Sunday, February 7, 2010

26-26-7: Here He Comes To Save The Day!

Let the entire NHL hate Sean Avery. Let the refs grind their axes against him. It's ok. Really. It is ok because New York loves Sean Avery and Avery loves New York. On a night where Henrik Lundqvist makes Mmmmaaaarrrrttttyyyy Brodeur look like a house league goaltender, on a night when hell freezes over and Chris Drury scores an important goal, it was Sean Avery who saved the day.

No, Avery didn't mess with Mmmmaaaarrrrttttyyyy but instead he turned his talents upon Ilya Kovalchuk. New Jersey was pressuring and getting deep in the Ranger end late in the third period but Avery provoked Kovy and the Russian lost his mind. Both players got double minors (Kovalchuk should have gotten more) and both went to the box. That meant that Sean got Devils' top scorer off the ice with less than three minutes to go to preserve a 3-1 win for the Rangers.

Were the Henrik Lundqvist glove saves monumental? No doubt. Was Drury's goal a nail in the heart of New Jersey? Absolutely. But Avery being Avery was what closed another fantastic chapter in the Hudson rivalry. It was smart, calculated hockey by the super pest and exactly why love him in New York. Go Sean.


*Kind of ironic that Hank made at least a half dozen outstanding glove saves and Mmmmaaaarrrrttttyyyy gives up the eventual game-winner on a shot right past his catcher. Mmmmaaaarrrrttttyyyy, Mmmmaaaarrrrttttyyyy, Mmmmaaaarrrrttttyyyy ...

*Late in the third but prior to Avery's achievement, there was the most exotic of animals on the ice - a cycling Ranger side. The Blueshirts capably moved the puck around the New Jersey zone for what seemed like an eternity. And they were sending crisp, clean simple passes around while moving their feet and getting to space. It was incredible. Just as they seem to have learned that dumping and chasing isn't a good game plan, they are hopefully learning to cut down on the cuteness in their passing. Simple, direct feeds work just as well, if not better, than blind behind-the-back drops.

*Gabby's tic-tac-toe power play goal to open the night's scoring was sweet. Gabby finally made some space for himself on the doorstep and Ryan Callahan turned a feed from Michael Del Zotto down to the open superstar for the tap-in.

*As I mentioned up top, Chris Drury actually scored. His off-balance shot somehow went through a screen and past Mmmmaaaarrrrttttyyyy to make it 3-0 Rangers. It was a nice consolation for the captain's terrible first period penalty and his two faceoff losses in the Ranger end in the final minutes.

*Matt Gilroy is under the weather; like Dan Girardi last season, Gilroy is suffering from Redden-itis - a horrible disease where a promising young defenseman has his growth stunted by being paired with the old albatross. Something should be done before it is too late to salvage some hope for Hobey.

*The ice crew was all wearing the new Olympic player-number tee shirts. It was a nice touch as the team tries to convince fans to spend $32 on a tee shirt.

*The Rangers debuted two new features on the big board on this night. First off they had a new pre-game montage where they dropped common players in with guys from days gone by. The other was a constant listing of which lines were on the ice. It was humourous watching some poor intern keep up with who was going over the boards but other than the comedy it was completely worthless. A numbered listing of players who are on the ice is just ridiculous.

*Brandon Prust fought Andrew Peters twice, for no apparent reason than entertaining the former Sabre and justifying his paycheque. The first tussle went on forever and was horrible, with Prust holding onto the glass behind him for some inexplicable reason. The second should never have happened. Peters dropped his gloves and Prust could have skated away, giving the Rangers a power play. Instead he waited until the refs saw that he didn't want to go and then fought him anyway - and got his ass kicked in another boring bout. This kid is supposed to be a improvement over the imbecile Donald Brashear, he should start acting like it.

*There was a lot of red in the building but really not as much as expected. I think there were just as many, if not more, Washington fans on Thursday but luckily these guys walked out disappointed. Amid the army of red, I spotted a half dozen or so Cardiff Devils fans. Let's hope the Welsh weren't rooting for their namesakes.

