The New York Rangers (22-20-3) defeated the Chicago Blackhawks (29-8-9) by the score of 3-2, tonight. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...damn that was fun. Haven't been that into the final two minutes of a Rangers game in awhile. Was it perfect? No. But when you beat the defending Stanley Cup Champions, does it matter? Now, I can sit here and call this a defining win, but this team has been duping me all season, so I'll just enjoy this for what it was. A big win, against a great team.
...when Hank let in the soft Bollig goal to tie the game, I'm pretty sure everyone in Rangers Nation thought "here we go again." But got to give Lundqvist a ton of credit for having the moxie to fight through a gaffe like that and he ended up being the difference in this game for one of the few times this season. Well, the difference in a positive way.
...the Rangers are 2-0-1 since the Carcillo trade. Can you say
Avery Factor Carcillo Effect?
...although that's also the same record since Del Zotto's been re-inserted into the lineup so it's not an exact science.
...while Nash still looks like he'd lose a race to Pyatt, he had his third solid game in a row. Using his big frame and moving his legs to create space for himself. Got to wonder if being named to Canadian Olympic team has taken a huge burden off his mind.
...i swear, every time I completely give up on Richards he surprises me.
...most noticeable Callahan's been since returning from knee injury.
...damn Toews, Kane and Sharp are sweet.
...Staal playing some of his best hockey of the season.
...loved Hagelin's game winner, because he went to the net and was rewarded. Funny how that happens.
...haven't seen a small, European as beloved by Rangers fans as Zuccarella since Prucha. Let's just hope AV doesn't end up giving him the Renney treatment.
...Stepan is now goalless in nine straight and was just 33% in the faceoff circle tonight. That...that's just not good.
...six blocked shots for Girardi? He must have thought Canucks management was scouting him tonight.
...what I found interesting tonight is that the Blackhawks thought out skating the Rangers would be enough, but the Blueshirts proved that when given space they can skate with anyone. The real challenge now is when a team comes at them physically, which I'm amazed doesn't happen every game, do they have enough to push back? I'm still not convinced they do. We probably won't find out Friday night against Dallas, but Sunday night vs. Philly would be a great time for them to start proving me wrong.
...i've been telling you guys for the last few weeks that I felt the team might be turning a corner. The win tonight improved the Rangers to 6-2-1 in their last nine and they again showed their true mettle by not wilting when Chicago went on their second period run. When you see the Rangers remain calm in the face of adversity as they have during most of this mini-run, you have to wonder if the same emotionless persona they acquired from their head coach that we oh so often criticize might actually be their biggest strength.
Post game talk...
Richards looked a lot slower against the Hawks. He made a half hearted swipe at the puck on Chicago's second goal. Never moved his slow feet. At least he scored a goal.
Cam Talbot has been great this season, no doubt. But he hasn't even sniffed a 90 seconds anywhere close to as intense as the last 90 seconds last night. I seriously doubt the Rangers win in regulation last night if Hank's not in net. He was astounding!!! Pouliot was a defensive monster in that 3rd period, besides that borderline penalty he took. He saved a sure goal and made a couple more great back-check plays. He's really turned things around for himself, let's hope it continues. Say what you will about this team's toughness, coach, resiliency, players, whatever. They took on the defending Stanley Cup champs, who are also the 2nd best team in the NHL this year, in their own building, and beat them straight up! This team has talent and can go toe to toe with any team in the league as long as they play their game...speed, quality D, solid goaltending. The biggest issue they face is consistency. 13 of 18 points. Maybe they're starting to figure out the consistency part.
Anyone know of a good happy hour before the game by the way? I know Mustang harrys/sallys doesnt run one on fridays
going to the Dallas game tomorrow. I have no idea what to expect. Im not sure if Ill bee chant "glen must go" or "lets go rangers"
@TheNYRBlog TRADE BOYLE FOR SOMEONE WITH TOUGHNESS WHO ALSO CAN PLAY PLEASE , ANYONE CAN PK
I think its about time I hung up my Messier shirt for a while. Im the least superstitious man you'll ever meet but during 11/12 I didnt see a single win while wearing it, Ive missed the last 6-8 games and last night I only watched the 2nd period. Time to break out the dressing gown for games instead.
