The Rangers' victory tonight was tainted by a trio of disappointments. Sure, they defeated the exhausted Habs 6-3 but not every team will allow you to play for 25 minutes and win. How many teams will you be able to beat when your top goaltender is injured? And the Rangers have been good on the road and this might as well have been a road game given the number of Montreal fans in the building.
You would figure that after Hank had to take it upon himself to pounce on crybaby Pacioretty when they were in Montreal that his teammates would ensure that no Canadiens would touch him. Instead they let him get ran not once, but twice. The first was by P.K. Subban and the second by Benoit Pouliot. In the first case Mike Sauer made the mistake of honouring him by taking off his helmet in attempt for a fair fight - something Subban certainly does not deserve. The second time, when Hank was actually hurt NOTHING HAPPENED. Sure Pouliot was helped on his way by Steve Eminger but so what? He didn't try to get out of the way and the only reaction was some harsh words from Brian Boyle. No one made him pay. Not right after the hit, not after Pouliot came out of the penalty box. Sure the Rangers scored on the ensuing power play but who cares? Isn't the pride worth more than putting the two points at risk? Nice to get the two, but how many more will you lose when the other teams realize they can cruise through your crease without consequence? Or, even worse, how many will you lose when your franchise player is put out of the lineup by some nobody like Benoit Pouliot?
It was the only thing that could have made me more ashamed on this night than I was to see a Garden completely overrun by Canadiens. That is all Dolan right there, and I hope he enjoyed seeing so much red around the arena. When you rape your fans for cash the way they are doing, of course the fans are going to look for ways to make some money back. And that is what they did, dealing their tickets to the enemy. There were entire sections full of bleu blanc et rouge, idiots in red spandex and guys running around with Montreal flags. And not a single thing was done to them. Oh, how times have changed.
*The first period was perhaps as good a 20 minute span as the Rangers have played all season. Then they followed it by yet another awful second period and a weak third. It was a letdown that brought back bad memories of the Montreal Massacre but this time the Habs didn't have enough left in the tank to complete the comeback.
*The Price was wrong, bitch. Even Bob Barker coulda scored on Carey in this one.
*BJ Wisniewski, who Brian Boyle used as a screen to make it 5-1, scored in the second period when - surprise surprise - the Rangers let Mike Cammalleri crash the crease and gave Gomez free reign to slide in front to screen.
*Arty's goal was pretty, but we have always known he is capable of scoring when there is no opponent around to touch or even breathe on him and knock him off his skates.
*Not sure how Anisimov was given the primary assist on the reviewed Callahan goal as it was Dubi who made a gorgeous drive to the net. It would have been nice if the Garden would have showed the replay while we waited for Toronto to make the call that the ref three feet away couldn't make but it seems against their policy to play them during goal reviews. Which sucks.
*Love Brandon Prust - want him to win the Steve Mac award - but his decision to fight Travis Moen a second into the game for the spectacle of it all was outright stupid. He put himself at risk for yet another injury by engaging in a pointless bout - especially with Mike Rupp, Max Talbot and Matt Cooke on the agenda for Sunday. Dumb.
*Nice of Vinny Prospal and Marian Gaborik to score to make up for their awfulness on the Subban strike. They just stood there, a few feet away, waiting for him to shoot.
*Vinny's goal - which came in the third and made it 6-3 - was the lone power play goal. The team went 1-5 and that isn't good enough when you consider the Habs didn't have big Hal Gill out there.
*Bryan McCabe played as if he was still on the Leafs as they were smacked around by their rivals. Perhaps his worst game as a Ranger. McDonagh wasn't as bad but you would have thought that he would have been better against the team that only thought he was worth that smirking jerk Gomez.
*Not really sure why they had those PS22 kids sing the anthem, they really weren't all that good. I still think they got the slot at the Oscars because Hollywood felt guilty for not recognizing more minority movie makers. If the Garden was really itching for a bunch of kids, the Harlem Boys Choir has always done a wonderful rendition. But let's be serious here - no one does a better job than the duo that is John Amirante and his toupe.
*No Sean Avery, as he was scratched. Can't say it was a surprise after his undisciplined display against the Isles but it was still a little disappointing. Would the Habs been as willing to terrorize Hank if they knew the Rangers had someone just as willing to run through the paint? We'll never know ...
*For all of those who think that the Rangers' Heritage jerseys were bad luck, they still won anyway.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Brandon Prust - one assist.
2-Ryan Callahan - one goal and one assist.
1-Artem Anisimov - two assists.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Brandon Dubinsky - He may not be the center solution for Gaborik but that doesn't mean he can't be a first-line center. When he plays with the power that he possesses, he can be the Jason Arnott/Rod Brind'Amour kind of force in the middle.
2-Cally - Another gritty effort by Captain Callahan.
1-Dan Girardi - Girardi scored the go-ahead goal and grabbed the assist on Prospal's with a soft shot that was easily deflected. And he played 28 minutes - five of which were shorthanded - collected four hits and three blocked shots. Solid work.