Same old story for the NY Rangers. Keep it close for 55 minutes, and then turn it on. That scenario didn’t bode well for our boys: On the road against a superior team that has been shut out two games in a row. I wasn’t betting on tonight being the end of the skid. . .
1. I thought the Rangers got off to a great start. They were aggressive on the forecheck, and were winning all the races to the puck. But there was no real Ranger threat to score. The shots on goal were all easy saves that let a struggling goalie get comfortable in net.
2. The NHL would like you to believe that there are only two players in the NHL, but this Datsyuk guy is pretty amazing. He is shifty, quick, and a damned smart player. He embarrassed Boyle on the first goal of the game. You will find a lot of Datsyuk’s work on YouTube if you are interested. Don’t worry Brian, he embarrasses a lot of people.
3. Despite being on the ice for the first two Detroit goals, I really like the Sauer-McDonagh defensive pair. Torts is true to his word when he says we will live and die by these young kids. Sauer is solid, and McDonagh made a great play one-on-one against Datsyuk early in the third. MacD has good speed and balance. He recovers quickly. What impresses me the most is his anticipation, and his ability to play defense at both blue lines. I think the Rangers have two studs in Sauer and McDonagh.
4. The Ranger power play is a disaster. I have said many times that Torts should just roll the regular lines and defense through the power play. No forwards at the point. If I were coach, Staal and Girardi would be my top two choices of point men anyway. Then, roll Gilroy and MDZ. I thought Staal looked better than anyone else Torts has put back there this season.
5. If watching the Rangers lose another close game isn’t frustrating enough, watching it on Versus is enough to make you want to shoot your TV. I thought they cleaned house over there? Edzo?!? Maguire talking to Girardi on the ice? Only thing worse than that was that dopey Girardi talking back to him. Shut up and focus on the game Dan. Ugh!!!
6. Gaborik. Yuck. I don’t know what is going on with this guy, but I am now starting to worry. I have said before that his shots lack that explosion they had before his shoulder injury. He had one really good shot in the third period. That was it. If we could somehow turn Erik Christensen’s rotting corpse into Pavol Demitra. …
7. Michael Del Zotto looked like he was getting some of his mojo back tonight. Nothing spectacular, but he made a few subtle plays in his own zone that will endear him to his coach.
8. On Dubinsky’s goal, it appeared that Avery was given a lot of room to shoot, yet he still passed to Dubi. If Dubi doesn’t score there, could you imagine what Torts would do to Avery’s icetime?!? With that said, I thought Avery was the best Ranger on the ice. He battled and drew two key penalties at the end of the third period. He also skated hard to the front of the net on Dubi’s goal.
9. The Rangers are still blocking shots, but who the hell taught them how to do it?!? Cally and Girardi turned their sides to the shooter exposing their unpadded areas. The only Ranger that I have seen block a shot properly is Vinny Prospal.
10. 47 shots on goal. Outside of Dubinsky’s were any of them that impressive?
11. That Don van Massenhoven was the referee, and Detroit was called for twice as many penalties as the Rangers, makes me believe . . .that Don van Massenhoven knows how lousy the Ranger power play is. It is his cruel way to screw the Rangers yet again.
12. The team is fun to watch, and certainly has a core of good young players, but where is the chemistry? And even more concerning, is where is the leadership?
13. Enjoy your vacation Carp. Thanks for the keys to the blog.
AP photo, above.