Agree with everything you said for once, they hit and were nasty and Hank was Hank for a change. Nash was good If krieder ever learns patience with his god given talents he will be a top 10 forward in this league. He frustrates me but then I remember he is a rookie and then think 2 years from now how freaking good he can (will) be On the other hand that guy Leddy has a blast do you think they would be willing to trade him for MDZ and a prospect? wishful thinking. One noticeable thing with all the praise Stralman has been getting,I have noticed all his give aways and do not think as highly of him as most. Maybe instead of MDZ we can trade him and get back more since everyones so high on him now.
@TheNYRBlog Flyers are Sunday, guess we'll find out soon.
@kevin I totally agree with u.I believe this team can skate with the best but I am more worried about a big strong physical team.I still don't feel they are built for the playoffs if they get in.I hope I am wrong
Kevin...great write up brother.
Hey...its the Stanley Cup Champs.....and two points is two points.
But I was truly amazed at the lack of physical play by the Blackhawks. As I have said many times on this blog, the Rangers would rather skate than hit. Pond hockey...up and down.....limited hitting...this is how our team likes to play the game.....and we have the talent to do it. Take the physical aspect out of it.....and we can skate up and down the ice with most teams in the league.
I don't know why the Blackhawks refused to take the body. Maybe before they took the ice the Rangers players lifted up their jerseys to show the Hawks that they had kittens and puppies taped to their chests..."If you hit us...you'll hurt these poor little animals"......
But what happens to the Rangers when they face a talented skating club who also plays a nasty physical game...hmmmm....like the Penguins for example?
The answer is simple....we get pushed around...players go limping to the bench every other shift after being hit hard....and we get intimidated....and blown out.
We got away with it last night....and maybe we'll get away with it for a little while more.....but when it starts getting close to playoff time....and teams start getting desperate for points.....you better believe that teams are going to come at us....and come at us hard.
And if we make the playoffs? LOL...please. Just skating and not hitting is a recipe for disaster.
Anyone remember Neil smith's quote after we lost to the Caps in 1991?
""""The playoffs separate the men from the boys, and we found out we have a lot of boys in our dressing room."""""
I hear the term team toughness a lot on this board.........we are not a team tough team....not even close. Just because we traded for Carcillo doesn't make us "team tough".....he's only one man.
Look at the 1994 team.....Graves, Messier, Beukeboom, Kocur, Wells..etc.....that's team toughness. But Neil Smith knew it still wasn't enough for the playoffs. We had 44 wins at the trade deadline that year....Smith trades Amonte...who had 16 goals at the time...for two big grinders in Noonan and Matteau.....and also trades Gartner...who had 28 goals at the deadline... for a nasty "stick man" in Glenn Anderson.
Put it all together....Stanley Cup Champs.
We have talent on this team....but this game is about skill and physicality....there's is a balance...and right now...our balance is way off....and it will catch up to us down the stretch run....and definitely in the playoffs....if it's not addressed.
"Winning is like deodorant....it covers up everything that stinks".
Our physical play stinks. And believe me...the deodorant will wear off come the stretch run and playoffs. Our lack of physicality will be exposed. Just keep in mind what happened against the Bruins last year....or even better....how the Canadiens were physically abused by the Sens.....that's what happens when you play soft hockey come playoff time.
Sather.....don't wait for the ugliness to happen...and fix it in the off-season.....fix it between now and the trade deadline.....and then let's go to war.
First thing that kept coming to me last night: My god it must be fun to be a Blackhawks Fan! I'm sure they have their off-nights. But if even their loses are that entertaining, it must be an enjoyable experience most nights.
I actually thought Nash looked faster than he has all year (Not to sound like Pierre too much). On more than one occasion he won races to loose pucks. I was very impressed with him tonight, despite not shwoing up on the scoresheet. Maybe Richards caved and gave him Munn's number...
