Sunday, March 13, 2011
36-30-4: Smile You Son Of A Bitch
The Rangers put the anti-shark cage in the water and they went in the water. The Sharks were in the water. The first place Pacific Division Sharks. And back home the taxidermy man surely had a heart attack when he heard that the Rangers came out of the water with two points.
Man, Jaws is a classic flick. Jaws never gets old and neither goes gritty performances like the one the Blueshirts had tonight to top San Jose 3-2 in a shootout. It was one of the most entertaining exhibitions this season because the boys heard the bell after the Anaheim loss and they answered it.
Seeing as the clocks spun forward this will be brief:
*"It's only pain." How that isn't on tee shirts everywhere is beyond me. I was telling a friend overseas about Brandon Prust's line from earlier this season and he replied, "that's some serious macho shit right there" and he is right. Prust gets hammered early and yet he stands up for a teammate and tangles with former Flyer Ben Eager. He stays in the game and his hard work sets up Mike Sauer's go-ahead goal. It is not unbelievable to think that he will have to undergo major shoulder surgery this summer and yet night after night he is putting it on the line for the team. How can you be a fan and not appreciate that?
*It is impossible to appreciate the officiating. Eric Furlatt and Bill McCreary did a piss-poor job calling the game. And it is infuriating. The zebras should be invisible and yet time and time again this season the men in stripes have stepped into the story. How disappointing and annoying.
*The Rangers rushing to Hank's aid was just the opposite. Seeing the scrums break out after the Sharks circled too close to our keeper was heartwarming. It makes you believe that these guys are finally getting it - no one can come close to the crease, or else.
*If I had more time I would look up the team's record based on faceoff performance. At rough glance the Rangers have won more games when they lost more draws then they won.
*As a buddy pointed out, Matt Gilroy and Bryan McCabe were completely outclassed. What exactly is the benefit of having Hobey play over Steve Eminger? And on the same token, wouldn't Mats Zuccarello be best served playing 20 minutes across every situation in Hartford instead of eight minutes here? Zuke was invisible for most of the night and he blew the one thing he was counted on for - a shootout attempt.
*Mr. Softie Erik Christensen also blew his breakaway but he scored late in the first period. You have to figure that he cemented his spot in the lineup for at least another game or two. If only because Torts will use any excuse he can to get rid of Sean Avery.
*Kinda wonder what advice Chad Johnson could have given the Ranger shooters, considering he has barely had a cup of coffee in the NHL, much lest built up biographies of opposing netminders.
*Another really gritty performance from Fedotenko. Seeing as he was a training camp invite, he shouldn't count towards the balance sheet that is Sather's track record when it comes to free agent signings. If he did, you would have to start giving old Glen some credit ...
*Douglas Murray deserved a beating.
*About to get to the three stars and Mike Sauer and Ryan McDonagh didn't make either list. But that is not to say that the kids weren't alright. You simply can not tell that they are rookies when you watch them. The same goes for Stepan but he isn't as integral a piece as the two blueliners are. Young, strong and willing to do whatever is needed to get the job done in their own end. Great stuff.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Dan Boyle - two assists.
2-Dan Girardi - no points.
1-Henrik Lundqvist - 31 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Eager - Cast aside by Chicago, old Ben is a heckuva old time hockey player when he keeps his wits about him.
2-Brandon Dubinsky - All respect to Girardi's nine blocked shots but Dubi was phenomenal in the third period. When Cally was called for the hook, Dubi killed much of the penalty himself. He identified that he had no help on the shorthanded rush so he ate time on the boards before passing the puck all the way back to waste more time. Then, in the final minutes, he used his strength to hold off the Sharks and keep the puck in their end. Oh yeah, and he scored the game-winner in the skills competition. Not a bad night of work.
1-Hank - Maybe it was because he saw a Finn across the ice and he wanted to display Swedish dominance, maybe it was because the boys stepped up in front of him. Who knows? But either way Hank was calm under pressure after starting the game shakey.