Well, there are a few things on which you can hang your hat today. The five goals. The four PPGs.
Mostly, you can hang your hat on how dreadful the Leastern Conference is, because somehow, after getting two of a possible 16 points the last eight games, your Rangers are still only in 10th place, only two points out of seventh place, only three points out of sixth. It really is the Battle of the Incompetent.
1) Your NYR are now under NHL .500 (25-26-7), but in reality they are eight games under .500 (25-33). That with a seven-game winning streak and a four-game winning streak. How?
2) On the four PPGs, one was lucky. Jokinen’s goal was a Prospal shot that hit a skate and landed right on his stick with an empty net to shoot at. The others were legit, going to the net, PPGs, including an absolutely textbook 5-on-3. Callahan and Dubinsky and Jokinen and Prospal and everybody finally going to the net. Did something click? Or was Washington’s PK that bad?
3) There were some colossal D-zone breakdowns that DIDN’T end up in Washington goals. Still a lot of stick-checking around Lundqvist, a lot of defensemen chasing the puck to the boards, like Redden and Gilroy on the first Washington goal. It’s bad when your defensemen are barely in the replay.
4) I thought Rozsival had a decent game, and that he actually defended Ovechkin very well on that unbelievable one-handed goal with 8.5 left in the second period. Ovechkin = Monster. Also, Ovechkin = Magician.
5) How’s that trade, insisted by John Muckler, of Mike Knuble for Rob DiMaio looking now?
6) Once again, a lot of Capitals fans in the building. You reap what you sow, MSG.
7) Boy, Jokinen takes some bad penalties.
8) I was watching some highlights on NHL.com today (sadly, had to listen to Joe Beninati’s play-by-play) and listening how they talk about the Capitals targeting Lundqvist’s glove hand.
The Rangers did not want to be in the Kovalchuk stakes in a rental deal. They could have offered more than the Devils did. But here’s a good explanation of why they couldn’t have gotten him yesterday, regardless, by Larry Brooks.