Ouch. That was painful, watching the Buffalo Sabres dismantle and then carve up our Rangers 4 to 1, and also losing Zuccy. It was certainly not as painful as taking a hard slap shot off my pale nether regions.
Thank God, shot blocking is a spectator sport. But, watching our heroes take one for the team has lost all of its appeal here. Cringing and saying to yourself, "man that's gotta hurt," is getting old and not something that makes my hockey highlight reel. By the way, thank you MSG for all of your most excellent slow motion replay video of players getting marked up by stopping hard shots. I think the Rangers in 60 should focus on showing us all 17 shots the Rangers blocked.
Zuccarello getting his wrist busted blocking a Jordan Leopold shot is a lousy deal. And then losing the game just adds infection to the Sabre wounds. The third period was not ours, it was theirs. #Sloppy.
Lindy Ruff must now be worshiping at the alter of John Tortorella. The Sabres looked like they were playing better Rangers hockey than the Rangers. Backstopped by Miller, who looked all-world, the Sabres just tried to keep the Rangers on the outside, let Ryan Miller work his magic, and going for odd-man rushes when they were gifted by the Rangers. It worked.
The Rangers had no answer for the powerhouse Sabres line of Ennis, Stafford, and Foligno, who scored Buffalo's last three goals. They had a total of 31 goals before tonight. They also picked up a total of 5 assists off the Rangers. Michael Del Zotto and Marc Staal were on the ice for all three of those goals. Who do you think is the weak link on that defensive tandem?
Richards was credited with just 1 shot. The defense: Girardi (4 shots), Del Zotto (2 shots), McDonagh (3 shots), and Bickel (1 shot) looked to pick up the slack, since Brad took the night off.
The power play was doomed yet again to being shutout, going 0-2. Why even bother complaining?
Callahan and Girardi each had three blocks and led the team in that all important category. Seeing Zuccy get hurt reminded me of last season when Callahan got hurt blocking shots. Cally broke his hand in December 2010 blocking a Kris Letang slap shot. He then broke his ankle on April 4th, 2011 stopping a Zdeno Chara slap shot during a 5-3 comeback win by the Rangers over Boston.The Rangers limped into the playoffs without Callahan and were soon dispatched. We'll have to keep our fingers crossed this year. I hope MZA going down is not a bad omen.
Shot blocking has become an important part of Rangers hockey, so we have to learn to take the good with the bad. But I don't have to like it.
Wayne Gretzky scores number 802 --
On March 23, 1994, Wayne Gretzky scores his 802nd goal, breaking his childhood idol Gordie Howe’s National Hockey League record for most goals scored in a career. Gretzky, known to hockey fans as "The Great One," broke a total of 61 offensive records in his NHL career, including many previously held by "Mr. Hockey" Gordie Howe...
Yesterday in Hockey History, March 22, 1884:
First Stanley Cup championship played --
On this day in 1894, the first championship series for Lord Stanley’s Cup is played in Montreal, Canada. The Stanley Cup has since become one of the most cherished and recognized trophies in sport.
The Stanley Cup was the creation of Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, lord of Preston and the 16th earl of Derby. Stanley was of noble birth, the son of a three-time prime minister of England. He served in Canada’s House of Commons from 1865 until he was named governor general of Canada in 1888. Stanley became an ice hockey fan after watching an 1889 game at the Montreal Winter Carnival...