The New York Rangers (19-15-4) defeated the Carolina Hurricanes (16-19-2) by the score of 4-1, tonight. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...tonight's game can be summarized in two words...Henrik Lundqvist. While there's been times this season when he hasn't been at his best, it's no surprise that the Rangers recent turnaround has coincided with Lundqvist regaining his Vezina Trophy form of last season.
...the Rangers are now 3-0-1 since Avery called Torts a clown. Just sayin'.
...in all seriousness, I can't believe this is the same team as last week. These guys are forechecking, being physical and actually scoring on the power play. Sure there was some sloppiness tonight, but earlier this year, the Rangers weren't able to overcome that adversity and now they are. Very impressed that they were able to get the two points a night after such a physically and mentally draining game. I think I'm officially falling back in love with this team.
...speaking of the power play success, one of the biggest reasons for the turnaround is Richards being aggressive with his shot from the point. For the first time as a Ranger, he's back to being the weapon he was in Dallas with the extra man.
...i got to say, I'm loving the scrums after the whistle these last few games from the Rangers. You rarely saw that pre-trade deadline.
...this is not an insult to Stepan, but I am shocked how much of a focal point he's become in this Rangers offense.
...ho, hum. Another game, another sick snipe from Nash.
...man Brassard has some amazing vision.
...happy to see Boyle get the empty netter at the end. He has generated more offensive opportunities in the last three games than he has all season and still had nothing to show for it. Not all roses for Boyle as he's taking way too many penalties and that turnover cost Hank the shutout.
...Rangers fans finding out real quick why Clowe was such a fan favorite in San Jose.
...Moore has struggled a bit the last two games. Lots of running around from him. Not sure if he's still trying to learn the Rangers system or just showing why Columbus was willing to let him go.
...got to ask, when Dorsett is healthy, does he automatically get a chance? Because Asham is virtually useless at this point.
...and speaking of useless, isn't it about time to ask Pyatt this question (H/T Annoying Joe)...
Torts needs to be fired immediately....wait, what happened? I go away for 4 days and Gaby's gone, Hank is Captain Vezina again, and the Rangers suddenly look like the 76'-77' Canadiens? Man, I can't keep up with this!
Everyone is mentioning how different this team is since the deadline (and they are) but I find this quote from Hank really interesting:
"It's a different atmosphere in the room," he said. "Not only did we get some really skilled players, but it changed the dynamic of the room. It's just a lot better feeling in here. It looks like the lines are working better together. We're going to need it."
A different atmosphere? A lot better feeling in the room? Not trying to start rumors but is it possible Gaborik was a locker room problem? If he was, I will say I'm surprised but from quotes like this and others from the players, I'm beginning to wonder...
I gotta say, I'm not a fan of sitting Asham just yet. He /has/ been getting chances. But, when Dorsett is all set to go, though...
@TheNYRBlog You got that Right , Henrik !
@TheNYRBlog Does he have any shot at a Vezina nomination? He's been putting up strong numbers lately.
@TheNYRBlog Lundqvist was incredible last night! So great to get to witness that display in person!
Maybe it was just seeing the game in person last night, nut to steal a line that's been used on here before, these guys don't look like co-workers anymore. They're sticking up for each other, but they're also patting each other on the backs after good passes or scoring chances. I didn't see that earlier this year. Hank was beyond insane, the crowd that seemed to be at least 50% Ranger Fans got quite a show. I'm sure Boyle woul D trade the empty netter for Hanks shutout. Watching his turnover, the way the guys were coming thru the neutral zone, the pass was forced, and he knew he should have dumped it in, he was beating himself up on the bench.
I like how things are coming together. Much better since the trade. That said, they get blown out last night to a lousy Carolina team if not for Hank. So good to see him return to form, because the Rangers are going to need him big-time if they are to make the playoffs and make any noise in them.
Just caught the 3rd of this one. they looked quite tired (understandable) but found away to hold on and win (thanks Henry). All the sudden this team has character. Amazing turnaround LGR
-Solid recap. Dead-on.
-Boyle has been a huge part of the Rangers success over the past 3 games. Solid play from someone we've all been hard on. MDZ has stepped up as well.
- Moores game is solid. Mistakes are made, but you see the potential. Kind of like MDZ two years ago. Feel like he going to end up stapled to the bench from time to time, but it's all part of the process.
-Still not seeing it with Richards. How do they not buy out that contract?
-With Hank rolling, the possibilities are endless.
So far so good. Said it before but I think the key here is balance. We got our jam back with the new additions, we have more speed and more skill now with Brassard and Frodo and Monster Nash. Great mix of all three. Finally. Great D and the King make us top 5 defense in terms of goals allowed. What's not to love.
