I look at this Ranger team and I am starting to be amazed. They are doing things that I thought this team was incapable of doing. They beat the Islanders 2-1 in OT today on a Michael Nylander tip in with 49 seconds left in the game. This is their fifth straight win, their third straight over the Islanders and they are 10-1-3 since the trading deadline with only the addition of Avery and Mara plus plenty of young legs, which are slowly starting to disappear.
So how are they doing it? Certainly not by their offense which has only feasted on the bottom feeders. They still prefer the tic-tac-toe rather than the straight north south style of offense. They still work for the perfect goal. The defense is doing well now but what happens when Tyutin and Rachunek come back? Strudwick will obviously sit and then its probably Pock. Renney is playing Strudwick now but he will be ineligible for the playoffs. Why not play Liffiton, big, tough and sound defensively? Pock has been a perfect partner for mistake prone Rozsival and brings offensive skills to the position. He will probably sit the rest of the year when Tyutin and Rachunek return. Is this a good move?
There is only one position left and that is the position that gives the Rangers the great equalizer. The position is goaltending and the goaltender is Henrik Lundqvist. In his last twenty games he is 12-3-5 with a GAA of 1.54 and a save % of .938. In his last thirty six games Lundqvist has a GAA of 1.78 and a save % of .932. These are Vezina trophy numbers and MVP numbers. Imagine giving up less than two goals per game in thirty six games and the Rangers are fighting along with five other teams for the last three playoff spots. The Rangers should be contending for the top spots in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference. The supporting cast has not lived up to the performance of Prince Henrik Lundqvist.
ICINGS: Watched the game on NBC and it left a lot to be desired. Immediately after the game NBC switched to golf. Outside of Joe Micheletti on the sidelines I had no idea who the two announcers in the booth were. Just think next year we get the Food Network as the main TV Network for NHL games.
March 26, 2007More old school video. Today's clip - John Wensink of the Boston Bruins Challenges the North Stars bench. Via Eric McErlain at Off Wing Opinion:
Nice Recipe For Winning
Plus And Minus
Shanahan Trying To Get Timing Back
Lun Is Number One
Eighth Not Enough
Hollweg In No Hurry To See Simon
Isles' Clock Running Out
Rangers Continue Their Winning Ways By Beating Island
At 1:08 in, you'll see why Wensink was a fan favorite for a whole generation of Bruins fans in the 70's. It's not every day you see a guy challenge an entire bench. And win.