Sunday, November 8, 2009
10-7-1: Rough Ride In The Saddledome
The Rangers lost to the Flames in Calgary on Saturday night 3-1. They had no right being in the game at all against a bigger, strong team and with their backup goaltender in net yet still was an Ales Kotalik miss away from forcing overtime.
That's pretty impressive.
Well, it is either that or a clear indication that Calgary is suffering heavily from the off-season loss of Mike Cammalleri. While I hope for the former, I believe it was the latter.
*Everyone wants to talk about the Chris Drury hit and seems to be calling for blood. Not me. How would suspending Glencross help the Rangers? Sure the hit was a few seconds after the puck was floated away down the ice but Dru had his head down and stick out like he was going to receive a pass. He wasn't paying attention and he paid the price. And, let's face it, it isn't a huge loss to the team. Should he go on long term IR, his $7 mil salary could be better spent than on a 50 point player who kills penalties. We watched a real captain out there on the ice leading the other team and he was far from meek.
*And while there is so much outrage focused on Glencross, it should be double towards the Rangers because no one bothered to get any vengeance. No crying for Brashear because anyone/everyone should have done something. Girardi jawed at him or something on the next shift but that was it. Pathetic. Of course, it doesn't help when Dane Byers is playing scared after being suspended, Sean Avery is in his happy zen place and big Brian Boyle is too dumb to know that he should do something.
*The other big injury of the game was to Brandon Dubinsky. Replays showed that he blocked a shot with his hand, so if it is busted or cracked, then the team should sue Bauer because gloves are supposed to protect players from something like that.
*Does everyone else think that Kipper was Calgary's saving grace? Because I certainly don't. Most of his big stops came from the puck hitting him - he left plenty of space but the Rangers couldn't get their shots to go there.
*Credit for that does to the Flames defense because, wait for it, they play the body! What a concept! Defensemen closing spaces and playing the body! Had Hobey Gilroy played the body on little Nigel Dawes, Dawsie couldn't have found an open Iginla to score the second Calgary goal. Sure Wade Redden takes some blame for hanging out in the crease watching the play but Hobey is better than that. Wade isn't.
*It is easy to jump on Valley because he is the backup but he really can only be faulted for one of the three goals - the first was a deflection, the second a one-timer but the third just blew right past him. It did come on a bad play by the Blueshirts but he saw the shooter, he should have made the stop.
*Back to Boyle for a second, he went 0-10 in the faceoff circle. 0-10. Anyone else miss Blair Betts?
*Enver Lisin played like he was still hurt; that jump in his step clearly wasn't there. And I wasn't sure if Arty Anisimov was there at all. The box score says he played but I don't remember him doing a single damn thing.
*What happened to Olli Jokinen? Once a regular threat when we played him on the Panthers, he was woeful on this occasion. And I hear that that is the norm for him this season; I wonder what went wrong as he couldn't have forgotten to play over the summer ...
*PHW Three Stars
3-Dan Girardi - one goal.
2-Nigel Dawes - three assists.
1-Miikka Kiprusoff - 32 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Dawesie - Gotta give credit to him for getting revenge.
2-Girardi - Best Ranger on the ice. Sure Higgins and Cally skated hard, Gabby got some good shots off and Dubi finished his shift before going to the bench injured but Dan-O was all over the place. His goal was lucky - multiple deflections - but he stopped several goals with good shot blocks (and I'm pretty sure the last goal against didn't came off his stick but I didn't catch the replay).
1-Jay Bouwmeester/Robyn Regehr/Dion Phaneuf - JayBo killed off all three Ranger power plays seemingly by himself. Regehr made stop after stop, was hurt and missed some time, but still played almost 24 minutes. Sloppy Seconds had big hits, big shots and big stops - probably the best game I've seen him play in quite a while.