*The Boys & Girls Club of Harlem Choir Alumni sang the national anthem and I have to admit that they did a helluva job. They needed to give a little more space where we scream "Let's Go Rangers" after "gallantly streaming..." but that was the only complaint. Their singing was spectacular.

*Olli "Doll's Eyes" Jokinen needs to get his game together. He took yet another bad minor, his fourth in two games. Sure, he is more involved than Ales Kotalik ever was but he needs to be smarter and better.

I'm sure there is more but a bit of college hockey and a bit of celebration after the Ranger game has taken its toll. Keep an eye on my twitter @truebluefan329 for anything that may cross my mind in the morning (or at this rate, afternoon) tomorrow.

*PHW Three Stars
3-Marian Gaborik - one goal.
2-Ryan Callahan - one goal and one assist.
1-Henrik Lundqvist - 41 saves.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Cally - He kills penalties, he hits, he shoots, he scores.
2-Avery - Sure he didn't screw with Mmmmaaaarrrrttttyyyy and missed a great scoring chance but he came through anyway in the end.
1-Hank - Mmmmaaaarrrrttttyyyy who? The Swede owns Fatso in MSG and hopefully will in Vancouver as well.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand why you criticize Prust. He played Peters like a fiddle and, if the referees wouldn't have dropped the ball, would have got us an instigation power play.

I have never seen the refs ignore such an obvious instigation call than on Kovalchoke and especially Peters.

Anonymous said...

yea same with the Prust thing. Peters towers over him, you try landing punches on a guy that has that many inches on you.

rusty said...

Drury's goal was a sweet shot. He took the pass going to his right in the slot as Marty slid to his left to follow the puck. Dru shot it back to his left (Marty's right) in aplace that Marty had no way to stop. Had a perfect view from 415.

Dennis said...

What do you think Avery could have said to get Kovy so pissed off? Did he learn how to say a "Yo Mamma Is So Fat" insult in Russian?

icycup said...

right...i would pay money to know what avery said to that mama's boy kovalchuck...

Anonymous said...

Avery's antics with Marty weren't his usual, blatant variety. I was sitting right next to the press box and definitely saw him yell shit to Marty at least two or three times. It was at the end of a shift, taking his time out of the zone. Scott Stevens was right next to me in the press box and didn't care for it too much.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand how you could say about Prust "This kid is supposed to be a improvement over the imbecile Donald Brashear, he should start acting like it."

He fought a giant twice and got an assist, I think thats literally more then Brashear has done all season what the hell else you want him to do?

Jeff L. said...

Terrible analysis, Scotty.

You're way off-base on Prust, and Avery doesn't deserve one of the three stars. Gaborik scoring the game-winner belongs in there, not Avery for making one smart play near the end of the game.

You're apparent man-love for Avery is showing through as well, and it seems that you try to spin things in ways to favor players you like, or vice-versa.

As for Jokinen, I disagree that he needs to "get his game together". I think the penalties he's taken (3 of the 4 certainly), he had to take because they all prevented odd-man rushes or scoring chances. I don't think he's played poorly at all, having already scored and assisted, and seems to fit well on the second line with Dubinsky and Callahan. He's a big body those two need, and he's up the center which is more of an advantage. Let Christiensen stay up top until he plays his way off that line, because right now he deserves to be there.

Drury stays on the 4th line until he starts producing with consistency, I say.

Jeff L. said...

Correction to my last post, Gaborik's goal obviously wasn't the game-winner, Cally's was.

My bad.

Sammael said...

Everyone loves to hate Avery :)

What I hate is that everyone in the league thinks the rules should be changed because they don't like him... Yeah, because that is the mature answer.

F that noise, let him play!
I still think it is unfair that he gets so many extra calls against him. Call it clean, or not at all. Whenever the refs call something BS against him, they are being just as bad as they say he is.

Anonymous said...

Ola, what's up amigos? :)
Hope to get any help from you if I will have any quesitons.
Thanks and good luck everyone! ;)