Thursday, November 4, 2010
6-5-1: Philly Physicality Wins The Day
Perhaps the Rangers don't grasp what it is to be physical. Being physical is not sending out your goon to fight another goon and then getting in a few cheap shots behind the plays. Being physical is forechecking, putting the guy into the boards, forcing the play and standing up for your guys.
Physicality is what the Flyers do, and they did it to near perfection in their 4-1 win over the Rangers tonight. The Blueshirts didn't have the size or the smarts to break through the Philly toughness and it cost them.
I'm still shaking with rage so I'm just gonna start firing them off:
*Cally gets thrown head-first into the boards by Kimo Timonen and the Rangers do nothing. After a whistle, the play goes deep in the Ranger end and Marc Staal bumps Nik Zherdev from behind - not even a full check - and gets penalized. There are good penalties and bad penalties kids. The Rangers missed the chance to take the good one and took a stupid one instead.
*And the Flyers didn't take any even though Dirtbag Dan Carcillo tried to remove Ruslan Fedotenko's head from his shoulders with a leaping illegal hit. No penalty was called, and no Ranger did anything. Prust eventually treated Carcillo like a man and honoured him with a fair fight but it was several minutes later - after Prust took a dumb penalty on Zherdev and Pronger scored on the ensuing power play. It was way too late.
*Eye for an eye folks - the Flyers went after two skill guys and the Rangers didn't touch Carter or Richards. That's pathetic. Our all-so-intimidating Derek Boogaard didn't do squat. He had a meaningless fight against Shelley to justify his paycheque and some hits late in the third when the damage was already done. He did get the better shots in in his pre-planned, pointless fight against Shelley, but, as I tweeted 'people wonder why hockey players are deemed barbarians. A stupid fight between stupid players for a stupid reason.' Like Brashear before him, what is the point of having an enforcer if he doesn't enforce anything? He looked oh-so-scary in warmups stepping between Avery and Carcillo and yet he did NOTHING to defend his teammates after the puck dropped.
*I would give credit to Shelley for drawing the penalty on Boogaard and a pretty solid effort but his slew foot against Grachev - called a trip - was cheap and classless.
*Here are my notes on the goals: 1-0 Rangers power play wears down the Flyers, Blair Betts loses his coverage. 1-1 Flyers power play keeps puck low, three Ranger killers descend on one Flyer and no one bothers to cover Richards, leaving him wide open for the slap dunk. 2-1 MDZ strikes again with a horrific defensive play. 3-1 Hank softie - Z from the goal line; replay shows Hank in a good spot, hard to really get on him as his positioning was sound, just a bad bounce. Still a softie. 4-1 Pronger ppg long bomb after stupid cheap shot.
*Bettsy and Zherdev both scored against the team that dumped them - guess they will go to bed with a smile tonight.
*Two dump, pointless little retaliations that didn't physically achieve anything resulted in two power play goals against. Horrendous.
*Against Toronto I wrote "we have reached at the point where I wonder if a little time with JJ Daigneault might do MDZ some good." If Phoenix can send '07 No. 3 pick Kyle Turris to the AHL after a full season in the NHL, the Rangers can send MDZ down. And he needs to be sent down or benched. We need the kids to play and there are growing pains to be dealt with when we do but this kid's play has regressed; he needs to be put back on track.
*Right after the Rangers opened the scoring, they came back down the ice and put on the pressure. Bobrovsky made two utterly outstanding saves back-to-back and the Flyers marched back to score four straight. That was the play of the game.
*Wow are Sam and Joe horrible at times (Joe alone is horrible all the time). With play going on in the first period they spent more than 30 seconds talking about Boomer Esiason. A former quarterback with an obnoxious radio show who has nothing to do with the team other than the fact that he gets free tickets and nothing to do with the game action whatsoever.
*Erik Christensen had a really good game but just couldn't get the puck in. He could be quite the weapon if he recaptures his chemistry with Gabby. We can only pray that the Slovak's return turns Frolov into a useful player because he isn't. He has one move - a wrap-around - that just doesn't work against most goaltenders.
*Mike Sauer's slashing penalty or his part in the Richards goal could very well get him bumped from the lineup on Friday and that would be a shame. He was strong in the Ranger zone - miles ahead of MDZ and even better than Rozy, who wasn't completely incompetent. Eminger probably had one of his best efforts as a Ranger and yet he still stinks. Dan Girardi can't play 25 minutes a night.
*Sean O'Donnell is exactly the kind of defenseman that the Rangers need. He signed with Philly on July 1st. The Rangers traded for Eminger on the 9th. Too bad Dylan McIlrath is still a season or two away from the NHL.
*Proof that the 'hits' stat is arbitrary? The Flyers were credited with just 15 in the game.
*Cally, Dubi and Arty were good again but the tough Flyer defense was able to key in on them and shut them down. Dubi, who scored the lone Ranger goal, had a sick move later in the game to get inside on the Philly D but couldn't finish.
*I think it is set; next week I will order a Prust throwback sweater. It's down to him, Cally and Sauer but Prust has the edge. He did eventually fight Carcillo and can you imagine if he hadn't hit the post in the first period?
*PHW Three Stars
3-Blair Betts - one goal.
2-Sergei Bobrovsky - 20 saves.
1-Claude Giroux - two assists.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Hank - Aside from the freaky bounce soft goal, Hank was solid. He had no chance at stopping the other three Philadelphia goals and he gave the team a chance to win that they really didn't deserve.
2-Bobrovsky - As I said, those two saves turned the game towards his team. He didn't get the clean sheet and made just 20 saves but it was enough.
1-Chris Pronger - The former Norris winner is the anchor of that Flyer defense, which may very well be the best in the NHL one-through-six.