Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New Lines-New Results

Coach clueless made some line changes, again, last night and for one night it paid off. The Rangers beat the Atlanta Thrashers 4-0 and the line changes, for a change, were quite effective. Sean Avery was moved to the first line with Gomez and Jagr, the JAG line, and it paid off as the line got two goals and three assists. Avery rubbed off on both Jagr and Gomez as both crashed the net, especially on Avery's goal, and was effective all night. Putting Avery on the first line was effective because of Avery's aggressiveness. He creates so much pressure and havoc on the defenders that it allowed Jagr and Gomez to roam freely.

Jagr picked up two assists, one on Avery's goal and the other on Dubinsky's goal during a line change while Jagr was still on the ice. The strangest goal came when Straka scored a shorthanded goal when Kozlov was skating to the bench and completely ignored the puck as it passed him on the way to the Thrasher zone. Straka pounced on it and put a backhander past Atlanta goalie Lehtonen who got poor support all night from his team. Jagr closed out the scoring by scoring from in close.

Henrik Lundqvist got his seventh shutout of the season, the 14th of his career in about as easy a game he will ever have. He'll take it, as he needed only 14 saves to move to within one of tying Eddie Giacomin's record of eight in a season. He had help from the Thrashers as Kovalchuk self destructed by boarding Rozsival and got a 5 minute penalty and a game misconduct. Marian Hossa, the real Hossa, was held to no shots on goal as the Rangers played a solid game.

Remember how easy we beat Montreal and then lost back to back to the Bruins? Remember we are now 8-12-4 and its not the first time we played well after changing the lines. So we get Atlanta tomorrow night on Brian Leetch night and it is a good possibility that Kovalchuk will be suspended for the game. Do we come out flat or do we come out flying in honor of one of our all time greats. After the All Star break we hit the road for four toughies. Carolina, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Montreal. That will tell us a lot of about where we are going. We will also find out if the line changes are permanent. Hopefully it's up, up and away.

Brian Leetch - Jersey #2 retiredICINGS:

1050 ESPN Radio NY / Michael Kay show:
Brian Leetch Interview, Wed. show [mp3] -- Michael Kay and Don LaGreca talk with New York Rangers Legend Brian Leetch. Leetch discusses some of his most memorable moments in the NHL, his former teammates and whether or not he's going to cry when they raise his jersey.

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  • The Dark Ranger said...

    At the very least, Kavalchuk is out on suspension so our Rangers have 'advantage-in' going into the game. I do hope our Blueshirts make Brian proud to raise the number.

    Let's Go Rangers, Mike. May it be the turn around we expect in our boys.


  • mike said...

    the dark ranger-Aah! That glimmer of hope springs eternal in Ranger fans.