Hank was amazing tonight, love the way they are playing right now. Playing like they should have all season. Nash scoring, step dominating, richie coming back into his own. I like the new guys a lot as they grind and create chances. The pp looks good recently and is scoring. Nice to see boyle score, he deserves it, even with the penalties. The Avery comment is classic. Literally dying.
On a side note, I'm starting to think that Gaborik was a bit of a locker room cancer. Didn't like playing for Torts, brought the team down (especially Richards). Lundqvist commented after the game today (and I think a few others guys mentioned recently) that the trades created a completely different atmosphere in the locker room. Good luck to Gab in Cbus, but at this point I think he was becoming dead weight. Also, he has a history of resenting defensive-minded coaches (cough Lemaire cough)
@Melissa (blknblueshirts) I think this is a very astute observation on your part. You may recognize my screen name and know that I have been one of Gabby's hugest supporters on this board, and I stand behind that. Having said that there are certain intangibles in this game we love, just like life itself. You could call it "dynamics" or "energy" or even "vibes" . I don't think he was being a whiner or a direct distraction by any means, and of course I'm not in that locker room so this is pure conjecture but here's my opinion. For the last 3 years Gabby has been the big money man; the go to guy who at times carried the team on his back.. A team player and a classy guy. This season after shoulder surgery, or whatever a different side to him becomes revealed. A more selfish side. He starts playing scared. Not that he would block shots in the past or put his body on the line much but now he obviously puts his personal well being and his future career ahead of the teams success. The group's perception of Gabby the team player shifts to selfish player. Other players who put their bodies on the line every night start to get resentful because not only will he not take one for the team but he stops scoring as well. Resentment sets in and it effects the feeling in the locker room and it effects the on ice performance of the team. Then add to that the friction between Gabby and coach and the whole dynamic of this team basically goes to shit. I hated to see him go but now that he's gone it became pretty clear to me what was going on with this team, at least in essence and now that we've replaced him with a couple character guys the whole look of this team has changed. Even Richey looks good now, in fact pretty much every player looks better (we'll talk about Pyatt in another stream lol). Perhaps Gabby will fit in better with his new team but here in New York if you're a scorer who's not scoring you better start doing other things to help your club.win or you get run out of town fast.
Hopefully it will be Dorsett in....Pyatt out. Let me just see a few games with Clowe Asham and Dorsett all in the line-up.
Then we will have the balance of plenty of skill..and plenty of toughness.
@johnnyb3910 youre right. they dont look like co workers anymore.
@coontzbloontzAgreed. I wrote a blog about this in response to Melissa (on the top of this page) which might interest you.
@nyrfan747 That win is all you!
@Betweentheworlds @Melissa (blknblueshirts) I thought it was interesting that before the first game against Pitt Pierre McGuire interviewed McD and asked about the new guys, and McDs response ended with something like "we've got some guys in the room that want to win now" it immediately struck me as odd. Clowe had been there 1 day, and the two guys from CBJ all of 15 minutes. I agree with betweentheworlds, I don't think Gaborik was your typical "cancer" but I think he just lost his focus. His struggles dragged him down and started impacting those around him. This team needed more "team-first"players and they got that in the new acquisitions. Even Kreider and Miller, nothing against them, we're probably more caught up in their own development and performance (mostly torts fault) than what the rest of the team was doing.
Spot on worlds. There was a play a few weeks...when
I saw it..I shook my head...I wanted him gone after that and was pretty certain it would happen.
It was a play along the sideboards........Gabs was skating to the puck...he would have gotten their first and a second later received the check.....
But Gabs saw the opposing player coming...and pretty much stopped and gave up the play and puck possession.
He was scared to take the hit. He was worried about his shoulder. You can't play scared. After seeing that, I knew his days in a Ranger uniform were numbered.
And you're right about resentment setting in as well...no need to cover that since you did such a good job with your post.
Where did you play...just curious
@Betweentheworlds Very well said. I never thought about it in that way but you brought up some really good points and that may be exactly what happened. They say sometimes guys need a change of scenery. I think unfortunately that's exactly what this was. (Pyatt needs one too cause he's better than he's been here...I watched him Phoenix, I don't know what's going on with him but this isn't the type of player he is.)
@McPhee37 I agree with you! I kinda forgot about Pyatt, which is something I think most would agree is understandable, all things considered...
@Betweentheworlds Yeah I read it, totally agree. I would even add in that Gaborik has a history of being difficult to coach. He did not like Lemaire or his system in Minnesota. Also, Torts said in an interview like a year back that when Gab first came to the Rangers he didn't want to come to practice every day because he was sore, and always wanted to play perimeter. Last season Gaborik looked like he took Torts' advice about getting a little dirty, and was rewarded with a lot of nice garbage goals in front of the net. This season, as you mentioned, he looks to be a bit too concerned about his shoulder, and is putting "me" first. Glad he's gone.
@nyrfan747 You should reach out to Sather and let him know. Maybe they make travel plans for you to see the last 10 games.
