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Rangers-Flyers in review

Posted By Carp On March 27, 2013 @ 5:28 am In Hockey,Lockout,New York Rangers,NHL,Rangers Report | 519 Comments

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Thoughts:

1) I’m sure there’s some sentiment today that the Rangers beat a bad, struggling team last night, and that is very true. But, we’ve seen it plenty the last two weeks where the Rangers play a lesser foe and get one point, or none, or get beaten by a backup goalie because they can’t score, or whatever. In Game 32 of a 48 game season, you grab two points and take them for what they’re worth, which is everything right now. And looking ahead – this was the start of 11 of the final 17 on the road – other than being away from home, the Rangers’ remaining schedule is loaded with teams like the Flyers. So … you know.

[2]2) At the very least, some of you can back off the ledge.

3) Gotta give the coach some credit (in addition to his 400th win) with the lineup shuffling. Worked a bit like Billy Martin’s lineup-out-of-the-hat. This was a bit less random – actually not random at all. You can blame him for sticking with Rick Nash-Brad Richards for too long to this point. On the other hand, getting Richards contributing is kinda, you know, critical to the Rangers’ success. Make fun of him all you want, or complain about him all you want. The Rangers desperately need him to be a force.

4) That said, we all know that the line of Nash, Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan has been terrific earlier in the season (including when Richards was hurt), and that the Rangers are 7-0-1 in games they’ve played together. It just works. Better late than never, right? So now that line has to stick together.

5) And, to make it a better decision by Tortorella, and an easier decision to stick with that line, the other lines all worked, too. With Richards scoring a power-play goal, and Chris Kreider scoring and having a bunch of other chances.

[3]6) So now the coach is going to have to decide if he makes another switch when Mats Zuccarello arrives for Thursday’s game in Ottawa.

7) It started quickly, too, with a Hagelin breakaway, then a 1-0 lead, then 3-0. And when the Flyers got a PPG in the second and a fluke goal off a neck, Nash answered quickly with his wrap around goal. Geez, Nash’s been good this year, but he needs to score more consistently. Maybe this will spark him.

8) Terrific games by Kreider and by J.T. Miller, moved back to center. And they created a great chance the one time they were on the ice together briefly … and also the edge they both showed, Kreider upending Claude Giroux after a shot, Miller burying Wayne Simmonds along the wall.

9) This was a big bounce-back game by Dan Girardi, who was split up from Ryan McDonagh as the Rangers checked two Flyers lines. [4]

10) All the goals, all the possession, everything … bottom line is this game was won because Henrik Lundqvist vs Ilya Bryzgalov was a mismatch. Again.

11) Great analysis by Brian Leetch (who is 1,000,000 times better than the other MSG studio guys) on the Stepan goal, that the play was exactly what a coach wants … McDonagh going in deep to keep possession, Girardi pinching, Nash recognizing that and backing up to the point, where he was ultimately in position to take a shot. Stepan buried the rebound.

12) The penalty on Brian Boyle: pansification. That said, the NYR PK has really become problematic. Especially right around the goalmouth with the snow angels.

13) Gotta believe that something’s gonna blow between Mr. Snider and coach Peter Laviolette, if not GM Paul Holmgren.

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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. Stepan … A+ (again).
2. Nasher … solid (again).
3. Henrik … 12 ties? Really now!
HM-Torts-all those coaching wins and finally great 2013 line combos.
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Kenny Albert Rules’ Three Rangers Stars: [6]
1. Derek Stepan.
2. Rick Nash.
3. Michael Del Zotto.
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Yergs’ Three Rangers Stars:
1. Rick Nash.
2. Derek Stepan.
3. John Tortorella – for working in four well-balanced lines (thought it was a good move).
HM: MSG Network for saving us from the Hell that is an NBC Sports broadcast.
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Your poll vote for Three Rangers Stars:
1. Derek Stepan (31.32 %).
2. Rick Nash (29.89 %).
3. Henrik Lundqvist (13.17 %).

Photos by Getty Images.


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[1] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/03/stepans-goal-vs.-bryzgalov.jpg

[2] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/03/stepan-laughs-at-giroux1.jpg

[3] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/03/nash-wraparound-vs.-brygalov.jpg

[4] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/03/girardi-vs.-rinaldo.jpg

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

[6] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/03/del-zotto-vs.-fedotenko.jpg