One goal was the difference between a great trip — 2-1 and a big trade! — and a horrible trip — 1-2 and a terrible trade!
Anyway, as your NYR fly home today, do you realize the next four games look like this: Washington, Devils, Nashville, at Pittsburgh?
Do you also realize that in the last seven hockey games — SEVEN — the Rangers have gotten four goals by anybody not named Gaborik (Anisimov 2, Avery, Callahan)? Thoughts:
1) Higgins could have gone without a goal and minus-2, and Kotalik could have screwed up that SHG as easily as Jokinen.
2) The killer SHG: It is completely reckless for the coach to experiment like that, with a fragile team, in a 0-0 game in which it is competing pretty well against a very good opponent. I know, Del Zotto is in the box, Kotalik’s in Calgary, and the options are limited. But Tortorella put Drury and Jokinen in a bad spot there. And you (and Sam and Joe) and I could see that coming.
3) That said, Gaborik got a pass for that pathetic, slow-motion pass he threw between Jokinen and Drury, hanging them out to dry, and Drury was a step slow (perhaps thinking about flipping pizzas) in reacting. Then they both misplayed the 2-on-1, which is to be expected.
4) Yeah, the PP is 7-for-82 and they need to try something. Fine. But not in that spot in that game.
5) I like the fact that Prust is willing to go every night, more than once. But he has to pick his fights better. If he fights every night, eventually he won’t last (he has had two broken jaws, hasn’t he?). That fight he picked last night was needless, useless, and he got slapped correctly with the instigator. The Rangers need him to fight battles when they arise. They don’t need him fighting for no reason.
6) I still think Christensen is overrated (he’s a waiver pickup). But he does have some skills and he has the good sense that none of the other Rangers centers has: To know his No. 1 job is to get the puck to Gaborik. He does that, and maybe that’s why he has to be the Rangers’ first-line center. Another indictment of the roster.
7) Jokinen, on the other hand, does not have the ability to get Gaborik the puck. He’s a gunner, and he needs to play with others. I don’t mind him firing. Pucks to the net. Pucks to the net. There are only three guys who get that: Gaborik, Avery and now Jokinen.
8) Did Brandon Dubinsky play?