The New York Rangers (11-11-0) defeated the Dallas Stars (11-8-3) by the score of 3-2, tonight. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...you knew eventually the Rangers fortunes had to turn around. Just like they deserved a better fate against Boston the other night, they really had no business winning tonight after their putrid play the first two periods. Not sure who pissed in the Rangers Cheerios during the second intermission, but they came out flying in the third and turned the game around in the first two minutes. Also helped to have a man possessed in goal.
...and that man was Henrik Lundqvist, who was super human tonight. Assuming no one thinks he's the Rangers problem anymore.
...it's amazing how much more skilled Nash is than anyone else on the Rangers. Feel so much more confident about the Rangers offense with him in the lineup.
...i really want to give Kreider a ton of credit for that goal, but if the puck doesn't deflect off the defenseman it likely gets Lehtonen in the logo. Whatever, they all count.
...i guess John Moore doesn't like practicing on the extra defensive pair with JT Miller. That shot right there is why Del Zotto is expendable. Also helped to finally have traffic in front of the net.
...and speaking of Del Zaster. What is he thinking pinching like that with a two goal lead in the third period? He can't play if he's going to make decisions like that. So much for showcasing him tonight. Not sure if his trade value is hurt more by playing or sitting in the press box.
...turn style defense from the Rangers tonight. Absolutely boggles my mind how the rugged Ulf Samuelsson can be the Rangers defensive coach and these guys still play like paper mâché. Falk needs to be re-inserted immediately.
...if Pouliot is back in the lineup Saturday night, I'll be convinced Pyatt sold him naked pics of AV.
...Callahan is just not his normal aggressive self out there right now. Have to wonder if either his shoulder or thumb is bothering him.
...usually at the quarter pole, you have a good idea about a team, but with Nash missing so much time the jury is still out on these Rangers. While I'm confident the offense will improve with the return of Nash, this team is still way too soft, especially on defense. Not sure if Falk is the answer or maybe a trade needs to be made, but the Blueshirts won't survive the stretch run without adding some toughness.
...back at it Saturday night in Nashville.
I wouldn't say putrid for 1st two periods. We did miss a breakaway and hit a post in the 2nd and outshot Dallas 21-18 in periods 2 and 3.
watched the Rangers in 60 after work last night and have to say AV is looking like a genius when it comes to making goal-tending decisions. Hank saved our asses last night and added an assist to boot on Nash's much needed 1st goal back from injuries......So glad Kreider and Moore listened to my advice and aimed high! Beautiful goals last night! Rangers owe Hank a shut out for last night!
Watching the DZ pinch play I'm not 100% sure it is all on him. Bras has to make the read that DZ is pinching and fall back. DZ went to the man first and then Brass followed so both of them went to the same man. Granted if he plays it conservative and does not pinch then the play does not happen but sitting back can also loose the game. In hindsight obviously don't want him to pinch but I've certainly seen worse play from him.
Last night I only got to catch the last 14 minutes or so. Sounds like I missed two periods of the Rangers all to wake up. All except for Hank, as has been the story so many times throughout his tenure -- if nobody else shows up, you can count on Hank. I know a lot of fans haven't felt like we've been able to count on him in quite the same way this season, and I'll admit he has let in a few soft goals, but, even though I only saw highlights, it sounds like those 23 saves in the first period should be a great reminder to everybody what kind of player we have in Lundquist: one of the very best.
That Dallas team was good. They were fast and they just kept on coming. Even though I just saw the third, it looked like the whole team really needed to hang on to get through it. All the more reason Del Zotto's decision to pinch, leading to the Stars' second goal, was a del zaster. The saga continues.
Really glad for all three guys that scored; they all needed it. Kreider's goal was the least pretty, but you have to shoot to score. (Zucc needs to shoot). Hopefully they'll just keep coming.
Great write-up, Kevin and great comments from @johnnyb3910 !
Kevin, I give you some ribbing from time to time about spelling and grammar (which shouldn't take up too much commentary here), but thank you, once again, for the outstanding job you do with the blog on a daily basis. Yesterday I took a little time and clicked on all the ads.
