Today they don’t have to beat their heads against a wall. They don’t even have to practice, because they got a day off in this busy schedule.
The Rangers can be happy with how they played against Montreal. I would dare to say, though, that they’ve played better games in which they didn’t score goals—a week ago against the Devils, for example, I thought they were better. Just shows, again, how perceptions can change when a few go into the net.
1) I don’t know if those penalties were two minutes for Being Avery, but they were borderline. I like the way Tortorella handled it, as he promised he would with Avery. He’d said there would be a line, and it will be his (Tortorella’s) job to pull him back when he goes too far over. So Avery was given more minutes after an animated discussion.
2) It would be really convincing if the Rangers can continue the tough-guy stuff, the togetherness stuff, in Philly Thursday.
3) Maybe it is time to leave the first line alone. It’s Dubinsky-Prospal-Gaborik, and it should stay that way. All due respect to Erik Christensen, but he doesn’t belong there, and Dubinsky is such an important piece in the organization that it makes sense to leave him where he is most productive.
4) Tortorella likes to bring up that Redden has been “run over” in this city. Well, yeah. But it’s only because he makes a ridiculous amount of money, completely hamstrings the team’s ability to bring in more, desperately-needed skill players, and most of the time shows little or no emotion. Heck, Torts, you sat him out for two games and probably would for more if you had a seventh defenseman. On this night, he was one of the team. But how often has that happened?
5) A fan and RR reader came up to me after the second period, said he’d been going to Rangers games for 46 years, and he’d never recalled the Rangers outshooting the Habs 15-2 in a period, ever. That team’s a bigger mess than the Rangers.
6) Ryan Callahan is such a good player when he produces a little offense, and last night he produced a lot. Too bad he’s not a couple of inches taller and 10-15 pounds heavier. He’d be a monster. I think his offense has been coming around for a while. Maybe this was his lift-off.
7) I’ll take a show-me approach the next little while before I declare the Rangers’ offense cured.