Three games in four nights? No problem for the Rangers. 3-0 against teams directly behind them all within 4 points.
With all the hockey the Rangers have played recently, I sensed a little fatigue that caused the Rangers to not bring their 'A' game back to New York tonight after last night's red-eye from Ottawa. However, thanks to a lethal power play, a resurgent Rick Nash and a stonewall Henrik Lundqvist, it was enough to keep the Capitals at bay who have completely melted down over the last 30 days. Just 3 wins in their last 14 games.
Nash abused Caps goalie Philipp Grubauer in the first period, stripping Orlov of the puck at the Caps' blueline and beating the rookie on a mini-breakaway just 1:10 into the game.
Nash's second came on a two man advantage, taking a pass from Brad Richards and firing a shot through a gaping hole between Grubauer's legs. It took him long enough, but Nash's 14th of the season nets him the team lead.
Derek Stepan sent Grubauer to the showers early, sending a wrister into the net for a 3-0 lead just 1:43 after Nash put them up 2. Credit also goes to Kreider for setting up a perfect screen in front.
Not much the Rangers could've done on the Caps' lone goal that came off Ovechkin's stick while on a two man advantage of their own. Henrik made the saves he needed to make in an otherwise uneventful performance.
Lundqvist appeared to pull a muscle late in the third after a sequence in front of him, which led AV to call a rare timeout to give his goalie some time. Didn't appear serious, but something to keep an eye on.
Any effort or will the Caps may have had was thrown out of the window when Callahan out worked Orlov to a rebound soon after Ovechkin cut the lead to 3 to start the second. Anyone else hold their breath when Cally went into the crossbar after scoring?
The Caps unloading prospect Filip Forsberg to acquire Martin Erat in a trade at the deadline last year, is paying dividends for everyone except the Capitals. An interference penalty negated a Mike Green goal midway through the second and he eventually took his frustration out on Brian Boyle's man jewels later on in the period.
Terrible night to be a groin of a Rangers player, eh?
All in all a fairly uneventful game. The Rangers were credited with 15 giveaways but none that threatened to tilt the ice back in Washington's favor. To be honest, the Caps barely showed up for tonight. Not to take anything away from the Rangers.
There aren't a ton of detriments on the roster as it stands right now, as most of the team is trending upwards. They've shed the "inconsistent" label we tagged on them for the better part of December. The Rangers defense to offense transition game has been giving opponents a lot of issues given the amount of speed the Rangers have on the wings across their top 3 lines. This, paired with a top 7 power play and lights out goaltending by Lundqvist and Talbot have all come together at the right time and have led to victories on most nights against some quality clubs. Whatever happened in the visitors locker room after the 5-2 loss in Pittsburgh on Jan. 3 resonated throughout the roster to great success. With 8 games left before the Olympic break and 5 against division foes, lets hope their compete level doesn't suddenly regress, removing all the positives the Rangers have accomplished as of late playing in this new system.
The Rangers have 3 dates with the Islanders over the next two weeks starting with a tilt at MSG on Tuesday.
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Just read an article on Sportsnet.ca that cites the Rangers as a possible trading partner for Washington's Martin Erat lol .. there is no way in hell that can have any ounce of truth to it..
Exciting to watch. Puck moving, aggressive in 3rd period, closing teams down, time to develop chemistry, no more watching a team playing it safe and just hanging on Hank to win. Building players up instead of TORTuring them. Thank God that clown show is out west.
The way the they are playing now, I am wondering was that guy actually a detriment over 4 years he was here or just didn't have the players, I don't know.
I guess the experiment in Vancouver will be the test. He has talent, speed, toughness and a goaltender.
Finally our chemistry is coming together- Nash/Kreider/Stephan.....Zucc/Brass... etc.... this is what Tortowanker could not do because he was close minded, impatient and arrogant. A walking bag of mistakes and rudeness. I ALSO NOTICE THE RANGERS RECORD HAS CAUGHT UP WITH HE CANUCKS RECORD. We are trending up and they are trending down with HOME BOY Johnny torts at the helm all alone looking old and ridiculous.
The Capitals are imploding. Their goal tending looks like a SIEVE. Imagine, just last year Holtby was a superstar. Now he looks like Goofy. Can happen to any team... by the way.... the Capitals played so inconsistently last night, but Ovechkin's goal was one of the finest shots I've ever seen.... God could not have saved that one... I'll give credit where credit is due!!!!!
McPhee's post below mine is precisely correct. We cannot rest on our laurels and sit back smug and complacent. Rangers now have a target on our backs. We need to be prepared to have a significant physical deterrence or else we will be full of injured, concussed, scared superstars.... Carcillo is good, but deterrence is more than a one man show..... and Boyle is not our answer!!!!
The Rangers look very comfortable and confident since that loss to the Pens. Nash no longer looks like a skittish thoroughbred when he's on the ice. Hank is back to be Hank. And as I have said before...this team...we can skate up and down with any team in the league. We have a very skilled squad.
But the Olympic break is coming up. And when that break is over...and things start back up....and desperation sets in for clubs that are trying to make the playoffs........its the physicality of this club that needs to be addressed. And I don't have to even talk about the difference in physicality between the regular season and the playoffs.
