Sunday, March 27, 2011

41-30-5: Beatin' Bahston Rahks Wicked Hahd

On March 21st, 2010 the Rangers lost 2-1 to Boston in one of their worst efforts of the season. They bounced back by beating the Islanders 5-0 three days later. On March 24th, 2011 the Rangers lost 2-1 to Ottawa in one of their worst efforts of the season. They bounced back Saturday with a 1-0 win over the Bruins.

Seeing as five goals against the Islanders pretty much equates to one against Boston, I would say that is an interesting co-inky-dink. The fact is being bandied about is the Rangers having scored just three goals over the last three games and yet came away with five out of six points. The numbers themselves are quite surprising and it is outright shocking when you consider how poorly they played against Florida and Ottawa. But those two games in the Garden simply can't compare to this one in the Gahden.

There have been a few times this season that the opponent has upped their effort and threw everything - including the kitchen sink - at the Ranger crease. And the Rangers, well, the Rangers were outstanding. Pressure builds diamonds and the Blueshirts shone as Boston upped the ante. It was periods like the third that give faith that this team has what it takes to win somewhere down the line. They can survive the siege, just wait until they go on the offensive.


*As the saying goes, "if you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'" so the talk about Prospal sliding into the circle before the puck drop is ridiculous. It happens on many faceoffs; Prospal tried to stop, the linesman wasn't paying attention, so be it, it happens. Both Boston defensemen were standing still and Rich Peverley - who lost the draw in the first place - watched the puck and let Step skate by to get into position for the redirection. Whoops, his bad. THe linesman screwed up but this whole thing would be moot if three Bs did their jobs.

*Patrice Bergeron is not the kind of player out to injure another guy. He just isn't. But, that being said, he made no attempt to avoid Lundqvist and slammed hard into Hank. And for that he should have been destroyed by the Blueshirts but, yet again, they decided to err on the side of caution and not take an extra penalty. How many hits does it take to knock Lundqvist out? We are slowly finding out because no one has the nerve to send the message, damn the consequences.

*Would really love if the Rangers could get a Milan Lucic-type player.

*Hate Boston but damned if Shippin' Up To Boston by the Dropkick Murphys isn't one heckuva catchy tune. Far better than that Jay Z New York crap.

*Nice of Sean Avery to come back to the lineup. He instantly made an impact by breaking up a Boston breakaway. Granted, it was by fighting Greg Campbell and surely getting back into the league's ill graces. Let's hope Sean doesn't sneeze on anyone next game because he is sure to get the book thrown at him. Perhaps Torts realized that so he limited him to less than six minutes.

*As a coworker called them - Avery-Christensen-Wolski: the "I Don't Know What To Do With You" line.

*Wolski, Christy, Dubi, Staal and McCabe all had more than five minutes of power play time and the unit went 0-4. They had a few good moments when they actually did the unthinkable and go to the net but they just couldn't beat Rask. Given the way they have played this year it really needs to be renamed a man disadvantage.

*Love the older lady with the hardhat and flashing glasses. They showed her during the second intermission and she sits near me in the Garden. There just aren't enough Ranger fan personalities left anymore. And no, Larry doesn't count. His schtick is old and annoying and he simply can't dance. The fat guy in Philly is so much better, and that is simply sad.

*Anyone else - aside from the Bruins - miss seeing Marc Savard out there?

*PHW Three Stars
3-Tuukka Rask - 22 saves.
2-Dan Girardi - no points.
1-Henrik Lundqvist - 26 saves.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Hank - While the defense was stellar, someone still had to stop the puck and the King did just that. Lundqvist was strong - as he often is - and he hung in there after the crash to survive the trainwreck of a third period.
2-Girardi - Danny G was one of those who helped Hank get by. He played his position, he covered for Staal, he was physical ... good stuff.
1-Ryan McDonagh - Do you recall the "Thank You Kessel" chants in Boston earlier this season after Tyler Seguin scored on Toronto? The Rangers should bust out a "Thank You Gomez" for McD. This kid is proving to be a gift and one much needed and well received.

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