Friday, December 16, 2011

Blues Beat Up Rangers 4-1

The St. Louis Blues beat the NY Rangers 4-1 on Thursday night in a stifling display of grinding and defense. The refs let the Blues play a physical game without calling a single penalty on them. The Rangers only had one holding penalty by Eminger in the second. The Blues used the Zebra slumber party to pretty much have their way with a lifeless Rangers team.

None of coach disagreeable's mix and match line combos did bupkis. Only Del Zotto joining a Callahan led rush was able to get a goal late in the second period, assisted by Cally and Dubinsky. That got the Rangers back to within a goal. But, the slumber party continued and the Blues salted the game away with Alexander Steen’s goal just 1:01 into the third period.

Some other thoughts about the loss:
Scotty Hockey:
This season we have seen the Rangers grow an identity of a hard working, forechecking, tough young team. On Thursday night they played a hard working, forechecking, tough young team that worked harder, forchecked more and were grittier then they were.
Hockey Rodent:
The pawing, the elbowing, the after-the-whistle gratuitous pokes we witnessed are par for the course come the conference finals. Clearly, the Blues were considerably better prepared for that type of battle than were their guests who failed to match intensity, snarl and dedication for substantial portions of the telecast.
Tortorella after the game:
This was a game, with the way they play, it’s about battles and they beat us at that game tonight... It was fed to us tonight. We didn’t win enough battles. It was a game that was going to be played against the walls and they beat us at that game.

Is the strategy of how to beat the Rangers simply to stop Marian Gaborik? You could say that Gaborik is the tip of spear for the Rangers offense. When he's finding room to skate and shoot the team seems to feed off of that. When he's roughed up, checked, and not given room to roam the offense grinds to a halt. Blunt Gaborik, blunt the spear.

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