Rangers Rally Against Caps

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A couple of fights, overtime, a shootout, and the New York Rangers actually scored 4 goals en-route to a much needed 5-4 shootout victory over the Washington Capitals. Ryan Callahan's goal in the shootout, off the crossbar, banked in off the back of Jose Theodore to send the Rangers faithful home in a happy mood.

Where to start? Well, I guess it starts with Colton Orr facing off against Donald Brashear early to excite the crowd. Seconds later, Aaron Voros and Matt Bradley went at it as well. At least you could say the Rangers were ready to do battle one way or the other and knew this was a big game for the Blueshirts considering how horrible the team had been playing. It started well with Ryan Callahan driving to the net and deflecting a gorgeous pass from Lauri Korpikoski to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Thomas Fleischman evened it up at 1 and later in the 1st period Eric Fehr banged one in to give the caps a 2-1 lead going into the 2nd period. What bothers me is both goals could have easily been prevented if the players on the ice would just stop acting like they're back in pee-wee hockey and each take a man, stick with him, and stop staring at the puck! Both goals were scored by a Caps player who was covered, but for some reason was allowed to freely head to the net. Sorry, but intelligence is also part of the game.

In the 2nd period, Korpikoski blocked a Ranger point shot and turned and blasted the puck by Theodore to tie it up at 2. Washington's D-Man Mike Green gave the Caps a lead (Again, Rangers watching the puck, not the man) and then Rangers D-Man Paul Mara - who played a strong game - wound up on a slapper that tore into the net to tie up once again. Later in the period, Nigel Dawes fooled me as I thought he was going to take the puck around the back of the net, but he threw it in front to a crashing Markus Naslund (literally) and the puck went in giving the Rangers a short-lived 4-3 lead. Unfortunately, that man Mike Green scored again on a slapshot for his 21st goal of the season... that's right, a D-Man with 21 goals and the Rangers team leader has 17! Ouch! The goal itself, to me anyways, should have been stopped by Lundqvist. Not a great angle and he went down way too soon. Hey, I often praise the King and sometimes he deserves a little criticism (Not very often though).

In the 3rd period, the Rangers had the best chance to put this game away. They had a PP and then Naslund got clipped in the face with a high stick during the PP. Unfortunately, the boys couldn't even get the puck to a Caps player that would have given the Rangers at least a 2-man advantage for over 50 seconds. Once again, here's where Hockey IQ is supposed to click in, but it didn't. The Rangers ended up wasting valuable time and eventually the Rangers got 36 seconds of a 2-man advantage thanks to the 4:00 high sticking penalty.

The worst part of the night for the Rangers was the powerplay. It was, simply put - horse****. After watching it, I thought about all the people who think it's the coaching. Are you kidding me? You saw it, I saw it. Anyways, enough of that. In the end, the shootout had its moments and when Nigel Dawes scored, it was up to Ovechkin to keep it going for the Caps. Well, he certainly did so in ripping a 5-hole shot through Lunqvist's legs. That's when Ryan Callahan became the hero for the night, scoring the GW goal in the shootout.

My overall take on the game is that it was a very entertaining one. Fights, hits, goals, and for the first time in a while the Blueshirts really looked ready (Well, at least some did). You got to love the fact that the lesser knowns stepped up: Callahan, Korpikoski, Dubinsky, and Colton Orr. It would be nice to see the top-half players step up and take control of this team and it's destiny. Over and out!


Update: Away at Quinnipiac again doing some games on the radio, will answer comments when I get back!

» Bobcats Link: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x981.xml


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Seth said...

Kotsy, I don't think that was hockey IQ problem, the Rangers literally gave the Caps the puck, but no one would touch it. That's on the refs to stop play at that point, but they let it go when a Caps player was clearly just standing over the puck. Then the Rangers got the puck and tried scoring on the 6v4...

BTW, is this PP the worst you've ever seen? It's the worst I've ever seen, but I haven't been watching hockey nearly as long as you have.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Seth: Seth, All the Rangers had to do was put a shot on goal and they didn't. No excuse's

I not sure how bad this pp is, but It's very hard to watch.

Jeff said...

Well, a win is a win. I was surprised how the guys played yesterday, a lot of commitment for most of the game, something so rare this season. Sad we didn't take advantage of all these power plays early in the third. But overall a good game. With this win, we relieved ourselves from a huge burden before to face Florida, we'll play with less pressure there tomorrow night.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff: Jeff, your absolutely correct about taking a little pressure off.

Hopefully it will allow the players to be more "loose" with there game and play stress free.

The pp positively sucks. No more excuse's for the big boys, put up or replace them with the youngsters.

It can't hurt.

JohnM said...

What a difference an attitude adjustment makes. For months the Rangers stubbornly used a 1 -4 checking system or a 2-1 -2 system but would set up outside the opponents blue line. Last night against the Caps the 2-1-2 was used again. But wait a minute! The Rangers were set up within the opponents end zone! Amazing! Clear genius! Game changing!
Yes. With that simple adjustment , The Rangers were able to take second, and dare I say it, third shots in sequence. And what happens when you can sustain an attack from the front of the net?? You score goals . Thats what happens!. You get the crowd into the game with the ooohh! and aaahhh! factor. Throw in a couple of early heavy weight bouts and it becomes a much more enjoyable game.
Let the defensemen join the rush without penalty from the coach and you get pressure. All of a sudden the game opens up. The Rangers look more potent. And the "we do not have any goal scorers" crowd recedes to the back of the room.
Let them play. And put Peter Prucha back in the lineup. Thats all we want.

Kotsy's Korner said...

JohnM: John every thing you wrote was perfect, right up to the end that's when I had to pause.....

I hope your right because I am one of those "We don't have any goal scorers" crowd. I'm certainly not retreating to the back of the room.

I believe it when I see it. One game is a starting point. Let's hope it continues the rest of the way.

Have to agree with you on Prucha as well.

Wrath of Sanity said...

Big game tonight against the Panthers... could prove to be a very meaningful game down the line.

Good win the other night... let's keep it going.

Wrath of Sanity said...

Lundqvist was a god tonight.

Too bad no one else showed up.

Zherdev looked like he was drunk... Captain Invisible in full effect again... we suck.

Leatherneck said...

Hiya Chris, This is getting ugly and quite simply very frustrating to watch. Does last years Sens ring a bell here? Are we going to follow their path? What are we waiting on, a trade deadline deal so we can make a splash on that day? FRUSTRATING...

GENO said...

Kotsy, do you think that Sean Avery will be the answer to the Rangers dismal power play? He definetly adds character and grit which they are also lacking. Please tell me your thoughts.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Wrath of Sanity: Wrath, I caught the end of the game. Same old problems Lundqvist shines, but the team can't score.

Flyers up next!

Kotsy's Korner said...

.Leatherneck: Leatherneck, I wish I could give you some answers, but I honestly don't have clue.

My educated guess is that the Flyers game on National tv will be the tipping point one way or the other.

Don't hold me to it though LOL.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Geno: Geno, at the very least Avery will provide some electricity on the ice for the Blue Shirts.

That is if the Rangers can nab him before someone else does.

WALLY said...

Hey Buddy,
In just a couple of hours we will find out who is for real & who will start their downward spiral. The rangers have shown signs of this decent after a strong start to the season. The only thing holding the Flyers back as always is goaltending. We should overcome that today with the lack of goal scoring on the Rangers. I will give you a shout during the game!


Kotsy's Korner said...

Wally: Oh yeah, the only thing holding the Rangers back is a couple of 50 goal scorers LOL.

You guys will never find another Bernie the "Parent" so dream on.

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