Thursday, March 12, 2009
The New York Rangers, knowing quite well that their playoff fate is in their own hands, came up with a huge effort against the Nashville Predators with a 4-2 victory. The Rangers came out flying in the first 5 minutes and it showed when Sean Avery banged in a rebound to give the Rangers an early 1-0 lead. However, from that time on until the end of the 1st period, the Rangers took all their own momentum away by taking 3-straight penalties (Boy were some of those dumb and I'm being kind). Nashville, who has a poor PP themselves, was able to capitalize on Markus Naslund's interference penalty. Shea Webber fired an off-wing wrist shot past Henrik Lundqvist - who got a piece of the shot, but not enough (He's gotta make that save, no excuses). From there, J.P. Dumont got a gift goal off of Dan Girardi's skate which gave the Predators a 2-1 lead at the end of the 1st period.
In between periods, I can only tell you from my experience as a player is what went on in the dressing room - to put it frankly, was a good old fashioned tongue lashing. There was one player in particular that got the worst of it - Nikolai Zherdev. Zherdev has all the talent in the world, but at times he reminds me of Alexei Kovalev with the "I don't care" type of play. I'm pretty sure Zherdev's benching has to do with effort, not skill. Anyway, the result was the lines changed constantly and the Rangers played one of their best periods in months. Goals by Scott Gomez and Marc Staal gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead that they would not give up. You gotta give Coach Tortorella credit for making the decision to bench Zherdev and play the players who were going well. Zherdev may not have stepped on the ice, but there were a few other players who the Rangers expect more of and as a result found themselves getting less ice time as the game wore on. I think Coach Tortorella knows there's not many games left, so if he has to hurt a few feelings then so be it. The playoffs are the goal and the Rangers received a ton of help around the league tonight. Now it's on to Philly for a home and home... should be very entertaining to say the least. Over and out!
Quinnipiac Bobcats at St. Lawrence
Listen to the Bobcats on the radio this weekend as they take on St. Lawrence in the best of 3 series (unfortunately I will not be able to do the color).
» Bobcats Link: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x981.xml