Rangers Take First 2 on the Road

Thursday, December 18, 2008

With the Mats Sundin drama finally winding down (hopefully), the New York Rangers have quietly taken the first 2 games of a 3 game Western Conference road trip. In Anaheim, the Blueshirts played one of their best overall games in quite sometime, with a 3-1 victory over the Ducks. I felt that the Rangers took away the passing lanes and really clogged up Anaheim's offensive attack. Henrik Lundqvist finally had an easy night turning away just 19-20 shots. The scorers for the Rangers were: Christ Drury, Nigel Dawes, and Nik Zherdev (who was awarded a goal when Anaheim pulled their goalie and took down Zherdev on a breakaway). You gotta like the effort by the Rangers in this game, outshooting the Ducks 30-20. The Rangers really deserved this one as they played a perfect road game. Smart and good defensive play usually gives you a shot at winning on the road.

Now, on to LA... what a difference a day makes! The Rangers were outplayed for the most part in this game. But, in the end, they don't draw pictures on a score sheet and the final result was a 3-2 OT victory over the LA Kings. If not for the super, and I mean super, effort of Steve Valiquette in net for the Rangers - it would have been a blowout for the Kings! I really don't know what happened to the Rangers, as they left whatever legs they had behind on the ice in Anaheim. No excuse for it.

Patrick O'Sullivan opened the scoring up for LA, with Chris Drury tying it up late in the 1st on a shot that goalie Jason LaBarbera wishes he could have back. The Rangers were lucky to escape the 1st with a tied score. The Rangers then took a 2-1 lead on a weird and wacky play on the PP. Sean O'Donnell slapped a broken stick towards Michal Rozsival, who was manning the point on the PP. Rozsival, who had the puck at the time, was then awarded with a penalty shot. Rozy made the Kings pay with a nice fake and backhand that would of made Alexander Ovechkin proud. Nice job Rozy!

In the 3rd, the Rangers got caught running around and staring at the puck when Dustin Brown tied it up at 2 a piece (Boy, is Dustin Brown a player). For the rest of the 3rd period, the teams tried but could not end it in regulation - that's where Michal Rozsival steps in. Rozsival ended it in OT with a blast from the point that would not be denied. Rozy's laser found the top right corner of the net and left a stunned LA Kings crowd and a jubilant Rangers squad.

2 for 2 so far with the big bad monster, the San Jose Sharks, just ahead on Saturday. You would think the drama of the Sundin decision might have some effect on the current roster, but so far so good! Good game in Anaheim, not so good in LA... but still 2 wins. What's to complain about if you're a Ranger? Over and out!


Wrath of Sanity said...

The Kings sure are an exciting team. What a game last night. Nice to see Rozy show some flashes of what he could be if he just shot the puck some more.

Check out this video of Dustin Brown: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tROEIVvo7Dc

To think we could of had him or Zach Parise, but we took Jessiman. Oh well.

Kotsy's Korner said...

wrath of sanity: Wrath, when you criticize players you got to give them their props as well.
Rozy deserved some recognition last night.

The Kings are a young and skilled team. They will be tough to beat in the years to come.

Yes, Dustin Brown is a total player. The video was fantastic.

JohnM said...

Every newspaper and Ranger broadcaster will be screaming Roszival today. To the point that he will seem like he was Joe Namath.
The real story is Chris Drury . He is getting hot. He can carry the Rangers when he gets going. Jason Labarbara is a mediocre NHL goalie at best. The Rangers executed the way they are supposed to.
I am ready for the real test in the Shark Tank. Otherwise enjoy the Roszival love in today in the media. I will pass thank you.

Kotsy's Korner said...

JohnM: JohnM, It's not a love in for Roszival but for one night he was palatable. I know Roszival has played poorly all year, But there are others who fit in that category as well and "Captain" Drury is one of them.

You can't score in bunches and tell me everthing is okay. He gets paid to produce on a consistent basis. I hope you are right and I 100% AGREE we need Chris Drury to continue to cook and stay hot.

The monster awaits the Rangers in Sharkland. I hope Detroit takes to the Sharks tonight and softens them up for the Blueshirts.

I love the Joe Namath line.

Jeff said...

We forget too easily Rozsival faced hip surgery in the off season, he needs time to play at 100%. I'm and will always (until a certain point) defend him. We need him in defense. And same for Drury, I believe in him.

