Thursday, January 6, 2011
With a stirring 2-1 OT win over the Carolina Hurricanes thanks to Mats Zucarrello Aason’s 1st NHL goal in front the of the home crowd at MSG last night the New York Rangers have hit the half way point of their schedule. 41 games in the Rangers have placed themselves nicely with a 23-15-3 record- that’s good for 49 points and 7th place in the Eastern Conference. Not bad…Not bad at all.
Let’s face it Ranger fans, you have to be more than pleased with the current state of Boys in Blue. No one in their wildest dreams could have or would have expected this kind of progress so quick and so fast. You have to start by giving the players most of the credit. They have done the job on a fairly consistent basis most of the season so far. This team is tough on the road (Lead the NHL with road 13 wins) and getting better at home. John Tortorella and his staff deserves some of the credit as well in getting the Rangers to play a hard nosed, bring it in your face style of Hockey. That folks is the identity of this team. Injuries have not held this team back. When one goes down someone has stepped in and done the job and that shows how much more the cupboard is full these days depth-wise. Although I certainly would like to see Ryan Callahan back as soon as possible. There’s 41 more games to go and where the Rangers need help obviously is in the scoring department. That’s a big question mark in my opinion. Sure would be nice to see one more proven goal scorer in the lineup along with Gaborik. Unfortunately it’s not that easy to find one. All the top teams have at least two major threats, some even more.
Now the Rangers head out on the road for a couple of tough games with Dallas and St. Louis. If they show up and work hard they should be okay.
Okay, now I’d like to talk a little about the Michael Del Zotto demotion. First off let’s not get too crazy and in an uproar over this. MDZ is a big part of the picture for the New York Rangers. Obviously he’s had a tough go of it this year, no offensive production and defensively he’s struggled at times. This demotion or send down to the CT Whale should be a wake up call to MDZ that it’s not that easy to play in the National Hockey League or stay in it either. MDZ has loads of talent, but needs to work on his deficiencies and the key word is ‘work’! The coaching staff has let him know what he needs to do and hopefully he understands that it’s up to him to regain his form.
World Jr’s are now over after a stunning comeback by the Russians over Canada. Canada led 3-0 heading into the 3rd period in the Gold medal game, When the Russians blitzed the Canadians with 5 straight goals to secure the gold. You have to give credit where it’s due. The Russians were the “Comeback kids” of this tourney (They did it 3 times) and congratulations is in order. As for Canada and the US it was a major disappointment in my opinion. Silver and Bronze respectively not exactly what both teams had in mind.
Last thing on my mind. I think it’s time that the Winter Classic involves the New York Rangers. Don’t you think? Yankee Stadium would be a nice fit… I’m Just saying. Happy belated New Year everyone over and out!