The Rangers overcame an atrocious opening on Saturday night with a pair of good periods to rally to a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
As we've seen many a time over recent seasons, the Rangers rarely come to play at the opening buzzer and this game was no different. The first period was an utter failure, complete with poor penalties, frivolous fights and disastrous and Del Zastrous defending.
And then the Rangers' top unit started playing like they should and Toronto couldn't counter. After the first period saw Rick Nash trying to showboat, he played smarter and simpler starting in the second and he helped his linemates bring the Blueshirts back. They took the wind out of the Leafs and led the home side to two important points.
*Enough with the nonsense. Asham fighting Brown and Rupp battling Orr back-to-back was senseless and stupid. Not to mention that both lost their bouts. They skated two minutes a piece ... while Torts and Sather both raved when adding these clowns that their abilities extended further than their fists. Well, the duo has proved that they don't even have that. There was a time not too long ago that we could be proud of our fourth line - hard-working folk heroes - but the current bunch brings nothing but shame.
*Hilarious how I pointed out that Wade Redden's goal gave him more than all seven of the Blueshirt blueliners and Staal came through with a goal an hour later. Guess they couldn't let Wade get bragging rights.
*And that was a gorgeous goal by our Staal. Perfect feed by Richards cross-ice to Gabby, then Gabby's soft send down to DZ, then a smooth pass back through the slot to Staal. Really pretty stuff.
*Do you think that playing with Pyatt has shamed Boyle into using his body better? His deflection of DZ's shot came because he was actually standing in front for a change. He couldn't do his usual drive-by of the goalmouth with Pyatt on the other side, so he stood there and DZ's shot hit off him and went in. Boyle has to use his size to be successful, has to.
*Love Carl Hagelin - Bork! - but the kid needs to be better. He skated in Sodertalje during the lockout with Philly's Matt Read. Read had a hat trick last night for the Flyers, Hagelin does not have three goals total over his last 40 NHL games (he's currently on a 34 game drought). That is simply unacceptable.
*Suggested Stralman should play on the power play last post and Torts actually tried it on this evening. And the Swede didn't look that bad there. If he gets half the time Del Zaster does, he could get comfortable and make some good things happen.
*Benn Ferriero skating on the second line was ridiculous. Hell, him skating for the Rangers at all is ridiculous. Another undersized, mediocre 'scorer' who accomplished nothing - even against an atrocious opponent.
*Had no idea that Phil Kessel and Nazem Kadri played last night. Despite their gaffe on the Grabovski goal, serious credit due to Girardi and McDonagh for shutting down the two Toronto scorers (even if Kessel hasn't been himself so far this season).
*Really hoping the Jason Arnott rumours are true (official announcement has not been made). Wanted him in 2010, want him now. Sure he is older and slower, but there is no back-down in his game. He is big, he is smart and he know what it takes to win - three qualities this team could use.
*PHW Three Stars:
3-Brad Richards - one goal and one assist.
2-Marc Staal - one goal and one assist.
1-Marian Gaborik - two goals and two assists.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Staal - Ya know, DZ had a good case for his first-ever inclusion in these stars but he wasted 5:21 of power play ice time. More than five minutes of man advantage time and nothing. Staal still has a long way to go to be the player he was before his brother hit him but he is making strides.
2-Richards - His nifty little passes have been spot-on of late and have keyed the Ranger offense.
1-Gabby - All of his seven points have come in two games; if he can find some success on a steady basis, the Blueshirts just might be in for a good season.