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Rangers-Baby Buffaloes in review

Posted By Carp On March 24, 2012 @ 4:38 am In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 179 Comments

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Good to see that, after two pretty good wins over two pretty good teams, all it takes is a game in which a couple of mistakes turn into a loss against a desperate team playing well in front of a good goalie to return the panic level. Blame, blame, blame … backing into the playoffs … blah, blah, blah.

Thoughts:

1) Is this 100-point thing going to be like Alex Rodriguez going for his 500th home run … you know, might take a while? [2]

2) With 99 heading into the three-game road trip the Rangers need a win or a Bettman Bonus point for 100. They hit 100 points exactly in 2005-06, and went over 100 in 1991-92 and in ‘93-94, when they had a franchise record 52 wins and 112 points — oh, and won a big prize at the end. They also had three straight 100-plus point seasons in 1970-71, ‘71-72 and ‘72-73.

3) All that said, as you well know, they need some points to hold off the Penguins … very well-informed and highly analytical statement there.

4) I know Mats Zuccarello is still a questionable NHL player, and was a minor-leaguer all season, and he’s a restricted free agent July 1, and maybe this was his last hurrah here anyway. But, man, it sure looked like he had the power play finally looking like a power play, and I think that season-ending injury is about as big as one could get for, you know, a guy who barely played. Just not sure who could help the PP now.

[3]5) Or maybe this injury, combined with John Mitchell’s benching after his goal and assist for the Sabres, combined with Ruslan Fedotenko’s struggles, will be that unforeseen circumstance, the perfect storm, that gets Chris Kreider a look without any pro experience? I doubt it, but stranger things have happened.

6) Gotta say, the atmosphere at MSG was pretty darn good throughout the homestand, fans making a ton of noise at the right moments, showing some hockey sophistication.

7) … until the booing at the end of the second period. Seriously? That I don’t get. Does this team have to go 82-0 to make some people happy? Or is happiness just that fleeting?

8) Stu Bickel is getting really good at taking the man around the net. [4] Some of his buddies could take note.

9) The Rangers sure had chances to tie (and maybe win) this game. Ryan Miller was good, got two remarkable saves by defenseman Christian Erhoff during that mad scramble just before the 3-1 goal, and I thought the Baby Buffaloes did a really good job getting their sticks on passes and shots. They were only credited with 17 blocked shots somehow.

10) And the odd thing on the Rangers’ stat sheet: One giveaway. I don’t imagine that’s accurate.

11) Wait, I think we just missed another Tyler Ennis-Drew Stafford 2-on-1.

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My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Brian Boyle.
2) Dan Girardi.
3) Ryan Callahan.
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True Fans Bleed RW&B’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Ryan McDonagh.
2) Brandon Dubinsky.
3) Ryan Callahan.
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AP photos, above.


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[1] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/03/buffalo-celebrates.jpg

[2] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/03/lq-dz-vs.-buff.jpg

[3] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/03/another-2-on-1.jpg

[4] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/03/boyle-scores-vs.-sabres.jpg