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Guest blogger SG21: Rangers-Lightning in review

Posted By Carp On March 3, 2012 @ 4:53 am In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 202 Comments

[1]

Thoughts:

1) Rangers snuck away with a point here. Even with a two-goal lead early on, TB outshot and outpossessed the Blueshirts. The absence of Callahan and Del Zotto was evident in puck possession, grit and creativity.

2) Pre-game, I knew that we’d be talking about Dubinsky after the game. I’m actually surprised and extremely satisfied with the way he rebounded from Torts’ benching, criticism, and demotion. He played himself off of the fourth line and ripped a spectacular goal past Garon to guarantee a point in the contest. [2]

3) I’ve been screaming at Artie Anisimov all season to HIT THE NET. He unleashes that wrister where he drags it back slightly and uses the defender as a screen. When it’s on the cage, it’s a very tough puck to stop. When it goes 100 feet above the net, the opposing team has an odd man rush going the other way.

4) All three Rangers goals were sniped top corner. Artie, Gaborik and Dubinsky all beat Garon high. Chalk it up to a combination of film and the fact that we have some guys who can flat out shoot.

5) Early in the game, Rangers had trouble clearing the zone. The new defensive pairings may have contributed (DZ out, Woywitka in) and seemed to lead to confusion. The confusion led to two of TB’s later goals. Stamkos and St. Louis are even more dangerous against a tired defensive corps.

[3]6) Too much time on the Florida beaches before the game? Sticks were flying all over the ice (six minutes of high-sticking penalties) and guys were falling all game long.

7) I always wondered when Hank (who turned 30 last night … happy birthday!) was going to improve his puck handling. Not asking him to become Maaaaar-ty in that regard, but just improve another skill in his arsenal. He made a gorgeous pass to Gaborik for a scoring chance in the second period, so maybe he and Jim Schoenfeld are working at it after practice.

8) John Mitchell’s recent play has been impressive. He’s creating scoring chances and can play in all situations.

9) Give Richards some open space and he’s deadly. Clutch, too. Can’t wait to see his game take off in the playoffs (based on previous stats). [4]

10) I love John Tortorella. I know the media isn’t enamored with him (Sorry Carp, had to throw this in) but he’s built the mentality of this team. His intensity on the bench tonight against a non-divisional, non-playoff opponent further sets the tone for his players – showing that every night means business.

11) Still undefeated in regulation when leading after two periods: 26-0-3. Similar statistic to last year. Proves that they are improving in other facets of the game while maintaining certain strengths that the team culture has fostered.

12) Record against Boston (#2), Pittsburgh (#4), Philadelphia (#5), and New Jersey (#6) as of tonight: 11-3-1. Fodder for thought as we’ve crossed the 20 games remaining threshold. Are the Rangers built for a playoff run?

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SG21’s Three Rangers Stars:
1)  Brandon Dubinsky
2)  Marian Gaborik
3)  Anton Stralman
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Sioux-per-man’s Three Rangers Stars:

1) Brandon Dubinsky
2) Marian Gaborik
3) Artem Anisimov
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AP photos, above.

 


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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/03/Malone-OT-winner.jpg

[2] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/03/Gaborik-vs.-Bolts.jpg

[3] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/03/lundqvist-GA-vs.-TB.jpg

[4] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/03/prust-vs.-lightning1.jpg