Holy carcillo! This is what it comes down to: Rangers-Flyers, twice, with everything at stake.
Like the old days of the Smurfs, and the Bullies. Reminds me of the crazy stuff that used to happen at MSG and the Spectrum when these teams played.
One such, and it wasn’t funny at the time as it is now, was the night President Reagan was shot. The Flyers were in town that night, and before the national anthem they held a moment of silent prayer. One leather-lunged professor up in the blue seats hollered over the quiet: “They shoulda shot you, Clarke.”
1) Good for Dubinsky, who had a terrific, strong game, and stuck up for Marian Gaborik. John Tortorella said he wondered if the hit was dirty, because he hadn’t seen it. Well, to me, it doesn’t matter. Your star got run hard. You go after the perp. You kill the penalty. And it’s good for the team.
2) It’s time to stop calling the fourth line “the fourth line” because it is now the third line.
3) Colton Orr is still a fearsome fighter, but he’s a worse hockey player than I remember him being.
4) I still don’t believe Erik Christensen is a first-line player by any stretch of the imagination. But he’s a second-liner, and they’d better keep him.
5) I know everybody thinks Avery’s season might be over … but who would really be surprised if he shows up on the ice during this home-and-home?
6) The Rangers have sure taken advantage of a soft schedule, but they had a big bump the only night they played a good team in the last six games. Not sure where Philly falls, though. Good or bad?
7) If Boston loses to Buffalo tonight, then it gets even more interesting, doesn’t it?
8) John Tortorella said he was shocked by the reaction to him lifting Henrik Lundqvist in Buffalo, at 3-2, in such a big game. To which I say, A) the reaction wasn’t so great … in fact I didn’t see much at all; and B) maybe part of the negative reaction has to do with how the coach treats people.
Here’s this from the Rangers, about the three prospects they have in the NCAA Frozen Four today:
New York, April 7, 2010 – New York Rangers prospects Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and Chris Kreider will participate in the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four beginning (today), April 8, at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.
Stepan, 19, has registered 10 goals and 40 assists for 50 points, along with eight penalty minutes and a plus-five rating in 39 games with the University of Wisconsin Badgers of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) this season. Stepan has tallied two assists in two NCAA tournament contests thus far. He finished the regular season ranked first in the WCHA in assists and tied for fifth in points. He also led Wisconsin in assists, tied for second on the team in points and tied for seventh in goals. The second-year player has established career-highs in goals, assists and points. Ranked 16th overall in The Hockey News 2010 Future Watch, Stepan served as Captain for the Gold Medal winning Team USA at the 2010 U-20 World Junior Championship, leading all tournament skaters with 10 assists and 14 points in seven contests. The Hastings, Minnesota native was selected by the Rangers in the second round, 51st overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
McDonagh, 20, has registered four goals and 13 assists for 17 points, along with 69 penalty minutes and a plus-22 rating in 41 games with the University of Wisconsin Badgers (WCHA) this season. The third-year player has established career-highs in assists, points, penalty minutes and plus/minus rating. He finished the regular season tied for second on Wisconsin among defensemen in goals, and ranked third in assists and points. He also tied for the team lead in plus/minus rating. McDonagh has tallied one assist in two NCAA tournament contests thus far. The St. Paul, Minnesota native was originally Montreal’s first round choice, 12th overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by the Rangers on June 30, 2009, along with forward Christopher Higgins and defenseman Pavel Valentenko, in exchange for forwards Scott Gomez and Tom Pyatt, and defenseman Mike Busto.
Kreider, 18, has recorded 14 goals and seven assists for 21 points, along with 26 penalty minutes and a plus-19 rating in 36 games with the Boston College Eagles of the Hockey East (HE) conference this season. The first-year player was named to the 2009-10 Hockey East All-Rookie Team, after finishing second in the conference among freshmen in goals and tied for ninth in points. Kreider ranked fourth on Boston College in goals and plus/minus rating, tied for second on the team with three game-winning goals and ranked third with 101 shots on goal. Ranked 22nd overall in The Hockey News 2010 Future Watch, Kreider captured a Gold Medal with Team USA at the 2010 U-20 World Junior Championship. He led the team in goals and tied for third among all tournament skaters with six goals in seven games, including a hat trick against Latvia on December 29. The Boxford, Massachusetts native was selected by the Rangers in the first round, 19th overall, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.