Sunday, January 17, 2010
After two disappointing regulation losses (2-0 to Ottawa at home and 4-1 to St. Louis on the road), the New York Rangers faced off against the Montreal Canadiens at MSG in a Original 6 showdown. Unfortunately for the Rangers and their fans, the Rangers fell behind 2-0 in the 1st period to the Habs. The Garden Faithful let the Blueshirts know this as a cascade of boos carried the Rangers to the locker room for the first intermission. Even Henrik Lundqvist showed some anger after the 2nd goal and was probably wondering, “What on Earth is going on with the Rangers and their poor play at MSG?”. I’m not sure what happened in between periods, but the Rangers came out for the 2nd period with a major snarl and it proved to be a tonic for the Rangers’ woes.
First, Ryan Callahan scored. That was then followed up by a goal by Brandon Dubinsky. After that, Dubi had an encore and potted yet another goal. Three straight goals! Wow! The goals gave the Rangers the lead that they would not relinquish. The Rangers were physical, nasty, and it let to some nice old-time hockey. Sean Avery squared off with Josh Georges in a spirited battle. After that there was almost a 5 on 5 skirmish which led to Wade Redden squaring off with Benoit Pouliot. To me this showed that the boys in blue were “all for one and one for all”. That, I think, is something Rangers fans have been waiting for: team unity! I liked what I saw and I also believe there are points in a season that ignite or bring a team together. This might be one of those points! At least… let’s hope so.
Heading into the 3rd period, Ryan Callahan scored on a PP (nice to see that, even if it had to be reviewed a little after the fact). Marian Gaborik then broke out of his “goal slump” by one-timing a beautiful pass from an unselfish Brandon Dubinsky. Dubi could have shot the puck to score the hat-trick, but he opted for the pass and it was a nice gesture that had a nice result. I give Dubinsky all the credit on that one. Chris Drury then finished off the scoring for the Rangers with a late goal to make the final score, 6-2. A much needed W and 2 big points in the standings for the Rangers.
Lastly, don’t read too much into the Avery/Tortorella exchange after Avery’s second penalty. Sure, it lead to a goal by Montreal… but a little verbal barrage never hurt anyone- even if it’s with your head coach. A nice win tonight and hopefully they can use this type of game as a rallying point in their season. Over and out!