Sunday, April 7, 2013

19-15-4: Hank Stops The Hurricanes

The Rangers survived quite the storm on Saturday night as Henrik Lundqvist was forced to weather 49 shots in what would be a 4-1 win over Carolina by the Blueshirts. The stellar Swede showed the skills that helped him earn the Vezina Trophy last season and have put him in line for a repeat.

Why is it when the Rangers inflate the save total of opposition goaltenders, it is with low percentage shots but when Hank gets hammered, it is by a continual deluge of scoring chances? And to give up that many opportunities to a sub-par non-playoff team ... ?

Those are rhetorical questions at this point but the real query is what was the cost to the King? Thus far this year Hank suffered headaches (no one wants to call it a concussion) and suffered a sore hamstring in the home-and-home with Pittsburgh. How much more can he handle?

Even in the triple overtime game against Washington last season Hank only faced 46 shots by the time Gabby scored the winner (and stopped 45). It's clear all of the ice time has taken a toll on McDonagh and Girardi, but Hank has been there to bail them out. What will happen should he finally break down? Shudder to think ...

Late Hits:

*Accountability. Brian Boyle takes two terrible penalties and helps Carolina break Hank's no-no. And yet he played over 19 minutes (including three and a half on the power play), never missed a shift and was out on the ice to score an empty net goal as time expired. But Torts will scream at the youngsters and bench the superstars. Just doesn't make much sense.

*John Moore has gone from 14 to 10 to seven minutes of ice time over his three games for no reason that I could see. The kid can skate, move the puck and get out of trouble ... except trouble with Torts. Next time the bench boss will probably banish him to the press box and force us to watch Hamrlik again. Nooooooo!!!!!!

*Two power play goals. In one game. By the Rangers. Whaaaa? Step's strike came off the rush after Richards took advantage of McBain's mistake to find the former Badger alone in the slot. Nash's came on a nice spin-and-shoot after a fine feed from Zuke, moments after the Blueshirts gained the zone. There was no establishing themselves, wasting time and telegraphing passes - they moved in and scored.

*Sure Dan Ellis is awful, but it was still sweet to see Nash pick his pocket and thread a perfect pass back into the crease for Cally to capitalize upon.

*They should claim that it is part of the league's environmental action but the Rangers might as well paint their own blue line green because opponents are free to slide on in. Clowe has brought the advertised toughness but he can't break up rushes on his own.

*Even though he came away -1, Carl Hagelin had himself one of his better games. The kid is relentless and can skate, but he will have to start scoring soon - one goal in his last 19 and one assist in his last nine.

*PHW Three Stars:
3-Jeff Skinner - one assist.
2-Rick Nash - one goal and one assist.
1-Henrik Lundqvist - 48 saves.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Step - All it took was adjusting back to American ice after his Finnish foray and he's setting himself up for quite the payday this summer.
2-Nash - As many goals as Crosby this season (15), in two less games (thanks to both of their injuries).
1-Hank - Another royal performance by Manhattan's monarch.

1 comment:

Paul said...

It's very rare that I am annoyed at the Rangers when they win by 3 goals but I was after this game. If it wasn't for Lundqvist and the poor play of Ellis they would've been blown out by a team that had lost 10 out if its last 11 going into the game. I'll take the 2 points though.