When Brandon Prust took on Ryane Clowe just seven seconds into tonight's game, two things ran through my mind: 1- Prust is fighting out of his weight class and is gonna get beaten pretty badly and 2- my favourite Ranger-related stat was really going to be put to the test. Well, Prust did get yanked around like a rag doll but the Rangers reeled in the road weary Sharks with a 5-2 win, keeping the stat alive. That stat? The Blueshirts are now 6-0 when Prust squares off inside the first two minutes of a game, 2-0 this season.
Staged bouts are usually exhibitions in pointless pugilism to justify the paycheques of the neanderthals taking part but there is something more with Prust. The Rangers clearly get an extra jump when he 'defends the honour of Charlestown' (to steal a line from Slap Shot). It is a wonderful thing to watch but it is too much responsibility to put on the guy's surgically repaired shoulders.
The supposedly great motivator that is John Tortorella needs to do a better job getting the boys going because before long the wear and tear will take down Prust. The Rangers might still have won this one because San Jose was clearly a step slow but, given what happened Saturday, you never know.
*Ryan Callahan. Wow. Nothing else needs to be said. Just wow. Captain. Captain Wow.
*Wish Brandon Dubinsky was able to get things going like Cally has - still goalless 10 games in.
*Trade Erik Christensen right now. His trade value has never been higher, surely we can get a seventh round pick for him. Both of his assists were sweet, even if they were more motivated by his fear of taking a hit than by a desire to set up a goal. Make the deal Glen!
*Andre Deveaux played the exact game Mike Rupp was supposed to play, just without a heavyweight fight. Strong on the boards, willing to go to the crease and stay there ... If the rumours are true and Rupp gets knee surgery then the Rangers would be well served keeping Deveaux around.
*No Avery banner this game. Hopefully the Garden is filled with them Thursday if he does indeed make it back to Broadway.
*How can people not be angry when Anisimov scores the way he did in the second period? To know that Arty is capable of collecting goals like that shortside backhand is infuriating considering all of his stretches of uselessness. It's like a Bronx Tale, the saddest thing in life is wasted talent.
*On that note it was hilarious seeing Brian Boyle skating backwards away from Colin White trying to throw punches in the first period. He is so soft, and his play is so ugly he might as well be Susan Boyle ... except she has a mind-blowing ability. Boyle's abilities are limited by his reluctance to use his size.
*Colin White was -3. Haha. Devils suck.
*Stop bringing up Del Zaster's team-leading +7. Marek Malik also had a gaudy +/- and he was just as atrocious in his own end. Credit should be given to MDZ for his efforts on the offensive side of the puck in this game for actually holding the blue line once and for a few decent passes but the missed coverages, soft hits and the slew foot wipe the positives off the board. He still stinks. Kinda remarkable how direct the lineage is for awful one-way defenders in this franchise: Lefebvre->Poti->Malik->Rozsival->Redden->Del Zaster.
*There is just no need to rip into Steve Eminger or Jeff Woywitka, If not for Staal's injury, Pavel Valentenko's regression and Mikhail Pashnin's decision to stay in Russia neither one of them would be playing. And what ever happened to Tomas Kundratek?
*Solid work by Biron. Mr. X from the Blue Seats made a case for Marty to start on Thursday but that just isn't likely. Surely he will get a chance to beat Winnipeg for a second time when the teams meet on Sunday.
*The Garden had large swathes of empty seats, which will get attributed to it being Halloween. But what happens when those same seats go empty other nights?
*What will it take to get rid of Dancing Larry and the 25 Potvin Sucks chants at random, inappropriate times against an inappropriate enemy?
*Maybe his goal will help Derek Stepan break his sophomore slump but it isn't likely. But that is ok, growing pains. Can't forget that the kid played an absolute ton of games last year between preseason, regular season, playoffs and the world championships.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Dan Girardi - two assists.
2-Brandon Dubinsky - two assists.
1-Ryan Callahan - two goals and one assist.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Prust - Sure he got hammered but he sent a message that Saturday's disaster wasn't going to happen again.
2-Dan-O - Girardi is playing above his pay grade and is doing fantastic work. But he has played less than 25 minutes just once out of the 10 games so the team has to be weary of wearing him out. It is only
1-Cally - Yep. No brainer. Two fantastic goals and a perfect set-up pass to McD.