We all joked that once Torts went back to coaching the team it would regress and it has. The lines that worked so well have been broken up, new guys Brassard and Moore are seeing limited minutes, the power play was back to being predictable and the Rangers are allowing their opponents to do whatever they want, wherever they want.
No one is laughing now.
*Del Zastrous. Those who see his poor performance as an aberration
*Torts juggles the forwards lines incessantly and yet he stuck with the DZ/Girardi pairing despite consistent failures. Mind boggling.
*Yet another game where Girardi and McDonagh looked exhausted. Too many minutes over the last year and a half have taken their toll; Marc Staal can't return quick enough, and it is a shame Torts stopped trusting Moore already.
*Phil Kessel is Toronto's best player. Perhaps someone should cover him. Just a thought.
*Can't blame the posts in this one, both teams tasted iron several times.
*Typical Ranger performance, making a mediocre goaltender look like a god. Perhaps if they weren't so predictable Reimer wouldn't be able to square to every shot and take the puck in the logo. The goaltender was caught completely offguard when Step fired the puck past him rather than dumping it into the corner and 'grinding' the way they usually do.
*That was a beautiful shot by the True Blue trooper and Nash's singular effort on the Rangers' second goal was stellar. Maybe he felt he was back in Columbus, thinking "if I don't do it myself, no one else will."
*Brian Boyle. Enough with this oversized, understrengthed waste of a sweater already.
*Zuccarello has returned a different player than he was, one who is more willing to shoot. Combined with his sublime passing ability and decisiveness with the puck, he has clearly made the next step in his development. Once it all starts clicking - regular linemates might help - Zuke will be one helluva NHLer.
*PHW Three Stars:
3-Phil Kessel - two goals and one assist.
2-Rick Nash - two goals.
1-James van Riemsdyk - one goal and one assist.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Nash - That was one highlight goal by the hot dog, more than made up for kicking in the other one. Haha.
2-JvR - A big, power forward willing to work the tough areas to get goals? Hope Ryane Clowe took notes.
1-Kessel - Marian Gaborik played like that, for a spell ...