Now, does Sather have to do a Neil Smith ala 94'..... I don't think so....a tweak here and there could do it. Don't get me wrong....I'd love to get a guy like Ott....but there would be a king's ransom to be paid to acquire him.
We have a lot of skilled players....skilled players need to be protected. For those of you who have seen the movie The Departed.....we need a guy like Mr. French......
"I'm the guy who tells you there are guys you can hit....and there are guys you can't......."
Is Carcillo our Mr. French.....nope. Moore? Boyle? And speaking of Boyle....I'm getting sick and tired of watching someone choke Boyle every time there's a scrum on the ice. Good grief man...you're 6'7...250lbs.....act like it. This isn't the freaking Ice Capades. For his size, he should be blowing people up....every shift. He doesn't use his body enough. That's why I call him the Gentle Giraffe. And I'm getting tired of it.....
So...in my opinion....a tweak to the fourth line is needed. I would also love to get a hard hitting third liner as well....but first things first.....
Mr. French in house....and play him with Carcillo on the 4th line. And
occasionally have Mr. French ride shotgun with Nash every now and
then.....its called sending a message. Nash is a guy you can't hit....or
a price will be paid.
Nice trend heading toward the break and there's a lot to like, including Nash finally grabbing the lead in goals. The Rangers are more fun then they've been all season.
Rick Nash getting back to normal.What a lightning release and deadly accurate snipe.Lundqvist getting back to normal.Stepan playing much better and getting back to normal.The entire team looked poised, confident aggressive and is calmly following a successful game plan for 60 minutes.They'll win lots of games playing like this
Missed both the Ottawa game and the Washington game and they go offensive juggernaut mode, meanwhile I watched the Red Wings game and they barely score a goal. God, wonder if this trend will continue
anyone ever notice how nash cringes every time after he scores and one of his players comes to tap him on the helmet to say nice goal...his face cringes like he is so nervous for even a little tap on the head, just something I've noticed
I absolutely love how last week more than half of the people commenting wanted rick nash's head on a stake, even saying he should be the one bought out, i remember reading a comment saying nash doesnt have a good shot, could there of been a more perfect snipe than last nights? The guy is a beast and like i said if you give him time after he came back from his brain bouncing off his skull he will be back and dominate and its exactly what hes doing.Everyone is doing there part there part right now and this team looks great. The problem with rangers nation is first sight of things getting sour our first reaction is to blow the team up, granted a few pieces could move but only pieces of negative value like dz and possibly a 4th liner when dorsetts back and i dont think that forward should be carcillo because he is just what we needed. We gotta keep stringing wins along and push our way to 2nd in the conference and sit pretty till the playoffs,LGR!!!
Time to solidify our positioning before the dreaded olympic break. It would be so nice to have a cushion going in, knowing there will be a hangover after it (with 7 players headed to Socchi). But, knowing the Rangers it is going to come down to the last game in Montreal... so why even try to alter the inevitable haha. But they look great... beat the fish sticks!!!
@McPhee3 Because of his size, every one expect Boyle to be a heavy weight. Unfortunately size does not determine whiter a gay can fight or not. Boyle is not a fighter and IMO. he never will be it just not in he's DNA.TY Domi did not have size but pound for pound he was the toughest guy on the ice. He was 5'9" and fought like he was 6'4".
@McPhee37 McGrattan or Bordeleau.... two real life guys who can scare the crap out of anyone who tries to intimidate our skill guys. And yes, Boyle does look pathetic out there trying to protect others.... kudos to him, but he needs to leave the enforcing to someone else, and not just poor Carcillo.
@fs2020 Terrific, short, accurate post fs
Kevin didn't write this, toots
@PacNYR44 You must be a woman for noticing so much detail and reading too many innuendos,PcNYR44!!!!!
To be fair, we are 2/3rds through the season and Nash has finally shown up.He was brought to NY to be our Crosby or Ovi, not...last year's brad Richards. Hopefully he continues to go to the net, where he can be very effective, and not hang out along the boards, where he is invisible.
no offense but this is your second post ever. other people post hundreds and thousands of times. in that time frame you can say a lot of dumb things.
post more and maybe you'll have the pleasure of having a knee jerk reaction.
@Dznpicksformoulsonnow Nash has gotten back to playing Nash-style hockey... he is 75% back to his old awesome self...
@KreiderisTheChosenOne Fish sticks are always dangerous. They seem to play their best against New York... Maybe time to dress Michael Haley to send our seasons greetings to Carkner and Bolton.
Forget about him being a heavyweight....Boyle is not a fighter. Period. But with his size....if you aint scoring...you better be hitting....and he's not even doing that consistently. I fought at 5'10..170lbs....ugh...drives me a crazy. I'm not asking for Boyle to throw down every night....but he should be taking the body....a lot more...and with that...he's going to be challenged. At least be able to defend yourself ...jeez.
Bottom line....find Mr. French....and get him in house.
I'm not sure you'd recognize a woman even after the pepper spray, dude. What's up with all the attacks lately, JK?
@JoeyKocur definitely giving this post some serious side-eye. I'd ask what you even mean by this, but I'm sure it's garbage, so I'd rather not know
Also the problem a lot of us had was not the players per se but the consistency of them. That's all we have been calling for all season and we are finally getting it so we are no longer calling for that spark. No reason to keep trying to light the flint with rubbing two stones together if lightning just struck a tree.