Crisis averted

82

The significance of last night’s win for the Rangers wasn’t so much about what it was but what it wasn’t.

Meaning it was not the continuation of a troubling trend that began in South Florida. It was not a third straight loss. It was not an opportunity for everyone from players and coaches to fans and reporters to start wondering if the Rangers’ house of cards was ready to tumble.

It was one game. There are still nine left, which means there is plenty of time for things to go awfully awry — perhaps as early as tonight in Newark. But other than a comically bad second period, the Rangers last night at least showed some resilience at a critical juncture.

For that reason alone — and surely this will change again — it was the biggest win of the season.

Meanwhile, some thoughts:

<li>Agree with it or not, I doubt we’ll see any lineup changes tonight. Look for Henrik Lundqvist again and then expect to see Stephen Valiquette start against Philly on Friday.

<li>One of the knocks against Tom Renney is his stubborn loyalty to his players, but it occasionally pays off, and that was the case last night with Martin Straka. Although Straka has clearly been struggling of late, Renney not only kept him in the lineup, but even moved him up front on the power play with Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. That power play didn’t score, but Straka still had what may have been his best game of the season.

With jump on every puck and what seemed like a half-dozen scoring chances, Straka offered a reminder of just how explosive a player he was, and perhaps can still be down the stretch. And if that player resurfaces, the Rangers suddenly look a lot more dangerous.

<li>The plan after tonight is to go directly to Philadelphia and then have a day of off-ice team-building tomorrow. I don’t know what that means yet: maybe they’re all going to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

More from Newark later…

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82 Comments

  1. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    It was a great game to be at, with exception of the first 4 minutes of the second period, and I’m glad they were able to pull away and get a W.

    Sjostrom looks pretty good, even playing with 28 and 15.
    The offense hustled most of their shifts. I would liked to have seen more from Shanny, Dubi, and maybe even Jagr. It was nice to see Straka take a couple chances and try to produce some offense (eventually leading to a goal).
    Malik actually played pretty well. But the defense, as a whole, was again quite bad.

    Did Hank face 2 or 3 breakaways? Someone earlier pointed it out, but I don’t understand why Penguins buzz around near the Rangers net without getting pounded to the ice or knocked off the puck. On the Lundqvist puck mis-handle you’ll notice Tyutin and Girardi BOTH just looking around figuring out who to cover while Staal and Hossa go in for the kill. Too many unforced errors, too much lax d-zone coverage, and too many dumb cross-ice passes attempted deep in the Rangers zone. Who’s coaching this defense? Why are they getting worse and not better through the year? At the start of the season, they played quite solidly…now you watch a game and cringe.

    This team needs to rely on Lundqvist, not use him as a crutch…I hope the defense can improve to what they did at the start of the season.

  2. I hope Straka’s performance last night will silence some of the turncoats… before his mini 5 game slump with 0 points he had 13pts in 14 games… Last night was a great bounce back game for him and the Rangers… Great game by Marty!

  3. PRUCHA27…You still on your play Prucha bandwagon after Cally and Straka rocked it last night. Prucha would have been on his ass half the game trying to hit those guys like Cally and Straka. So from now on please keep your trap shut on the play Prucha crap until next year.

    IMO Shanny could use a rest only when we clinch the spot and there is no chance to get home ice.

  4. Gil: If 5 bad games can’t erase 13pts in 14 games, why should one good game erase the previous 5 where he was brutal? It works both ways.

    Backman is just an awful player. He has no skill set to speak of. HE is a strong skater, can’t handle the puck, can’t pass, his shot is nothing to brag about. How did he even make it to the NHL?

  5. Richard: I’ll say what I want about Prucha playing, I don’t need your permission.

    Straka and Cally 1 good game out of 5. You need to get a grip. Callahan scored a garbage goal, and so did Straka (although I do believe Straka had a good game).

    If they “rock it” again tonight, then we can talk. Funny, I don’t remember you posting when Straka was sucking, or Callahan was invisible, so perhaps it’s you who should shut your trap.

    And, oh, Shanahan invisible, again.

  6. longtimerangersfan on

    Watching Dubi banging bodies out on the ice was fun to watch…now to score some goals again.

  7. And Richard, a bandwagon happens when a player is hot and everyone jumps on because he’s easy to like (see Nigel Dawes or Brandon Dubinsky).

    When you stand by a player even when he’s struggling, it’s called loyalty.

    All you people were dreaming about performing fellatio on Prucha for two years… Now one bad season where the entire team has struggled offensively and HE’S a terrible player?

    Boy have you got a lot to learn.

  8. longtimerangersfan on

    I think Prucha deserves a shot if for no other reason than to play on the PP. He might not be scoring a ton of goals, who is, but he gives 100% out there on every shift and for that reason deserves it.

  9. longtimerangersfan on

    Also, Prucha bangs more bodies than his 6’5″ countryman, Malikenstein!

  10. “When you stand by a player even when he’s struggling, it’s called loyalty.”

    That’s very true. But just like your comment about stats ‘working both ways’. “player” should include “team, organization, coach, etc.”. Thus, saying that the team is ‘no good’ or ‘sucks’, is being UN-LOYAL to a team that some are supposedly ‘fans’ of. That’s not about you prucha27. Those it’s about know who they are.

    And those people will say: “I’m not ‘un-loyal’, I’m ‘telling it the way it is’.” So you can make of that whatever you please.

  11. Doodie Machetto on

    This actually pains me to say. Malik-Rozsival was by far our best defensive pairing last night, largely because of Malik. Malik is playing his best hockey right now. Of specific note was when he robbed Hossa of the tap in goal from Dupuis.

    Rozsival even played a lot better, even when he wasn’t paired with Malik. On one PP, he tried to sneak in back door, Jagr picked him out, and the pass just missed. But that’s stuff that Rozsi hasn’t done in months.

    As a goaltender, Hank was excellent. He stole the game for us in the second when everyone was doing their best Malik impersonations (except Malik, strangely enough). However, Hank’s puck woes continue, but the defense has to help him on those. Tyutin and Girardi were just as much to blame for the Staal goal as Hank.

    Avery-Dubinsky-Jagr continues to function as a line because teams leave Avery WIDE open. On the first goal, Jagr drew three defenders, leaving Avery open in the circle. On the second Avery goal, that must have been some of the worst defensive coverage I’ve ever seen, all caused by Jagr moving into the circle. The defenders followed him, leaving Avery WIDE open. Kudos to Avery for finishing those chances, but they never happen without Jagr drawing triple coverage. And that’s the thing with Avery: if he plays the role of just waiting for chances, he can score a lot of goals. It’s when he tries to make things happen that he messes up, turns the puck over, and is generally ineffective.

    Straka did have a great game last night, but it wasn’t just him, his entire line was fantastic.

    Shanahan was terrible. Gomez was amazing, but with Shanny so ineffective, it brought down the effort of both Gomez and Dawes.

    Backman was OK, aside from that PP where he stayed out for the full 2 mins. I think it is easier for him when his partner isn’t Jason “Charlotte Checkers” Strudwick.

    As for Staal, he has good moves with the puck when carrying it into the Offensive zone. They should let him display them a lttle more, perhaps on the PP.

    Tyutin conitnues to be terrible. Girardi had a bad game too, other than the assist on the 2nd Avery goal.

    Dubinsky hit everything that moved last night, especially when he CRUSHED Dupuis twice. AWESOME.

    Did anyone hear what Rosen said about Sjostrom in comparison to Hollweg? He basically said that they brought the same energy and speed, Hollweg hits hard, but “Sjostrom can occasionally score a goal or two.” Ouch, when even Rosen isn’t covering for you, you suck. Hear that Hollweg? No, probably couldn’t hear it over the Rock Band.

    Also, Kudos to Renney for two things. First, more immediately, the timeout was called at the perfect time. I’m not saying it led to the Sjostrom goal, but it definitely helped the rest of the way out. Second, on a more longterm basis, look at the top three line combinations we have right now

    Avery-Dubinsky-Jagr
    Dawes-Gomez-Shanahan
    Straka-Drury-Callahan

    Would ANYONE have thought about putting those combos together at the beginning of the season? He deserved credit for fiddling with the pieces until he ahd the right fit. Of course, the exception is Dawes-Gomez-Shanahan, which he used in the preseason and it was excellent. I wonder why it took him 55 games or so to go back to it.

    So, overall, a good, but not a great win. There is still a lot of room for improvement, but if they can play at or above this level for the rest of the season, you have to love their chances of making the playoffs.

  12. PRU27, I was not speaking when Straka and Cally were stinking it up becasue the whole team sucked and you even said it yourself. I believe you kept saying the team has palyed horrible for 5 games. Why would you, I or anyone pick on one or two players. I am a TEAM player and two people are not accountable.

    Prucha would not have scored that so called garbage goal by Cally. He just does not have the hands this year. Hense the reason he is riding the pine. Last I checked a garbage goal is a goal when the puck was just lying in the crease and you tap it in, not a on timer off a rebound from between the hash marks.

    You continue to show your lack of hockey knowledge with those types of “he scored a garbage goal” comments.

    I hope we all can agree on the Incredable Shrinking Shanny.

  13. Loyalty? That is what you call it Prucha27? I call it stupidity. Just ask the people who were loyal to Bear Stearns’ stock.

    Prucha won’t see the ice til 2008-09….and even then it might not be in a Rangers’ jersey.

    I can’t believe you mentioned “dreaming about fellatio on Prucha” clearly we know what you have thought long and hard about.

    Callahan a garbage goal? Right. He was pounding everyone all night, knocking people off the puck, and then he positioned himself in the high slot and caught a rebound in the exact right position. Some garbage goal.

    Next you will say that Straka’s goal was lucky too.

    When are you due back in Boystown?

    And this goes to show your ability to judge players…Backman had maybe his best game as a Ranger. While that doesn’t say much, there were at least 2 or 3 defensemen who were much worse than him last night.

    Shouldn’t you be in school right now?

  14. Doodie Machetto on

    Prucha, I agree with a lot of what you just said, but not about the Straka goal. That was a sweet defelction, not the least bit a garbage goal.

    Also, Backman isn’t as bad as you make him out to be. He had a decent game last night. Didn’t make any glaring errors, which is more than I can say for Tyutin and Girardi.

    And I’m not a bandwagon Prucha fan. I love the guy. I think people coming down on him because of his performance this season are wrong. Look at Jordan Staal. He had 29 goals his rookie year, one less than Prucha. He has only 11 this year, half of what Prucha had his sophomore year. I don’t think anyone is ready to start saying Staal is a fluke. Why Prucha, who has already had two seasons that were both better than Staal’s. I love Prucha, and I’m sticking with him.

    The only problem is, someone has to sit for him to be inserted in the lineup. Clearly, it would have to be a top 6 wing (the bottom two wouldn’t help us OR Prucha). Obviously it’s not Avery, Jagr, or Dawes. That leaves Straka, Shanahan, and Callahan. But there are two things that make it hard to sit one of them in favor of Prucha. First, they are all a lot better and more responsible defensively. Prucha’s defensive game has improved by leaps and bounds, but he still has a long way to go before he would be considered a smart two way player. Second, those guys all kill penalties. You can never have enough guys in your lineup that can kill penalties. Ever. What if a penalty killer takes a penalty, or is hurt, or just needs to sit for a little because he blocked a shot?

    I love Prucha, but I think he just needs to be patient right now. I still think the conditioning stint is his best option.

  15. Doodie Machetto on

    Thanks for the reminders on the Cally goal, I couldn’t remember it off hand. While not a highlight reel, it certainly wasn’t garbage. That puck that went in but didn’t count because of the whistle; THAT would have been a garbage goal.

  16. doodie! doodie! doodie!

    I love it man. I KNOW that you’re not saying all is forgiven for some of Renney’s blunders, but you are one of VERY few people that identify the good with the bad EQUALLY.

    And props to him too for moving up on the coaching list. On a team that has changed coaches like underwear for the last 80+ years, it’s not easy to climb that list.

  17. great quote about renney from Greenberg in the post:

    Martin Straka, 35, who has done so many things well for the Rangers, has been praised for his diligence by Tom Renney, who also will arrange you a blind date with a girl with a great personality.

    straka had a good game for a change (tho a terrible turnover at out blueline almost led to a goal). shanny does look tired, he should have been rested the florida games. power play still needs work, but on the whole good rebound game, now have to do it again tonight.

  18. WAIT! Garbage or not. There’s guys that get paid tons of $ to bang in garbage goals. There’s guys that are highly touted(Holmstrom, Graves) for their ability to pick up those goals. Garbage goals are usually those ugly ones that are HUGE in the playoffs. Garbage goals count the same as any other.

  19. Doodie – Agree with your assessment of Staal/Prucha. Backman…I was at the game last night…He fumbles around with puck, doesn’t make quick enough reads on the play, and then is slow to react. Anyone who’s saying that he played his best game as a Ranger clearly watched it on TV and let Sam and Joe influence their decisions.

    I just think Backman is an upgrade over Strudwick, not Malik or Mara.

    Newman: You’re just a complete and utter moron. Comparing stocks to hockey players. Fool.

    Richard: You’re even dumber. A sweet one timer? The fucking pouck was sitting there, and he was untouched. Someone blew coverage. That’s a gimme goal…And you know what, he didn’t even take advantage of the entire top half of the wide open net. HE squeezed it in to the side of Conklin.

  20. prucha27: non-hockey related here, but friendly advice from someone who knows.

    Don’t get all fired up at 10:30a.m. b/c you don’t agree with someone. I’ve been down that road before and it’s not worth it.

    Newman’s analogy was spot on and an educated one at that.

  21. How bad was the line change on the Pitts goal?? it wasn’t a breakaway as much as it was a 3 on Hank. How in the world does a team give up a 3 on their goalie. I was at the game, looked up and saw 3 white jerseys skating in on Hank. it was scary.

    Malik seems to have a settling effect on Rozy, which leads us to a simple question: What happens to Rozy’s game next year wihtout Malik?? I don’t think Rozy plays as well with Staal as a partner (Staal’s game gets better but Rozy’s slips). Yes this assumes we re-sign Rozy, for the record I do NOT think he is worth $5mill+.

  22. Prucha 27: When Straka is not scoring at least he brings something to the table… PK… work ethic… leadership…

    Prucha has 7 goals in 56 games… if he doesn’t score he’s useless… he’s picking himself up of the ice after getting clobbered 3-4 times per game…

  23. Straka’s goal wasn’t a garbage goal – great hands to deflect pass/shot from the point.

    Guys who score garbage goals stand in front of the net, get punished then tap in rebounds. John Leclair was the king of it.

  24. Beer: Thanks for the friendly advice, but you’re wrong about Newman’s analogy. I know you and him stroke each other on here, so I don’t expect anything less from you.

  25. Beer Me! – Were you actually addressing me with the stuff about 40 wins? I didn’t see Salty talking about it anywhere.

    Ante – You mean best *intra-division* and *intra-conference*, not *inter*; that would be against a different conference.

    I think most people can agree that Tom Renney coached a pretty great game last night, along with the players doing well for most of it. That was the absolute *perfect* time to take a timeout, or else the Rangers would have been the team losing 5-2. I can’t understand what happened at the beginning of the 2nd, but the rest was played well.

    The reason I can’t see taking Shanahan out is because he consistently shoots from the point on the power play, more than anybody else, and it let to a goal during the 5-3 over the weekend. Who else is going to fill that spot? On the rest of the power play, I don’t like Straka replacing Dawes, but I would think about Sjostrom playing there a bit. I hope Renney is at least getting Sjostrom for penalty killing, if nothing else. That looks like a good trade now.

    Backman only stayed on that power play too long because it was the second period, therefore the bench was too far away when the Penguins kept pressuring. It’s not a big deal, but I’d rather not have him on the power play at all.

  26. I would rest Shanny for one game and give a chance to Prucha tonight. It’s almost certain that Devils will try to forcheck aggressively capitalizing on Rangers back-to-back schedule and it’s better to have a fresh body resting Shanny for Friday.

  27. Ok please do not tell me we are comparing what Straka and Cally bring to Prucha. Prucha should be put in at some point to see where He is, but who do you take out? Cally? I dont think so, too good on the boards and forces turn overs. Straka? Maybe, been awful of late had a good game yesterday, but his speed is valuable. Dawes is everywhere, everynight so no way.

    Prucha27, You cant just throw people under a bus in order to have Prucha play. This is too crucial of a time to miss a chance or fumble a rebound or miss a coverage, which sorry to say Prucha does often.

  28. I missed the beginning of the discussion over whether or not Prucha should have been put in the lineup.

    That said, without knowing how last night’s game was going to turn out, it was probably the most opportune time to put Prucha back in the lineup. Assuming we make the playoffs, Prucha would likely get called into duty should someone get injured. And it would be nice if any reinforcements haven’t sat out for 20 straight games.

    Not to mention, after the Florida trip several players looked like they could have used a night off.

  29. Prucha27….You have the IQ of a hockey stick. And, the maturity of a mite hockey player.

    I was not comparing a stock to a hockey player you ignoramus.

    I was talking about being loyal and how loyalty turns into stupidity after a while. Just like people on here complain how Renney’s loyalty to the PP units is turning into stupidity.

    Do you understand now you dope?

    And btw, people like Beer Me! on here are trying to make chicken salad out of chicken s**t by helping you out. But you just said it yourself that you don’t want credibility on an internet blog site.

    SO EVERYONE…GOING FORWARD….PRUCHA27 SHOULD BE GIVEN NO CREDIBLITY. HE DOESN’T WANT IT AND IS NOT INTERESTED IN IT. WE SHOULD JUST ASSUME HE IS MAKING CRAP UP TO BE A PUTZ.

  30. Im just super happy we beat the crap out of Pitt.
    Malkin had NOTHING all ngiht long, and thats the way to play this team.
    Malik was great, especially saving that goal when hank made the save and was out of position.

    All in all, Im a happy Ranger fan to see a nice, checking game where we come out on top 5-2
    Now lets keep it rolling tonight against the Devils!!

  31. spider – No, it wasn’t towards you. It came up yesterday. But it’s funny that you knew who it was too. haha

    prucha27 – sorry dude, just trying to help. But it’s a lost cause.

    At this point, Prucha is a depth player. And next camp he will compete for his spot again.

  32. Doodie Machetto on

    “Malik was great, especially saving that goal when hank made the save and was out of position.”

    Actually, he was playing Dupuis, and was cutting down the angle, and Dupuis played a pass to the backdoor of the net. No save involved except Malik’s, which I think makes the play that much more impressive.

  33. Doodie Machetto on

    Gentlemen, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy an engagement ring.

    Imagine if she had to take my first name instead of my last name? Mrs. Doodie.

    Anyway, have fun debating whether Prucha should get back in the lineup. The answer is it would be nice, but you can’t sit anyone for him right now.

  34. Callahan looked like a man on a mission last night, as did Dubi. Dubi hit everything that he saw, and Callahan played as good along the boards last night as I can remember all season long. Even Malik looked good. It kind of makes me happy to see him play a good game. Hate him or not, when he does the things that he does well, he makes for a good top 4 guy. You only wish he played like that all the time and was more of a physical presence. Well, we have him the rest of the way like it or not, so let’s cross our fingers. I wonder who sits when Mara comes back. Probably Backman, but who knows. We need another solid effort tonight. Let’s Go Rangers!

  35. Good luck Doodie! I am off to take my daughter to the Red Robin in a few. Mmmmmmm, Red Robin. So good!

  36. Doodie Machetto on

    Nasty, maybe, excpet that we would have to deal with your disgusting Red Robin-induced bowel movements afterwards

  37. longtimerangersfan on

    When I’m back up north I take my daughter to a bar…don’t you wish I was YOUR father?

  38. nasty – you da man.

    Avery Dubi Jagr

    Isn’t it awesome how they are able to change roles? Last night it was Dubi throwing the body, Jagr setting up Avery.

    Doodie – you mentioned the line combos above. I just want to add that it took time to find that chemistry. Just like it’ll take time to find it again when FA’s walk after this year.

    Patience is a virtue.

  39. Garbage goal…I don’t care how they go in…I’d take 6 a
    game.
    Garbage goal to me means the puck went in the net…GOOOAAAL!
    Nope nope we want that one back…it wasn’t pretty…it was a garbage goal…COME ON!

  40. Entertaining enough game last night. I actually missed the PIT goals by stepping out for a minute but heard the 2nd goal on the radio, and when I heard that that TIED it less than 5 mins in…I was not all that surprised…

    However, Renney taking the time out was the right move, and I credit him for that. Renney actually looked intense and upset at points. Not just frustrated, but genuinely concerned. I’d have to agree that he coached a good game last night:
    While both teams were sloppy, the Rangers for some reason did not crumble after those getting lit up twice early. Renney apparently did something with that his time out.

    On LOYALTY: When I think of ‘loyalty’ I think of dogs that get whacked in the nose with newspapers and then come panting back for more 20 mins later, happy as ever. Not to say Loyalty is neccesarily a bad thing, I just think it can often be used an excuse for doing stupid things that don’t make a lot of sense. I’m big into using my senses to determine things around me.

    I’m loyal enough to tune in regularly/religiously to watch the Rangers win or lose. However, I turned down free tix to last nights match, for the first time in a long time. This time last year I would have dropped everything to get to a Rangers game. However, last night, I weighed everything up and decided that it was Not in my best interest to rush to the train, hail a cab, and hot foot it over to the garden in time to see 3 periods of hockey.

    I just cannot get excited on the level that I once could about this team after being smacked in the nose with the newspaper so many times this season. Hopefully that makes some sense.

  41. 3 penalty calls last night = awesome game.

    Oh yea….and who the hell made that diving backcheck? It looked like Jags, but I don’t believe it.

  42. Beer Me! – Oh, because I didn’t see Salty talking about that anywhere and I said pretty much the same thing to you, about 40 wins being a little less meaningful.

    MikeyNJ – Isn’t it funny how you could switch those two names and it would usually be correct?!

    This Prucha27 character is amusing.

  43. spider – I dont know. maybe I got lost on it. I honestly don’t remember who was talking about it.

  44. From TSN –

    Forward Patrick Elias, sidelined with a badly bruised left kneecap and battling the flu yesterday, will not play tonight, while defenceman Colin White (upper body) will return after missing four games.

  45. Salty: “I’m loyal enough to tune in regularly/religiously to watch the Rangers win or lose. However, I turned down free tix to last nights match, for the first time in a long time. This time last year I would have dropped everything to get to a Rangers game.”

    I hear ya…could have gone to the game before last at the RBC Center but didn’t and it was a good thing ’cause the Rangers didn’t show up. I did go to the last game, however, and the Rangers did play a good game and won. The Hurricanes are a lot like the Rangers this year…never know which team will show up!

  46. “Left alone in front after Pittsburgh’s mammoth defenseman Hal Gill was drawn to Jagr, Avery calmly collected the puck in front and fired it past Avery.”

    Sam, you may want to switch that second Avery to Conklin. =]

  47. Newman: Like I said guy, I could care less what you or Beer think. Your on a fucking newspaper blog patting yourself on the back for being hockey geniuses, when it’s pretty obvious from most posts that you’ve never played the game on any level. Anyone who thinks Callahan’s goal took any skill whatsoever, you’ve never played hockey. That was the gimme goal of a lifetime. There wasn’t anyone within 3 feet of him and he swept the puck (barely) into a pretty open net while the goalie was totally screened. If he didn’t score from there, he’d have problems.

    Whatever it takes to get yourselves through the day, Newman. You’re Queen of the Weinman Blog (obviously Sam is the King), and Berr the court jester.

    Two assholes in an internet circle jerk.

    Have fun, boys.

  48. hockeymanrangers # 2 on

    Oh yea!!I was SOOO GLAAADDD to see that first goal last night. They really needed to get some confidence after losing 2, I did become concerned when they tied it again. but they held strong, thank god.
    Something I have seen Gomez do in the last several games, and it’s no real big deal but you would thing that it shouldn’t be happening. He will skate the puck around the back of the opponents net and try to pass it back to a point man and is way off with the pass and it goes out of the zone. I swear he has done this 5 times in the last 4 games. Like I say it isn’t a big deal accept IT GOES OUT OF THE ZONE and it looks like it shoud be a easy pass????
    Any way they really CAN NOT let their guard down tonight. that’s what I kept saying all night playing the Pens “don’t let your guard down” no matter how much of a lead you have from here on out, desparation and can not let up, not even for a second. Do it again! do it again! harder harder.

    Go Rangers

  49. “Do it again! do it again! harder harder.” umm…yeah…Oh yeah!

    P27…Avery’s goal was also a gimmie as was Callahans but…as I’m sure you know those are the goals we have been getting little of this year…the rebound in the crease…THEY ARE GOOD GOALS, not flashy but good hardworking goals. I see no reason to complain about the way a goal was scored, or who scored it. I’m happy that Callahan was in the right place last night to bury the puck…garbage or no garbage.
    If he didn’t score that goal the Pens would have gone up 2-1 at the beginning of the second…

  50. Staal: I wasn’t complaining about the goal, but people seem to think that no one other than Callahan could have scored it. Right.

    As for Avery’s goal, it was a gimme in the fact that no one was around him, but a lot of other players would have turned and tried to jam it in the side. The fact that he waited for Conklin to kick out his leg and then went high made that play…Showed a lot of patience.

  51. Avery had a nice bounce back game after a couple of rough ones. He still drives me crazy with those neutral zone turnovers he instead of dumoing the puck in the offensive zone tried to stickhandle by Malone(Which in turn lead to a great scoring chance by Malone) Straka likely had his best game of the year. He was quick on the forecheck and strong along the boards. I though he looked like the Straka of his first two years here. Malik played really well and seems to settle down the defense. Yet you still had drunken idiots and some brain dead fans at times booing him. Lundqvist has looked as sharp as a tact since his stinker vs the Flyers a couple of weeks ago(Ugly hand off with the Tyutin nothwithstanding) Malik as talented as he is seems to shut it down when he gets hit(just another reason why Ovechkin’s better than him)Fugly game by Tyutin anmd Girardi. They seemed a step slow all night long. You gotta figure the Devs will play their best game they have against the Rangers tonight. The RTangers hopefully will match their intensity. There is no room for a let down game.

  52. Conklin has turned back into a pumpkin like we all thought he would.Their defense blows too(is there a worse d pair than Whitney-Sydor?) The only way the Pens get out of the first round is if they’re the #1 or 2 seed.

  53. “Malkin not Malik”

    HA! We said that yesterday here and it’s so true. That’s probably one of the most common typos and is furthest from accurate.

  54. If the Pens plane ever went down (Alive-style), you can bet that Malkin is the first to start eating people.

  55. Hey Guys –

    Was at the game last night. It got a little hairy in the 2nd period, but the team showed some resiliency. Good to see they can overcome some in-game adversity.

    Hoping for more of the same tonight, it would be great to catch the Devils.

  56. hockeymanrangers # 2 on

    If the Pens plane ever went down (Alive-style), you can bet that Malkin is the first to start eating people.

    Now that there, Now that’s funny. I don’t care who you are that is funny. Bless me lord and all the children in New Geniu. I am laughing hard at that one.

  57. Great game last night. Here are some observations I had of the game last night from the blue seats in the 8th Ave. End.

    – Backman can’t be a regular player. He’s just too slow to react. He does this thing where he corrals the puck along the boards behind his own net, but rather than quickly chip it to a teammate, he fumbles with it in his skates, takes a huge hit and turns it over. He does this almost every time he goes to retrieve the puck, without fail (I’m exaggerating, but only mildly).

    – Avery should have been signed back in February. He’s definitely not a perfect hockey player, but he seems to come up huge when the Rangers really need him. Clutch is the word, I believe. He’s also beloved by the fans.

