1) Another staged fight to start the game. Whatever floats your boat, I guess. Maybe it’s hypocritical, but to me they don’t seem as senseless when it’s archrivals playing. I did think Rupp had some good, solid hits, though he wasn’t credited with any, officially.
2) I liked the Brandon Dubinsky-Kelly Clarkson bout better because it was an actual hockey fight between two hockey players, because of what happened in the hockey game. And I thought Dubinsky handled himself very well in that event. And though Dubinsky missed the net a few more times and got himself removed from the Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan line, and was partly responsible on the Devils goal, and had one bad turnover at the red line, he played pretty well. (Boy that sounds like a mountain of contradictions). He had a big block and clear moments before Carl Hagelin’s short-handed goal, when it was still 2-1, and he has been good on the PK all year.
3) I thought the refs were calling some ticky-tack stuff early on. Also, they can’t allow Eric Boulton to go after Callahan—teams are supposed to separate during an altercation—then give both of them 10s. Use some common sense you jackwagons with stripes. The guy who crossed the line during an altercation is the one who gets 10. And you don’t allow a fourth-line thug to take a team captain off for 10 for something as mild as what Callahan did.
4) Michael Del Zotto had another big game, and he has to do that now, because he’s now the No. 3 defenseman.
5) Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh=Beasts. But the second and third pairs were darn solid, too. That includes three guys who were pretty far down the organizational depth chart, or not even on the organizational depth chart, a short time ago.
6) On the Devils goal—a loose puck in front of Henrik Lundqvist—McDonagh was down but couldn’t clear it. Then it lay there and Richards—who lost the draw cleanly—and Dubinsky fished for it with their sticks instead of taking the man. About as weak a play as the Rangers have made around their net this season.
7) What a great play by Derek Stepan on the Artem Anisimov goal. And an awful play by J.P. Parise’s kid, and whomever the Devils D-man was who stepped up to hit Marian Gaborik in center ice. Then a great play by Anisimov, and some pair of hands shown by Gaborik on the second goal.
8) Carl Hagelin moved up to the Richards line (or did Dubinsky play himself off it again?). I’ll say it again. There’s speed, then there’s speed and doing something with it. This kid uses it all the time. He uses it with the puck, he uses it to get the puck, or to get to the puck, he uses it when the opponent has the puck. And he backs off opponents. But he nearly concussed himself on the celebration.
9) Henrik Lundqvist=Money. He has a 21-5-5 record vs. Martin Brodeur. He was beyond superb.
10) What a week! It’s like the holidays: Devils/Hannukah, 24/7 tonight, Islanders, Flyers/Festivus, Christmas Eve, Christmas, Islanders/Boxing Day.
11) When MSG shows this thing on the Rangers’ outdoor preseason game in Las Vegas in the early 1990s, they better show Tie Domi falling down on a breakaway. Domi claimed he tripped over a grasshopper.
12) Marian Gaborik is looking like a superstar again, isn’t he?
Hope to have the ticket contest results finalized by later today.
My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Derek Stepan.
2) Marian Gaborik.
3) Henrik Lundqvist.
AP photos, above.