In the previous thread, we discussed the Matt Carkner blood-flicking allegation.
As for last night’s game, the guys on TV were right. This is a game the Rangers probably lose last year. And the Rangers don’t stop playing. They might stink it up once in a while. But they play to the end.
1) I’m not sure if it was Scott Driscoll or Michel Cormier, but one of the linesmen deserve a big assist in this win for the Rangers, because when that knucklehead Chris Neil ran over Ryan Callahan late and high, one of those guys cut off Brandon Dubinsky. And Dubinsky was coming in angry, power play be damned, and good for him. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he’d evened up the manpower by going after Neil there, and I think he would have. But the linesman got between them, the Rangers got the power play, and Michael Sauer scored the winning PPG.
2) Derek Stepan, at 20, is the best center on the team. That simple. I think they ought to leave him on Marian Gaborik’s line for a while and see what happens, especially since Chris Drury is coming back to fill in on one of the other lines.
3) Good for Sauer, who made that awful giveaway on the 1-0 goal. John Tortorella said it wasn’t that bad a play — meaning in theory, I guess — but because of what happened, it was a very bad play.
4) No idea what Eminger’s injury is, but I guess that would make the decision to get Del Zotto back into the lineup easier. Because Matt Gilroy didn’t do anything to deserve to come out, and Del Zotto doesn’t need another game in the pressbox.
5) Boy, Derek Boogaard caught one right on the button. I didn’t think that was an instigator on Carkner, only because there is almost never an instigator when two enforcers fight, and it wasn’t as if Boogaard didn’t want to fight. Yes, Carkner started the fight. But somebody starts every fight, and the instigator is almost never called when two real fighters fight. But they sure could have given Carkner a minor for the original shot to Boogaard’s head before the fight, and they sure could have given him a minor for unsportsmanlike conduct for whatever he was doing at the end of the fight, instead of the misconduct. Giving him a 10-minute misconduct there is completely useless.
6) It’s now 11 road wins. Most in the NHL. Teams that win on the road win in the playoffs. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.
7) The Rangers still don’t out-skill teams … I don’t think they have more speed or skill than the Senators, for example. But I think the Rangers are the better team. You can say the same thing about a lot of the bubble teams in the Leastern Conference.
8) Did Alexei Kovalev break a sweat in either game?
9) In the old days that goal Erik Christensen scored almost never happened, because goalies hugged the post, standing up, and there was no room. Now the goalies move off the post or go down to a knee. Why? No idea.
10) When Marian Gaborik is going like he was in that game last night, he’s one of the top players in the game, on a par with almost anybody.
11) Don’t know if Michal Rozsival was to blame for the bad change that resulted in the breakaway goal. But he had a rough night, and if that was his fault, it was a terrible night.
AP photo, above.