Monday, February 13, 2012

36-13-5: Afternoon Delight

The Rangers were pressed into early action for the second straight day when they took on the Capitals in a matinee at MSG on Sunday. Less than 24 hours after beating the Flyers the Blueshirts were able to hold on and defeat DC 3-2.

Would like to wax poetic about the joy of beating Washington - screw you John Druce, where ever you are! How'dya like us now?!?! - but it is quite late so I will just cut to the chase, Late Hits:

*Amazing how fast emotions can turn: 'What an outstanding goal by Ryan McDonagh! OHNONONONONONONO, OUR SEASON IS OVER PLEASEGETUP PLEASEBEOK PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE!!!!!!!'

*There used to be a guy who played for Washington ... what was his name? Something Soviet. Oveski? Ovechov? Ovechlin? Ov ... Ov-something-or-another. That guy, he used to be good.

*But seriously, it was nice to see Staal and Girardi reunited late to counter the Cap captain. Even if it was just for a rare shift. As ranted here before, with Staal recovering, the defense needs to be balanced.

*Troy Brouwer scores that goal, I truly believe that the Rangers lose the game.

*Torts has the team running on three lines - which is working for now - but dangerous in the long run. All of the top teams in the NHL roll four competent lines.

*Del Zaster was +1. Cally was -1. Plus/minus is a stat of circumstance, not skill.

*I miss Tom Poti, I do.

*Wonder what flipped the switch for Dubi because he is all-in and his game is coming around. Neither were true at the start of the season.

*Anton Stralman fires the puck as hard as he could at the wrong spot and yet still Callahan was able to convert it for a goal. Beginning to run out of adjectives for the captain. And Cally very well could have had a hatty for the second straight day had the puck bounced his way on some of his other chances.

*Minutes before he opened the scoring with that goal, Brian Boyle went across the ice and appeared to nail a Capital with a high elbow behind the play but NBC never showed the replay. I think we are better off not seeing that again. Boyle, I simply don't get. He still doesn't seem to know how and when to use his size but not for a lack of trying. He is working as hard as anyone on this team and it is paying off in chances. If only he could bury more of them. But that doesn't seem to matter as Torts trusts him. To use Boyle and not Richard$ for back-to-back defensive zone faceoffs in the final seconds says a lot. (Of course, he won the first and lost the second, but I'm not dumping on him today.)

*Ranger power play returns to normal, goes 0-2.

*And finally, Brandon Prust scoring is great. Brandon Prust scoring shorthanded is even greater. Brandon Prust scoring shorthanded off of that money feed from Dubi is one of the top goals of the Ranger season.

*PHW Three Stars
3-Brandon Dubinsky - two assists.
2-Brandon Prust - one goal.
1-Ryan McDonagh - one goal.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Hank - The King hardly had to work against the Flyers but he came through with a few stellar stops in this one. And maybe Brouwer was just distracted by Hank's good looks and general awesomeness, making him miss that empty net.
2-Cally - The captain was all over the ice, doing everything and anything. Just another outstanding performance.
1-McD - Seriously, Ryan, don't fall down like that again. Ever. Please?


Fredrik said...

There is a saying in Sweden that translates to - "A good goalie is lucky" with the meaning that luck is deserved.

Dani G. said...

I'd guess the trade rumors flipped the switch for Dubi. That's when he seems to really turn it on for a few games. He did it last season also.

Pete said...

I think I agree with Dani. Though, I truly feel that Dubi was coming around for a longer time than the trade deadline could be considered "impending," Dubi HAS to know that his name is being bandied about all over the league right now. Hell, as much as I like the guy, even I can see him going to Columbus for Nash. And I don't think I'd cry too much about it. Besides, if there's anyone in the league who deserves a legit run at the cup before his 30's set in, it's Rick Nash. I'd still prefer to send them DelZotto, Kreider, and a pick for Nash and Tyutin, but...

For the trade deadline, my hopes for the Rangers are to either make a play for Nash, or do nothing, and let this team ride on the momentum they have legitimately built. They aren't perfect, but they are making it work. I wouldn't want them to make any changes that could potentially break that success for anyone but Nash at this point.