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Rangers-Wild in review

Posted By Carp On March 28, 2012 @ 4:49 am In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 241 Comments

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Thoughts:

1) Mentioned this after the game last night. It’s getting late, and when it’s this late, a three-point lead is big. It’s even bigger when you have the tiebreaker in your pocket, as the Rangers do. So in effect, it’s a four-point lead on Pittsburgh with six to play. In other words, if the Rangers go 3-3 for 109 points, Pitt has to get 10 out of 12 points the rest of the way. And that includes a head-to-head game next Thursday.

[2]2) Brandon Dubinsky got Clutterbucked in the first, then made about seven superb plays the rest of the period, including the shot off the post that led to Brian Boyle’s goal, and two plays that thwarted very good Minnesota scoring chances. Boyle was monstrous in this game, too, with some enormous hits, big draws … and the goal.

3) Watched some of Islanders-Penguins, because that game was just as important as the Rangers-Wild game in the race for the No. 1 seed and first place in the Patrick Division. First, Butch Goring is awful. God awful. But I rather enjoyed hearing him and Pat Flatley absolutely ripping apart the Penguins for their whining to the referees, and for their diving. Which, you know, has only been happening since Mario came into the league.

4) The Penguins completely overlooked the Islanders. Oh, and Matt Cooke was a total piece of carcillo again. Gee, what happened to that miraculous metamorphosis he made, when he supposedly changed from the dirtiest cheap-shot artist in the league into Tim Tebow? [3]

5) Brad Richards continues to get better with the puck. He’s doing a really good job transporting the puck on the power play, too, even if the Rangers still don’t seem to have much of a clue on what to do once they get the puck into the offensive zone.

6) Marian Gaborik has had a lot of games like this this year, where he’s flying from the start and backing off the defense, and still getting his shots. The backhand/forehand play he made on the goal, off the Richards pass, was remarkable. He looks like he’s going to get 40. And the fact that he was booed. So what? Of course he was booed. He was a beloved athlete who left for the money.

7) The PP stinks. It moved the puck and it created chances, it really did. But honestly, you almost have to try to fail as many times as it has. And now the PK, too?

8) The PK troubles in this game were part due to some pretty cool puck-moving by the Wild’s best players. Part, though, is symptomatic of the problems the D-men are having in general—lots of stick checking around the net, lots of flopping and taking themselves out of the play, panic-type plays. This is not the way they played the first 60 games or so.

[4]9) Artem Anisimov made one bad giveaway in the first, other than that, he played a really strong game in his own zone … he’s almost always around the front of the net when a D-man vacates, and picks up his man high.

10) But with the way he and Dubinsky are playing, the lineup that finshed the game is the one I think is their best: Dubinsky playing with Stepan and Callahan, Hagelin-Richards-Gaborik, Prust back up with Boyle and Fedotenko, and Rupp-Mitchell, with Anisimov by default. And though Fedotenko scored that huge goal, I think I’d try Anisimov with Boyle and Prust some.

11) Cal Clutterbuck=Beast.

12) Erik Christensen=Opposite of Beast.

13) Back to the ‘Peg tonight. Will be difficult. I expect them to come out with two points and be really close to clinching.

14) I don’t think I won any of the Garden of Dreams raffles. Darn it.

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My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Brian Boyle.
2) Marian Gaborik.
3) Brandon Dubinsky.
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nyrmessier011’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Marian Gaborik.
2) Ryan McDonagh.
3) Brian Boyle.
******************************************

AP photos, above.


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[1] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/03/gaborik-vs.-wild.jpg

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

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

[4] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/03/fedotenko-vs.-wild1.jpg