Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shootout At The Rock

In a hotly contested playoff type game, in a playoff atmosphere, the Rangers remained perfect against the Devils with a 2-1 shootout victory. The Rangers have beaten the Devils six out of six and three of them have been shootouts. Had this been a playoff game it probably would have ended late in the night or early in the morning. There will be no shootouts in the playoffs so the Ranger sweep of the Devils so far has to be tempered.

It was the kind of a game that you knew would be won by a big play or a big gaffe and the tying goal for the Rangers was a combination of both. Ryan Callahan made a great play from behind the net and the Devil defenseman made a poor decision then suddenly Callahan's pass/shot found Drury and Captain Clutch deposited it. Isn't that why we got Drury? Callahan continues to sparkle playing a somewhat minor roll. I say minor because coach clueless refuses to give this gritty player any power play time. Other key players not getting power play time are Sean Avery and Marc Staal. Backman got over five minutes of power play time and Tyutin got over four minutes. Putting Tyutin on the power play is like trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Coach clueless insists that there are certain parts of Staal's game that are not ready for the power play. What part of Backman's game impressed him to give him over five minutes of PP time. The power play was 0-4 and is now 3-40. There are only eight games to fix it.

There is no need to fix Lundqvist's game. The Prince made seventeen saves was only beaten by Zubrus power play goal and was outstanding in the shootout. Somehow seeing the Devils and Brodeur brings out the best in Lundqvist. He is 11-2-3 against Brodeur and the Devils in the regular season. He stopped Langenbrunner, Gionta and Parise while Dawes was working his magic on Brodeur.

The Rangers are four points behind the first place Devils, who have a game in hand, and are tied with Ottawa who has a game in hand. They stay six points ahead of ninth place Buffalo and both have eight games to play. Now it is on to play the Flyers in Philadelphia. Will the Dark Ranger be there to work his magic? Stay tuned.

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  • The Dark Ranger said...

    You know I'll be there, Pundit -- family rivalry in hand, channeling everything I have....if Nittymaki is in goal, I call both games Rangers wins.

    My fear is those black & orange might be a little more desperate than we are...

  • mike said...

    the dark ranger-You are the Rangers desperation point man in Philly. You are the Rangers seventh man in Philly. You are the man, period!

  • Section 335 said...

    Why is the next game critical?

    I do not think the Rangers have a good chance of finishing first or second unless Henrik, Shanny, Jagr and Straka get some rest. (Third is already a lock for Carolina by winning the division and why should I want to be fourth or fifth and play Pittsburg? They are a dangerous team.) So, how can I grab second or first?

    The best chance to give them that rest is the second Flyers game. Sit them then, and they can rest after the Friday game until Thursday. So, what do I tell the team? Win tonight and these guys can rest. Give them all extra motivation. And, if they do, get Prucha back into game shape!

  • mike said...

    section 335-No matter where you finish if you expect to advance you have to beat all the teams no matter how dangerous or soft they look on paper.

    Its debatable if rest is going to help those guys, especially Lundqvist who thrives on work.

  • Anonymous said...

    And tonight Backman had three points. But I assume you won't t give him, nor Renney, any credit, right? Once you Ranger-fans made your mind up about a player - or a coach - you never change it, do you? It's pathetic.
    By the way, Malik's been great last couple of games. But nobody's gonna acknowledge that either.

  • mike said...

    anonymous-One game does not a season make.

    Did you see how good Malik was on that play that led to the Flyers first goal?

  • Anonymous said...

    That's waht I'm saying, Mike. You fans see the obvoius mistkaes (and he comits them, no doubt) - but you never see the great, but perheps not glamourous, things a guy like that is doing. He's +11, best in the team as usual. What is that, just pure luck?

  • mike said...

    anonymous-We see the obvious and the not so obvious. We see the stick being used instead of the body. We see he is on the ice always with the first line. He is plus 11? He has been on the ice as Avery scored ten goals in fourteen games. He is a coach clueless favorite. Soft and a stick man, not a body man. Why do the fans boo him all the time? Come to the games where you can't hide anything, unlike TV.

    Happy Easter!

  • Anonymous said...

    Let me get this straight now, you seriously think you know more about this than Renney? He put him on the first line because he's...clueless?
    Amazing stuff.
    I'm at the garden all the time and hear the booing and that only tells me that Ranger-fans are 1) extremely impatient and 2) don't know half as much as they think they do (and, being new yorkers, they never hesitate to share their lack of knowledge with the world...)

  • mike said...

    anonymous-Now you tell me oh wise one why do you think the Ranger fans are impatient?

    Does it have to do with the fact that they have won two Cups in 68 years?

    Does it have to do with the fact that Malik never ever uses his body and if the stick doesn't do it the opposition is gone. If you don't see this you must have one of the few obstructed seats in the Garden or are sitting up in the Stealth GM's personal box.

    As for New Yorkers not being as smart as you there is one thing they do know. They know that this team is underachieving and when an entire team underachieves the coach is usuallythe problem. However, I guess in this case it must be us stupid fans that are causing a potential East Conference Champ fighting for their playoff lives.

  • Anonymous said...

    So, your answer really is - you know better than Renney?
    They should put you down there, then.
    I'll tell Mr. Sather next time I'm in his great box.
    The impatience is, by the way, the same at every sports arena in this city. Yankees won a world series or two, but as soon as the don't, it's the same booing and screaming over there.
    And yesterday, B├Ąckman once again was the best defenseman in the team. You noticed?

  • mike said...

    anonymous-Me? How about Pat Burns, a no nonsense coach? How about Ted Nolan who has a less gifted team and gives us more than we can handle?

    Yankee fans pay the top dollar for any team in sports and have a perfect right to scream or boo.

    So Backman was the best defenseman on the ice? What, have you given up on Malik?

    Next time you see Sather why don't you introduce The Stealth Gm to the Ranger fans. We would like to hear from him.

    Thanks for your inputs and go to my other posts and read some fans reactions.