Friday, November 30, 2007

No Avery, No Sweat!

When the announcement came that Sean Avery would be out up to two weeks, Brendan Shanahan opined that this would be an opportunity for someone else to step up. After all with Avery in the lineup the Rangers are 9-4-1 and without him they are 4-5-1, so the necessity for someone else to step up.

Not one, but three individuals stepped up and it was the three individuals we have been waiting for what seems forever, to step up. Jaromir Jagr with his sixth goal and an assist, Chris Drury with his sixth goal, a power play, and an assist and Scott Gomez with his fifth, also a PP goal. They were ably assisted by two other vets, Shanahan and Straka who got two assists each. The rookie Dubinsky got the fourth goal of the game plus an assist as the Rangers could have scored another three or four goals against DiPietro who did a lot of flopping tonight and lost his stick a couple of times.

Jagr, Dubinsky and Drury were the three stars, in that order, tonight. The power play which was 1-14 in the three previous games against the Isles, was 2-8 tonight and they were shooting and moving the puck with ease. The Islanders were 1-8 on the PP. The Rangers outshot the Isles 31-24 and the best part of the offense was that ice time was fairly evenly distributed.

Only one forward got over twenty minutes of ice time and that honor went to Chris Drury with 21:05 minutes. However, Drury put in 5:16 on the PP and 3:41 on the PK. Petre Prucha got 14:10 and actually got all of 2:04 minutes on the PP. As luck would have it, he got no shots on goal all night. I'm expecting a call from coach clueless tomorrow so that I could explain to him why Prucha got no shots on goal tonight.

My son remarked to me at game's end that even though Lundqvist gave up only two goals he wasn't recognized as one of the stars of the game. Is he being taken for granted? I think its the recognition of his status as one of the top goalies in the NHL. Since the end of the lockout, starting the 2005-06 season Lundqvist ranks 5th in games won with 79, Brodeur leads with 101. Lundqvist ranks 2nd in GAA with 2.22, Hasek leads with 2.15. Lundqvist ranks 2nd in save percentage with .921, Cristobel Huet leads with .923. Lundqvist ranks 6th in shutouts with 11, Brodeur leads with 18. So hopefully we will be privileged to watch Lundqvist climb up in the standings over the next 10-15 years.

For one night at least, the Rangers played the way we envisioned they would be playing with the personnel they have. Can they keep it going? Is Jaromir Jagr ready to go on a roll? Can Straka keep Jagr going? Are Drury and Gomez ready to put up the numbers that they have in the past? This may sound like a promo for a soap opera but think about it for a second. The Rangers are a soap opera. They have the talent to blow their rivals away in the Atlantic Division and make a serious run for the Cup. However getting this collection of stars to play as a complete unit is taking more time then most of us thought. For now, lets be happy with tonight's performance and worry about Saturday's game at Ottawa.

ICINGS: Drury now has scored goals in three straight games and has 199 goals for his career. For the first time this year Jagr has scored goals in two straight games. Rozsival put in the Islanders first goal by trying to put the puck under Lundqvist, and he put it past him.

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  • The Dark Ranger said...

    Days Of Our Lives.
    One Life To Live.

    I have continued to hold Drury in my fantasy hockey league, and it's finally paying off. In real life, he may be on the way to paying off...soon enough he will hold the "C" (maybe 2 seasons)...and we saw a glimpse of our Scotty Gomez potential and his historically demi-God assists - just wish he would shoot more than pass.

    Crossing fingers for Saturday - The Dark Ranger is a little uneasy going to work, eating, sleeping knowing that the true test is tomorrow afternoon. (as opposed to just the Islanders last night!!!! :) just razzin' ya).

    Can we finally take Ottawa? Could it be? Nah. Are we really good even without a coach? Nah.

    ..but just maybe.


  • Section 335 said...

    I was thinking about a new coach. Finally got it figured out. Al Arbour. If Vinny T can come back in football, why not Al? He knows how to use talent. And for all those years I hated him, it is time he paid us back.

  • The Iron Sheik said...

    I think the biggest boost of energy came from the returning Ryan Callahan. He's physical and throws his body around like Avery except he doesn't yap as much.
    The Prucha / Drury / Callahan line looked great.

  • mike said...

    the iron sheik-Great line. Hopefully it will stay together more than a game or two.

  • mike said...

    the dark ranger-
    As The Stomach Turns
    If they are left alone, uncoached, they can beat anybody.

    And they did.

  • mike said...

    section 335-Arbour?What a stretch. How about bringing Iron Mike back?