First, congratulations to our friend Dreadnaught, who not only correctly predicted the 2-0 final score, but also had the No. 1 tiebreaker (which wasn’t needed) with Scott Gomez having the game-winning goal.
Dreadnaught, please e-mail me at rcarpini@Lohud.com so we can arrange to get your tickets to you.
1) I should be happy when you’re all sad. Our biggest traffic months in the two years I’ve been doing this have been months where the sky was falling, where the team was in disarray and free-falling, or firing everybody or trading everybody. So bad equals good numbers.
2) However, I cannot believe the end-of-the-world reaction to this streak in some quarters. Do you guys/gals remember where this franchise was in 2009? Where it was last year? Hello? Short memories? Do you guys remember thinking, “I love this team?” Or “I can live with the bumps and hiccups of having all this youth in the lineup?” Or “As long as they put in the effort and work hard every night …?” I absolutely am stunned that a little slump like this—one in which they’ve played hard every night, one in which they really could have won every game with a little luck or a big save or a power-play goal (or a shootout goal vs. Pitt)—can suddenly turn all the good equity this team has built into just another, “this team stinks.” Shocked.
3) Martin Biron. Give the guy his props.
4) I am starting to draw a serious conclusion here. There are a lot of teams who play kind of the way the Rangers have played most of this season: Aggressively, physically, full-speed-ahead. And Montreal and Pittsburgh are just two of the latest examples. Pittsburgh might even do it better than the Rangers.
5) And another conclusion: There are sure a boatload of very good goaltenders out there, the latest in the parade being Cam Ward, Tomas Vokoun, Marc-Andre Fleury and Carey Price.
6) The Rangers defended extremely well again. That said, I wonder how many times this year the opponent has scored because it has had two forwards down low against one Rangers defenseman, the other D-man nowhere in the picture. And I wonder how many times those two D-men were the shutdown pair trying to do too much.
7) I don’t even know what to say about the power play, but that was just pathetic yesterday. When are they going to call in Mr. Leetch for some help?
8) Going back to the original theme, did anybody really think this team, or any team, could go through a whole season without losing four in a row? Seems to me I’ve been saying all along that it was coming … and I’ll add now that this is as good a time as any to have it because A) a little adversity can be a good tool later; B) the Rangers are still in a playoff berth in the standings; and C) you’d rather have a slump in February than March or April.
9) I thought this was the first time in a while that Marian Gaborik really wasn’t a factor, even though he hadn’t scored lately. I thought he was creating some chances in the games leading up to this, and didn’t notice much creating yesterday.
10) A couple of games ago, and once earlier in the season, I suggested that Brandon Prust would be better if he learned to be a bit more of a pain in the neck, an agitator and a punk, like his teammate (and linemate yesterday), No. 16. And Prust sure played that way, and effectively, yesterday. No. 16 was his old self, too. I liked that line with Brian Boyle in the middle.
11) Really starting to wonder what’s going to happen ultimately with the captain.
12) Had a wonderful day, with ice and water crashing through the living room ceiling and wall. Nice.
AP photo, above.
It’s Super Bowl Sunday. So if anybody wants to make predictions, drop them here. And if youse guys want to have a Boneheads Super Bowl party, I’m going to put up a “Go Time!” later on. We can watch the game together. CCCP will bring the pigs-in-blankets, Sally will provide the Buffalo wings.