Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Prince And The Kid

The Rangers have revealed their strategy for the drive to the playoffs and beyond. It's simple. Lundqvist stands on his head and one player rises to the occasion to win the game. Thursday on the Island it was Sean Avery with two goals and a ton of mischief helping Lundqvist with his 26 saves and 30th win. Today it was the kid, Nigel Dawes, who scored the winner in the shootout to give Lundqvist his ninth shutout of the year and sixteen career- wise. Dawes shootout goal was his third in four attempts and his first game deciding goal in the shootout.

Lundqvist was the Prince again and was voted the number one star. The number two star was the equally brilliant Boston backup Alex Auld who was appearing in his fifth straight game for the Bruins. Lundqvist made 29 saves and Auld made 35. The Rangers failed on many big opportunities, the biggest one being Gomez stealing the puck from Bruin defenseman Andrew Ference right in front of Auld and shooting wide. The number three star was Dawes. It was the second game in the last five that Dawes was voted a star of the game. At Carolina on the 28th of February he was voted the number one star in a 4-2 Ranger win.

The win moved the Rangers into sole possession of sixth place with 81 points, one better than Boston and only two points behind Ottawa with the Rangers holding a game in hand. They are four points behind Pittsburgh for fourth place and have a game in hand on the Pens. More importantly they are seven points ahead of ninth place Buffalo who they play tomorrow night in Buffalo. The game will be on Versus.

Lundqvist earned the win by stopping Marco Sturm, Phil Kessel and David Krejci. The other Ranger shooters were Shanahan, who is now 4 for 10 in shootouts and Chris Drury who is 0 for 5. Fortunately Dawes and Lundqvist brought the win home and I for one was glad. I did not want to see Michal Rozsival in the shootout and don't want to see him in another shootout, ever.

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  • Section 335 said...

    The Rangers played playoff hockey, and won. It was a very good sign. The defense looked sharp often, but when it was sloppy, Hank was big. For huge parts of the third period, the game was played in the Bruins end. Another good sign. And, Stahl is showing signs of being an All-Star in a few years. Even Backman is learning to play the walls and to avoid stupid plays. All good.
    It really does not matter where the Rangers finish in the standings, as long as they are in the playoffs. So, that means all that does matter is winning over Buffalo. Buffalo is seven points behind with 13 to play. You can think of it like a 3 and a half game lead in baseball. Big but not impossible. Would be nice to win.

  • mike said...

    section 335-It was a great goalie game with both teams playing not to lose and basically that is what happened.

    We should try to finish as high as possible. Getting into the top four will give us home ice in the first round. Huge.

    Thanks for your input.

  • Section 335 said...

    Important win in Buffalo - we now have a 4 1/2 game lead (8pts plus the tie break) and the Rangers are 2 1/2 games out of first (3pts and played an extra game).

    First is possible, 4th would be just fine, but considering where we were this is a very good place.

    Now if only Clueless would do a Spitzer with ond of those ice girls!

  • mike said...

    section 335-You really are a dreamer, aren't you?