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Rangers-Capitals in review
Posted By On March 11, 2013 @ 1:05 am In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL,Rangers Report | 656 Comments
Since there was no post-game, here’s John Tortorella’s presser from Blueshirts United .
1) Ryan Callahan=Beast. How about the two plays he made on the 5-on-3 (after losing the draw)? Stat line: Deflection goal, five hits, three shots on goal, two others missed, three blocks, a takeaway. 
2) Another nice recovery by Martin Biron, who was really strong after allowing the early goal. I am not about to compare him to Henrik Lundqvist, but I will say this. He’s better on high shots — and he saw a lot of those Sunday — and he handles the puck better, which can help the breakout. And I’m not sure if that was a bad goal Biron allowed, or if he was distracted by being hit in the mask by Joel Ward’s stick as Ward was being taken out by Ryan McDonagh.
3) Speaking of McMonster, if he wasn’t the best player on the ice today, he was second, IMO. Loved the NBC guys, Eddie O and Pierre McGuire, making him a lock on the U.S. Olympic team defense after so many clueless writers in the USA and Canada had him as an afterthought or a longshot. He will be on the team, take it to the bank. Also, McDonagh is starting to add some offense to his game, and there’s no reason he shouldn’t with his skating, smarts and skills.
4) His partner, Block Ness Monster Girardi (five blocks) was pretty special in this game, too. Alex who?
5) And while we’re on the defense, I think Michael Del Zotto’s been really good for a while, and has even stepped it up another notch since Marc Staal’s injury.
6) The start of this game — the Rangers lost battle after battle after battle along the wall. Also, it appears to me that, since the middle of the Capitals series last year and through the Eastern finals, and all of this season, teams have made an adjustment in forechecking against the Rangers, taking away the wall as an outlet, forcing them to the middle. The first man in is aggressive on the Rangers D, forces the puck to the boards and then the opponent (Caps in this case) go to work and take that away. Again, though, last year the Rangers won more of those battles, as they sure did for the final 50 minutes Sunday. 
7) On the first Rangers goal, I thought Derek Stepan turned down a great chance to shoot, and then he accidentally banked a pass meant for Marian Gaborik off Braden Holtby and in. No knocking a goal, I guess, but Stepan’s got to shoot it a little more, IMO. Otherwise he’s playing terrific hockey
8) As for McGuire saying Alex Ovechkin had mercy on Stepan at center ice before the goal, if Ovechkin gets even a little piece of him there, it’s an interference call, no doubt about it. … for anybody who’s been watching anything around the NHL this season. Ovechkin also had that dirty little slew foot on Callahan. Ovechkin and that car seat sticking out of his pants really stunk in this game.
9) Brian Boyle had his best shift of the season, and he finished it off with his first goal. Was he great? No. Was he a lot better? Yessir, he was. Just to show you how maybe we shouldn’t pay attention to stats: Boyle was credited with zero hits.
10) I thought it was really unfair the attention paid to Marian Gaborik when he pulled up. I mean, he did, and that’s a bad play, especially on this team. But he wasn’t terrible on the wall all game long.
11) Brad Richards was not on the first PP unit, and not on the point on the second unit, and both PPs were very good. I really like Richards’ skill set on the half boards a lot more than at the point. I also have liked Richards’ game in both games since he was mugged by Patrick Kaleta, just not on the point.
12) Maybe faceoffs aren’t important after all (tongue in cheek). Nick Backstrom was 14-0. Brad Richards was 3-9.
13) J.T. Miller made one horrific turnover that resulted in the Rangers being pinned in their own end for a long time, but overall, I thought Miller fit right into this game and the wall play as it developed. Age 19.
My Three Rangers Stars:
1. Ryan Callahan.
2. Ryan McDonagh.
3. Martin Biron.
Kenny Albert’s (the real one) Three Rangers Stars:
1. Ryan McDonagh.
2. Martin Biron.
3. Brian Boyle.
RangerJHW’s Three Rangers Stars:
2. Group Star-D Men
3. Cally-every minute-every game
Your poll vote for Three Rangers Stars:
1. Martin Biron (26.02 %).
2. Ryan McDonagh (17.34 %).
3. Ryan Callahan (14.91 %).
Photos by Getty Images.
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 Image: http://dqmt5fo24ucpe.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/richards-goal-vs.-caps.jpg
 here’s John Tortorella’s presser from Blueshirts United: http://blueshirtsunited.com/videos/2729/tortorella-postgame-in-washington#.UT08nFeyJuh
 Image: http://dqmt5fo24ucpe.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/callahan-stepan-celebrate.jpg
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 Image: http://dqmt5fo24ucpe.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/boyle-scores-vs.-caps.jpg
 Image: http://dqmt5fo24ucpe.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/biron-vs.-caps3.jpg