Thursday, March 6, 2008

35-24-9: Rangers Return To Form

Unlike the sloppy debacle that was the shootout on Tuesday, Thursday's 4-1 win looked a lot more like the rivalry game that it was supposed to be. Both teams skated hard, both teams checked hard and the Rangers won ... who could ask for anything more?

*Well, I guess I could. As I've said before, the worse part of away games is having to listen to Joe Micheletti. If his 'performance' during this game didn't bother you to the point of wanting to put a screwdriver through your eardrum, you must be deaf.

*Do you think Glen Sather wants to reopen contract negotiations with Sean Avery now? I don't either, but he should. Avery was stellar, not only in scoring a pair, but in being Sean Avery. He pissed off the Isles kids, and didn't retaliate when they flew off the handle and went after him. He was everything we wanted and hoped he would be and he deserves to write his own check. Say what you want about his play setting himself up to miss games with injury, but he is more important to the success of the Ranger than any player on the ice, including Hank.

*On his goal to make it 2-0, Marek Malik kept the puck in the zone and threw it towards Avery with a great pass/shot that Sean was able to deflect in. It was maybe the first time that Malik was able to keep the puck in this season. He usually loses it in his feet, or watches as it bounces past him. Kudos to him for doing his job, although he did deflect in the lone Isles goal so I guess we are just at par for the course.

*Meanwhile, Rozy and Backman were both horrid in the Rangers end but you know what? That is also getting to be a regular thing. Rozy at least made a few good offensive plays; the only redeeming quality about Backman's play was that he didn't take any dumb penalties.

*Luckily Hank looked like he regained some form. Under excessive pressure late in the first period he stood tall and managed to get through the second with just one deflected goal against despite his team being outplayed in front of him. I am not about to give him back the keys to the kingdom - it isn't like the Isles have any top tier scorers that he had to stop - but he definitely banged out some dings in his rusty crown.

*I have to give credit where credit is due and Jaromir Jagr had a strong game. He skated well, he moved the puck well, he didn't take any stupid, lazy penalties and he made Witt a complete nonfactor.

*It was great to see Ranger fans sitting right behind the Islanders bench in the Islanders building. And to hear all of the 'Let's Go Rangers' chants? Truly heartwarming ... Man, the Isles are such a joke of a franchise. They rant and rave how much they hate the Rangers but without us, they would lose four sellout games and their 1980s Cup teams can only come out so often.

*For all of the happiness that comes with beating them, it wasn't like the Rangers played a NHL team. They were still the same Sound Tigers that the Blueshirts lost to in overtime. The difference was that the Rangers actually showed up to play in this one as an organized team, rather than that disgrace that wore their jerseys on Tuesday.

*Once Nigel Dawes gets some more confidence - especially in his shot - there is no reason he can't become a Marty St. Louis-type player. He is small, quick and sees the ice exceptionally well. He played a good game and his assist on Shanny's goal was top notch.

*PHW Three Stars
3-Shanny - one goal.
2-Avery - two goals.
1-Hank - 26 saves.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Dawes/Staal/Dubi/Girardi - our kids outplayed theirs.
2-Drury - he played a complete game and kept the Rangers from falling apart despite a disappointing second period.
1-Avery - just sign the man already.


Brother P said...

I can't even believe I'm about to type this BUT the PASS by Malik to Avery was GREAT. Scotty he clearly was passing the puck.

The Dark Ranger said...

Backman is making Malik look like daisies...he's gotta be choking Slat's Chicken!!?

These back-to-back matchups couldn't have been more apart from each other. I agree with many of your points, Scotty -- additionally, our defensive in general felt very much like the first couple of months last fall where the Rangers protected their zone well and Henk made up for the difference. Last night was that game plus an aggressive three lines shooting goals. They looked like a confident and winning team.

When you look at 9 wins, 0 losses in regulation and 3 'aint too shabby. Only four points away from leading the Eastern Conference -- a sad statement when you look toward the Western Conference and see where all those points went....

Jibbles did a great job on my site last night...throw him some love.


Scotty Hockey said...

Brother - the only reason I said pass/shot is that he has never been one to make a strong pass, so to get the puck all the way over there to Sean, he must have put the extra oomph into it that he would a shot.

TDR - I think you nailed it with the confidence factor. They did play strong, but you have to imagine a certain spring in your step when you are beating up an AHL team ...

Anonymous said...

Can I just ask why Strudwick and Hollweg have been scratched? I seeing them after our win on Thursday in suits "pounding it" with the their teammates just made me sad...I'd much rather have Strudwick out there than Backman..

Also, does anyone know how Shanny does it? I mean at 39 he's ancient in this game, but he plays like he's 20...and he's got a fierce/beastly slapshot.

Any hope there's another season in him as a Ranger??

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