Not Pretty, But Rangers Get the Job Done!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In a game that I felt was huge, considering the Devils had jumped ahead of the Rangers in the standings with the Flyers only 1 point behind, the Rangers came through with a hard earned 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

What can you say other than this team never makes it easy on themselves. After taking a 1-0 lead off of a Markus Naslund slapshot on the PP, the Rangers gave it right back less than a minute later. Bobby Ryan scored his 14th of the season on a PP off of a terrible tripping penalty by Aaron Voros behind the Ducks net. Let's see... the Ducks have the puck behind their own goal, right? They can't possibly score from there, so I think we'll take a tripping penalty? Sorry, Aaron. You weren't thinking and it cost the Rangers.

In the 2nd period, Fast Freddy Sjostrom roofed a beauty over the left shoulder of Jonas Hiller to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. Also, guess what? It was a shorthanded goal! It was nice to see the Rangers get one while shorthanded for a change, considering they have given up way too many on themselves. Things were going fairly well up until Dmitri Kalinin (who has played well lately) got caught staring at the puck as Corey Perry danced by him and slipped a shot past Lundqvist's left pad. Sorry, but you're taught early as a d-man to never look at the puck - you have got to look at the midsection/chest area or what happened to Kalinin is pretty much guaranteed.

Going into the 3rd I wasn't sure how this one would end. Luckily for the Rangers Scott Gomez, yes THAT Scott Gomez, showed some great hand work and backhanded a beautiful pass from Markus Naslund past Jonas Hiller on the shortside. Trust me on this one: Gomez's backhand was a difficult one, but he pulled it off! Hats off to him. The goal, by the way, was another PP goal. Although at times the PP was horrible tonight (2 icings on the same PP), the final result was 2 of 7, and in the end that's what counts. Blair Betts, who played a great defensive game, finished the Ducks off with a big steal on a Ducks PP with an empty net goal (he deserved it).

It wasn't a pretty game, but the Rangers are used to these kind of games and now get a break for the upcoming all-star game. Big win, back in first for the moment... so what's there to complain about?

Lastly, you gotta love Dubinsky and Callahan showing some balls out there and throwing down with Drew Miller and Travis Moen. I, personally, enjoyed seeing that kind of spirit coming from 2 of the younger guys. Good job by both. Over and out!


Update: I will be away this weekend doing some more Quinnipiac Bobcats games on the radio. I will answer any comments when I get back!

» Bobcats Link:


Mr.Greek said...

Well for the record i am a big leaf fan, we will see how they make out against Boston tonight. Chris what do think about this year's edition of the Leafs? Maybe they should bring you and sittler, salming, turnbull, palmateer, clark,benning, and a few of the others guys you played with back, no Ballard i am pretty sure you have some memories and thoughts on Ballard.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Greek: Mr.Greek, I believe for the first time in many years the Leafs on the right track.

Their is no more God like status in the dressing room, and the players work hard.

Give Burke and Wilson time it will get better. Trust me.

The Leaf fans must understand that this was the route to go. Start form the bottom, you can only go up from there.(I do like Luke Schenn).

As for Harold Ballard, I personally like the man. I was probably the only player during my time with the Leafs who could call Harold by his first name.

I had many conversations with the man and found him to be much nicer than portrayed (I think he wanted the people to believe he was one thing when he really was another)

JohnM said...

Shorthanded goals!! Power play goals!!! By the N Y Rangers!!!
This was the most complete game I have seen the Blair Betts line play ever. When I say complete game , I mean scoring, checking, defending. Otherwise ,in hockey, it does not constitute a complete game. The hitting was spirited last night at times. The rough stuff came from junior Rangers. That was refreshing.
Voros and Fritsche in . Prucha and Korpokoski scratched. I will only presume they needed a rest. LOL! What a bonehead personnel change by the coach. It should have cost us the game . Given Voros's ability to find the penalty box instead of the front of the net the way Prucha does. Fritsche spent most of his ice time falling down and being non effective instead of Korpokoski's speed and superior puck handling abilities.
The PK and the PP were the deciding factor for the Rangers.

Mr.Greek said...

Hi Chris thank you for getting back to me,i enjoy chatting with you, thanks for the Harold Ballard stories, it is neat to hear stories from some one like you who was on the inside, as a fan we only hear stuff about people through the media. During your time as a player did you enjoy talking to the media or did you find them bothersome at times? What are your thoughts on Loblaws purchasing Maple Leaf Gardens and turning it to a grocery store? I am pretty sure you know there is quite an up roar in Toronto about that subject.

Kotsy's Korner said...

