Tuesday, April 2, 2013

17-15-3: Home Grown Heroes

For all of the asinine pre-season predictions touting victory after victory and a shiny Cup in the Rangers' future, not a one said that the Blueshirts would go only as far as Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan would take them. But that is where we are right now, as their efforts have spurred most of the Ranger success to date.

Cally has six of New York's 14 special team goals and when Step scores the side is 9-1-1. The True Blue duo drove their team to a 4-2 victory over the Southeast Division-leading Atlanta Thrashers Winnipeg Jets with three goals and three assists between the two of them. As ranted in this space a few weeks back, the mercenaries are supposed to supplement the home grown talent and, on this night, Rick Nash did just that. The former BJ rode his linemates coattails for two points, a goal and an assist. Nash, so used to doing things himself, still needs to adapt to being a bit player and lining up alongside selfless players like Cally and Step should certainly help.

Let's see how long this line combo lasts, as Torts juggles more than a clown in a circus. And he's far less coordinated. Once the team faces some adversity, say on the first or second shift on Wednesday, it's a sad certainty that they'll be broken up. Sad, sad, sad.

Late Hits:

*Hard to imagine but even Hobey Gilroy would be better on defense than Roman Hamrlik. So would a nun with a ruler, a traffic cone or a sign that says 'Beware of Dog.'

*Cally's goal? Wow. Just ... wow. Did you know he had that in him? Can't say I did. He's outstanding.

*Poor penalties aside, Zuke had a terrific game. The minute Norwegian knows what to do with the puck and does it. Decisiveness is an asset.

*The penalties have to stop. Even with Powe rightfully back in the lineup, the team can't give good teams those opportunities night after night.

*Explain how getting 3:23 of ice time is beneficial to Chris Kreider's career. You can't. Torts can't, and he is the bench boss who gave it to him.

*Brian Boyle ... steaks are tougher than he is. Amazing how he gets pushy once the stripes show up; I think there are harder shoves in the mosh pit at a Nickleback show.

*Sad how JT Miller was benched when it was Boyle who blew the faceoff leading to Bogosian's goal. As usual, Torts would rather 'teach lessons' to younger players rather than show some actual accountability.

*For all his money Brad Richard$ can't even buy an empty net goal. Kinda pathetic, especially as we are the ones who gave him that money.

*Going to the net is a good thing. Someone remind Pyatt of that.

*PHW Three Stars:
3-Henrik Lundqvist - 26 saves.
2-Derek Stepan - two goals.
1-Ryan Callahan - one goal and three assists.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Girardi - Over 29 minutes of ice time, no points for Evander Kane.
2-Step - Time to stitch a letter on his sweater. Take it off of Richard$ sweater.
1-Cally - Selfless. Skilled. Tenacious. If there was only a way to clone him ...

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