The New York Rangers (2-3-0) defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs (2-3-0) by the score of 5-2, tonight. For a box score go to Yahoo! Sports.
...it might have taken 4 1/2 games, but it looks like training camp is finally over for the Rangers. Loved the energy and resiliancy tonight. If they can play with this kind of intensity for the rest of the season, the wins are going to pile up. Oh yeah, and Jason Arnott is on the way!
...no goals for Nash, but man that guy was all over the ice tonight. He is as advertised.
...and someone benefitting mightily from his acquisition is Gaborik who is finding more open ice than he's probably ever seen in his career.
...combined +12 for the "Welcome to the Jungle" line.
...most Rangers fans will tell you that Girardi or McDonagh is the best Rangers defenseman, but Marc Staal may have something to say about that.
...i guess Torts liked what he saw from Ferriero tonight. And so did I. Easily earned himself another game.
...after watching both Asham and Rupp take beatings in the first period, it's safe to say Torts has to find a way to keep Bickel in the line-up.
...while the power play put up another donut, I actually thought it looked pretty darn good. A lot more movement and amazingly there were some shots sprinkled in there.
...Del Zotto gave us a little glimpse of how special he can be. He just needs to find a way to bottle that up.
...still concerned with the lack of secondary scoring, so while Gabby-Richards-Nash have been on fire, you have to wonder if the Rangers would be better off splitting them up. Especially with Arnott now in the mix.
...probably never going to see a worse sequence from McDonagh than we did on the Leafs first goal. But it seemed to be the wake-up call he needed because from that point on he was his old self for the first time this season.
...zero faceoffs taken by the Rangers faceoff specialist Halpern, who seems to be the frontrunner to land in the press box once Arnott is ready to play.
...Rangers off until Tuesday when the Flyers come to town.
Game Highlights & post game reaction...
Though DZ, Nash and Boyle all looked very good. DZs passing is insane. Im not sure if i like how much that top line is out there,you dont want to wear them down, but it did work, so I cant complain to much.
Some thoughts on this game and the season so far . . .
1. Like most Rangers fans, I am feeling much better about this team than I have at any point this season. While they only beat the Leafs, I'd like to be a glass-half-full guy right now.
2. Let's hope Tortorella doesn't do anything dumb like break up that top line.
3. Why do the Rangers need two "staged fight" guys in the lineup? I'm all for guys who will stick up for their teammates, but these guys aren't on the ice enough to do that. It would be really nice to have a fourth line that is capable of creating some offensive zone pressure. Maybe Torts would actually give such a line some ice time. Which leads to my next point . . .
4. I am scared as heck that, without the full Tortorella training camp, and with the condensed schedule, the strategy of giving so much ice time to the top two lines and d pairings will come back to bite us even sooner than it did last year. (I realize this should improve if/when they get the chance to play with a lead, but I am still nervous about it.)
5. The good news is that Arnott, if he passes his physical and joins the team, should be part of a fairly reliable third line (though I did like Hagelin-Boyle-Ferriero last night). And if Krieder can come back healthy and can be effective (at some point), our depth is actually pretty decent. Though Torts does not seem to be handling him very well.
6. Has anyone else noticed that the Rangers have become a team with a fair number of "grizzled veterans"? Not necessarily the wrong strategy if it's in win-now mode (and it is). It's just a substantially different team than last year's model was.
I'm tired of the 3 players below the goal line cycle. One of them have to get the the slot. It's tough to watch.
I loved Ferriero game lastnight. He's pure energy. He was tenacious on the forecheck and forced the Leafs into some bad choices. Also Nash is an animal on the PK! I love having him on that unit. He's such a freakin threat!
I think Ferriero was especially solid. Confusion with the too many men call aside, he meshed well with Boyle, Callahan, Hagelin, and Stepan. Loved the speed and grit to his game. I thought it was kinda funny that he wore #36, because Zucc was the go to guy for adding a spark to the lineup lol
Asham nearly scored last night ... it would have been great self-advocacy ... if he scored he might have had more than 2 minutes of ice time ... we may never know
Instead of taking Halpern out who is a great pk guy. Can we get rid of Rupp who is the most useless player in the NHL. He can't even win fights anymore.
@StandnHere I think those fights have been to try and get the team going but have fizzled out big time. Might be time to stop worrying about staged fights and focus on scoring on the power play.
3. Its as if they're fighting for the sake of fighting. What sthe point?
@GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG yeah but Nash on the PK, how much ice time can he take. Probably will kill only when they're down
@GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG His energy level was so much higher than the other callups this year. Impressed me.
@slapshot13j I've been saying this from the day they signed him. Aside from his anomaly of a great game at the Winter Classic all he does is get his face smashed in, take crappy penalties and pretty much snuff out any spark this team has.
@slapshot13j i agree. Rupp has been terrible in his stint with rangers so far. Too slow, loses every fight, no offense.
@KevinDeLury I hear you. But it seems to me that the only "staged" fights that really get a team going (e.g., Prust vs. Neil in last year's playoffs) have some meaning or history behind them. In general, I think guys who are known as "fighters" are a waste of a roster spot. It might be safe to keep one in the line-up to protect the top-end talent, but you'd want that guy to be someone who wins most of his fights.
@AnnoyingJoe Ya that's true. But how good was it when he killed like 40 seconds holding the puck along the boards. The puck was pretty much glued to him.
@AnnoyingJoe he looks old and worn out. He looks like he lost a ton of weight in the off season. Give his spot to Mashinter for a game or 2 and see what this kids got.