Monday, December 21, 2009

17-16-3: Three In A Row!

There are many reasons to be happy and there are many reasons to be cautious when considering the Rangers 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. The Rangers got even strength goals, got great goaltending and won their third game in a row. All reason to celebrate. However, don't get too giddy. Marian Gaborik is carrying the Ranger offense singlehandedly, Henrik Lundqvist has had to be great in these games and the last three Ranger opponents have all sucked.

The Rangers turned the puck over time after time, there were Hurricanes getting open in good scoring positions left and right and the penalty kill was called upon three times to make up for lazy gaffes. Don't get me wrong, I am quite happy to see signs of life coming from the Rangers, but I refuse to get my hopes up as this franchise has crushed them time and time again. Teasing us with bursts of skill. Tempting with wins. Then looking DOA when really tested. These guys just beat the worst team in the NHL, how can you get too excited? They will face Florida on Wednesday - the Panthers beating up on Philly tonight - and the Isles on Saturday. We will see where we stand after those two ...

More on this one:

*You know what I love? When Micheletti rambles on about nothing, making himself giggle like a schoolgirl while play is going on. Love it. I also love that he gushes about Wade Redden and Donald Brashear every chance he gets. He definitely knows which way the wind blows.

*Michal Rozsival is still not No. 1 or 2 defenseman and certainly is not worth his contract. However, it must be said that he has been more decisive of late than he was to start this season (or all of last year) and was the best Blueshirt blueliner on this night. I can't believe I actually said that but it's true. His positioning was as good as it has ever been, he made smart passes and knock the puck into or past Hank. Which is always a good quality for a defenseman.

*Hobey and Wade returned and both fared fine. Hobey made a great pass early in the first and then faded into the background, which is fine for a young defenseman. Wade was more visible, if only because Micheletti pointed out everything he did whenever he did it. Staal, Rozy and Girardi took all of the hard minutes so we will have to wait a little bit longer to see if the demoting/benching worked.

*Tortorella kept switching Enver Lisin and Ales Kotalik between the third and fourth lines. The two were quite interchangeable with Lisin showing a bit more jump and Kotalik a little more physicality but otherwise they were nothing. That is sad when a $3 million dollar forward is playing every bit as good as a borderline NHLer, but at least he didn't give the Canes any breakaways.

*What can you say about Sergei Samsonov's goal? Dude pulled an old school wrap around with Hank too far out of his crease to get back. The best part about it is that Ward over-committed just as Hank did seconds later, allowing Gabby to tie the game with an open shot from the slot.

*So there was Vinny Prospal! After several games of invisibility he was spotted turning the puck over a few times and taking a bad penalty. It is a long season but it seems like a heckuva long time since he was relevant. He collected an assist on the tic-tac-toe Dubi goal but for the most part has been a shadow of the player who started the season with something to prove.

*Anyone else harbour some hatred for Cullen and Ward? Reverse carpetbaggers.

*I enjoyed watching Rod Brind'Amour play from his St. Louis days but his time has clearly gone. His skills have withered to the point where my dad figures that Brind'Amour is still in hockey either playing for the love of the game or the paycheque ($3.6 mil) ...

*At least Erik Christensen is collecting a NHL salary, considering he isn't getting a real chance at being a NHL player. Putting the poor guy over the boards with Donald Brashear is just criminal. Christensen forechecked well, actually carried the puck well, and on one rush got into scoring position but dished the puck to Brashear. I know you will be surprised to hear it, but the puck did not end up in the Carolina net. Amazing.

*PHW Three Stars
3-Henrik Lundqvist - 32 saves.
2-Brandon Dubinsky - one goal and one assist.
1-Marian Gaborik - one goal and one assist.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Rozy - Seriously, Rozy was good. He even bailed out Staalsie when he went chasing after a few hits. I am as surprised as you are.
2-Gabby - His talent was never questioned, just his ability to stay healthy. He has been healthy and he has been showing off his talent. And damn, that man is good.
1-Hank - One bad goal, no shots over his shoulder and several stellar saves.


Anonymous said...

Brashear, while he doesn't play many minutes, is painful to watch when he is on the ice. I feel sorry for him. He is soooo slow and it is past time for him to hang up the skates.
Glad to see the Rangers win the last three. It's a good sign, but I'm not going to get ahead of myself.

mike said...

Aaron Ward is a douche.

Scott Walker was right.

Ilikebeinganonymous said...

(My Scotty Hockey Impression on his comment on the Puck Daddy Blog): "WWAAAAHHH!!!! Borduer got the shutout record but it is easy when you play behind the greatest defensive players of all time!!! WAAAAHHH!!!!! Hank has been so great behind Renney's system but now he is very average this season behind a less defensive system!! That means my previous arguement like every other Ranger idiot is that Broduer is so good because of the system goes down the drain!! WAAHH!!!"
Scotty- Just admit it, he is the best there is and the best ever. Hank will long be forgotten in 20- years while Marty will still have those records.

mike said...

Scotty--looks like someone else besides Aaron Ward is a douche today.....

It's pretty cool how much he likes being anonymous as well. And it's also cool how he trolls your blog to tout that fat family-wrecking overrated Devil latest career highlight. Coolest of all though, is his spelling of Mr. Brodeur as "Borduer" make two spelling mistakes in a seven-letter name requires a special level of intelligence.

