Thursday, November 26, 2009
13-10-1: P.A. Is OK
P.A. Parenteau played shootout savior for a second time this season as his tally in the skills competition gave the Rangers a 2-1 win over the Panthers in Florida tonight.
Not bad for a guy too small, too soft and too slow for the NHL, right?
Despite the low scoreline, this one was just as exciting as the seven goal game, if a bit more nerve-racking. As it is late on this holiday eve, I will just jump into it:
*Victor Oreskovich made the dreams of many Ranger fans come true by taking out Wade Redden four minutes into the game with a hard, clean check into the endboards. Wade left the game and didn't return, we can only hope that the injury is severe (perhaps permanent?) and he can be put on the long term IR so we can get all of that wasted money back. Harsh? Yes. Necessary? Yes.
*Oreskovich later made another great hit, catching Vinny Prospal unawares. Hobey Gilroy jumped the fellow rookie for a quick tussle. Hobey got an instigator for his troubles, leaving the Rangers with four defensemen. My buddy Eric sent me txt after txt calling Hobey an idiot as it left the team with just four defensemen. He may be right - the Panthers did equalize later in the period - but the more I think about it, the better opinion I have of Hobey for it. To date, the kid has been soft. MDZ hits everything in sight nowadays but Gilroy has been far from physical. By going after Oreskovich, Hobey proved that he isn't afraid to throw down his gloves and he proved that he is willing to stand up for his teammates. Short term trouble for long term benefit and hopefully Hobey will be a Ranger for quite a long time.
*Google "Oreskovich" - you will thank me.
*There was another fight on the night. Donald Brashear wanted at Oreskovich but Steve MacIntyre answered the bell. Brash bit off more than he could chew as he went from chasing after a rookie who isn't particularly tough to tangling with a minor league heavyweight. After Brash complained to the refs about Boll keeping him tight in the game against Columbus, he held on for his life against the bigger, stronger, smarter MacIntyre. The two grappled for a while, throwing some punches before Mac got Brash to loosen up with a rib shot before getting the knockout hook to Brash's head. Mac, by the way, is 29 and makes $550k; Brash is 37 and getting $1.5 mil.
*I was all ready to harass the other overpaid Rangers in Drury and Rozy but can't as they played pretty well. While I didn't notice Dru until the second period, he did step up his game and get involved - something he wasn't doing prior to his concussion. Perhaps the Glencross hit knocked some sense into him - it's still too early to tell. As for Rozy, he stepped up his game with the more ice time he received. Maybe it is a Florida thing, the best game I remember him playing was down there back in ... '06?
*The other D - MDZ, Girardi and especially Staalsie - did yeoman work. And, keep in mind, all three are unable to rent a car.
*Sean Avery needs to take that pass in the third period - sure it was hard, sure it was a little behind him - but he can't turn over the puck like that at the Ranger blueline. Bad mistake.
*Arty Anisimov needs to learn how to take a faceoff. He was horrific at the dot for yet another game.
*Ryan Callahan proved that he doesn't have to score to be a huge part of the team. He seems to have realized that and thrown himself into the other aspects of his play. Chris Higgins, on the other hand, has not. He had chances gift wrapped for him and couldn't finish. He has to either capitalize on them or change the way he plays - perhaps setting up as a screen rather than curling around to find lanes. I don't know but it certainly is just as frustrating for us watching him as I am sure it is frustrating for him to keep missing.
*Watching the Ranger power play is frustrating too. Perry Pearn, you still around somewhere?
*Emile "The Cat" Francis was at the game and MSG caught up with him. As they said, he looks terrific for being over 80 and he still knows the game and pulls no punches. It is a shame the Rangers can't find a way to get him more involved up here as he is so clearly associated with this franchise. But at the same time, he mentioned he hangs out with former Islander GM Bill Torrey - that is fraternizing with the enemy!! I would think he would know better (haha).
I'm sure there is more but it's late and I have to call it an evening (sorry). Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night. Or something like that ...
*PHW Three Stars
3-Tomas Vokoun - 27 saves.
2-Henrik Lundqvist - 25 saves.
1-P.A. Parenteau - shootout game-winner.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Gabby - He is a threat to score every shift and his scoring touch is among the best in the world. And now he leads the NHL in goals. Not too shabby ...
2-Keith Ballard - It is easy to rave about the performance of the Ranger D (I have and I will) but Ballard was just as good for the kitty cats. He is a smart, tough defender who eats up the minutes and covers the opposition's top talent.
1-Staal/Girardi/MDZ - All three played more than 27 minutes, with Staalsie playing almost as much as Ballard (30:24, three seconds shy) - so much for cutting down his time and simplifying things, huh? Outstanding work by the frat boys.