Very impressed with Hank's performance. I've been super critical of him of late, but last night was a step in the right direction. I'll say it again, I have no problem with him, I know he's amaze-balls, I want him to be a Ranger for life. My problem is just my assumption of his contract demands vs. his play. Last night he played more like the guy who should be the highest paid goalie in the league, so hats off to him.
I agree on Cally. He's still playing physical, but he doesn't look confident around the net, so I have to assume its the thumb, but I'm not paying enough attention to which shoulder he's throwing hits with, so who knows.
And lastly, really liked Michelleti calling out DZ last night on that terrible pinch.
I am so sick of literally EVERYONE covering the Rangers giving Hank credit for being SUPER HUMAN, GOD LIKE, KING LIKE after every win. Reality check people: he let in two goals. Yes, the first period was incredible. Yes, there are THREE periods in a game. The Rangers won because they SCORED THREE GOALS, and only let in two. That's it. When the Rangers lose and Hank is in net all everyone moans and complains is "THE RANGERS DIDN'T SCORE ENOUGH TO HELP HANK OUT!!!", then, when the Rangers DO SCORE enough the headlines and accolades are "HANK WON THE GAME FOR US (by letting in two goals but forget that)". Good God, there's more to the Rangers than just him. I'm stoked they won, glad they found a way to score, and happy we have reliable goal-tending. That's it. He's not a God.
I know this would be a reach...but Steve Macintyre is on waivers-----legit heavyweight for sure. If we are going to have someone scratched per game, would rather it be a 30+ heavyweight than JT Miller. Waive Pyatt or Pouliot......bring in Macintyre....suit him up against the teams who tend to run us like the Bruins, Leafs, etc....and then put in someone else against the Red Wings type teams. Miller should be in the minors getting 20 plus minutes a game.
What do you mean, you guys can't fault Hank for last nights performance? Hello, he let in 2 goals! He's gotta react to those double deflections in front and do a better job of tracking the puck.
it's easy to say trade hank. Yes he's past 30 and about to cash in for the long haul. Yes that is a little scary to commit to. But he stole the game last night, and honestly he's had to be that good in MOST of his NHL wins for this team that has not been able to score since Jagr.
all this talk about DZ- yes, terrible, but we get a late pick at best right now. Package Girardi while he still has real value. Or Staal for that matter. We are a Phaneuf away from cup.
I forgot how much fun it is to have a top-10 forward. Nash is freakishly good and looked dangerous on almost every shift. Stay healthy! Lets go rangers!
Excellent assessment, Kevin. You nailed it so perfectly that I feel no need to comment on what I saw last night.
Pretty new to hockey here so please be kind. Hank was unbelievable in this game no doubt, but... does anyone else think that his jagged movement in the net produces spectacular saves whereas a goalie that has economy with their motion would make them look a little more routine?
Not a hater by any means - just wondering if I am seeing things correctly. I will now cover up and go into a rope-a-dope, so fire away.
They didn't look good to me at all tonight except Hank. He looked pissed off - again, especially at Del Zotto after that 2nd goal. Defense disorganized, beaten in the neutral zone etc. It's starting to look to me that in AVs system you have to have more jump then the other team otherwise they wind up beating us with their speed making us look disorganized. No more dogging it out like past seasons. But good steal tonight. You can't have your A game every night and good teams find a way to win
You mean Lundqvist was superhuman, not sub-human? Otherwise I wasn't watching the same game. I hope Cally didn't rush his recovery from shoulder surgery. The only time he looks really good is in front of a goalie. But, even if hurting, I don't think he's a guy you have to worry about. When the team hits bottom, he always comes to the surface.
... oh, and while Hank was possessed in net, he had the awareness and the skill to grab an assist on the Rick Nash goal. Awesome
@rangersfan "He has a wealth of knowledge and experience and I don't know if there's anyone else in the NHL that's better than him, but he's got to be close to the top."
How about every GM who's won a cup since 1980??? I never took much time to study Sather's history. I thought he deserved some credit for the Oilers sucess in the 80s. Thanks to Wikipedia, I'm now well informed of the gift he was given of Wayne Gretzky, and how the downfall of the franchise was a result of their inability to draft well once he moved from coach to GM.
@rangersfan Well you just ruined my day.
@johnnyb3910 Amaze-balls! Love that. I think I'm one of the few Rangers fans who actually likes Michelleti. He's not afraid to call out some of the Rangers players, refs or the NHL. It's refreshing.
