Rangers Come Up Large

Sunday, February 14, 2010

After an excellent road win in Pittsburgh (3-2, OTW), which has been a house of horrors for the Rangers in recent years, the boys headed home for a 1 PM matinee. The Rangers squared off against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who just came off of a loss to the New York Islanders the day prior. Like in Pittsburgh, there was no Gaborik or Del Zotto. The Rangers needed to get these 2 very important points before the Olympic break.

Early on, the game didn’t look too good for the Rangers. The Rangers looked slow, lifeless, and really uninterested. As a result, the scoreboard showed it. Down 2-0 with the fans showing their displeasure, the Rangers turned it around with a 4-goal 2nd period. Sean Avery ignited the boys in blue with a gorgeous goal on a penalty shot. On the shot, he completely faked out Mike Smith and roofed a beauty high into the empty net. From there, King Henrik Lundqvist had to make several key saves- especially on Nate Thompson and Marty St. Louis- to keep the Rangers within reach.

Vinny Prospal evened the game on a nice rebound shot with traffic all around the Tampa net. From there, Erik Christensen took over as he scored 2 goals in a row. The first goal was a nice 5-hole shot and the other was very Gaborik-like. It was Gaborik-like in the sense that he got the shot off extremely fast and the quick release surprised Mike Smith. Honestly, that second goal surprised me as well! Christensen should have had the hat trick as he missed 2 glorious opportunities on his next shift. Oh well… who’s complaining? Chris Drury finished off the scoring with an empty netter to make the final score 5-2 in favor of the Rangers.

Some of my observations from the game… first, the bad. How many times are we going to watch the Rangers forget that the game starts when the puck drops in the 1st period? Duh? I just don’t understand it at all. Obviously, the players don’t either. Lastly, there are way too many odd man rushes against the Rangers. If not for some outstanding goaltending by Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers could have easily been blown out of this game in the 2nd period. Now we’ll focus on the good in this game. I didn’t get to see the win over the Penguins (I was working a Bobcats game), but it sure was nice to see the fight and resiliency that the Rangers showed in Pittsburgh as well as the comeback today. These 2 wins and 4 points will go a long way for the Rangers if they are going to grab a playoff spot. For now, at least, it keeps them close and in decent position to make a good run at it after the Olympic break. Also, isn’t it nice to see the other teams having to be aware of the sudden "toughness" that the Rangers have with (recent acquisition) Jody Shelley, Brandon Prust, and Aaron Voros? It’s been a while, but believe me… teams will take notice if they haven’t already.

Have fun watching the Olympic hockey everyone. But to me, what still counts first is the how the Rangers finish the season… and in 2 weeks or so, we shall find out! Over and out!


Getting Critical

Monday, February 8, 2010

Coming off of an excellent win last Saturday over the New Jersey Devils (who have been leaking oil lately), the New York Rangers get a few days off before their next tilt against the Nashville Predators. It’s getting to that point in the season where I believe the Rangers must get on some kind of roll as far as wins go. In fact, I think it’s critical to do so.

There are now 23 games left for the blueshirts: 10 at home and 13 on the road. That’s a tough schedule ahead of them. The inconsistency that has plagued the Rangers all season has got to disappear and disappear fast! In order to finish up strong the Rangers will need Henrik Lundqvist to play like he did against the Devils (Sorry Marty, the King still owns you). The team must play disciplined hockey at both ends of the ice. The D must step up and become more like snarling dogs in defending their zone. The forwards have to create offense and score on a nightly basis. Special teams… well, it’s very simple. They must be special!

The outlook is tough for the Rangers. The mentality needs to be one of a playoff mentality. The playoff push starts early for the Rangers. It starts now!

Now, on to some Quinnipiac Bobcats news… Finally! A win! Yes, the Bobcats struck gold on Saturday night with their first win in their last 10 attempts. The Bobcats won with a 2-0 shutout over Colgate. Goalie Dan Clarke got the shutout and Zack Hansen & Greg Holt scored for the Bobcats. I hope that this will finally get this team going after struggling for so long. Over an out!


Into the Belly of the Beast

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The New York Rangers are now heading home to face the Washington Ovechkins this Thursday night at MSG. Talk about going right into the belly of the beast (the Caps are now on an 11 game winning streak)!

The Rangers must regroup after a less-than-stellar west coast trip which ended with 1 win and 2 losses. Once again, the effort overall was there… but the lack of scoring and offensive creation was a huge factor in this trip. Let’s face it folks- 6 goals in 3 games is not going to cut it in the NHL or any other level of hockey.

I’ve got one observation that I’d like to make from the road trip. The poor officiating once again reared its ugly head (Example: Prucha’s nice acting job at the end of the Phoenix loss). Sorry, but this is what was bound to happen and believe me it will continue to grow as long as the NHL continues to play games with changing the rules of this great game. Trust me, there’s more that I could talk about… but I think the fans have picked this up and are disgusted as well.

Now that I have strayed from talking about the Blueshirts, let’s get back to them. First, Gaborik has been a monster again for the Rangers. He’s done everything that a Rangers fan can ask for. However, the scoring has to come from others! That’s where Olli Jokinen comes in. You do know that the Rangers made a trade, didn’t you? Just kidding! GM Glen Sather made what I feel was an excellent trade. He was able to unload Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins for Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust. It’s a win/win situation for the Rangers. Kotalik and Higgins (I’ll be nice) underachieved in New York- period. Kotalik was brought in to boost the PP and unfortunately, all he ever did was make loud sounds when his shots hit the boards. One question that I have is: how does a player the caliber of Kotalik warrant a partial no-trade clause? On to Christopher Higgins… it was a nice story. He was coming home to New York and all that. In his case… yes, he worked hard and played many minutes. But in the end production is what counts and Higgins simply did not produce, it’s as simple as that.

The recently acquired players made their Rangers debut last night against the Los Angeles Kings. Going forward, Olli Jokinen should be able to give the Rangers a major lift in the scoring department. Yes, he has struggled for a while but he is going to get every opportunity to shine with the Rangers. Also remember that he’s also playing out his contract… if it works, it works. If it doesn’t work, then the Rangers can clear some cap space which is a big thing for this team. Now I would like to talk a little bit about Brandon Prust. If you want physical play, energy, toughness, and a player willing to fight for his team- then you’ve got the right guy. Prust is by no means a heavy weight, but he sure plays like one. I believe Rangers fans will love Prust. I know one thing for sure. The opponents of the Rangers, especially the defenseman, will know where he is and that’s a good thing!

Let’s hope the Rangers can fire it up against the Capitals on Thursday night. They have no other choice. Over and out!


  © Blogger templates Newspaper by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP