The previous post suggested the Wild game was dull or boring, and even the coach of the NYR said it was hard to watch. And it was.
That doesn’t make it anything but a good victory for your Blueshirts. Maybe a great victory. Maybe the one that proves their mettle, proves they can close out a game. Maybe the one that gives them enough of a cushion over the ninth-place Panthers that they can exhale on just making the playoffs and start thinking about getting a better seed.
1) Sean Avery had his first fight as a Ranger. (ps, I rode up in the elevator with Avery before the game, after he had signed a whole bunch of autographs outside; in the elevator he was joking with MSG employees; after the game he patiently answered questions for about 20 minutes for somebody doing a long feature story about him; Is this really Sean Avery?)
Anyway, John Tortorella thought that Avery was disappointed in his energy level in Sunday’s game and wanted to get back to being himself, and what better way than to have a scrap. Plus it helped stop the yawning for a while.
2) So did Colton Orr’s lopsided battle with old man Owen Nolan. You’ve got to respect Nolan hanging in there in this mismatch, and got to wonder how the Wild lets its captain get pummelled like that.
3) How many other players in the NHL score the goal Nik Zherdev scored, from that impossible angle, just up under the crossbar and inside the far post? Maybe a couple of dozen?
4) Another statement game from Marc Staal. The kid keeps getting better and better, and keeps opening eyes.
5) Tortorella had Mike Sauer on the ice with 2:06 to play in a 2-1 game. How’s that for showing the rookie some confidence?
6) The reason the Rangers’ power play isn’t very good is personnel. They do not have a single legitimate power-play pointman on the roster, nor do they have a big-time sniper, and they have maybe four or five guys who will dig for rebounds. Add that up and you get bottom-of-the-NHL production. All of their defensemen would be fine power-play players if they played with a Leetch. But none of them is anything close to a Leetch.
Jane’s at practice. She will post later. I’m out for now.