Friday, December 08, 2006

King Of The Shootouts

Henrik Lundqvist has been having his problems lately, however no matter how poorly he plays in the first 60 minutes, he is perfect in OT and the shootouts. Last night The prince played a strong 60 minutes, 28 saves, including 9-9 in the third period and 2-2 in the OT. He was scored on by Nils Ekman's penalty shot and Sidney Crosby's sanitized rush for his 12th goal of the year. It was sanitized as no Ranger (Kasparaitis and Rachunek) touched him. When it came to the shootout The Prince was perfect again, stopping Evgeni Malkin, Nils Ekman and Sidney Crosby. Lundqvist is now 4-0 in shootouts and is 22-22 on shots/ saves in shootouts. The closest other goalie is Johan Holmqvist of Tampa Bay who is 7-7. Manny Fernandez of Minnesota is 6-0 in shootouts but has given up 7 goals in 32 shots.

The Rangers have not beaten the Penguins in regulation this year. In four games the Pens have accumulated 6 points the Rangers 4. The Rangers seem to go into a brain lock when they play this team. For some reason the Rangers can not exploit this young teams inexperienced defensemen. Of course we know the reason. The Rangers are the only team I know that come down on a three on two or three on one and continue to pass the puck backwards, further and further away from the goal.

Renney made some changes but as usual they were half-ass changes. He played Kasparaitis but left Rachunek in the lineup. He put Immonen in as the second line center but put Cullen on his wing and dropped Prucha to the third line. Immonen seemed tentative at times but made one great defensive play in the third period skating back on defense to break up a rush and won 6 out of 8 faceoffs. Kaspy had 6 hits and 6 blocked shots in his 15:51 of ice team. That is a month's worth of work for Ozolinsh. Rachunek was his usual non-productive self, no hits.

Outside of Lundqvist it was Ole Man River Shanahan rising to the occasion. His third period goal off of a beautiful feed by Jagr tied the game and then came through in the shootout for the game winner. The guy is amazing. Twenty two minutes of ice time, the tying goal, the winning goal, four shots on goal, one hit and four takeaways. If it wasn't for him the Rangers wouldn't be contenders for the AHL title.

ICINGS: Quite a few empty seats last night but it was announced as the usual capacity.

So The NY Post (Larry Brooks) and Newsday (Steve Zipay) came up with the exact same headline?

Lundqvist Bounces Back, Rangers Top Pens

NY Post
Lundqvist Rules in Shootout
Lundqvist rules in shootout
Nylander leaves to see birth of sixth child

December 7, 2006
NY Post
Renney Wiping Dust Off Darius
Journal News
Rangers' Renney Trying To Get Cullen Going
Renney Tinkering With Lines, Defense Pairings

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  • Jeff said...

    Is Renney the problem when looking at why this team does not play more consistantly. Why play Cullen (19 min) over Prucha (11 min)?? But Immonen for 11+min is a plus.

  • mike said...

    jeff-Of course Renney is the problem.