Wednesday, March 28, 2012
48-21-7: Nothing Wild About That Win
It would be easy to re-write the usual rant about the Rangers playing down to the level of their opponents. It would be easy to talk about how the man advantage is no advantage for the Rangers. It would be easy to attack a Ranger team that played grinding, boring hockey on their way to a grinding, boring 3-2 win over a bad Wild team.
Instead I'll rant at the fact that neither MSG nor the Rangers made any mention of Mike Sauer or Derek Boogaard. For all of the talk about the team being in Minnesota and all of the homecomings for the guys, both were ignored.
Sauer's serious concussion has kept him away from the ice and - guessing here because the team releases no information - will keep him away from it for a long, long time. But he is still a member of the franchise and it should have at least been mentioned by MSG (or by his teammates) that he is from St. Cloud, Minnesota. As we heard in the sad story of Boogaard, being away from the guys makes the injured player feel like he isn't a part of the team and adds to the depression they already feel. So certainly being ignored as being one of the Minnesota-born Rangers stung Sauer.
As for Boogaard, you just have to shake your head. The Rangers were partly culpable in the Boogeyman's demise and have done their best to sweep everything about his death under the rug. First they give it lip service in the home opener, then they decide not to wear patches this season but to put helmet stickers on - stickers that are almost impossible to see, even with HDTV. And when the team stepped into the XCel Center, they didn't do anything publicly to honour the man. Perhaps a player or two stopped by the memorial in the arena but as a team - nothing. I tweeted yesterday that a simple, classy gesture like sending the guys out in sweaters with Boogey's name and number would have gone a long way. But that would have been a salute to a player the team helped kill (with all of the prescriptions), and they couldn't have that. Sad.
The boys are back in action tomorrow so just a few Late Hits:
*Gabby's goal was sexy. Fedotenko's goal was not. But both were from the same basic play - get the puck deep along the wall and blindly fire it to the slot, (hopefully) to a cutting teammate. Richard$ won the faceoff and ended up making a beautiful pass to Gabby, who fired across his body to beat Harding. Feds forced the turnover, the puck swung all the way around the ice and Feds slid backwards out into the slot, where McDonagh's feed found him. Nice to see something that Torts has done has worked.
*Del Zaster played 7:10 of the eight minutes of power play time; the power play went 0-4.
*Hank made 24 saves and could hardly be faulted for the two goals against. It would nice to give him credit for a return to form but this was against Minnesota and they are terrible. Let's see what happens against a good team.
*It is really easy to forget how fast Dubi is when he is tied to ponderous linemates.
*Speaking of, Brian Boyle had one of his better games. Goal aside, things just seemed to work better for him - perhaps because the Wild aren't a quick team, or perhaps just because it was his night. As was observed to me, he may struggle quite often but he always tries his hardest - something several of his teammates does not do.
*Arty was all but invisible.
*Ryan Callahan is such a great captain. Just sayin'.
*Always brings a smile to see Jed Ortmeyer doing what he does in the NHL. Not the biggest guy, not the most skilled guy, but guts count and guts has given him a NHL career. Definitely glad Stu decided not to kill him in the third period.
*Anton Stralman returned and collected an assist on the Boyle goal thanks to his shot from the blueline. Nice to see him contribute, but would have been nicer to get Timmy Erixon more experience.
*Marc Staal played just 12:28. Huh?
*PHW Three Stars
3-Kyle Brodziak - one goal.
2-Marco Scandella - one assist.
1-Ryan McDonagh - two assists.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Harding - Nearly gave this star to Brodziak for his goal and his penalty killing but Harding was capable and hardly culpable for the goals against.
2-McDonagh - Mac's two assists helped offset the two Minnesota goals he was on for.
1-Boyle - The big man won faceoffs, fired the puck freely and skated away with a goal. Dubi deserves some recognition but he saw nearly three minutes of power play time so he can''t escape that ineptitude.