Tuesday, February 14, 2012
37-13-5: Not So Big, Not So Bad
The Rangers visited Boston for the second time this season and they skated away with two points for the second time this season. Three weeks after Marian Gaborik scored to give the Blueshirts a 3-2 overtime win, the team needed no such heroics on Tuesday. Well, no one moment of heroics - Hank put forth his usual herculean effort to give the Rangers a 3-0 shutout victory over the reigning Stanley Cup champion Bruins.
If the Bs are indeed the gritty Americans who rebelled against England, well then the Rangers are a tough band of vikings led by a Swedish King who have conquered the Causeway. Hank has played the Bruins 25 times in his career and is 18-5-2 with six shutouts, a gaa that is roughly 1.50 and a save % of roughly .950. While nothing will ever unseat this as my favourite Lundqvist save vs. Boston, he made several sharp stops among his 42 saves on this night. And his serfs served up three goals against Timmy Thomas and the team was able to skate away with a heckuva win.
*Yet again the Rangers did not play 60 minutes. A bad start allowed the Bruins to press the action for the first 15 minutes before the Blueshirts showed up to play. And yet, when those 15 minutes were over it was the Rangers who were ahead thanks to a power play goal (of all things). Boston pressed the action all night, dominating play and attempting an astounding 79 shots but the Rangers won. Remarkable.
*The Blueshirts blocked 22 shots and just two were not credited with at least one: Staal and Stepan. Weird how the puck bounces sometimes.
*The other key to victory aside from the King was how the Rangers handled Zdeno Chara. The biggest of the Bruins was not given any time or space anywhere on the ice and Boston couldn't adapt without their cap. The Rangers were constantly all over the Slovak with Arty battling him behind the Boston net, Derek Stepan checking him hard at the Ranger blueline, Hank stopping six of his shots and McD banking the puck off of one of his beanstalks for the second Ranger goal.
*If you aren't contributing on the scoreboard you have to contribute elsewhere. And that is exactly what Brad Richard$ did in this one. Richard$ showed off his ice sight with solid defensive positioning and smart passing to move the puck to good spots.
*Torts had to limit the minutes Del Zaster and Stralman saw because they just can't keep up with talent like Boston. If Sauer is indeed done for the season, Sather would be best served bringing in a big body to help out. Hal Gill as a Ranger? Feels dirty to say but might be necessary.
*What is Mike Rupp's purpose again? He was even on the ice when Bruins crashed the Ranger net and nothing.
*So thankful Pruster didn't throw down with Lucic. He would give Lootch a run for his money but his shoulder probably would not survive.
*Dubi just missed making my stars but with an assist and 10 stitches, he certainly made a good case.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Ryan McDonagh - one goal.
2-Ryan Callahan - one goal.
1-Henrik Lundqvist - 42 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Arty - Shocked as you are that he is here and yet the big Russian kid had one of his best games to date. He did not back down physically to anyone, won a battle against Chara and scored with a sexy snipe.
2-Cally - Grind on captain, grind on.
1-Hank - All hail.