Thursday, January 20, 2011
The Rangers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-0 on Wednesday night and if you are looking for a glowing, joyful review ... look elsewhere.
You've been warned.
The game was a boring beating of a dead horse. Toronto was completely lifeless and laid there as the Rangers piled on goal after goal. This was like the snow-day victory over the Islanders, it was a firm trouncing of a team that had no right being on the same ice as them.
Yes, these are the games that you are supposed to win and it was nice to come through. But beyond the two points the victory was completely unfulfilling and proved absolutely nothing. Let's see them have a strong showing against a real NHL team, or at least one that is capable of playing the AHL because the Leafs would have even lost to a SPHL side on this night. Atrocious; any Toronto fans out there have my sympathies. Let's just hope that the Rangers have something left in the tank for tomorrow night's game as the Canes will be one of the teams fighting them for a playoff spot notsofar down the road.
*For all who are still delirious over Marian Gaborik's five point night, please keep in mind that he had hat tricks against Edmonton and the Islanders - the guy shows up when there is a dog to kick but when a real opponent comes around this season he has been the dog. I would rather see him score once in any of the close losses where were were desperate for a goal than see him put up four (and assist on another) against a bunch of bums like the Buds. That being said, his first goal featured some sexy stickhandling, wow. But, again, 10 of his 15 goals have come in three of his 34 games.
*Speaking of bums, Chris Drury. Over 20 minutes of nothingness. The only thing that makes his performance almost acceptable was the disastrous showing by Toronto captain Sloppy Seconds; we may not have the worst captain in the league but Drury is certainly in the conversation. Nice breakaway idiot. Why couldn't Drury get injured instead of Ruslan Fedotenko? Dru adds nothing to the lineup on the ice anymore - he is even a shadow of the fourth liner that he was in Vancouver 11 months ago, much less the star he was on the Sabres (and in Little League!).
*Very tough to lose Fedotenko with a separated shoulder; damn you West Islip waste of skates Mike Komisarek. Feds has been the perfect foot soldier this season and to see him go down was painful. Hopefully, as with Frolov, the Hartford replacement will be able to do the job (if not do even better). Finding someone to step up and fill Dubinsky's skates ... well, that will be far more difficult. A lot can happen in a month.
*When Colton Orr first came to NY I hated him. He was a slow, one-dimensional goon. Then Tom Renney worked some magic and turned Orr into a valuable defensive player, someone who I and most others loved to watch. It appears that Renney's pixie dust has worn off. Orr is back to being a goon and seems to have taken it a step forward and become a clown too. Sad.
*Really kinda curious as to why Dale Weise fought (and got his ass kicked by) Luke Schenn. Nothing positive could have come out of it and, if not for the injuries ravaging the locker room, Weise would have been banished to the minors long ago. It is a shame, he had potential to be more than a goon but he has fallen into the roll and simply is not good at it.
*There was another bout in this one, with Newbury "fighting" Sloppy Seconds. Credit to the little man for getting the jersey over Elishe's boyfriend's head. Just sad to see the refs immediately break it up before Newbury could add injury to Phaneuf's embarrassment.
*Sometimes you forget just how fast Sean Avery is but he showed off some stellar wheels tonight and, for once, managed to keep his new linemates on side. What are the odds that Avery sticks with Anisimov and Gaborik? I would say slim and none.
*Arty really didn't deserve two of his four assists but, hey, everyone acknowledges that the official scorer in NY is a nice guy. And, to be honest, his other two assists were perfect feeds. It is amazing how good he can be when no one is hitting him and he doesn't have to actually work for space.
*A friend tried throwing his hat after Gabby's third goal only to watch it fall short and have a teenager sitting a few rows from the ice pick it up and put it on his head. That is just wrong, and gross.
*The Blueshirts spent plenty of time late being cute with their passes and it gave the Leafs some life. Sure, the game was well out of hand by then and only a high stick could strike a puck past Hank but being cute is a bad habit for our boys and one that hopefully won't carry on to Carolina.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Henrik Lundqvist - 22 saves.
2-Artem Anisimov - four assists.
1-Marian Gaborik - four goals and one assist.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Ron Wilson - The Maple Leafs coach's composure was astounding. If I was him I would have ripped off my tie, thrown it onto the ice and walked out before the end of the second period. And just think that if he had prepared his team to play, they could have capitalized on that power play thee minutes into the first and made it an entirely different game.
2-Ryan McDonagh - Sure the Leafs were limp but the kid played his most minutes to date in the NHL and played his best hockey to date. Toronto couldn't get second or third chances as McD was well positioned to make plays.
1-Gaborik - Nice to see that he is still indeed on the team but let's see him do something when he is actually needed before saluting the Slovak.