Nice win. Good team win over a great opponent and some adversity. And it will be flushed right down the toilet if the Rangers don’t follow up and beat Tampa tomorrow.
1) Hello Jody Shelley. Goodbye, Donald Brashear. I haven’t seen Shelley much since he was a young player, but what I remember about him then was that he’d fight every single night if he could. He needs to be healthy March 14. Also, I was watching the Sharks game the other night and the announcers were laughing when he hit the crossbar, as if it is so unimaginable that he might score a goal.
2) If the Rangers are going to play this safe-is-death style, where they want to attack and forecheck and put pressure on the opponent, they MUST use a fourth line. For most of the season, they have not had a fourth line, because Brashear stunk (have I mentioned what a dreadful signing that was?) and because Voros couldn’t get into the lineup. Well, now Boyle’s improved, and they will have Brandon Prust and Shelley. Out of necessity last night, and with Shelley not here yet, they had to use the fourth line after Gaborik left the game, and the fourth line rewarded the coaches.
3) That said, Prust should not have been anywhere near the ice in the final 30 seconds of regulation, against Malkin and Co., but he was.
4) Artem Anisimov is going to have a very short career if he doesn’t learn — soon! — to keep his head up.
5) Rozsival was in a bad spot in that Cooke-Drury punch-out, with the Rangers already down to five defensemen. But if he’s going to risk a third-man in penalty — and he really should have gotten one by the rulebook — then he’s got to drop the gloves and stick and get in there. And all of the Rangers on the ice ought to be jumping in there, especially the forwards, especially the closest guy (Brandon Dubinsky) when their captain is down and being pummeled.
6) Rozsival also made a good play on the game-winner.
7) OK, a little math lesson for the Rangers’ penalty killers: It’s already 5-on-4, and you have the 4. If three of you go into the same corner, that leaves one guy to cover everybody else. And if you come out of that corner, Wade Redden, and the guy with whom you come out wears No. 87 in black, and he’s heading to the net, well, you can’t just try to lift his stick. Unless you want to join the other No. 87 in Hartford.
8) Sid the Kid is pretty good, and it was really funny when Brandon Dubinsky called him a little baby between periods. And his weiner lips didn’t look as frankfurterish last night.
9) Mike Keenan, who had Olli Jokinen in Florida (before being fired) and brought him to Calgary (before being fired) sure pumps up Jokinen as a TV analyst. His last thing: “He’s going to love playing in New York.” Yeah, for 21 more games, Mike.
10) Not to pee on anybody’s parade, but the Rangers caught a huge break on the Prospal goal, the Pitt defenseman trying to get to the bench on an injured leg and having to backpedal and turn a 2-on-1 into a virtual 2-on-none. Makes up for the unlucky goal against Nashville.
11) Since the end of June, Glen Sather has had to go to his boss and say, “I screwed up on Scott Gomez, I screwed up on Ales Kotalik, I screwed up on Donald Brashear” and he still has Drury, Redden and Rozsival. Yeesh.