JohnM: JohnM, I think Voros at the very least was a little to eager to get involved in the physical play. (It is what they brought him in for originally, wasn't it?) Just has to be smarter.

Having a good PP and PK are critical if the Rangers want to compete for the Stanley Cup. For one night it worked.

Betts on most nights go's unnoticed, he deserved the accolades he received for his efforts last night.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Greek: Mr.Greek, Most of the the media are quite respectful and yes I did enjoy talking to them.

However their are some who still think they know better. Those are the ones I had no respect for (They still exist today).

Hey, Maple Leaf Gardens is the most famous building in Canada. For die hard Hockey fans it must be sacrilegious to turn it into grocery store.

I am glad you enjoy my blog site. Also check out the website "The Fourth Period", I also write about the NHL for their site.

Mr.Greek said...

Hi Chris what do you think about Mats Sudin with the Canucks? I do not think he will save them, hockey is a team sport and it takes everybody to win, Also do you think the Bruins are for real this year or will they choke in the playoffs? Do you think Brian Burke will trade Kubina and Kaberle at one point during the season? I am pretty sure teams will have their eyes on those guys as the trade deadline gets closer. Also i am glad to see Brian Mc Cabe playing some decent hockey with the Panthers considering the last few years in Toronto were tough on him

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Greek: I was never a big fan of Sundin. I know he has hall of fame credentials, but he really never made anyone around him better.

I also think it was embarrassing the way he held the NHL hostage, and the NHL in turn let him. Who's he think he is?

Vancouver was mediocre before and they are mediocre with Sundin.

Yes, I believe Boston is for real.

Brian Burke will wait till the bidding is at it highest before he trades anyone.

I always liked McCabe.I believe he got a raw deal in TO the way the fans treated him.

If you could boo McCabe why not Sundin? What did Sundin ever do besides fill his wallet.

Didn't the Leafs miss the playoffs 3 yrs in a row with Sundin as the leader?

Funny that never happened to teams I played on in TO.

Mr.Greek said...

Yes you are right Chris it never happened when you were in T.O. I guess it was a different time back then when you played with the likes of Wendel Clark, Rick Vaive, and Steve Thomas, and Dan Maloney was behind the bench, he seemed like quite the character, I seen Maloney when he also coached in Winnipeg,you may recall that. Are the Phoenix Coyotes surprising you this year? last i checked they were in a playoff spot with Gretzky running the show there,he must have been something else to play against back in the 1980's I think the debate of the greatest player who ever played hockey will always live on, Greztky vs.Orr Gretzky vs Howe. Chris who was your fav player growing up? My Favourite players are Chris Kotsopoulos, Dale Hawerchuk, Darryl Sittler. It was nice to you and guys like Chris Chelios,Nick Fotiu, Nick Kypreos that have a Greek back ground like i do that played and share the love of hockey

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Greek: Mr.Greek, Those were some fun time s with the players you mentioned.

I also want to say that Dan Maloney was a great coach for me . He understood me probably better than any coach I had in the NHL.

Tough one to answer all 3 are worthy of the mantle of who's the best of all time.

Bobby Orr to me was my favorite player and still is.

Gretzky is probably the greatest(numbers don't lie).

Gordie Howe is the best all around player.

As a former Ranger, Nicky and I played together in NY. It was my Rookie yr and Nicky was great to me.

I see Nicky all the time when I go to NY to see the Rangers play.

Leatherneck said...

Howdy Chris...well...i gotta shake my head as i see us doing well numerically in the standings...kiss of death for this team you think?...or you think the changes will be made?

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck: Leatherneck, Yes you are right about the numbers. The Rangers are ahead of last year's pace, but so is everyone else.

One thing you and I have agreed on from the beginning this team needs some adjustments in the right spots.

A proven scorer and toughness. I believe these will be addressed.

Wrath of Sanity said...

Very good win before the all-star break. It's too bad we hit that terrible lull in the season and basically are at the mercy of the Devils and Flyers (momentarily at least).

I worry that this team might get burnt out come playoff time (assuming we make it). It seems like a real struggle to score goals and that maximum effort needs to be given to get victories over the "better" teams.

Jeff said...

This is in that kind of game we see the importance of special units. No doubts, we have the best PK units in the league. Betts made his best game of the season if not of his whole career as a Ranger. It was so nice to see him stealing the puck and put in the empty netter. First star well deserved.

For the power play, I believe this team can score more goals, that will click at some point of the season, let's hope not too late. 24% of efficiency in the last 6 games, that's better than the overall 15,6% on the year. Who knows, maybe we finally found some clutch on PP. And we'll need that to compete for a PO spot, but most of all to be able to reach the second round. I have a bad feeling, I won't be surprised if we pick the Devils or the flyers in the first round this year...

