Rangers Bounce Back

Friday, November 6, 2009

In the second game of a 3-game Western Conference swing, the New York Rangers bounced back with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. After dropping a 4-1 tilt in Vancouver to open the road trip (a game, by the way, that was tied 1-1 with 10 minutes to go), the boys in Blue came up with a great team effort with Steve Valiquette tending the net.

A couple of things that I took from this game... first, the PP. What a weapon it can be when it's firing on all cylinders. With 3 goals coming by the way of the PP courtesy of Ryan Callahan, Ales Kotalik, and (guess who?) Marian Gaborik- I think it proves my point. Also, it was nice to see Christopher Higgins pop another goal. I had him penciled in for 20-25 goals this year and boy we all know that the Rangers need to find some scoring to go along with Gaborik. It was also important to see Valiquette give Lundqvist a rest and come up large with a win. Good job! It's not easy being a back-up to a goaltender who plays 80% of the games.

On the negative side, boy I wish the Rangers had more team grit. I just don't understand why is it that most teams out hit and play more physically than the Rangers. “Soft” is a word that is used too often, but in this case? Well... Even coach John Tortorella wants to see this team be "harder" to play against (Harder is a nice way to say it).

Oh well, nice bounce back win for the Rangers. Now it's off to Calgary where the Rangers are going to have to pick it up another notch or two to beat the Flames. Hopefully the Blueshirts can end this western road trip in style. Over and out!


Jason said...

No to take anything away from the Rangers, but the Oilers looked pretty awful last night. The outcome, especially once the Rangers were ahead, never really seemed in doubt. Either because of lack of personnel or proper instructions from the bench, the Oilers allowed our boys in blue (well, in white) to have so much time and space that the Rangers looked to be skating circles around the hosts. I doubt that much time and space will await the Rangers at the Saddledome. I can just see Phaneuf trying to take Gaborik's (and for that matter, Avery's) head off tomorrow night.

I agree that the Rangers still look too easy to play against. This is an intangible component that has been missing for a while. It is amazing what a healthy fear of a hard body check will do to the opposition. It might just give the Blueshirts those extra few seconds that the Oilers simply gift-wrapped last night.

dbmaven said...

Avery was always one of the guys looked to for that "grit" and "harder" play.

For whatever reason (possibly lingering after-effects of the knee injury?) that hasn't been the case for the most part over the last 10 games - to the point that he's on the 4th line (wastes his talent, I believe) and only got about 6 minutes @ Edmonton.

If you want grit, Boyle, Byers, Higgins, Avery, Callahan and Dubinsky need to be the ones to do it - for the forwards.

The team still needs a "crunch" defenseman - when you're seeing DelZotto as the most noticeable checking d-man, there's a problem a-foot. In fairness, Staal wisely throws the body in appropriate situations - but the 2 "vets" do far less of this than they should, IMO.

Calgary may well be a better test, since the Oilers did have the scratches/injuries mentioned.

dbmaven said...

For clarity - when I say "2 vets" on defense, I'm talking R&R.

Wrath of Sanity said...

Well, I sure hope the Rangers can salvage this 3rd game from the road trip.

It will be hard though tonight cause Lundqvist is out with some minor injury (says he should be fine when they play their next game on Thursday).

Let's go Rangers!

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jason, No question Edmonton is team that the Rangers should beat. No argument there.

Calgary will be another story. Rangers will need everyone working their tails off in order secure a win.

Can't sugarcoat the fact that the Boys in Blue still lack physical element to their game. It's something that bothers me big time. It has to change.

Kotsy's Korner said...

dbmaven, Avery's game is not where it should for more reasons than one. The main reason is the NHL. They definitely have a hand this. The officiating for Avery is much different compared to the rest of the league. That's a fact.

The whole team needs to learn to take the body. Not just a few.

I agree with your assessment for a "Crunch" D man. I think Staal could hit more than he does, He's certainly got the size.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Wrath , It would be great if the Rangers could win 2 of 3 on this western trip.

Calgary's going to be tough. The Boys will have to rally around Vally!

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