@MiddleSwine Sober up before you post kid. Not everyone can handle it.
@MiddleSwine I think most Rangers fans recognize that the Rangers problem right now is that they have issues scoring. But that doesn't take away from the fact that Lundqvist was amazing and won them the game. Dallas could have easily had five goals last night which would have made the Rangers three obsolete.
@MiddleSwine yea he let in 2 goals. when the game could of been 5-1 by the end of the first period. and the 1st goal wasn't even hanks fault it went off giradi and mcd
In all seriousness, without Hank this team would have have missed the playoffs every year since 2005. Since he entered the league, he's 1,000% been the most consistent Ranger and I think I could probably say he's been the most consistent goalie in the NHL.
@SmellyKisio Letting in two goals isn't stealing the game. Letting in two goals is a solid performance which was backed equally by a solid three goal effort by the offense. It's a three period game, he was AMAZING in the FIRST period.
@fin_fang_foom I agree. Hank actually plays very deep in the crease which leads to that kind of play. Rarely comes out to play the angles which would cut down on the "jagged" movement.
If you look at Talbot, he's the polar opposite. Very little movement. And actually lots of Rangers fans feel he hasn't been tested because he makes the tough save look so routine.
@Wallace1 LOL! Yeah, my bad. I really need to re-read these before I post them. Thanks for the heads-up.
@Kevin DeLury Sorry. It's grim. Dolan will own them for the rest of our lives most likely and he's incompetent. Knicks and Rangers are cursed because of it.
I like Michelleti, and I'm a fan of Sam Rosen, too. Lots of people give them crap for all the product plugs and over hype of MSG propoganda, as if they have some position in the marketing department. I think Michelleti has a lot of really good hockey knowledge, and you're right, can be pretty honest some times palyers, refs, and NHL.
@HJB91 And they would have had exactly the same number of cups. Who cares? He fell apart in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals and was embarrassed by the Devils.
@MiddleSwine @SmellyKisio i disagree. to me, "stealing a game" is putting in a remarkable performance that allows your team to win a game it clearly didn't deserve to win. goalies shouldn't have to be THAT good in every game, and for the most part he has. which is ridiculous. doesn't matter that 2 beat him. 6 or 7 of those saves in the first period could easily have been tap-in goals.
@Kevin DeLury @fin_fang_foom Exactly, and it wasn't always like this. Hank used to play more conservative but the past few seasons he's become an erratic jitterbug in net trying to make the big save. The dude has an ego the size of Manhattan island and constantly is looking to make the big flashy highlight save. Diving around, flopping around, head-butting the puck (which create ERRATIC REBOUNDS FOR HIS D), etc. He's more interested in being a star than fundamentals anymore. Talbot is the future, Hank is just keeping the net warm until he's traded this season.
@johnnyb3910 @Kevin DeLury I like how Sam and Micheletti will also give praise to the other team and are not ridiculous homers. You can clearly tell they both want the Rangers to win but they are not afraid to call them out where fair. I cannot imagine listening to a Pens, Flyers or Caps broadcast and hearing the announcers be as complimentary to Rangers player as those guys were to Benn, Lehtonen and others last night.
@Kevin DeLury @MiddleSwine @iwantgaborik you both have points, imo. Hank was great last night, and made the difference between winning and losing. Against, Boston, however, he played badly despite the fact that the Rangers only scored one goal. He rightfully deserved some criticism for that game. Taking his season as a whole so far, he's been average and needs to be better. When starts playing at the level he is capable of the Rangers will catch fire. Scoring is always hard in the NHL.
Go watch golf or something you idiot. Like I've said many times on here, Hank has been the Rangers best player and the most consistent goaltender in the NHL since entering the league.
This quickly became part of a larger conversation that's been taking place, @fin_fang_foom . I don't think anybody was saying that you were "asking for Talbot to play more or asking for Hank to be traded," but fans have been, so this thread quickly returned to the broader discourse.
Otherwise, good observation and way to spur the debate!
I don't recall asking for Talbot to play more or asking for Hank to be traded. Just was wondering if folks were seeing the same thing I was. Doubt that makes me less of a fan, but I am a relative noob to the sport, so maybe I have more to learn on hockey fandom.