I heard on a Canadian webradio, Sundin should announce his decision tomorrow. That's enough for me. This waiting has lasted too long. I don't want him to be a Ranger.

Jeff said...

TSN.ca just announced Sundin joins the Nucks.


Kotsy's Korner said...

jeff:Jeff, We all want the Rangers to do well and win the Cup. I think Ranger fans can all agree on that.

I just believe if your gonna bask in the glory when things go well with a certain player, then that player should be called out when the opposite occurs.

Too often I have heard excuse's made by the Fans, Media and TV broadcasters for certain players that they have obviously fallen in love with. That doesn't cut it with me.

Does it mean I don't cheer for Drury or Rozy? I want ALL Rangers to be the best and when they are not.... Well you deserve what you get.

Sundin HAS! to perform over and above what is expected or he will be taken to task by the Ranger faithful.

Kotsy's Korner said...

jeff: Jeff, I just finished answering you and you give me this wonderful news.

Good luck Mr. Sundin you played the NHL like a fiddle and it worked. The NHL should be ashamed that they allowed this to happen.

Thanks Jeff you made my day.

Leatherneck said...

thank goodness he isnt a Ranger

Kotsy's Korner said...

leatherneck: AAAAH, that's me breathing easier. Thanks Vancouver! This guy played the league like he's the greatest player of all time.

I was talking with my wife and said to her "Who does this guy think he is" She quickly answered "He's what ever the league allowed him to be" Could not have said it better.

Leatherneck said...

I agree...infact...Sundin has never even been to the Stanley Cup Finals...haha...thank you Vancouver and as for the league...agreed there and i was so ashamed that the Rangers were even associated to his name..dont mean to be rude about a person..but he is no say Messier or a Bellavuie or an Orr, Bobby that is to have been given this much power, as far as it comes to power he was no Howe either...ever play against Howe Chris...feel his elbow?...lol

Kotsy's Korner said...

leatherneck: Leatherneck, Gordie used to practice once and while when I played for the Whalers.

He was strong in his early 50s and a great person. I also played with his son's Mark and Marty.

I believe Sundin is a "very good" player. Not great. Playing most of your career with the hallowed Toronto Maple Leafs makes you bigger than you really are.

HOF probably, I'll give in on that. To even mention his name with the greats of hockey is a reach.

The Rangers are better off! Now they can make the moves they need to make without this Drama holding them up.

Leatherneck said...

Mark Howe was a hella player...I recall the game where he fell on the goal peg...that had to be scary....who was the toughest fight for you? I recall a game against Calgary when Fotiu went ape as a Flame and there was Donnie Malonie trying to calm him down as a Ranger...very funny

Kotsy's Korner said...

leatherneck: I seem to have 0-1-1 record against Probert, nothing to be ashamed of. Things were different in the early days in my career, didn't lose too many.

I never considered myself a top fighter. I just knew I had the respect of the top guys(that there was a possibility they could lose).

Nicky and I scraped in practice and I think he gained a new respect for me after it was all said and done.

Jeff said...

Chris, you probably remember this date, April 4, 1981... Rangers-Kings... ;)

I was reading the nice book from Steve Zipay recently, "the good the bad and the ugly New York Rangers etc..." (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Good-Ugly-York-Rangers-Heart-Pounding/dp/1572439653).

Here's a quote from it...

A bench clearing, gloves-strewn-all-over-the-ice doozy in Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs.

Among the highlights: Ranger Ed Hospodar was swinging at everything in sight, Don Maloney jumped defenseman Jerry "King Kong" Korab, and Chris Kotsopoulos took on several Kings as 267 minutes were handed out in penalties. It was the only game the Kings would win in the series.

"My God, this is serious", said announcer Jim Gordon during the havoc. "Nobody can stop it, it'll just have to wear itself out." Said Bill Chadwick, a former referee: "I've been in this league a long, long time, and I've never seen anything worse than this. This kind of thing could set the game back 10 years."

Kotsy's Korner said...

jeff: Jeff, that was a wild affair. It seemed like the brawl went on for hours.

I remember sitting in the shower with full gear on a chair with Beck, Hospodar after it was over, we were exhausted.

Slight exaggeration by Chadwick but exciting times.

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