@KevinDeLury My mother and I screamed ourselves hoarse Kevin. Idk if you guys heard the "Potvin Sucks" whistle, but that guy was in my section.
@McPhee37 @Melissa (blknblueshirts) Yeah, Mess was the greatest in my book, and dirty at times, agreed - he would have adjusted his play and still been nasty today. I can see him in my mind now streaking down the right side, unleashing that toe shot that no goalie can handle, with Gravy slapping in the rebound. He could get away with his borderline play and enjoy a long career because he understood just how far over the line he could cross - then I always think of guys who didn't understand that subtlety, like "The Freight Train" who was so damn strong he'd break guys ribs with his cross check - but as you know the league has it's own system of justice and he was pretty much rubbed out. Too bad - could have been one of the greats. I hated him as a Ranger but he had some great years with "The Legion of Doom". Wells was an interesting player who couldn't hit the side of a barn but hit just about anything on 2 skates lol. I kind of forgot about him but you brought back memories and he may have helped us clinch the cup, good solid DMan - and McPhee was one of the most underrated Rangers ever IMHO not just as a fighter.
Good guess with age 54!
Could have sworn by your post you played. Doesn't matter...you watched games...became a student of the game...I tip my hat to ya for your astute and knowledgeable posts.
The Gag line eh? I'm guessing you got few a few years on me old timer. ;) i just turned 46..so...guessing 53...55maybe?
.I guess rugged would be a more pleasant word to use to describe my play. I was undersized for a defenseman...maybe an inch or so taller than Campbell....I'm around 5'10...but was smaller than him...I played around 175lbs to 180lbs.
I fashioned my play after three players...tried to fight like McPhee...hip check like Giles and as a Defenseman....best comparison...Jay Wells.
I played a nasty game...yes I wielded my elbows. Also wielded my stick...often.
A lot people here probably think I'm some violent, bloodthirsty guy...but I'm not. Today's game is so much different than it was when I played late 80's..90's. I wish people would understand that..lol
Do you think a guy like Messier would even be able to have career today....the guy built his career on using his elbows...he was such a nasty vicious player at times.
@McPhee37 @Melissa (blknblueshirts) I love Gabs but unacceptable this year. You either play with heart or sit out - I was thinking that in the day Mess would have run him out of town in a New York minute.
Never played Mcphee- nothing to speak of anyway but fell in love with the Rangers as a kid - grew up with the GAG line Brad park and Eddie Giacomin. It was a better game then, at least more fun for me but today's game still has it's moments. I saw from another post that you were an elbow wielding DMan? - maybe a Colin Campbell type lol
@Betweentheworlds Hopefully. But I expected more from him in the regular season.
@Melissa (blknblueshirts) I thought Pyatt was better too. He hasn't been terrible, just absent and wasted on the 4th line. He seems like a good playoff type player so assuming that's where we're headed we may see more of his value then.
Oh, i'm with ya 100% percent on a physical defenseman.. ..but when I was talking about a missing piece...i meant for this year and this year's playoff charge. With the deadline passed...and McIlrath not ready......we will have to address that need going into next year and going forward after that. My apologies for any confusion
@McPhee37 @tygalpin I think teams that still use those line combos are more successful as a general rule. Add to your Rangers formulas a Leech and a Beukeboom and I'd say we are a top contender, not that our blue line is shabby or that we can't go deep into the playoffs without that but a creative scorer on the blue line and a guy your fear every time you retrieve a puck in your own end would really seal the deal IMHO
Not that i dislike Pyatt as a player. But he is what he is...a mucker...a pure board worker. That's his game. i'm a fan of the mucker.....the old style of building lines...
1st line...Finisher, playmaker, Mucker
2nd line..Finisher, playmaker, Mucker
3rd line..Defensive minded forwards who take the body...the old "checking line"
Game is different now than years ago tho. And while I like Pyatt and the mucking style....playing him on the 4th line....not really needed.
I've screamed and begged for this Rangers squad to acquire toughness and grit. I got what I wanted in Clowe. Clowe changes the dynamic of the team...along with the sending down of Miller and Kreider and the trading away of Gaborik.
The last piece of the puzzle that we are missing.....is the agitator...the pest. The player who gets under the other team's skin.....
That player is Dorsett. He hits everyone..and agitates. and will drop the gloves. He will win some fights....and lose others...but that's not his bread and butter. It's the hitting and agitation..that's what he does best.
And hopefully, he'll be in the line-up soon....
@coontzbloontz Because he was sore?? Poor baby.... He actually won me over the 1st year he was here with his sneakiness as well as his skill, like when when he'd set up in the crease when the puck was behind the net and do this sneaky little cross check on the defender to get free in front of the goalie for a second - got 2 or 3 goals like that - and yeah, he did seem to get a bit more down and dirty last season but this year he was bringing us down. Time to move on