The New York Rangers are on a roll with four straight wins. Is it a jelly roll with a quick sugar buzz or something a little more sustainable? The only question I had coming down the 3rd period stretch, of their 3-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets, was who deserved the Broadway hat more? Was it Derek Stepan or Marion Gaborik? Gaborik has clearly been the best Ranger forward since the start of the season, but Stepan is showing off a remarkable ability to make the no-look pass to set-up teammates for spectacular goals. So Stepan rightly got the hat last night, but please throw Gabby a derby too.
The Rangers really don't have enough hats to go around during this winning streak. So you can put these observations in the category of "victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan."
Because Dan Girardi certainly deserves a feather in the cap. Hopefully they can hand a real hat over to old Dan'o before they carry the poor fellow out on a stretcher. The sum total of the massive ice time and being a shot blocking punching bag has to catch up with Girardi sometime, doesn't it?
Plus, Marty Biron (3 games, 3 wins, 3 GA, 0.95 GAA) has to be the best back-up goalie in the league right now, no doubt. So Rangerland is very sanguine this morning.
However, there are cracks in the good ship Tortorella. The power play is still a disaster.
The Hockey Rodent nicely summarized the problem:
Whereas your heroes solved the two-man advantage Sunday night, they have not fixed the tendency to shun the shot through traffic from the point in favor of a down-low finesse and misdirection attack, hoping for the back-door put-home.Sean Avery continues to get squat for ice time, as Scotty Hockey noted:
The problem with NYR's approach is that they've establishing a pattern which will encourage opposition killers to pay lip service to the threat above the circle tops...
Avery was given just 5:21 of ice time, skating alongside Slow Deveaux and Mr. Softie Christensen. Talk about putting a player in a position to fail. Not that I am hating on Deveaux - he is actually a decent replacement for Rupp - but his lack of speed and skill set just doesn't compliment Avery's game at all...The #AveryArmy wants to launch a bayonet charge on Torts, while noting that the Rangers are undefeated since Sean was called up.
Brian Boyle is not playing at all like last year. Is he hurt, or was last year a fluke? And Brandon Dubinsky is still on the schnide. So the good news about breaking into the upper echelon (5th place, 7-3-3, 17 pts.) is tempered with some caution.
Anyway, on to Ottawa on Wednesday.
Has the redesign and renovation of MSG sucked the life out of the old building? Mike made the observation that during Saturday's game the only sounds that could be heard at times were the skates on the ice. During last night's game broadcast there also seemed to be noticeable spells of quiet. Was that due to a dull game or has opening up the arena via these open concourses behind the nets and up around the 10th floor allowed the sound and energy to leak out of the place? Has MSG been sterilized by this redesign, just like Torts wants to neuter the team by banishing Avery?
Will the crowd energy stay in the the arena or is it now in the food courts along with the ten buck beers?
And by the way, since they are renovating MSG don't you think it's time to retire the tired old 'Potvin S**ks' chant and put Dancing Larry out to pasture?
Al Trautwig wants to call the hat the Broadway Fedora. Fedora may be an accurate description of the hat for now, but put that hat on enough sweaty MVP heads and the distinctive fedora crease will soon disappear. Anybody still clean and reshape hats in the Big Apple?