Nice write up. As you say, except for the second goal -- which was a heck of a shot from a tough angle -- Hank played out of his mind and was fabulous. He looked like he was having fun out there, too. Read elsewhere that, according to JD, Hank intends to use his original goalie pads for the Olympics. Interesting. If this is true, you have to wonder how much his game is still affected by the new pads this season.
@TheNYRBlog nearly gave me heart attack. lol!
So much fun! And how amazing was hank? Funny what happens when the team decides to play in front of him like they do for talbot! (No disrespect intended. I love that kid.)
@TheNYRBlog It was fun being the one guy cheering his balls off in my section of the UC. AND I didn't get beat up for it. Successful night.
I was too busy swimming in the blue waters of South Kona to watch the blue shirts but it sounded like a fun game. I'm learning a bit about the Hawaiian culture on this, my first trip and surprise, hockey's not to big down here. I hope the run continues. Maybe they're showing enough resiliacy now for the GM to build for a run.
@TheNYRBlog nice job Kevin, doing my blog in am, my keys were: G solid again, Hank late, same w/ Cally, dirty goal by Hags, great Staal
Went unmentioned but dz has a 3 game point streak currently. Solid win, but need to see another performance such as this from hank on Friday night before we go declaring this anything... Have seen them play great one night and pitiful the next too many times this season
Just finished watching the game on DVR, with no prior knowledge of the outcome. Holy shit - great game!
I thought they might have shot their load in the first and it was going to be all over after that second period, but they really came back on in the third, found a way to score a go-ahead goal & keep the lead.
I thought Hank was fantastic, the King of old (except for that weak tying goal by Bollig). Offense had some really nice plays, generated a ton of great chances most of the game. Without a post and a couple great saves by Crawford this could easily have been a 4-2 or 5-2 win.
Nash was finally visible tonight. The forwards I thought played great D in their own zone. Defense was adequate… no one really stood out to me but as a group they played pretty solid. This one has got to be a great confidence booster.
Interesting post-game graphic on NBCSN: NEW YORK RANGERS - First regulation win in Chicago since OCT. /2000.
Sorry I missed the comments but I did go back and read a few on the gameday thread - stellar as awesome, boys!!
The Flying Puck is usually a good place.
Awesome commentary George and couldn't agree more. Problem is we don't have a couple 40 goal scorers we can trade to balance out the roster like we did in '94. You got to give to get. We can however bring up Haley, acquire a heavy weight or 2. Play Falk and Allen, maybe surrender one or 2 guys like Hags for toughness along with a Stralman or Dan G. We need a power forward or 2. Not enough garbage goals, rebounds etc. god I wish the Undertaker was ready. Just don't think we are good enough to get better and more balanced through trades. Slats needs to have a plan to build and balance this team for the next 3 years.
The Hawks aren't a physical club and don't fit everyone's giant boner for the Bruin's mold. They have Cups that back up talent and speed first.
could not agree more about team toughness with talent still. I have been screaming this all along nice to see someone else say it also
@McPhee37Must you whine so?
Enjoy Hawaii! Was just on the big island a little more than a year ago for my honeymoon. If you like beer, be sure to check out the Kona Brewery. Tours are tough to get on, but the restaurant at the brewery is surprisingly good (went more than once in our one week stay). And obviously the Volcano Park and the lava fields that run out to the ocean are incredible to see and make for some awesome photos.
You lucky bastard! Enjoy the trip, beware the Great Whites!
@airjan23 @TheNYRBlog Much appreciated game summary for those of us who did not see the game.... great to hear Nash is finally looking like, well, Nash.... Happy to know Hags, Zuc and Richards are also contributing... Staal looking strong, etc.... I agree with you.... still need a bit more ferocity. Teams like Philly will test our mettle in the area of toughness, and Carcillo is only one guy... and as you rightly said, it is more than just fighting, it is FEISTINESS.... AGGRESSIVENESS.... HARD CHECKING....