Friday, December 23, 2011

Rangers 4, Isles 2 — Dubinsky, Gaborik, & Biron Star

It has taken awhile, but we finally get to see our second Dubi Hat of the year after the Rangers defeated the woeful Islanders 4-2.

Blueshirts United:
Brandon Dubinsky drilled his second goal of the season---and first in 17 games---past Isles netminder Evgeni Nabokov late in the first period Thursday, the start to a very strong all-around game which culminated in the popular Blueshirt being awarded the Broadway Hat in the post-game locker room. Dubinsky also added an assist on John Mitchell's empty-net goal in the third period, was a +2, delivered four hits, and logged 16:53 worth of ice-time Thursday, playing on an effective line alongside Mitchell and Brian Boyle.

"The biggest thing is just my legs because there was a period of time where my legs weren't moving the way they needed to be, and I think it showed," Dubinsky said of his stronger play of late.
Chants of Dubi, Dubi filled the Garden after his score. If Dubinsky can supply more of this deja vu from last season the Rangers Universe will again be in order.

Marian Gaborik scored his 20th goal on a beautiful move to the net after a face-off. Was it really a set play like Al Trautwig insisted or just good instincts?  Gaborik has caught fire. Just keep it burning all year, Gabby.

Marty Biron made 24 saves, and recorded 2 assists in upping his record to 7-1 this season. We will ignore the couple of rebounds that led to Islander scores. So his save percentage for the game was only a .923 (24/26), which actually hurt his season average, which stands at .933. His goals against average this season of 1.84 is a career best. His career average is 2.60. So the Ranger defense should look to be getting something under their Christmas tree or at least a card from Marty.

The Rangers now have bookend goalies in Marty Biron and Henrik Lundqvist. I can't remember when they had this luxury. Maybe Mike can compare them to the great Rangers combo of Eddie Giacomin and Gilles Villemure from the 1970-71 season, when they shared the Vezina Trophy.

Rangers 1970-71 Season:

Goalie GP W L T SO Min GAA SA GA Sv%
Giacomin 45  27 10 7 8 2641 2.16 na 95 na
Villemure 34 22 8 4 4 2039 2.3 na 78 na

Compared to Henrik Lundqvist and Marty Biron from this season:

Goalie GP W L OT SO Min GAA SA GA Sv%
Lundqvist 24 13 7 4 2 1450 2.03 737 49 0.934
Biron 9 7 1 0 1 489 1.84 224 15 0.933

Boston fans, on the other hand, would say that Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask are the best goalie tandem in the NHL this season.

Goalie GP W L OT SO Min GAA SA GA Sv%
Thomas 23 16 5 0 4 1304 1.84 698 40 0.943
T. Rask 11 6 4 1 1 626 1.82 312 19 0.939

Anyway you slice it Lundqvist and Biron have some work to do in order to match Giacomin and Villemure, or even keep pace with Thomas and Rask. But, it is still shaping up as a great goaltending year for the Rangers.

Update:

Scotty Hockey asks the intriguing question:
"no love for the President's winning Beezer/Richter platoon of 91-92??"
Well, here are the numbers for Mike Richter and John Vanbiesbrouck from their 80 game 1991-92 season.

Goalie GP W L T SO Min GAA SA GA Sv%
Vanbiesbrouck 45 27 13 3 2 2526 2.85 na 120 0.910
Richter 41 23 12 2 3 2298 3.11 na 119 0.901

Looks to me like Beezer and Richter let in considerably more goals. They even had a Hall-of-Fame defenseman, Brian Leetch, playing in front of them. Their total of 239 goals against yields a combined GAA of 2.9875 or almost 3 per game. I think that is a little too high to be counted in the tandems above.

However, the sacrifice the body, shot blocking mentality that the modern game brings us certainly distorts the numbers in favor of modern tandems. Also, the players today are bigger and take up more space than the players from two decades ago. Monster d-man, Zdeno Chára, for example patrols in front of Thomas and Rask. So it is really an apples to big apples comparison.
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ICINGS:

Highlights:


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Hockeyfights.com:
Matt Martin vs Stu Bickel --
Results
Stu Bickel     43.1%
Matt Martin    36.9%
Draw           20.0%
From 65 votes with an average rating of 6.2



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2 comments:

  • Scotty Hockey said...
     

    JB - no love for the President's winning Beezer/Richter platoon of 91-92??

  • jb said...
     

    Scotty,
    Great point. I updated the post to address it. Do we boil it down to an "apples to big apples" comparison?