Sorry for the late post. Got home from Yankee Stadium well after 3 a.m. I felt like CCCP this morning, only without, you know, the vodka and the fun.
1) The defense corps, overall, seems to have adapted well to the Rangers’ new system, you’d have to say. It doesn’t hurt that they’ve added two young guys who can really play that game and move the puck, and who, by the way, are probably more responsible than Marian Gaborik for the suddenly dangerous power play. And what a difference the PP makes. So that’s nine goals for the D-men, most in the NHL.
2) Brandon Dubinsky’s really starting to look good. It’s funny, you put one superstar on a line with two guys who play hard and smart and, boom, you have a legit No. 1 line. Dubinsky was being criticized and his value questioned during his contract situation during training camp, and Vinny Prospal was lifted, at a bargain price, off the Tampa scrap heap. Together they give the Rangers a No. 1 line they didn’t have last year, when it was either Chris Drury or Scott Gomez centering the top line, and guys like Markus Naslund and later Sean Avery playing No. 1-line minutes.
3) But that makes you realize how great the great teams are. They have two Gaborik types on the top line, and guys like Dubinsky and Prospal on lines No. 2 and 3.
4) Henrik Lundqvist keeps getting set up and bowled down. Here’s this quote from John Tortorella, borrowed from The Daily News’ Michael Obernauer:
“I asked the refs in between periods, ‘What do you want us to do? What do you want the coaches to do in this type of situation when they’re not being called, when it’s not being enforced? We’re eventually going to have to protect him somehow, and we’re hoping that the refs do their job there. This is three games in a row that he’s been hit a couple of times.
“I don’t believe you need to protect him completely from being hit, but some of the hits that are coming on him right now, it’s ridiculous. Something has to be done, or we have to do it our way.”
Obernauer then interjects: “Fair enough, but after three games – two against the same opponent – what are they waiting for?”
5) Game No. 9 for Michael Del Zotto tomorrow. He’s probably staying, huh?
6) Last eight-game winning streak: 1974-75.