A team is outshot 33-20.
A team loses 41 of 59 faceoffs.
A team blows a five minute power play.
That team wins the game 3-0.
What in the hell? But it is true, as the Rangers beat up on the Devils in a game that was missing serious star power: Parise and Mmmaaaarrrtttyyy for the Devs; Gaborik, Prospal, Drury and Callahan for the Rangers. Perhaps what pulled it through for the Blueshirts was the ability to dress Hank and Dubinsky as they had the biggest impact in the game, Hank with 33 saves and Dubi a pair of goals. One-Way Kovalchuk was -2, had four shots and a dumb penalty.
Some quick, stream-of-consciousness notes:
*Rozy wearing Cally's A was just sickening. It is understandable as he is the longest tenured Ranger but c'mon, it is Rozsival! Sure he has been better of late but he still is a failure when you factor in his contract. Rozy took a terrible penalty that the Rangers were able to turn into a shorthanded goal, so that's a plus I guess. I'm not sure how that is leadership though. And his reaching/diving after Kovy that led to the Zajac chance on the doorstep in the third period? Ugh.
*Despite the Devil domination at the faceoff dot, it was a rare Ranger win that proved the most meaningful. Dubi took the offensive zone draw at the end of the second period to get the puck to Girardi for the shot that Boyle tipped in to make it 2-0.
*It just isn't the same beating the Devils without them beating Fatso. Mmmmaaaarrrtttyyyy. And, while Avery had a decent game, Sean wasn't Sean without Tubby to taunt.
*I feel bad for Doc Emerick as he is saddled with the doofy court jester that is the homer Chico. Doc does such a spectacular job and Chico is a clown, it's a shame. Doc even dropped a John Ogrodnick reference!
*Stepan looked more comfortable than he has in a few games while Todd White didn't play like a guy on waivers. Both looked better than Erik Christensen, who really looked like he missed Gabby.
*Not sure who is dumber, Carcillo or Clarkson, but I loathe them both.
*That first Ranger goal came off a bad play. While Frolov thankfully decided not to do his stupid wrap-around, his pass out front to Arty was off the mark. Arty swung and couldn't make full contact, accidentally getting the puck to Dubi for the dunk.
*MDZ had six and a half minutes of power play time with which he did ... nothing. The kid has been given every opportunity to step up and he hasn't. His passing has been piss-poor (feed the guys with RANGERS on the sweaters kiddo), he had just one shot on net (with four minutes left and the score already 3-0) and his defense is atrocious. A reality check in Hartford - not just a seat in the press box - would serve him well.
*Over 27 minutes for Dan Girardi is too much. It is nice to see the youngster stepping into the role but it is a long season and he just isn't that kind of elite player. Credit should be given as he was reunited with Staal and the two shut down Kovalchuk admirably.
*Some quickies for the Devils: Matt Taormina was the best Devil on the ice, while their team captain Jamie Langenbrunner needs to be let go - he doesn't seem to have it anymore and he doesn't look like he is playing with/for the team. I don't like Stephen Gionta any more than his midget brother Brian. Travis Zajac is underrated, perhaps because of the shadow cast by Zach Parise (when healthy). Zajac was a constant threat and he went 16-3 on faceoffs. Domination!
*Derek Boogaard needs to realize he is not a scorer. Sure Torts and company want him to be a more complete player, but why doesn't he work on doing his job first, before working on skills? When the Rangers are getting shoved all over the ice and pinned in their own zone, when Boyle is boarded and Fedotenko is attacked, that is when you realize that the team needs an enforcer. And Boogaard hasn't been it.
*Didn't notice Grachev at all, which is good and bad - good in that he didn't make any mistakes under the Jersey pressure and bad in that he couldn't use his size to create some offense on the awful Devils.
*How sad are they? Or even more to the point, how sad is their fanbase? The team is 4-10-1 and you barely hear a peep. If the Rangers were failing at that rate, there would be outrage.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Artem Anisimov - two assists.
2-Brandon Dubinsky - two goals.
1-Henrik Lundqvist - 33 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Girardi - The Devils didn't get a lot of second chances and a lot of that has to be due to the diligence of the Ranger defense, specifically Girardi (and Staal and Sauer and even Eminger). And, unlike MDZ, Girardi had the gall to shoot when he had a look at the net from the point.
2-Dubi - He has the hot stick right now and it is fantastic to see. Let's hope he doesn't cool off anytime soon because the team will be that much stronger when Dubi and Gaborik are both putting pucks in the net.
1-Hank - It is hard to chant Henrik's Better! when Fatso isn't filling the net across the ice but it wouldn't have mattered if he did, Hank woulda made him look bad too. The Moose wasn't even that bad, but Hank was just outstanding. He even managed to stop that bad-angle shot in the first period (by Langenbrunner?)!!