The prodigal son returneth and the Islanders were the fatted calf. Sean Avery reintroduced himself to the NHL as a Ranger on his very first shift when he sent Islander defender Bruno Gervais to the ice with one of his patented checks and sent the signal that "the spine" of the Rangers had returned. The Islanders then spent the rest of the game trying to decapitate Avery in any way, shape, or form. The Rangers with goals from their four top scorers, a first for them, beat the Islanders 4-2 and now have scored ten goals in two games albeit against the two worse teams in the NHL.
Nikolai Zherdev looks like he is returning to early season form under Tortorella. Both his goal and assist on Gomez's goal were highlight films of the future. Despite the fact that the Rangers played sloppy and ugly at times, they continued to play with the new fervor and passion that the new coach is instilling in them. For now, the tentativeness and defensive mentality seems to be a thing of the past. However, the Boston Bruins at MSG on Sunday should be a big test. Of course the introduction of three new key players, forward Nik Antropov, defenseman Derek Morris, and chief mischief maker Sean Avery, I believe contributed a little bit to some of the sloppy play.
Henrik Lundqvist was Henrik Lundqvist. He made 28 saves and stopped a couple of breakaways in the first period. He was solid so nothing has changed there and that is good. The power play was 2-5, one on a blistering slap shot by Drury off of a feed by Antropov, and that was encouraging. The team rallied against the Isles when Blake Comeau ran Avery into the boards and Zherdev of all people was sent off for roughing. That also was good.
All in all a good win on the road, or was it, against a team they should beat. They ended the season series at 5-1 against the Isles. A little sloppy, a lot ugly, but Sean Avery summed it up best after the game when the reporters asked for an assessment on his play. "I'll assess it by the two points," replied the Grate One. Well said.
Tweaking the Lou Lamoriello Way
Rich Chere / NJ.com:
New Jersey Devils are happy to remain intact at trade deadline --
A blockbuster deal at Wednesday's trade deadline was never really in the cards for the Devils and Thursday a team that believes it already has what it takes to win applauded general manager Lou Lamoriello's restraint.
With three rings, Brendan Shanahan knows about winning the Stanley Cup, and it doesn't always hinge on a deadline deal.
''It's an old expression, but it's true. I've heard some general managers after we won the Cup say, 'The best trades I made were the ones I didn't.' You never know until the last team is standing and all the ones that don't win will be second-guessed, regardless of whether they were very active or inactive," Shanahan said...
Lamoriello said there are three kinds of GMs this time of the year. There are buyers, sellers and tweakers. He considers himself a tweaker, and he made his moves before the rush.
''One can argue that Lou did make the moves. He just didn't wait until the day of competition," Shanahan said. "I think if you're making all of your personnel decisions at the trade deadline or on July 1 (the start of free agency), you're dealing with a lot of competition...