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Rangers-Jets in review

Posted By Carp On March 29, 2012 @ 4:29 am In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 190 Comments

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Thoughts:

1) OK, so it’s 105 points with five games left, and while the Penguins have a game in hand, the Rangers have clinched the tiebreaker over the Pens. So if the Rangers go 2-3 for 109 points, Pittsburgh needs 10 out of a possible 12 points. If the Rangers go 3-2, the Penguins need to go 6-0. And now the Presidents’ Trophy is in play, which would mean home-ice (for what it’s worth) in the finals. With 49 wins and 105 points, the Rangers still have a shot at the franchise records of 52 and 112, both set in 1993-94. (somebody check my math). Oh, and not a bad three-game trip for this unraveling, downward-spiraling, disaster-waiting-to-happen team that is 5-1 in its last six. [2]

2) Ryan Callahan took over the game, no doubt about it, starting with the play on the Michael Del Zotto short-handed goal … which was enormous because if the Jets score on the PP there, it’s over. But I have to say this, and you sure almost never say this about the captain, I think it was his man who scored the 2-0 goal, and whether it was or not, he went into glide mode for a moment that allowed that goal to happen. He did.

3) But because he’s who he is, Callahan, if it’s possible, got even more determined after that 2-0 goal … and other than that moment, he was pretty spectacular for all the other moments he played in this game.

4) And let’s not forget this. The Rangers’ special teams won this game, but on a couple of those early PKs, the guy who killed off the penalties was the goaltender. We expect Henrik Lundqvist to allow 1 or zero every night. Well, he gave up two in under a minute in this one, neither of which was his fault even a little bit, and he gave up zilch otherwise, including those three kills, one of them a long 5-on-3. Guy’s a warrior.

5) Brian Boyle had another one of those games where he gets hurt a couple of times and keeps on going. Lost a tooth, limped off one time, won a big draw before his goal, killed penalties, knocked people around. He’s probably not going to win the Steven McDonald Award, because it’s going to go to the Captain or Dan Girardi, I imagine, but he should be in the conversation.

[3]6) That penalty called on Boyle … pansification.

7) I know it’s an absolutely dumb penalty by¬† Brandon Dubinsky, but somebody explain why slashing an opponent’s stick is a penalty.

8) I’m going to tell you, I prefer Dan Girardi and Marc Staal to Anton Stralman on the point, and if Stralman’s not going to play the PP, I’m not sure there’s a spot for him in the lineup. Both Staal and Girardi keep it simple and get pucks to the net, and I don’t see why not just go with those guys, at least on the second unit. Or, for that matter, Ryan McDonagh.

9) I’m still seeing too much running around and time on the knees by the Rangers’ D-men, and that wasn’t happening during the first 60 games plus. [4] I know. That’s a nitpick.

10) You know, they talk all the time about pucks and bodies to the net, especially for a team that doesn’t have a ton of pure skill. Well, the first three goals in this game—one short-handed, one on the PP, one at even strength—were all completely dirty plays. The puck got to the net and somehow got knocked into the net. Seems so simple, right?

11) That’s a tough building in which to play. Ya boys sure handled it well, especially so with the 2-0 hole.

12) And for once, the Rangers tacked on that goal for a two-goal lead. Good bounce-back game by Derek Stepan, and by Marc Staal. Maybe those battles with Evander Kane mean Staal’s going to be back to the type of D-man he was pre-concussion.

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My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Ryan Callahan.
2) Michael Del Zotto.
3) Brian Boyle.
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RangerJHW’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Ryan Callahan.
2) Brian Boyle.
3) Dan Girardi.
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AP photos, above.

(Still need one more Three Stars selector for the season finale against Washington. Anybody? If so, e-mail me at rcarpini@lohud.com).

 


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[1] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/03/del-zotto-shg-vs.-jets.jpg

[2] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/03/staal-and-Kane.jpg

[3] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/03/torts-in-winnipeg.jpg

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