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Rangers-Capitals in review

Posted By Carp On February 18, 2013 @ 1:10 am In Hockey,Lockout,New York Rangers,NHL,Rangers Report | 224 Comments

[1]

Thoughts:

1) Remember last year when the Rangers were almost always the more physical team, the team that won more battles and dictated play, and often the faster team? I thought this was a game that kind of reminded me of last year more than any other this season.

2) Never mind the quick goal, which came on as scrambly a shift as they’ve had … well, one of the most scrambly. A goalpost, running around, a wide-open uncontested shot from above he right circle by a guy who can fire it. Terrible all-around. [2]

3) But, I thought the Rangers recovered very quickly and, except for a few power-play failures, were the far better team the rest of the period, and the better team over the final 58 minutes.

4) Though the Rangers seemed to think they got some good looks on the power plays before the game-winner – and they did – I wasn’t convinced at all that things were turning. The same people kept coming over the boards with the same result, backing up, away from the net, not nearly enough movement of puck or feet, some really silly one-tap passes that you might do when your power play is on a roll, not the kind you attempt when it’s 5 for 48, 30th in the 30-team league.

[3]5) And that said, the GWG came on a PPG that made you think, Wow. What in Holy Hell? Why can’t they do that more often? Maybe it was something the Capitals gave them. Maybe it just happened that Brad Richards won the draw and then when he circled back to the point the whole thing unfolded … Rick Nash to Richards to Michael Del Zotto for a beauty of a pass to Derek Stepan, who had moved to a scoring spot. Don’t take that last part for granted. You can have all the passes and talent in the world, but if guys don’t find open space, it won’t matter.

6) Anyway, they got it done, and once again Stepan, Carl Hagelin and Rich Nash were their best forwards all night long. Stepan’s been really good for a while now. Hagelin’s been great for even longer. Nash has been good all season – though he does seem to take some questionable penalties.

7) That boarding penalty called on Troy Brouwer, who hit Anton Stralman as he turned? Absolute pansification. That is not a penalty. This after a few nights earlier when Milan Lucic assaulted Nash, leaving his feet and launching himself at Nash’s head then driving it into the glass. Lucic’s crime was 10 times worse, and not called a penalty. But the NHL will tell you it’s cracking down on head shots. Blah, blah, blah. [4]

8) Braden “Dryden” Holtby. Couldn’t be blamed for either goal. He faced a lot more rubber, but the guy down the other end was just as good.

9) I think that Darroll Powe was playing well enough that he’ll be missed, but this is another opportunity for Chris Kreider if Powe’s out for any length of time. And it looked pretty bad, like he was out cold, which means concussion, which means nobody knows.

10) Speaking of which, Tortorella got a little snippy when asked about the Rick Nash injury pregame. “None of your business,” he snapped. And people around the continent got ticked off about it. Why? Is this anything we really haven’t seen before? To be honest, the coach had been pretty good in his pressers to that point, and was again post-game. So he isn’t going to talk about injuries. Suddenly, writers all across North America think it’s disrecpectful? But half these clowns don’t get insulted when another team or coach gives them the “lower body injury” garbage, which is pretty much saying. “I’m lying to you.” To me, that’s worse than saying nothing, though Torts could have said it in a better way.

[5]11) Brian Boyle was much more beastly than he’d been so far this season. Much more. Jeff Halpern played like he had something to show his former team. Those guys were really good on the PK against a very strong PP (though minus Mike Green, lower body injury lie). And that brings us to the best PKer, Ryan Callahan, who had a magnificent¬† game all around, then, late, with the Caps having pulled Dryden Holtby trying to tie it, who went down in front of two shots? Do I even have to say it? Big as the building, again.

12) There were a couple of execs from USA Hockey at the game and in the lockerroom talking to all the Red, White and Blue kids – the Rangers lead the league in Americans and on Hockey Day in America, or whatever it was called, one of the U.S. kids got the game-winner in NYC. I think the execs spoke to every American-born Ranger, plus coaches Mike Sullivan and I’m assuming, John Tortorella, about the 2014 Olympics … which still aren’t a done deal, by the way.

13) Alex Ovechkin played, right?

************************************* [6]
My Three Rangers Stars:
1. Derek Stepan.
2. Carl Hagelin.
3. Henrik Lundqvist.
*************************************
The real Kenny Albert’s Three Rangers Stars:
(seriously)
1. Carl Hagelin.
2. Henrik Lundqvist.
3. Rick Nash.
*************************************
Kenny Albert Rules’ Three Rangers Stars:
1. Derek Stepan.
2. Carl Hagelin.
3. Ryan Callahan.
*************************************
Ranger JHW’s Three Rangers Stars:
1. Ryan Callahan-icebag(s) please.
2. Hank Lundqvist – sweet one!
3. Derek Stepan-strong game.
Honorable mention: Brian Boyle – welcome back!
*************************************
Your poll vote for Three Rangers Stars:
1. Henrik Lundqvist (22.42 %).
2. Derek Stepan (19.57 %).
3. Ryan Callahan (18.51 %).


Photos by Getty Images.


 

 

 


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[1] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/02/del-zotto-vs.-caps.jpg

[2] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/02/callahan-lundqvist-vs.-caps.jpg

[3] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/02/stepan-gw-ppg-vs.-Caps.jpg

[4] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/02/hagelin-goal-vs.-Caps.jpg

[5] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/02/staal-vs.-ovechkin.jpg

[6] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/02/boyle-vs.-chimera1.jpg