Sunday, November 6, 2011
6-3-3: Back To .500
Was tonight's 5-3 game the result of the calamity that took place just four minutes into the first period? It is possible. The Rangers inexplicably took exception to a perfectly clean hit, picked a pair of fights and shockingly ended up with a two-man advantage - one they actually scored on. The Garden went wild and the Blueshirts got a burst of energy that they rode to two more goals in the period.
What Dean Morten and Tim Peel were thinking is beyond me. How they decided Sauer got the gate and not Cally, how they decided Mike Blunden's hit was interference when the puck was in Dubi's feet, how they suddenly decided to make tic-tac calls in the middle of the second period ... but hey, it worked out for the best, right?
*With Sauer out the goalposts picked up their game and blocked several sure-fire goals. The first would have tied the game at one instead of leading to Dan Girardi's goal. Then there were the pair that would have either seen the Rangers completely blow their 3-0 lead but instead Brad Richard$ struck to thankfully put the game out of reach. Not quite the Massacre in Montreal but it would have been close.
*Del Zaster was his usual less than average defensive self but credit must be given to him, his goal was a thing of beauty. He loves to jump in the play and a smart feed from Step found him cutting through the slot. A quick deke and the Rangers were up 3-0. For the first time since the beginning of his rookie season MDZ did something worthy of the 'Leetch' hype. It was a sexy goal, no taking anything away from that. Too bad he still has no clue that hitting is supposed to be a tool to win the puck. And passing the puck into a guy's skates is not a good thing.
*Not sure what was more disgusting, the fans booing the Canadian national anthem or the fact that the singer sang the French version. And the idiot Ranger fans who chanted "USA!" later in the game ... really? The goaltender is Swedish, the star center is Canadian and star sniper is Slovak. Patriotism is a wonderful thing, stupidity is not.
*David Desharnais is short. Like, really short. Too bad Zuke wasn't up here so the two could go back-to-back to see who was taller.
*The Rangers are back in action Sunday night and it is hard to imagine Dan Girardi doing well. He and McDonagh looked completely out of gas by the end of the third period after going over the boards time and time again in this one. They were great but when the Habs upped the pressure in the final minutes it seemed like they could hardly move. And yet Jeff Woywitka saw less than seven minutes. That is not a vote of confidence coming off of his best game as a Ranger, on the day the team announced that they signed Christian Backman II, Anton Stralman.
*Speaking of ice time, I had set the over/under of Sean Avery's ice time at 7:30. Avery came in at 4:46. Really, what is the point of dressing the guy if the coach won't play him? Not that he showed that he deserved much more as he definitely showed some rust.
*Not sure why Torts kept Deveaux sitting so much either. Given how short the Habs were, you would think that a big wrecking ball might have been nice, especially when the Lilliputians started pinning the Rangers in their own end. Nice to see him collect his first NHL point since December 23rd, 2008 with the assist on the Richards goal. He kept battling along the boards to push the puck forward and Richard$ ended up taking a wicked wrister past Price.
*How great was it to see PK Subban - of all the Habs - falling into his own empty net, unable to stop Callahan's game-sealing score?
*Hard to decide which was my favourite taunt of the night, my "You got scored on by Christensen and Del Zotto! Hahahahahaha!" or another guy's "Hey, you guys really miss Scott Gomez." Either way, there were far, far too many Habs fans in the arena. But that is what is going to happen more and more often nowadays I guess.
*Wonder what, if anything, is wrong with Prust but he doesn't look like the player he was last season. Hopefully he isn't nursing another injury like the bum shoulder he dealt with back in the spring.
*I am pretty sure I heard the Garden staff play Lady of Spain on the organ early in the second period. I laugh every time I hear that.
*Dancing Larry was a mush yet again, doing his tired old dance just seconds before Gionta scored to bring Montreal back within one, 4-3.
*Dozen games into the season and the Rangers still are struggling to find consistency across the board. Shift to shift, period to period, game to game. But tonight's victory was their third straight so as long as they are getting points consistently, the rest will follow suit.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Ryan McDonagh - one assist.
2-Dan Girardi - one goal.
1-Artem Anisimov - two assists.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3- Arty - Like Step, Arty is starting to find his stride. Just once it would be nice to see him (and Boyle for that matter) use his size.
2-Step - Heads up play got him helpers on Christensen and Del Zaster's goals. One would have to be doing pretty well to get those two guys on the scoresheet. Hey oh!
1-Dan-O - Over 30 minutes, several blocked shots and a heckuva howitzer goal.