Sunday, December 21, 2008
The New York Rangers, fresh off of a 3-2 win over the LA Kings, waded into Shark territory and basically did everything they had to in order to take down of the NHL's best teams. At the beginning of the game, the Rangers had to withstand early penalties that gave the Sharks a 2-man advantage and a subsequent 2 goal lead (Mara's penalty was crap). From there, I thought the Blueshirts were by far better team in this game. The team was led by not the so-called "leaders", rather they were led by players like Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky. These two took charge after Zherdev cut the lead to one - with a nice 5-hole shot on a 2 on 1.
You have to appreciate Ryan Callahan. Night after night he puts it all on the line for his team! He hustles, hits, and provides energy like no other does on this team... and for what? Less than a million? Anyways, his hustle lead to a goal where he charged to the net and backhanded a rebound off of a Dubinsky shot. Callahan's efforts again cut the lead back to one. Previously, Patrick Marleau bumped the lead back up to 2 on a goal that Henrik Lundqvist got caught napping on. At 3-2, the Rangers took over in the 3rd and it really looked like they were toying with the Sharks on numerous shifts throughout the 3rd period - but, they still could not find the net.
In the end, the Rangers were not rewarded for their efforts. As I mentioned earlier, the "leaders" and "stars" were missing in action. Guys like Dubinsky, Callahan, Betts, etc. were the reason why I thought the Rangers outplayed the Sharks for most of the night. I had some trepidation going into this one, but was pleasantly surprised how the Blueshirts took it to the Sharks without their stars providing any offense. On the downside, the scoring is still a major problem. Something has to give in sooner or later. Trades? Someone getting hot? I don't know what the answer is, but it's been a problem all year!
Oh, and one more thing... I am so glad that the Mats Sundin saga is finally over. We can finally take the "Swedish Meatball" off the menu once and for all. Hey, I know he's good, but where does he get off playing with the NHL like it was his own toy? Have fun in Vancouver Mats! Over and out!