The reality is when a team loses, even if it’s just one loss out of 10, you talk about everything that is wrong. Naturally after a win, it’s just the opposite.
So with that in mind, some Friday morning rose-colored observations:
Balanced scoring (sort of). I suppose one of the upsides of a team scoring so infrequently is no one is no one is scoring ridiculously more than anyone else. And with the Rangers, that is certainly the case. They now have two players (Michal Rozsival and Brendan Shanahan) with seven goals; two players (Chris Drury and Jaromir Jagr) with six; one player (Scott Gomez) with five; and two (Fedor Tyutin and Brandon Dubinsky) with three. No, none of those numbers are overly inspiring. But it is at least a departure from last season, when they were getting almost all of their scoring from just four players.
The first line. And it really does look like a first line these days. I mentioned the other day how Martin Straka was likely to jumpstart Jaromir Jagr, but what he’s also done is allow Brandon Dubinsky some peace of mind. For all the energy and savvy that Dubinsky had provided that line, there was an inordinate amount of pressure on him to get Jagr the puck, and it may have explained why Tom Renney was tinkering with Drury there for a couple of games. But with Straka, Dubinsky has someone to share the load with, and it’s brought out the best in all three.
Marcel Hossa. Speaking of pressure, it’s not always a bad thing. I think everyone around the Rangers can tell you that Marcel Hossa couldn’t afford to tread water much longer if he wanted to remain in the lineup. He received a reprieve of sorts with Sean Avery taking leave (Avery, by the way, had successful surgery last night), and Hossa seized the opportunity last night alongside Gomez and Shanahan, playing one of his best games of the season. However lacking he may be in scoring goals this season, Hossa can still win a lot of pucks free for his linemates, and was particularly effective last night in keeping the puck in the offensive zone. Of course, let’s see if he can sustain it before we heap the praise on…
Don’t know why I’m thinking about this now, but how in the world did Wayne Gretzky score 92 goals in a season? I don’t care if it was 4-on-4 with no goalies. The number continues to astound.
The Board of Governors approved the schedule change for next season, meaning division rivals will face each other six time as opposed to eight, and each team in the NHL will face each other at least once. Personally, I liked having so many games in the immediate area, but I also know this was for the best. The Western Conference seems so foreign to someone like me, so I’d prefer to see more of those teams. No, not for work purposes, but so I can scout for my fantasy team better.