Backed by strong performances from Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin, the New York Rangers skated past the Tampa Bay Lightning on the road, 3-2. For a full box score, head over to Yahoo! Sports.
...Welcome to the season Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin. Excellent, hard-nosed performances by them to end respective goal droughts. Felt Taylor Pyatt really drove that second line tonight, though. Did the hard work and was willing to pay the price.
...The team will start to roll of wins if they get the production they got from their second line tonight every night.
...Everyone was worried about Marty Biron starting against the red-hot (or maybe white-hot?) Lightning. 30 saves and an important W later, Torts pushed the right button. Great start by the backup, who looked sharp. He'll be needed throughout the year in similar spots
...Rangers' grab their first road win & first win of the season while being out shot (1-4).
Keep reading for my thoughts on Rick Nash's goal and Torts' concern about the team's confidence level prior to the game (and how this win affects that).
...Dirty Filthy Nashty made an appearance tonight. Vintage move by Nash to power around the defender, yet cut it fine enough to skate in close and around Garon. Hopefully this gets him going in the scoring department.
...Power play 0-2 tonight. At this point, Torts should just put the line that's playing well out there. It can't be much worse than it is right now.
...We saw what Arron Asham could bring to the table tonight when he isn't trying to goon it up.
...I caught Torts on the radio talking pre-game about the team's confidence level being low and for athletes to do what they're capable of, they need to be feeling good about themselves. Tonight's effort could jump start a good amount of players.
...Maybe we don't need Ryan Callahan after all. (I kid, of course.)
...Two days off before the Rangers visit the Prudential Center on Tuesday night for their first encounter with the Devils.
What a game by Marty! He was a beast last night. So good to see. This was the first game that I thought the entire team played well for 60 minutes this season. I have hope. I'd also love to see Hags go a tear.
Also, an interesting stat was mentioned -- TBL has had a large percentage of their games thus far against teams who were on the second night of back-to-backs. I'm not minimizing their achievements (because they're clearly kicking ass and taking names up and down the conference), or the Rangers' great play last night (even though TBL was on their second game in 2 days), but with the compressed schedule, that makes a big difference. Has anyone checked into what percentage of the Rangers' games are like that?
When we have Cally and Kreider at full strength, it will be interesting to see what happens. The right thing to do would be to scratch Bickel and Rupp, but then people may bring up our lack of fighters. The only people who could fight that would be on the team is Cally (which we don't want him to after what happened), Boyle (which we don't want him to...ever), and Asham, plus I do think our defensemen could hold their own if need be.
Let's say Bickel and Rupp do get scratched, what do you do? If we play close to how we played last night, do you split up that 2nd line? I think something that could be interesting is Kreider Ferriero Cally. Haven't had much to judge by watching the kid play, but all I read is how good he is offensively as well as words like "tenacious" and "fierce". He won't be a points per game player but the stats in the past show he can hold his own. Didn't get much ice time last season when with the Sharks or the season before, but he had 9 points in 33 games and then 8 in 35. Figure that's 20-25 points a year with a normal season? Kids still young and there's room for improvement, and he's literally the same size as Cally. Who best to learn from?
What's with Boyle's puck possession game or lack thereof? As soon as he gets the puck he takes one hand off his stick then coughs it up. He also passes on hitting people.
I really feel when Callahan comes back it is time to move Richards to his center ice and put Stepan between Nash/Gaborik.
Nash and Gaborik feed so well off each other and Nash frees up so much ice for him...but they play so much with the puck, they do not need a stud center to play off them. Richards does need to be with those 2 and maybe he can jump start the 2nd line.
I love Bickel's grit and his fighting...but his penalty led to being down a goal...it's time for Bickel to go
Is there officially a goaltending controversy on this team now? lol. Amazing effort last night by the Blueshirts. Now they just need to prove they can maintain this kind of play going forward.
If you guys will remember I believe it was around up until 5 games into last year as well where we consistently took dumb penalties, and a ton of them in each game. Torts commented on that said it needed to stop, and when it did they took off. Maybe we are looking at the same thing this year. Maybe without the stupid penalties the Rangers will start to play like last year and win game after game again. One can hope . LGR
Solid 60 minutes - that's the Ranger's team I remember form last season out working the opponent.
Bickel skated one shift took a lazy (but possibly necessary penalty to break up a rush) which cost us on the ensuing PP against and of course he sat for the rest of the game.
Torts must be thinking to himself " is this guy the best we can come up with?'
It was a tight game so i understand playing Asham over Ferriero. No room for mistakes and like everyone's already said - Asham looked good tonight.
Everyone looked in sync tonight. maybe not DZ, he looked lost trying to gain the zone on the monstrosity that is the PP. But other than that, from top to bottom, a solid team effort.
Pucks and bodies to the net, and guess what? Goals.
Just checked the time on ice for each Ranger. I was shocked to see Gilroy only got 8:29, not because that's a little amount but since I thought he was out there a lot longer. Every time he was on the ice he was really putting pressure in the offensive zone. He looked good, and he kept the flow going. This also didn't seem like McD's best game...got caught on a bad pinch and, it may just be me but I feel that, on the PK, if he doesn't chase down the guy with the puck, he stays in his zone and neutralizes Stamkos. But since he left his post that left Stamkos wide open for an easy goal.
Torts is worried about the guys confidence? Maybe don't put them in blast in the media for being dumb?
Yeah, good call, Asham was very decent in a bottom six forward kind of way. Pyatt was a best on the boards
@_Jack He's the smallest 6'7" I've ever seen. Plays like he's 5'7". Cally plays way bigger than he is - Boyler does the opposite. So annoying.
@Ciffy02 At least two weeks till Cally's back so who knows what Torts is going to be thinking or how the team will be playing by then.
@KevinDeLury The quality of Biron's play tapered off toward the end of last season. It was good to see him on his game last night.
@slapshot13j Refs let them play last night. I'm still not comfortable with all of the stick work they do around opposing players' hands--it always seems they're *this close* to picking up a hooking or slashing penalty. If they move their feet a bit more, they could actually reach for the puck.
@GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG I'm a genius! LOL!!!! But seriously, after watch Torts, again, have no confidence in either Bickel or Rupp last night, Mashinter needs to be called up.
@JoshKaye agree, McD didn't have a great game tonight. Love McD but he looked a little slow. Gilroy deserves some more ice time for sure, had a solid game tonight, didn't hesitate to jump into the play.
@JoshKaye Gilroy always looks good then his stats stuck... McD was solid outside of that one bad pinch
@shishya100 They barely played tonight, so it's like they're not even there anyways.
@JMK8363 Couldn't have said it better myself.
@StandnHere Agreed. If he can keep this up it'll be huge towards keep Hank fresh down the stretch.
@StandnHere Love that the refs let them play. I hate when the game has no flow.
@KevinDeLury he's played extensively for the sharks. It shows he can handle the speed of the game. Bring him up today so that he could gets as many practices with the team as possible.
@AnnoyingJoe If Asham can play like this every game, and pick his spots to fight, I think he can be an effective player.
@AnnoyingJoe What's what?
@JoshKaye @AnnoyingJoe @TheWrage @shishya100 I think Torts sees what Ferriero brings, and to be honest he's as solid a 3rd/4th line player we have. No reason not to keep playing the kid. He's physical and can grind, which is what we seem to be lacking so far without Pruster/Dubie. Btw, Artie's got 4 G so far. Re-trade?
@TheWrage @AnnoyingJoe he was skating so well. Crisp checks. I loved his slap shot that just missed. Really good.