Sunday, November 27, 2011
12-5-3: Afternoon Delight
Just one day after playing a sloppy game against the Caps, the Rangers played a tight game against the Flyers and ultimately prevailed 2-0 over the evil orange.
Was it exciting? Hell yes. Was it awesome to attend? You'd better believe it. Was it perfect? No.
This team needs to play 60 full minutes, it needs to be more consistent and it needs to be smarter. After playing to the HBO cameras with physical play the first half of the first period, they must have figured that they gave the cable network enough material because they weren't as tough from then on out. And Ryan McDonagh can not take two bad penalties. But things are going in the right direction and we have to hope that Torts can keep it that way with the huge amount of distractions of the next month.
*For fans of traditional statistics, the AP pointed out that the Rangers improved to 11-1 in games where they scored first. So Brad Richard$ striking the opening blow in this match was a good omen to be sure. However, I will stick with my favourite statistic: the Blueshirts are 7-0 when Prust squares off inside the first two minutes of a game, 3-0 this season.
*That fight was a far better trailer for 24/7 than the actual preview that was on HBO Friday night, where the most vicious thing was Jody Shelley saying Dubi was a weasel and Dubi naming Scott Hartnell as his least favourite Flyer. Oooh, there is palpable hatred there ...
*Brandon Dubinsky was on the ice less than John Mitchell. While Mitchell definitely has been skating well and is far, far, far better than Erik Christensen, Houston, we clearly have a problem.
*Another Steven McDonald game from Captain Callahan. When the man with the C puts in the extra effort, the rest of the guys are forced to follow. As for his 'goal,' if you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'.
*The Rangers keep playing this way then other teams may have to actually use their starting goaltenders.
*That being said, Bob wasn't bad. He was fantastically screened by Cally on Richard$ goal and Boyle ran into him on the Hagelin goal. Utterly delighted that young Carl scored but I'm not sure his goal should've counted - Boyle skated right into the crease behind Bob and made contact with the goaltender as Hagelin was batting home his own rebound.
*But like I said, it was delightful to see the Swedish kid score. It was a fantastic play and for him to get a standing ovation? Amazing!!
*Amazing how ineffective Claude Giroux was without Jaromir Jagr. Some credit should go to the Ranger defenders but Giroux simply was not the same speedy player that he was when Jagr was with him earlier this year. We dodged a bullet to be sure.
*Del Zaster had one of his better games. Yep, I said it. But don't go too crazy, he is still far from good. His positioning is poor, his hitting is flawed, his passing is often atrocious ... but he didn't have many of his usual turnovers so that is a small improvement. He recorded his fourth power play point of the year, and of course it was a secondary assist. Really justifies that 4:11 average power play time, right? But if Joe Micheletti raves about his play, then he must be doing great!
*Sean Avery needs to stop trying to play the refs and start playing his game again or else he can easily find himself out of the lineup. Hagelin keeps playing the way he has these two games then Torts will have to find guys to sub when Deveaux and Wolski come back - and you and I both know who he will look at first.
*The water coming out of the bathroom faucets that I used was scalding hot. Dolan really shouldn't try to physically burn the customers, just metaphorically.
*The Garden fan chanted "Flyers Suck" during a 1-0 game. Really? 1-0. While it is certainly true, we really shouldn't tempt fate much?
*I'm sure there was more worth mentioning but after attending Red Hot Hockey immediately after the Ranger game, some of the meandering minutia that rattles around my head was lost. Apologies.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Brandon Prust - two fights.
2-Brad Richards - one goal.
1-Henrik Lundqvist - 29 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Andrej Meszaros - Without Chris Pronger it seemed like Meszaros was the defender who was always there to break up the big Ranger chances and jump-start the Philly attack.
2-Hank - Another shutout, ho hum.
1-Prust - 7-0.