    – Jagr played an AWESOME game last night. He made a play on the backcheck – yes, the BACKCHECK – that was one of the best defensive plays he’s probably made in his career. He skated well and picked up an assist on Avery’s first goal, which happened because he cleared up so much ice for his linemate. He also took Hal Gill away from the net on Avery’s second goal, which is why he was so wide open. People who question his value should have been silenced (at least for one night) last night.

    – Lundqvist is back on form.

    – The crowd was kinda disappointing. It was pretty weak-voiced. None of the “Let’s Go Rangers” chants really caught on and even the singing of the goal song was weak. Still, it got loud enough on the “Re-sign Avery” chant for Aves to take notice (he said so in his post-game interviews), which was nice.

    – Renney coached well last night, and it’s nice to see some of his detractors on here give him his due today.

    Great stuff overall…gotta keep it up against the HATED Devils tonight!

  58. I love how Prucha27 thinks that all these players are in these positions to score goals by sheer frickin luck. Anyone could score those goals Prucha27…right. Except your boy Prucha who is riding the pine because he can’t crack the lineup.

    (I only threw in that last line because I know how it must grate you like nothing else. Truth is, Prucha is a decent player in a non-clutching/grabbing environment that we had in the post-lockout. Recently, the return to more physical play and contact has rendered Prucah a bit useless.)

    Adam Graves…Tim Kerr…Phil Esposito….all scored goals that were sheer luck and gimmes. But just like Ben Hogan said (and YES P27, I know he is a golfer, but the theory applies…if you can understand the analogy (you F-ing pea brain), “The more I practice the luckier I get.” Callahan being in the right spot at the right time means he knew where to be. Same with Avery last night.

    And on the subject of me not playing hockey….again, your credibility (which you said you don’t care to have) takes another massive nosedive. You might as well be writing in invisible ink man. The stuff you spout gets more entertaining with each post.

  59. Rob C –

    One of the first things I noticed when I got there last night was how quiet it was right from the beginning. The last couple games before that, I was saying how it was starting to sound like the playoffs. What happened? I don’t think it was because of the weekend games, but who knows. I just get disappointed when the crowd isn’t completely into it and when MSG isn’t shaking like it should be this time of year. I guess I am a little jealous of how loud Montreal gets, or other arenas alike…

  60. hockeymanrangers # 2 on

    Rob C
    The crowd was kinda disappointing. It was pretty weak-voiced.

    YOU ARE RIGHT actually I have been thinking the same thing at lot of these games all season.

    We need the fans to be that 6th player, I know IF I could be there I would be the one that would try to get the crowd going espcially when they are down. That is when they need us most Yes it’s nice to hear fans when things are good but a let’s go Chant when they are down would give them encouregment. Come on now!! FANS that are able to be there. I will be listening tonight. OK we are not at home tonight but I know some of you will be in NJ tongiht.

  61. Yeah and when I mention how loud habs fans got, they were especially loud after each goal the rangers scored. They got louder and louder. I know this has been talked about on this blog before, but Ranger fans would only boo louder and louder. Its just something I wish we had at MSG. I guess all the suits don’t help.

  62. I just figured out what I like best on this board – its the “you obviously never played” comment followed by either “player X sucks and should sit” or “player Y should be in the lineup”.

    I find it ironic that pretty much no credit is ever given to the people (read the coaches) who actually make the decisions on who plays, in what line combination, etc.

    All have a ton more hockey experience than Joe Blow web poster and couldn’t possibly be better evaluators of talent or strategy…..

  63. longtimerangersfan on

    Yeah, like Muckler who said, in public, that Malhotra is never going to be anything but a third line player or something very close to that which imo pretty much emasculated the guy.

  64. I Bleed Rangers Blue on

    To the jerk sitting in Section 335 (you were wearing a Swedish national jersey):

    Is cursing a blue streak through 3 periods really the only way you can get through a hockey game? Jeez. I still have a headache. Buying a ticket doesn’t give you a license to ruin everyone else’s evening.

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