Mr. Hockey said...

Kots---Good win the other night---Naslund showed alot of patience on that pass to Gomez, who showed some nice hands on his goal---hard to believe that it was his FIRST POWERPLAY GOAL of the year!!!!---I think of all the PP time he gets????? the FIRST GOAL--Jeeze--His next goal will get him into double digits 10---how exciting to be able to witness that when it happens!!!!Halfway home and our top three pivots total 31 GOALS--Its a good thing that Bettsy has chipped in with 5 to pump the total up to 36---I said it early in the season if you gave some of the 4th line guys top line minutes that they would give more for your money---With the minutes gomez (9) and Dubi(7) get, it has to be questioned how Betts is right there with goals???I'll give the Cap a pass because he already hit the DD mark with his 15---By the way top three guys are a combined minus 16,Betts is + 3---Speaking of that out of the 20 skaters on the roster,15 are minus!!!Zhedev,Dawes,Mara,Betts and Staal--and they don't take up much cap space do they???The bastard Devils only have 3 minus skaters---the King should be part owner of the team with Dolan if we can continue to make this work like it has been.---Skills comp tonight--game tomorrow night all on that great cable netwok VERSUS---everyone should check it out---IF YOU GET THAT $%@!#*& channel!!!----Here goes my solution to that problem----the skills and All-Star game are whats played outdoors not the game that counts in the standings--they could play it at night fans will jam in to see it and the kicker is NBC will die for it to be on their network since the other games have shown that the TV ratings for the outdoor games are tops--and thats how I figured out how all fans can get to see the skills and the game!!--unless you have analog and not digital and in that case don't ask me I'm just making a suggestion!!!

Kotsy's Korner said...

Wrath of Sanity: Wrath , It's almost incredible that the Rangers have done this well with the lack of scoring this year.

They are in the thick of things despite their shortcomings on the "O".(Wanted: Proven Goal Scorer)

One thing is for sure there is never a easy night for the Blue Shirts.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff: Jeff, it is important to excel on "Special Teams".

A good power play forces an a opponent to be less aggressive and fear taking a penalty which may lead to goals.

Good penalty killing does the opposite. It allows your players to be more aggressive and take more risky chances to create offense.

The way things are now I would rather play the Devils or the Flyers over Boston or Washington.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Hockey: Mr.Hockey, yes it was a much needed win over Anaheim before the All Star break.

Don't get me going about Gomez, He's a good player and I'll leave it at that.

The Rangers are doing it with mirrors, minus players, no scoring.

It is amazing how they have held it together to stay in the thick of the race in the division.

People keep waiting for the current players to start lighting up the lamps offensively. Don't hold your breath.

It is not going to happen. This team is going to have to play the low scoring ,tight defensive style in which they have realistically have played all year.

If anyone disagrees, just look at the numbers. The Rangers have given up 4 more goals than they have scored. (119 to 123)

I think It's obvious isn't it?

Mr.Greek said...

Hey Chris did you get a chance to watch the all star game? If you did what do you think? same thing every year eh!! I was reading in the Toronto newspapers that the Leafs might be interested in Chris Pronger,what do you think would be a good or bad move considering it seems that Brian Burke wants to go with younger talent?

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Greek: Mr.Greek, To be fair no I did not watch the All-Star game. I did catch the shootout though.

I am not a big fan of All-Star games in all the "Major Sports" not just Hockey. The skill competitions do interest me, but the games are boring.

It seems like they want to go young, but bringing in Pronger would go against the youth movement.

Pronger does carry a large sized salary to come to Toronto with.

I honestly don't have a feel for this move one way or another if it happens.

Mr.Greek said...

Hey Chris i forgot to ask you last time i wrote to you did you have a chance to back to Maple Leaf Gardens before it closed? These new rinks have no character like the old ones did, that is my opinion anyway. I'm pretty sure you have your own memories of the Aud in buffalo, boston garden and the Montreal Fourm

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Greek: Mr.Greek, I last ventured into Maple Leaf Gardens in mid nineties to see the second Dream Team (Basketball).

You are correct, the new buildings are made for the revenue. Madison Square Gardens was and is my favorite.

Mr.Greek said...

Hey Chris did you catch the Leaf highlights against the Wild? I guess they fell asleep or forgot to show up. One good thing from this game was that they let Justin Pogge play. I would hate to see him rot in the minors, i think he has a bright future ahead of him.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Greek: Mr.Greek, Unfortunately I only caught a little of the Leafs game. The Leafs play hard and that's all you can ask.

I hate to tell you that Pogge got sent down today.

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP