Thanks to Ryan Callahan the Blueshirts beat the hapless Hurricanes 4-3 in OT on Thursday night to secure a spot in the postseason. Woo hoo and yippee. Many of the Rangers' near-fatal flaws were on display and they nearly sent the season to what woulda been a hellish end against the Devils (because you just know the Jets woulda won). But
Coming off the failure in Florida the Blueshirts got off to a solid start with two first period goals but after the intermission they stopped play, they stopped skating, they stopped playing smart hockey. And Carolina came back with three in a row. If not for the fortunate bounce off the endboards and Dan Ellis' incompetence, the Rangers would have lost to the Hurricanes - not a good sign with the playoffs starting in just a few days.
But, you have to be in it to win it and all that jazz so at least that mission is accomplished. The next will be far tougher, and this team has to be far better if they are to finish that one ...
*Zuccarello vs. Skinner was the most adorable puck tussle since this.
*Congrats to Asham for spawning. Hopefully he will decide to be Mr. Mom and quit his job to care for the baby.
*Dan Girardi, 30 minutes and 32 seconds of ice time. The sad thing is that you can already seeing all of the mileage taking its toll on him - and McDonagh for that matter - but Torts just heaves them over the boards again and again and again. John Moore had another solid start, maybe he should be given more responsibility and ice time.
*If Marc Staal decides to join his brothers - if he ever recovers - the Rangers should try to get Justin Faulk in the deal (if Marc doesn't go the free agent route). That kid can play.
*Del Zaster was listed with two assists for the Rangers, neither of which he particularly worked hard to deserve. There were two shots between DZ's pass and Brassard's goal and on the Richard$, well, Dan Ellis scored that one. The one helper DZ should have been credited with was an assist on Tlusty's go-ahead goal, what a senseless, stupid feed. However, prior to that, DZ was the one Ranger in a good position on Ruutu's game-tying tally - he had the pass locked down on the two-on-one and Hank just bricked on the shot.
*Seriously, a Carolina journalist made DZ one of the stars. Hilarious.
*Car 61, where are you? Would be nice for Rick Nash to come through with a big goal against these bad teams. He has a three game goal drought and is in danger of his first sub-20 goal season since his rookie year.
*Hope Clowe is ok, really hope he doesn't play against the Devils. Staal rushed back after being hit by his brother and it cost him (and the Rangers) down the road. Best to err on the side of caution.
*PHW Three Stars:
3-Michael Del Zotto - two assists.
2-Jiri Tlusty - two goals.
1-Ryan Callahan - one goal and one assist.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Step - Where would the Rangers be without his offensive explosion this season?
2-Tlusty - The same guy who sent out nude pix when he was a Maple Leaf really has had himself a solid season - he has four more goals than Nash.
1-Cally - Really running out of superlatives for this guy. He's good.