is hurt and it is as good a theory as any why he looked so bad of late. Redden has no excuse for his lack of offensive talent but some credit must be given as he played one of his best games defensively this season.
*It was good that Alex Semin didn't return for a bongo encore as that little extra offense could very well have sank the Rangers.
*As for that other Alex, even when Ovechkin doesn't score, he is still a huge part of the game. He worried the Ranger defense, played physically (13 hits!!), scored in the shootout and got himself a nice cross-ice helper on Mike Green's first goal of the night.
*Nik Zherdev's disappearing act is now getting tiresome and is certainly dragging the Blueshirt offense down. How someone with so much skill can't put 2+2 together is quite frustrating.
*Oh Tom Poti, how I still hate thee. I was asked how they rank and I think Poti is my No. 1 and Redden has passed Malik. It is a tough call, they are/were all just so bad and tried so little while earning so much ...
*On that note, Scott Gomez wasn't particularly good in this one. Most of the power play woes can be attributed to him but he did collect a pair of assists at even strength - granted one was a completely undeserved second assist but a point is a point, right?
*I'm sure there is more but I am exhausted so feel free to chime in in the comments with anything I missed/skipped.
PHW Three Stars
3-Ryan Callahan - one goal and one assist.
2-Mike Green - two goals.
1-Lauri Korpikoski - one goal and one assist.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Paul Mara - Sure he scored a goal but his best work was in the Ranger end as he stepped up to challenge the persistent Capital attack, including Ovie.
2-Cally - He was the best Ranger on the ice but you have to wonder why he can't perform with the same reckless abandon every night.
1-Green - Not only did he score on to suh-weeeeeeeet shots, he was also solid on defense in more than 28 minutes of ice time.