Friday, April 12, 2013

Sixty Minutes!

No we are not talking about the news show on TV, we are talking about the Rangers playing a full hockey game. A full sixty minutes. Their goalie plays it every night. Why shouldn't the rest of the team? Its not mailing it in. Its not getting tired. Its not shuffling the lines every shift starting in period one. Its not getting stale. Getting stale? Where did that come from? That came from the old knowing blowhard. Coach disagreeable said it the other day. The lines are stale.

Did the lines go past their expiration date on their sweaters? Stale? The only thing stale on this team is the coach and his more stupid comments by the moment. There is a dogfight for the last two spots in the conference. The Rangers and Devils have eight games left, the Islanders seven and the Winnipeg Jets have six. The Isles have 46 points, the Rangers and Jets 44 points and the Devils 40 points.

Saturday night at the Coliseum the Rangers and Islanders will tangle in the biggest event the Coliseum has seen since the lions devoured the Christians.The Rangers, a sub .500 team on the road play the Islanders, a sub .500 team at home. Should be a dandy Jiggs. The upstart Isles are led by John Tavares, 10th in the NHL in scoring and Matt Moulson 18th. Rick Nash in the 28th spot leads the Rangers. Lately the Islanders have been one of the hottest teams in the league at 8-1-1. The Rangers at a pedestrian 5-3-2, basically .500.

The Rangers start and end with Lundqvist. His 2.12 GAA is 4th in the NHL and his save % of .926 is 3rd. These are for all goalies with at least 25 games. The Rangers have one line made up, most of the time, barring line changes, of Stepan centering Callahan and Nash. Lately Nash is the man. The Rangers should, let me change that to must, score against Nabokov, 2.54 GAA, .910 save %.

The Islanders will be relentless and the Rangers must counter, no, must attack them. Puck possession is the key and it has to be for sixty minutes. Chances are that the first two Ranger lines will be overworked, the defense, Giradi, will tire and Lundqvist will have to save the day. It will be the young legs of the Islanders against a bench shortened Ranger team of two lines and Brian Boyle. Most of our young legs are in Hartford. That's where Boyle should be. Speaking of youth, the young Islander coach, Jack Capuano has it all over coach disagreeable.

So how will it end? We will score an early goal, rope-a-dope, or hang on for dear life and Lundqvist steals it in a shootout? After the game coach disagreeable will petition the NHL to allow shootouts in the playoffs of all Ranger games. The league will convene a meeting of all GMs and come back with a ruling in August. It will be in time to allow shootouts in the exhibition season. Coach disagreeable will bolt the Rangers for Russia and will learn to say nyet and frown regularly. The fans will think the frown is a smile and will love him. The press conferences should be dillies. Meanwhile, on to the coliseum and the lions, oops, the Islanders..

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