Friday, November 16, 2007

The Shootout Twins

So there was Sean Avery with about eight seconds left in OT last night and skating toward Henrik Lundqvist. Skating toward Lundqvist? He should have been skating toward Biron, the Flyer goalie, right? No, Avery knew that a shootout was playing into the Rangers hands because they had the shootout champ in Henrik Lundqvist. And so it came to pass that the Rangers won the shootout on Brendan Shanahan's goal and Henrik Lundqvist's perfection.

The Rangers are now 3-1 in shootouts losing only to Boston, 1-0. They have beaten Toronto, the Devils and now the Flyers. Lundqvist has faced 12 shots and only one has gotten by him. Last night he stoped Briere, Richards and Upshall. Shanahan scored his second shootout goal to give the Rangers the win. He also tallied one in the game as his line is starting to smoke with Gomez and Avery. No surprise the Rangers who are riding a four game winning streak have lost only one game since Avery returned to the lineup.

The Drury line is also clicking as Drury is doing everything right except score a goal. His beautiful takeaway, feed to Prucha and driving to the net to create a screen, as Prucha put in his second of the year, was a thing of beauty. It wasn't one of the Rangers best games of the year but it shows how much this team has improved that it wins ugly games. The young guys are really making a difference. Staal is playing like a veteran and not like a 20 year old.

Lundqvist also gave up a couple of gimmees, however when the chips were down in the shootout he was on top of his game, stopping Briere on a stick check, getting Richards to shot high and making a save on Upshall. Maybe the rest didn't help. Petr Prucha's ice time improved getting 12 plus minutes and he led all forwards with three shots on goal. The defense was quite active on offense. Besides Tyutin's goal the D put thirteen of the teams twenty nine shots on goal. The increased offense by the defense along with more ice time for the youngsters is paying off. Should be interesting to see who sits when Straka, Callahan and Malik return. I know who I would sit.

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  • Anonymous said...

    So who sits??? I don't think it’s that easy of a choice.
    I would guess that Hossa and Dawes would sit for Straka and Callahan. But Dawes has been flying and do we want to mess with Jager’s first line chemistry? At least that would be the counter argument for Dawes and Hossa. As for Malik, I don’t care for his game but with Stall playing well with Rozival, I’d like to see him play a few games with Mara over Strudwick. As nicely as Strudwick has played (i.e. not having made too many mistakes), I think the “Drain Trust” will insist on bringing back Malik. So my guess/hope is he’ll be playing with Mara. That could also be dangerous as neither of them have any speed.

    As for Stall sticking up for Prucha the other day, FINALY! Damn well worth the 2 minutes in the box.

  • Anonymous said...

    Love Avery, that skating back towards Lundqvist was a nice psyche job on the Flyers.

  • mike said...

    anonymous-I would sit Hossa, Orr and Malik, playing Orr against some 'special nut case teams'. Staal is the Man!

  • mike said...

    anonymous-To think we went to arbitration with this guy. We need to sign him long range in January.