The Rangers rebounded from their Atlanta escapade with a 2-1 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators Saturday afternoon. The low scoreline belies a lot of drama and end-to-end action in the matinee match and, frankly, it was great to see (if a bit hard on the heart).
Sorry that there are no pics and few numbers, I ran out to Lamb of God/Metallica at the Garden. I may or may not update further ...
*First off, WHAT. A. KILL. Girardi, Staal and Cally played their hearts out killing Ales Kotalik's second dumb penalty of the game in overtime. They were outstanding stepping to shooters, getting in the passing lanes and blocking shot after shot. How the hell does the rest of the team play so bad, so half heartedly for so long when players like this are willing to give it all. Dy-no-mite kill, one of the best moments I have seen by the Blueshirts all season.
*There are few things in hockey that I enjoy more than shorthanded goals and it was great to see the Blueshirts score one (rather than have one scored against them). Gabby makes a great play at the Ranger blueline, hustles the puck up and finds Vinny Prospal breaking on the far side for a perfect one-timer. Gotta love that he retrieved the puck from the ref, as it was the first shortie of his career.
*For as dynamic as P.A. Parenteau was through the first period - and in the shootout, hehe - his half-hearted skate back up the ice left Brian Lee alone as the trailer on a four-on-three that opened the game's scoring. Sorry kiddo, this isn't the AHL, you have to skate hard every second. Sure Ales Kotalik was also trotting back up the ice, but he has already earned a spot on the roster with that shot of his - P.A. still has to earn it. You can almost forgive his empty net miss in the final seconds, seeing as Chris Higgins also blew a gimme seconds earlier, hitting the iron.
*Semi-related: Is it me or is Marian Gaborik the only Ranger with a quick shot release? I mean, PA and Vinny seemed pretty quick but the rest of the boys were bad - and Arty's shootout attempt was torturous.
*The Blueshirts still didn't stand up for each other physically, with who else but Sean Avery getting batted around time after time. With four minutes left in the first Sean Avery hits big Matt Carkner, Chris Neil confronts Avery, Carkner comes back around and nary another Ranger around. Avery gets cross checked across the crease late in the third and nothing. Since they are certain to take bad penalties, why not take some good ones standing up for each other?
*Slightly OT - in case you didn't know, and you likely didn't, I am on Twitter now @truebluefan329. I am still getting into it so I will flesh it out further and update it more soon.
*As I tweeted during the game: "This Rangers power play is brought to you by Acela Express, because it will be a train wreck." It went 0-4 and couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.
*What are the odds that Redden realized how much he missed life in Ottawa and won't come back to New York? I'm not sure why he got the same reception of boos as he does in New York, seeing as he had such a nice pass to Jason Spezza early, let Jonathan Cheechoo get a wide open breakaway later in the first and let the Sens have a great power play chance in the second as he struggled to pick his stick up off the ice. The guy can't catch a break, but at least he can go cry into his eight million dollar salary this season.
*Amazing how most of the best Ottawa opportunities seemed to come when Rozsival was on the ice. Tortorella is rightfully limiting his ice time compared to the rest of the blueline but he doesn't even deserve what he gets. Brooksie was right, Bobby couldn't possibly be worse.
*Second period situation: Brashear skates into the Ottawa zone, passes to Boyle, Boyle has room in the high slot, Boyle passes it to Voros ... and the play is broken up.
*Jason Spezza was heavily hacked and slashed in traffic all game. his wood stick didn't break, and the Rangers weren't penalized. The new sticks cause more nonsensical penalties than they cause goals.
*Lyndon Slewidge does a nice job with the anthems - it was nice for MSG to show it. And every game should include the Canadian anthem, but preferably in all english, not the bastardized version that Slewidge has to sing in the Canadian capital.
*What do you think it would take for MSG to get rid of Joe, and how can we arrange it?
*I love that local commercial that Cablevision runs on MSG for 2 Brothers Scrap Metal. A hot high school girl calls her friend, asking what she should do with all of her scrap metal. Her friend asks her dad, who says to call 2 Brothers, then they cut to 2 Brothers taking a huge pile of scrap metal away from the first girl's driveway. Are there a lot of high school girls with this kind of problem nowadays? Is it really a demographic that they need to address?
*How pathetic/sad is it that great tickets are available for Tuesday's game against Washington? The team we played against in the playoffs, the team with the most exciting player in the NHL ... and there are still tickets available.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Chris Phillips - no points, one shot and two turnovers that I saw .... ???????
2-Brian Elliott - 27 saves.
1-Henrik Lundqvist - 35 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars