Monday, March 31, 2008

Captain Clutch Strikes

He used to give us fits and one playoff game last year he gave us the ultimate agita scoring a tying goal against us with 7.7 seconds left in the game. We lost the game in OT. Now he is on our side thanks to being one of the two best moves our GM made in the off season. He is Chris Drury and he scored his 4th career OT goal and his first as a Ranger. It was his 24th of the year. Remember his big tying goal against Brodeur on the 19th at The Rock? He is starting to come on and why not? Its close to playoff time and these last few games are playoff type games. It is his time of the year. It was his 44th career game winning goal.

The 2-1 win, Jagr got the other Ranger goal his 21st, jumped the Rangers into fifth place one point ahead of Ottawa. We are tied with the Devils for fourth with 93 points each but they have more wins than us and they also have a game in hand. The game at The Rock on Sunday is the season finale and may decide fourth and fifth place. Two points more by the Rangers or a loss by Washington will clinch the Rangers third straight playoff appearance. It would be great if the Rangers could rap it up Thursday at the Island. A lot of my Islander friends already miserable over the teams performance this year will have to go into a thirty day mourning period if the Rangers clinch on Long Island.

The game was a solid, rock 'em, sock 'em playoff type game with the Rangers matching the Penguins hit for hit, (34-33), unlike last nights game. Sean Avery set the tone early, first with a big hit on Sydor and about 20 seconds later he tangled with Ryan Malone, who objected to Avery's hit on Sydor. After a spirited exchange Avery decked Malone with a right cross. Needless to say that brought the crowd into the game.

Jagr played a great game and his goal, a power play goal, was the second fluke goal in a row the Rangers have scored at the Garden. His shot was deflected over goalie Fleury's head and as it came down it looked like Gomez was trying to bat it in but defenseman Rob Scuderi swung his hand to stop Gomez's stick. Scuderi swatted the puck off of Fleury's head into the net. Originally the ref ruled no goal, however, the review showed it was a goal, so maybe just in time for the playoffs the Rangers are getting lucky. The goal was Jagr's third in his last five games.

Lundqvist was outstanding especially in the third period when he made twelve saves. Overall he made 21 saves, quite a few spectacular. The one goal scored by Pittsburgh was because of poor coverage by Dubinsky who was busy trying to atone for a Penguin hit on Jagr which left Lundqvist vulnerable. Its hard to fault Dubinsky who played a great game. To me the three stars were number one Chris Drury, number two Jaromir Jagr and number three Henrik Lundqvist. Sean Avery with three shots, three hits and the big fight played great as did Ryan Callahan who had four shots and eight hits. All in all a strong comeback from the stinker in Pittsburgh. The Rangers took the season series from Pittsburgh five games to three, winning all four games at the Garden. The Rangers have the sixth best home record in the NHL, hence the importance of getting the number four spot.


For some nice pics, an extensive report, and an "interesting" take on the game, check out the Pensblog:

The Rangers have come out of nowhere the past month or so to make a name for themselves. They are coming together at the right time.

They were a desperate team in this game, and they got it done.

The Pens wanted to win.
The Rangers had to win.

As far as the Rangers postseason hopes go, their defense is solid as balls.

Unlike the whiny New York Media, their fans, and their team, we aren't going to run the Rangers down, like they run the Penguins down. All you can do is appreciate the hockey that went down Monday night.

Chris Drury is clutch, and clutch is everything.
But the Pens got a point, on the road...

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  • Section 335 said...

    Huge game for Washington and Carolina tonight. The loser might not make the playoffs. Yes, that is right. Carolina probably needs to win either tonight, or each of the last two it plays to get a playoff spot.

    What that means is that the sixth place team could face Washington.

  • Anonymous said...

    Sure homeice is nice, but the Rangers can win anywhere when they decide to skate and hit. The other things just seem to fall into place: offensive opportunities, crisp forechecking,and of course, great goaltending by Henrik.

  • mike said...

    section 335-Washington will be dangerous. I have predicted that if they get into the playoffs they win the East. I hope I am wrong.

  • mike said...

    anonymous-Yes they can and will but they have one of the best home records in the NHL. We wouldn't be where we are without Lundqvist.

  • Graying Mantis said...

    Great post. Thanks for the link to the Penguins blog. Some nice pictures and some funny pix for the recent home and home. The picture from the Toronto control room made me laugh.

    That blog also pointed out something about whiny Ranger fans, which has some merit. If you listened to the fans at MSG, you would forget that the Blueshirts are at the top of the NHL in goals allowed, 2nd in faceoffs won and have a strong home record. But all my section wants to do is yell at Jagr.

  • mike said...

    graying mantis-All you need to know about some Ranger fans is that in the middle of some tense action some jerk starts the whistle that leads to the Potvin chant.

    jb does a great job picking out interesting sites and pictures to embellish our site.


  • The Dark Ranger said...

    WE DO NOT WANT OVECHKIN first round!!! I love to watch the guy playing any team but the Rangers.

    The Dark Ranger foresees the NJ Devils of Newark matching our Blueshirts...the Rangers in fourth place, the Devs in fifth. Home ice advantage. Hear me now.

  • Section 335 said...

    Washington's win, making Huet 9-2 with Washington and GAA 1.75, puts them in a great spot. It also makes it very possible Huet comes back to bite Montreal.

    If Washington wins the next two, they end up with 94 points and 43 wins. To beat them the following teams must do this or better:

    Rangers 0-1-2
    Carolina 2-0-0
    Ottawa 1-0-1 (Caps own breaker)
    Boston 2-1-0
    Phil 2-1-0

    The Ottawa Boston game will be huge. Hard to believe it, but looks pretty good for Washington, and the NHL would well get Caps-Montreal and Caps-Pittsburgh in rounds one and two.

  • mike said...

    the dark ranger-Trust me. We don't want Washington in any round. They are too aggressive for us. Mark my words. If the Caps make the playoffs they will win the East.

  • mike said...

    section 335-Like I told the Dark Ranger. If the Caps make the playoffs they will win the East. The East has their work cut out for them. The Rangers cannot play rope a dope hockey and expect to win. Lundqvist can only do so much.

  • Section 335 said...


    If Washington wins the next two, they end up with 94 points and 43 wins. To beat them the following teams must do this or better:

    Rangers 0-1-2
    Carolina 1-0-0
    Ottawa 1-0-1 (Caps own breaker)
    Boston 1-0-1
    Phil 2-0-0

    Carolina is likely win its last game and finish 3rd.

    Ottawa plays Toronto and Boston. Toronto has beaten Ottawa the last three times. Boston has taken three of the past four. Not looking good for them.

    Boston plays Buffalo and Ottawa. They have a good shot at 3 or 4 points.

    Philly has it the hardest - playing both the Devils and Penguins. They will be desperate against the Devils - who have beaten them four in a row.

    Possible final standings.

    1. Pittsburgh 104
    2. Montreal 104
    3. Carolina 94
    4. Rangers 98
    5. Devils 97
    6. Boston 95
    7. Washington 94
    8. Philly 93
    Ottawa 92

    If Philly does not beat the Devils, they are not likely to make it. that is very good for us. If the Devils get one more point, we are 5th.

    Rangers-Washington Conference finals

  • jb said...

    section 335,

    Thanx for the breakdown. If that Ottawa collapse comes to pass they'll feel like the Mets fans did last year...

  • Section 335 said...

    Corrrection. If the Devils get ONE point, we can still finish 4th.

    Big night tonight. GO FLYERS!!

  • Section 335 said...

    Why is this allowed?

  • jb said...

    Bell is real brave, wearing a full face-shield.