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Rangers-Baby Buffaloes in review

Posted By Carp On March 4, 2013 @ 3:19 am In Hockey,Lockout,New York Rangers,NHL,Rangers Report | 475 Comments

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Thoughts:

1) This was more like last year for the Rangers. They got punched in the mouth and all of a sudden they decided to show up. Well, it wasn’t even a punch in the mouth, it was a dangerous, intentional, filthy hit by a cheap-shot artist of the lowest degree, known for playing way over the line. But the Rangers reacted, they reacted quickly and well, and they turned it into a win. Like 2011-12. And there sure haven’t been nearly enough games like 2011-12 this season.

2) I’m not looking for negatives, but really, those first two periods, there were a lot of guys going at scrimmage speed. You know, kind of hunched over, feet spread apart, not exactly gliding, but surely not going hard enough. Yeah, I know, that the Sabres have clamped down since their coaching change, and they were good in front of Ryan Miller. But, geez, I thought a lot of it was what the Rangers weren’t doing. Some of those guys seem intent on shutting themselves out by NOT shooting, guys like Brian Boyle. No shots for four games, and then a chance like that, he passes behind Marian Gaborik? He’s got to shoot that puck. [2]

3) The Rangers penalty killing was terrific and monumentally clutch, but let’s remember, in Buffalo they were facing a team with a worse power play than their own. Also, in Buffalo, is an example that the big shot at the point necessarily makes for a good power play, because the Sabres sure have one big shot in Ehroff and their PP is worthless.

4) I don’t recall Derek Stepan playing such a good all-around game, winning important faceoff after important faceoff, playing well defensively, couple of solid hits, and the goal on the 5-on-3 that turned the game.

5) Rick Nash. Another fabulous game. Took a couple of dumb penalties, and nearly stuck one in his own net after blowing a tire in overtime. Guy’s an absolute force, though. And he and Marian Gaborik, Stepan and even Michael Del Zotto were moving on the back side or weak side of the power play. You have to have that movement away from the puck, or you can’t move the puck, unless you do the usual move it backward and away from the net. Nash found space on the weak side and took Gaborik’s pass for the 2-2 goal, and Stepan found the weak side hole and buried Nash’s pass on the 5-on-3. Nash also had that great drive to the net broken up by Tyler Myers, and the goal after the hockey game ended was a thing of beauty. Beast.

[3]6) Patrick Kaleta. What a piece of crap. Of course, my expectations from the NHL’s Department of Jumping Through Hoops to not suspend anybody were forced even lower after the Max Pacioretty assault on Ryan McDonagh. So I don’t expect Kaleta to be punished. And that clown on Philly only got four games—which wasn’t nearly enough.  Let’s see what rabbit Brendan Shanahan pulls out of his hat for this notorious jackwagon Kaleta, who is the poster boy for players not having any respect for their peers any more. I don’t know about all the stipulations, like the idiotic initial-point-of-contact thing they use on head shots, but there’s got to be a suspension that’s a suspension just because you see it and you know it. That Kaleta shot was a suspension, and when you saw it, you knew it. But we’ll see. Like I said, the bar’s been set pretty low.

[4]7) Speaking of McDonagh, he’s really struggled lately. He had a really rough night.

8) And I’ve said many times that I’m not nuts about Marc Staal and Dan Girardi together—I think they’re too similar, and both spend too much time on the ice, off their skates. But last night, Staal and Girardi were really good together and Girardi got banged up too. Also took what should be an illegal head shot, but the NHL obviously has no idea how to police head shots, or no interest in doing so.

9) But God forbid you hook a guy’s glove. Pansification.

10) Speaking of which, there are way, way, way too many Bettman Bonus Points for losing being doled out this season, and some teams are going to miss the playoffs in this short season because they didn’t lose enough games in overtime of the silly contest after the game ends. And some bad team or teams (like Florida last year) are going to get in because they got enough Bettman points for losing. Joke.

11) That first Buffalo goal, that was on a bunch of people long before the faceoff—a long shift, and then Anton Stralman icing the puck—a clear that had no chance of being anything but icing.

12) To go back to that Kaleta-Richards thing, and how it seemed to spark the Rangers … they really need to find that again, that nasty edge with which they played after the hit and after the PPGs. They played so many games that way in 2011-12. Again, not nearly enough of those in 2013.

13) Henrik Lundqvist, I thought, was really good. And he showed what a shootout weapon he can be with two exceptional saves in the contest after the hockey game ended.

14) Another huge game by the Captain.

15) I imagine Richards, who has been much better the last two games (still don’t like him on the PP point at all) is going to be pretty darn sore today.

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My Three Rangers Stars:
1. Derek Stepan.
2. Rick Nash.
3. Henrik Lundqvist.
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RangerJHW’s Three Rangers Stars:
1. Rick Nash … solid
2. Henrik-Henrik-Henrik
3. Marc Staal … decisive

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Your poll vote for Three Rangers Stars:
1. Rick Nash (31.84 %).
2. Henrik Lundqvist (17.41 %).
3. Marc Staal (14.43 %).
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Photos by Getty Images.

 

 

 


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[1] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/03/lundqvist-shootout-vs.-buf.jpg

[2] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/03/callahan-shootout-vs.-miller.jpg

[3] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/03/kaleta-hit-on-Richards1.jpg

[4] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/03/richards-hit-by-Kaleta1.jpg

[5] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/03/nash-ppg-vs.-sabres.jpg