Just What the Doctor Ordered

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The New York Rangers moved one step closer to the playoffs with a solid 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. With 2 major players out on the blueline for Montreal (Schneider and Markov) and the Rangers getting Nik Antropov back, it was like an old Ted Nugent song... "Just What the Doctor Ordered" for the Blueshirts.

The game started out as if both teams looked a little passive and
quite nervous. When Chris Drury snapped a short side beauty past Carey Price, it looked like the Rangers were on their way to a victory. However after a sloppy series of events for the Rangers in their own zone, an innocent backhand shot by Mathieu Dandenault crossed the goalline past a surprised Henrik Lundqvist. It was a lousy goal to give up - the Rangers were standing around and watching instead of taking the man. That's the way the period ended: a stalemate at 1. Then, it happened. The Rangers had one of the best periods of hockey in a long time. They, simply put, outskated, outhustled, and severely outplayed the Canadiens and it resulted in 2 goals for the Blueshirts. First, Nik Antropov showed some great hustle to dive and poke a puck into an empty net. The play was set up by... guess who? Sean Avery. He busted his behind to deflect a clearing attempt by goalie Carey Price. This is the kind of effort the fans want to see and anything less should be unacceptable. The second goal was a beauty with Chris Drury finishing off a nice feed from Markus Naslund that gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead that they would not relinquish. The goal itself was a wonderful 3 way effort starting with Ryan Callahan kicking the puck to Drury, who in turn passed it to Markus Naslund, who returned the favor by a picture perfect pass right on the tape in which Drury had no problem with. Very nice play.

Overall it was as dominate a period that I have seen by the Rangers all year and it came at the right time. Going into the 3rd period it was just a matter of finishing the game off. Although there were a few tense moments and a few crossbars hit by the Canadiens, the Rangers maintained their composure and got the win that was sorely needed. I was at the game and I've got to give credit to Chris Drury for stepping up and playing large - nice job. Ryan Callahan winning the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award was well deserved (I think he's the team MVP as well). 2 games to go, 2 points up on Florida (who lost to the Flyers). The Rangers can take care of business on their own Thursday against the Flyers. Playoffs anyone? Over and out!


GENO said...

Hi Chris, You are right, that was a good game. The second period was unbelievable. I can't remember when the Rangers dominated a period like that. It still freightnens me that they can't put the game away when they get the oppurtunity. Although the PP looked better where they controlled the 2mins the fact is they did not score. As you know, you need excellent play from your specialty units to survive in the playoffs. The penalty kill units are awsome, but the pp ---well! I hope that they play this energetic on Thursday, they controll their own destiny -- win your in. Lets hope the season continues. Have a great time Thursday with the same results. ---- Geno

Kotsy's Korner said...

Geno, It was indeed a good game for the Rangers. The second period was one of the finest played by the Blueshirts all season.

You are correct in your analysis about not putting anybody away when they get the chance.

I think the PP is just being over thought by the players. This is a new coach and the same results?. TOO MUCH THINKING!!!! JUST SHOOT!!!!!

Thursday game against the Flyers, Just win and your in pretty simple isn't it?

Jeff said...

Hi Chris,

It's a real pleasure to see the players going all together in the same direction, it has been so rare this season. This team has some potential, was a good example yesterday. Drury played his most solid game for ages, and he did it for the most important game of the season so far (until Thursday). A totally different player, shooting the puck each time he got it, that was good to see, like he was having fun on the ice. I really hope so this is for good this time, we'll go nowhere in the playoffs without him.

The same commitment from everyone tomorrow, and we're in. And with a little extra of confidence, can't be bad.

Antropov? Zherdev? Another point in favour of big Nik yesterday. Not sure little Nik would have dived head first like this, that was a really nice move by Avery and Antropov.

Tomorrow's game promises to be entertaining. One more win and we're in.


Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff, it was nice to see the Rangers play big in a big game.

It was also good to see Drury finally come through in the clutch. He needs to do it more often.

You and I have had different opinions about Drury in the past. It will stay that way until he comes through on a consistent basis not one game.

Nik Antropov is a keeper but other Nik well.... the jury is still out.

I will be there once again to witness what happens tomorrow. Looking for a win!

Jeff said...

He he he, I can be stubborn sometimes. I'm not ready to give up easily on Gomez and Drury like I did on Redden and maybe like I'm actually doing on Zherdev and Naslund. I still believe this is a transition year for Gomez and Drury. I can't disagree on how poorly they played during the season though. I've seen the same games as everybody.

There are solid and rational explanations on why they underachieved this season. From July the 1st last summer, that was written this team will crash into the wall. Nothing has been done to build a solid team, a lot of mistakes were done.

That was not an error to sign both Drury and Gomez in 2007. With the new coach, the new offensive minded system, I want to give them some more time. One more year actually. Too easy to make of them the scapegoats for what happened this season in a blatantly obvious ill and out of breath system. And the list of underachieving players is long. How could they play worse next season if the right additions are brought to the line up?

Now, if I'm wrong, I'll be the first to lead them to the stake, but in a healthy system, like the one Torts will probably bring next season, things should be different.

Stubborn and optimistic... lol

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff, I totally agree with you except the part where Drury and Gomez are being paid like there in the Crosby,Ovechkin,Kovalchuk Etc.......stratosphere.

People just don't want to admit it but that my friend are the facts.

Are they "very good" players the answer is yes. Are they superstars the answer is no.

Jeff, They were brought in to be the "Elite players" for the Rangers. That will never happen.

kittylarue said...

*edge of my seat, first period...
**excited, second period.....
***pacing, deep breathing, third period....

Jeff said...


Paid like superstars but not playing like superstars, I can't disagree with that report but I don't think so Sather brought both of them to be the superstar players of this team, by superstars I mean here, Ovechkin-like type of players scoring every night. The numbers don't lie, the profiles of the guys don't lie. They can only play their best hockey when certain conditions are gathered. Conditions that have not been reunited this season.

With the right additions this summer, we could have some good surprises next season with these two guys. Gomez needs top scorers on his wings to play his best hockey, we don't have that in stock that's a fact.

I don't have the knowledge to explain in depth what happened this year, but I'm convinced when a team is "broken" like this one has been this year, and badly, when nothing works, you can have the best captain possible, the guy will be affected at some point.

That said, Drury played a good game Tuesday, but that's just a game, I sincerely hope the same effort tonight.

and next season... ;)

Kotsy's Korner said...

kittylarue, Well said.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff, I completely understand your point as well. Remember I believe that Drury and Gomez are very good players.

When things do not go well for a team in pro sports as planned, then you as a top payed player should get the lions share of criticism.

When things are going good for you, you receive all the glory and backslapping by the adoring fans and media as well.

Too many times over the past two seasons I have seen and heard the fans, media make excuse after excuse for these two.

I don't quite agree with you on what Sather expected when he signed Gomez and Drury.

You think he would give all that money and years over again. I don't think so.

Jeff, under the right conditions I might of been a better player too if I played with Gretzky, Coffey , Messier ETC...

So in the end if next year the right conditions are met, Who do we give the credit to the players added or the players who were here? Just a thought.

Jeff said...

I agree, that's natural to blame or congratulate the most emblematic players on your team. Actually, that's a weird situation concerning Gomez and Drury since they'll never be the scoring leaders on this team.

I don't think so I'm searching excuses for them. That's just, I have been the witness this year of a lot of hate towards both players. The kind blind and nasty. At this point that was way more than simple criticism coming from a certain part of Rangers fans. I didn't like it at all.

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