Sunday, January 22, 2012
30-12-4: Hey, look - a PPG!
Of all things, who would have thought that a power play would save the day for the Rangers? Certainly not I but it was indeed the case on Saturday afternoon as Marian Gaborik capitalized in overtime to defeat the Big Bad Bruins 3-2.
The way the Rangers won was just as surprising as the actual fact that they ended up victorious. The Blueshirts spent much of the afternoon crushed in their own zone while the Bruins dominated play. When they finally went on attack, it was one-and-done as the Bs quickly recovered to come back the other way - they are the reigning Stanley Cup champions for a reason. And, like the Rangers, they didn't play close to their best game. That is the remarkable part and it should make the remaining three meetings really special.
*Truly hope Ryan McDonagh is alright.
*That being said, I still don't think Andrew Ference deserved a five minute major for the hit. McDonagh saw him coming, skated straight at the boards and presented his back at the on-coming Bruin. For some reason he decided to try to hit the breaks instead of cruising straight around the net and it cost him. Ference barely made contact but McD went flying. There was no intent to injure there. If anything, it should have been a two minute call but the refs saw McD on the ice and upped the punishment. Lucky for the Rangers, who needed the extra time to come though after wasting the first two minutes of the man advantage.
*Dan Girardi played more than Zdeno Chara. Let that one sink in. Dan-o was out there for 33:31 while the ginormous Slovak skated 'just' 32:19. Girardi didn't come close to murdering a few of his foes with his slap shot but still - that's crazy.
*How much had that shot hurt to send Brandon "It's Only Pain" Prust down the runway? And he returned to the game, what a warrior. And that diving call on him later on was total rubbish - one of the worst calls made on the Rangers this season.
*Speaking of the worst, Mike F-ing Rupp. How stupid do you have to be to accept an invitation to dance seconds after your team takes the lead on the road? Rupp could have skated away, and maybe even drawn a penalty to really put the Bruins on their heels. Instead he entertained Shawn Thornton and re-energized the entire Bruin team while bringing the building back into the game. He won the fight but lost the battle. Stupid.
*Ryan Callahan really is the right choice to be captain of the Rangers. Remember the debates we all had over the summer, whether it would/should go to him, Dubi, Staal or Richard$? They just seems so silly now because he has more than lived up to the letter. He gives his utter best every shift, no matter the cost on his body. That was one helluva shot to open the scoring and he was far and away the best Ranger not named Lundqvist.
*Carl Hagelin came close. The Sveedish Wolverine put in a lot of tough minutes and did not look the least bit out of place. While I still believe he should be reunited with John Mitchell, one thing is for certain: this kid will have himself one heck of a career. Bork bork bork!
*Brian Boyle really tried to play well, that was clear. It just didn't work out. In addition to his usual shortcomings Boyle was too late on his forecheck to stop the rush that resulted in the first Boston goal and he tipped the second past his own goaltender.
*Really had hoped Dubi would have been better against the Bs. He took an unfortunate penalty, was on the ice for both goals against and didn't get a single shot on goal. He has the body and aptitude to play a Boston-style game but he just didn't seem into it.
*Also lackadaisical was Richard$ - to the point where he reminded me of the other over-priced No. 19 who used to wear blue. He spent too much time out on the periphery and only got his assist on the game-winner because the rebound of his half-hearted backhand ended up on Gabby's stick. I imagine him listening to the Cure before the game, insisting that Boys Don't Cry.
*Del Zaster showed why he has no place playing big minutes against good teams. He couldn't create any offense, he couldn't handle the stronger forwards, he turned over the puck in his own end ... DZ seems to think that throwing his body across the ice is a good go-to move to break up plays while it should be nothing but a desperation move. On the first Boston goal he simply stood there while Krejci took his time and set up Ference.
*Arty should realize that with the trade deadline approaching he is rapidly becoming nothing more than trade bait. Anisimov barely saw action and for good reason - he couldn't match up in intensity or ability.
*The music played in TD Garden put the MSG selection to shame. Great songs and a well-played, beautiful old organ helped amp the intensity even further. Hearing Maxine Nightingale's "Right Back Where We Started From" - one of the signature songs from Slap Shot - played on the organ was incredible. Perfect hockey music.
*Nice to see Marc Savard again, too bad it was under the unfortunate circumstances. Liked him as a Ranger waaaay back when and will forever remember the classy tap on the pads after he was stopped by Lundqvist (I was at that game in Boston and utterly lost my mind when Hank made the grab).
*Thought Rich Peverley had a really, really good game for Boston. To think that Nashville gave up on this guy years ago is astounding.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Ryan Callahan - one goal and one assist.
2-Andrew Ference - one goal and one assist and one major penalty - proof the PHW puts these stars in too early.
1-Marian Gaborik - two goals.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Gabby - Two lucky bounces got him the puck and two lightning-fast releases got him goals.
2-Hank - The King made a lot of point-blank saves and kept the Rangers in it despite the Bruins pressure.
1-Cally - If only the captain could get all of his teammates to play with his intensity and dedication ...