Young Carl came through for the Rangers on Saturday night with a pair of goals in what would be a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. The Swede's success helped the Blueshirts get to win number 2,500 in franchise history. It is a milestone that four other teams of the Original Six already reached (only Chicago hasn't now) but the Rangers like to celebrate big round random numbers - 85th anniversary anyone?
But back to the game, which was a nice road win after the two atrocious performances put on back on Broadway (well, Seventh Ave). The Rangers ripped apart an exhausted, poorly coached squad playing the second half of a back-to-back, which was exactly what they were supposed to do. Luckily they won't be able to rest on their laurels (or go out to celebrate the win), as they are back in action in just a few hours against a far better Florida squad.
That being said, this will be quick - Late Hits:
*How soon until Torts dresses Avery and doesn't give him any ice time at all? Didn't that happen to a Ranger a few seasons back, someone dressing but not getting a single second on the ice? Sean saw six shifts, with a total of 40 seconds in the second period and another 40 in the third. Really, what is the point? And what did he do to deserve it? Arty showboated last game and he still got 13 minutes (and would have had more if he didn't get shaken up).
*Dan Girardi was three seconds shy of a half hour. Can't believe Torts couldn't get him those seconds. Also can't believe that Glen Sather is ok with the way that Torts is grinding Dan-O down. Buffalo is also missing their top defenseman and yet none of their blueliners saw more than 24 minutes, not even the overpaid Ehrhoff.
*In looking at clips of Young Carl on Youtube, I saw that the Wolverines band played the Swedish national anthem for him before Senior Day back in February. That is just awesome.
*While we knew Hagelin had some ability, has his runningmate John Mitchell been a revelation or what? He has been playing like every shift could be his last in the NHL and he needs to keep it up.
*Perhaps the most heartening part of the victory was Ryan McDonagh's return to form. After his uncharacteristic failures against Tampa, McD was back to being his solid self against the Sabres. Nearly had a heart attack when he blocked that shot with his hand though ...
*Jhonas Enroth was atrocious and he certainly wasn't helped out by the rest of his team. The Rangers saw how disorganized they were and extended the ice to catch them bunched up and out of position. Even Del Zaster's home run pass worked the third or fourth time he tried it.
*DZ deserves credit for that one but to get a secondary assist for the first Hagelin goal was just ludicrous. He lost the puck in his feet deep in the Ranger end and Eminger fished it out before sending it down the ice to the Speedy Swede. The kid had several horrid shifts, was made to look a fool by Thomas Vanek and somehow ended up completely out of the play when Gabby turned the puck over and Vanek scored the game-tying goal.
*But, alas, Ryan Callahan came through to bail Del Zaster and the rest of the boys out with an outrageous shorthanded goal late in the second period. Sure Enroth opened his five-hole the width of the Lincoln Tunnel but the way Cally turned to use Christian Ehrhoff as a screen was outstanding. With his family at the game in force, that had to be pretty special for him. It was definitely special for us. What a goal - both in form and importance.
*Marty Biron barely had to make any good saves but he did enough to get the guys a win and that is all that matters.
*Dubi seems to slowly but surely be getting his game back together. He never stopped working but he just seems to have more drive of late. Great to see.
*Nice slapper by the Slovakian Slacker. Gabby really can be quite the scorer sometimes.
*PHR Three Stars
3-Ryan Callahan - one goal.
2-Marty Biron - 32 saves.
1-Carl Hagelin - two goals.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Thomas Vanek - The Austrian is so dangerous every time he is on the ice, imagine if he played in a real market...
2-Cally - As I tweeted: lead on captain, lead on.
1-Young Carl - The speedy Swede from Södertälje has been everything we could have hoped for so far.