A crisply played Rangers matinee in Boston was spoiled by some bad luck. The front running Bruins held on to win 1-0, despite a spirited assault by the good guys in the third period. Down the stretch Renney was flying Air-Zer as frequently as possible in order to land a goal, but the best 'Z' could muster was a clinker off the crossbar. Roszy also had clinker. Those two close clinkers equal a clunker of a tough loss.
Lundqvist regained his form, which was one good take away from this game. The defense was also stingy and sticky, which is another big positive. Especially for a defensive juggernaught that now has become an offensive not. This continued lack of scoring was the ground glass in a tasty afternoon bowl of Beantown chowder.
Double shifting Zherdev is one creative option for this paucity of potted pucks. Renney deserves some credit for going with that strategy. Keeping Orr's ground-and-pound on the bench in favor of Air-Zer is no-brainer. We need some hope in the offensive end.
What's a Tuukka Rask? Is it Finnish for Rangers Death Mask? This kid now has a record of 3-1-1, along with his first NHL shutout thanks to the Blueshirts. Boston's future in goal looks wicked good. Like they need the help. No doubt, the Bruins are now the beast of the East. The road to Stanleyville is routed up I-95.
Jaromir Jagr's Siberian team, Avangard Omsk, continues on a very difficult season.
Beyond the Blueshirts:
Wayne Fleming Out in Omsk… For Real This Time --
Avangard Omsk head coach Wayne Fleming, who was “benched” for the third period of a game earlier this month amid rumors he’d been fired, is no longer the coach in Omsk. In a press conference, Fleming stated that the decision was a mutual one between him and the club, wished the team luck, and said he had no regrets about the decision to coach in Russia. Senior coach Igor Nikulin, who led the team on a 6-game winning streak last fall after the club fired its first coach of the season, has once again been named interim head coach...FYI, Russo's Rants had the Wild take on the Fritsche trade:
I was a little disappointed when I saw the Fritsche trade only because I could have looked really smart today. Yesterday, when I saw that Krys Kolanos was placed on waivers, I saw right under it that Dan Fritsche cleared waivers.Russo also got Fritsche's view on what happened in New York for his Star-Tribune column, Wild trade offers opportunities:
And I almost wrote on the blog how he’d interest a lot of teams, including the Wild, but most teams don’t want to take players off waivers anymore. They’d be more likely to call that team up the next day and offer a player for him so it could drop some salary and preserve some salary-cap room.
That’s what happened today with the Wild. GM Doug Risebrough was interested in the Rangers center yesterday, but he didn’t call GM Glen Sather, one of his best friends, until this morning to see if he could swap Erik Reitz for him...
Fritsche has a cap left of about $344,000 (prorated 875K), but instead of taking the whole thing, the Wild drops about 197K of Reitz’s 500K. That extra space could prove valuable at or near the trade deadline...
"I've been hoping and waiting -- no, praying -- for this day to come," said Fritsche, 23. "I don't think excited really even describes it. I can think of a million different things [as to why I didn't play] in New York. Coaches have their guys. It's been a long year for me up to this point." ...And:
"I was very bummed out," [after not getting claimed off waivers] Fritsche said.
Incidentally, adding Fritsche and deleting Reitz and Kolanos puts the Wild about $2.4 million below the salary cap...