Thursday, March 5, 2009
In a hard fought struggle, the New York Rangers took a 4-2 victory over a "Who's who" version of the New York Islanders. The Rangers stars - or leaders - whatever you want to call them, stepped up and led the way for the Blueshirts. Zherdev, Drury, Gomez, and Naslund all struck gold for the Rangers tonight. Boy, when was the last time these four guys scored in the same game? It was nice to see! King Henrik was his usual self - making some tough saves at the right time to give his club a boost when needed (Although he cheated a little on the goals that he allowed).
I thought the Islanders played a very energetic game considering all of the new faces in the lineup after the trade deadline. The Islanders really outplayed the Rangers for the most part in this game. On the Rangers side, Avery was his normal self. He got into the minds of the opposition and really just tried to get a feel for the NHL game again that was temporarily taken away from him. He gets a passing mark from me in his first game back. Nik Antropov showed what they got him for: he has good hands and is a hard body to move in front of the net. Antropov's backhand pass to Drury on the PP goal was a beauty (Not many try that kind of pass). One thing about Antropov that Rangers fans better not expect is a banger type of player. Sorry, he's big, but that's just not his style. He is, however, a big asset to the team. As for Derek Morris, I like this pickup and he will be a steady performer on the D. His game gives you a little of everything - hitting, good skater, can move the puck, and will play tough when needed.
There were some bad points to this game tonight though. There was one thing in particular that bothered me the most with all the high-tempo attack and pressure style coach Tortorella is trying to implement. This type of play does not mean that you can play reckless and they were too reckless defensively for my liking tonight. Too many odd man rushes and late skaters not being picked up. Against the Islanders, you can get away with this, against some other teams... well, I think you get my point. I don't want to be picky though. The leaders of this team came through and I hope that it's a sign of good things to come for the Rangers. The "Big Bad" Bruins await the Rangers on Sunday now.
I will be away again this weekend as the ECAC hockey playoffs begin. The Quinnipiac Bobcats host a best-of-3 playoff series at the TD Banknorth Center in Hamden, Connecticut. The Bobcats will take on the Colgate Raiders. Over and out!
» Bobcats Link: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x981.xml