Was at a hoops game (really, really good game) so I heard the first two periods on radio, came home, watched the third period, then watched the first two periods. Odd way to watch a game.
That said, Rangers-Canes was a pretty entertaining one, wasn’t it? Pretty big win for your boys, too. I know, they got two and the Canes got one … but that’s two more on the ledger, and two more the teams behind the Canes will have to get.
1) The Staal on Staal hit was borderline suspendable, in my opinion. Marc was vulnerable and Eric sure went up high on the blind-side and didn’t let up one bit. And I wonder if the NHL would ever have the onions to not only suspend a player for a head shot against his brother, but also to suspend one of its “boys” … you know, the captain of the home all-star team. Eric sure seems to enjoy laying out his little brother, doesn’t he? He also=Monster.
2) I think Cam Ward might be the best goalie in the whole league. But last night, the guy down the other end was just as good, and better when it mattered most.
3) Have you guys noticed that John Tortorella’s always laughing when OT and hockey portion of the game ends, and before they go to the skills competition?
4) You know which forward has played with the most snarl for the last four games? Not Prust. Not Boyle. Not Avery. Not Dubinsky. But Mats Zuccarello. Yup. Not only physically, but also after the whistle. Gotta love that. He also made the big hit that led to the tying goal to force OT. Zuccarello=Little Monster.
5) Funny, but for the second game in a row, the McDonagh-Sauer duo had a couple of horrific shifts, some of which ended up in their net, while all-in-all playing a very strong game.
6) Back to Zuccarello. When they first put him on the point, I didn’t like it at all. But I watched him at a practice there last week, and he has a good hard shot, and keeps it low, and with work I think he’s become pretty good there, especially on the 5-on-3.
7) No update on Marian Gaborik. So now it’s just a matter of when he feels better, and then a matter of being cleared to exercise, then cleared for contact, then cleared to play. And that’s a process for which there can be no timetable.
8) Good signs for the Rangers the last two games: A) lots of shots on goal. B) lots of bodies arriving at the same time. And in case you forgot, that is how they scored enough goals in the first 52 games.
9) Back to snarls: Another good sign is that the first goal came off a hit by Newbury, a hard forecheck and wrap by Avery and a net-crash by Prust. That’s the way they have to do it, and the way they haven’t done it enough lately.
10) Wonder how the Tobacco Road fans like the skills competition today.
AP photo, above.