Kingrich45 said...

I have to agree with the Aaron Ward statements, Cains put him on waivers last week anybody want him? Didn't think so

It was interesting to listen to the Carolina post game down here. When your the worst team in hockey the bar gets lowered big time and they were talking about how the Rangers played such great defense and had a good powerplay ?!?! seriously; I guess its all relative

Then they just kind of drooled over Gaborick for while... good to see the Rangers win and hopefully they get another two points on new years eve down here

Ilikebeinganonymous said...

hahaha again the Ranger cry-baby fans have to resort to pointing out spelling mistakes in order to make a point. Funny how every time Brodeur breaks a record, the Ranger idiots come out in force in a mass crying hysteria to say how overrated he is, his family life, etc. Well if you want to talk about personal lives of our players, let's talk about the personal lives of Avery and Theo "rehab" Fluery. Rangers won 3 in a row against the most candy-ass teams in the league and now I guess the Rangers are the main contenders for the cup!
Haha keep celebrating 1994 guys, because right now it is 15 years and counting....

Anonymous said...

Devils fans are so gay for the Rangers, they can't stand they they've been the most succesful area team in the past decade and yet still no one gives a shit about them. Brodeur is probabably the best ever, we'll all give you that, but to say that the system he played in didn't help that is crazy. Roy faced 2000+ more shots in 16 fewer games. Sawchuck played with smaller pads in systemless hockey. You gotta take that into account.

Anonymous said...

Brodeur is good, but he wouldn't be nearly as good w the Rangers' team in front of him.
Lundqvist is good, but he would be great if he had the Devs team in front of him.
You can't discount the team that plays in front of the crease.

Scotty Hockey said...

Mmmmaaaarrrttttyyyy never, EVER played with a defense as poor as that of the Rangers. No Rozsival, no Malik, no Redden, no Poti, no Ulanov, no Mironov, no Quintal, no Purinton ... the Rangers in front of Richter and the Rangers in front of Hank (and the Habs in front of Roy and the Sabres in front of Hasek) were far worse defensively than the Devils, and never played the defensively responsible trap so don't even compare. Clown.

mike said...

Not only are Devils fans clowns, but how do you excuse a person like Marty Brodeur who destroys TWO families? All Theo Fleury ever did was hurt himself with drugs, he wasn't out there damaging the lives of his own children by sleeping with his brother-in-law's wife. And all Sean Avery did was insult a fellow player and a Hollywood actress....again, both Fleury and Avery managed to stay away from being sexual predators around their own family members. Cocaine use and a big mouth aren't nearly as evil as the actions of Mr. Brodeur towards his own family.

I guess in the land of the Devils fans it's OK to do whatever you want to whomever you want. Either that, or they're all hot and bothered by celebrity athletes who behave like above-the-law assholes.

Pete said...

Hahaha! You know you're loved when jackasses read your comments on OTHER boards and come to your board to flame you.

Marty was great, but not nearly as great as he believes he was. It takes a special kind of arrogance to have your own logo drawn up, with your initials and player number, and plaster it on the front of your helmet. It's like a billboard for douchebaggery. What? The big ol' 30 on the back of your shirt, right under the name Brodeur, that isn't enough recognition? Why even bother putting a devil's tail on the logo? It's not about him being a devil. It's about him being the only devil that matters enough to have his own logo. A penis and two balls would be a much more appropriate logo for him. By the way, I hope to God that one of his kids drew that logo up, because, really, if he paid someone to do it...that's just kind of sad.

Ilikebeinganonymous said...

If you want to talk about arrogance, just look at Sean "Mr. Faggy Vogue" Avery. That guy cannot stand a single day without someone paying attention to that idiot. To say that Brodeur not being as great if he had a poor offense is just sad. Funny, when Gretzky was traded to LA from edmonton, while still very productive, he never reached the same production as he did with Edmonton. I guess he is overrated then as well as Guy Lafluer, who spent most of his career with Montreal during their dynasty years. I guess it is easy to rack up the points when you have Larry Robinson, Ken Dryden, Jacques Lemaire, Cournoyer, etc...
The best part of this arguement is how the Ranger fans cannot take it when a Devil breaks a record. While I have always hated the Rangers collectively, I still admired individual players such as Leetch and Richter. However, Ranger fans every time they hear about a Devils player making an accomplishment, they go into hysterics about it is the system and they are overrated. Hey, our arena may be only half-full on some nights, but from what I hear so is the Garden lately. However, at least our team actually wins and often! I cannot wait another 5 years when it has been a good 20 years since 1994 and we can start chanting "1994" at Prudential.

Pete said...

I don't think it's too early to start chanting 1994 fact, it might be the PERFECT year, since I don't think this team is going to make it to the playoffs.

Until Avery changes a part of his uniform to promote himself, Fatso wins the most arrogant title, hands down.

Scotty Hockey said...

ilikebeinganonymous - I've always given credit to Stevens and Daneyko for being two of the best defensive defensemen of their day. I've always respected Johnny Mac for his hard work and dedication. I've even given credit to Langenbrunner because he is a tough SOB. But Mmmmaaarrrtttyyy? Nope, nada - because it isn't deserved.