The New York Rangers (30-23-3) defeated the New York Islanders (21-28-8) by the score of 4-1, tonight. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...it doesn't matter if the game is inside, outside or on the moon, Henrik Lundqvist is absolutely locked in right now. Sure, it was a dominant third period by the Rangers, but that game is likely out of reach at that point without the King.
...i was real surprised with the Rangers quick start as I expected a bit of a Stadium Series hangover, but once the Islanders began to press that's when it felt like they didn't have enough gas in the tank and couldn't find that second gear. Which is why I felt the turning point for the Rangers was the power play they had to start the third period. They were able to generate some offensive chances that really seemed to jump start the team.
...it's got to put a smile on every Rangers fans face to see Staal dominate the way he is right now. He's been through hell and back the last few years and I couldn't be happier to see him back in top form.
...another defenseman in full resurrection mode is Girardi. With the way he's been playing, I'm starting to think he might be worth a five-year extension.
...with all the Callahan trade talk tonight, Rangers fans really needed this win. Very depressing to see this play out in the media the way it is. Not sure if Sather's purposely leaking information for strategic reasons or there's just some loose lips within the organization. Having said that, if Callahan truly is being stubborn about his seven-year demand than Sather might have had no choice.
...it truly is a joy to watch a fellow vertically challenged person (I'm 5' 8") take over an NHL hockey game.
...if Callahan is traded and Richards continues this production, I'm starting to think there's a chance the Rangers don't buyout out their alternate captain.
...don't care that it was the Stadium Series jersey, it was damn nice to see the Rangers wearing home whites.
...the argument to replace anyone on the fourth line with Dorsett gets harder and harder to make with every goal they score.
...hate to criticize the guy now that he's gone, but man there's been a lot less defensive miscues from the Rangers blueline since the Del Zotto trade. Klein has really stabilized the unit.
...before the two games at Yankee Stadium, I started to get concerned about the team leaning too much on Nash, but the balanced attack from the line-up the last three games has me thinking this team is legit.
...14-5-1 in their last 20 games. I'm sorry that's more than just a hot streak. That's proof the Rangers are a very dangerous team. And of course, it all starts coming together right before the Olympic break. If the time off destroys this team's momentum the way it did back in 2006, I'm going to personally make sure that NHL players are never allowed to participate in the Winter Games again.
...a couple of days off to relax and reflect on what was an amazing week, then a tough Avalanche team is in town on Tuesday.
Post game talk...
I missed the festivities last night but heard the King was phenomenal - a few more games like that and maybe I won't have to hear how he's on decline and we never should have signed him anymore. Yes agree, they have been good and the recent record is more than just a "winning streak". We've become a good team with some nice chemistry developing. Before we get carried away though remember that the toughest part of the season is still ahead and we are not a tough team. Firstly I love Cally. He has been awesome with the Rangers and he has earned the right with his blood and his soul to go after the big bucks. No hard feelings here. I want to keep him. I wish we could keep him but he's not playing like Cally. No he's not in decline but he is playing it safe so he can get that big contract before his next injury and frankly there's no place here IMO for a guy not giving 110%. Either sign him or trade him. don't think they will give Cally what he wants so trade him. If they can get C. Steward that would be a step in a good direction for a team in need of toughness. Getting back to my original point word on the street is the Rangers are fast and use their speed well. To beat them you got to clog the zones and play them physical. We can still be fast but will need an answer to that. Accurate quick passing when you have speed breaks up an opponents forecheck and intimidation but in reality you're not always cliicking and are going to need to adapt a strategy and personel that can grind out games when necessary. A few moves is all it would take. LGR!.
@TheNYRBlog Cosign... "Stabilized" is exactly the right word to describe the D. Seems balanced.
Excellent win last night. Always good beating the fish sticks. The only negative thought that comes into my mind is the lack of physicality the Rangers were showing last night. That is why the Isles dominated the 2nd period. We still have to learn to play more physical. Trying to Stick check big forwards such as Tavares and Okposo will not work. When we play some of the larger teams (Bruins, Ducks, Kings etc) we have a hard time in the D zone. If this team is to go deep into the playoffs then more physicality is needed.
The team is playing good now and definitely heading the right direction but I won't be convinced until they beat a couple of big boy that are true contenders. The Chicago game was good but it was pretty much there only win against a cup contender. One win is not proof of quality, it could be an aberration or Chicago not playing there best. Beat Boston and Pittsburgh and I will start buying it we are real contenders.
Larry Brooks now says that last night may have been Cally's last game as a Ranger. He says that if they are determined to trade him b4 Sochi, they may hold him out of the next two games to prevent injury.
Callahan is playing like Hakeem Nicks...not to get hurt in a contract year. it seems. He rarely hits anyone and hasn't been getting scoring chances. The sliding block of a shot he made the other night reminds you how good this guy was. He's not that player at the present time.
Lindberg, two more goals. Fast one more. Ten of Lindberg's goals are even strength. Fast has to get more shots on goal. He doesn't even average two shots a game. His 30% conversion rate is unsustainable. Lindberg averages almost three shots a game.
Duke, one goal and two assists. He keeps rolling.
@TheNYRBlog You ain't kiddin.
@TheNYRBlog 3 out of the 5 losses were losses by 1 goal.
Sorry I missed game last night...rough week...Docs...Courts....Therapy....every day....thank goodness this week is over. And to add insult to injury, forgot to DVR the Game.
Anyways....my brother Mr. Islander...called me a couple of times..and sent me a few texts. One call was before the game...and a couple during the first period. Just from those texts and calls...I knew the Rangers would win this game hands down.
My brother and I both played the game the same way...tough guy roles...so my brother and I are true believers in Gordie Howe's quote....
" If You Find You Can Push Someone Around, Then You Push Him Around"
The first call came when my brother heard who was dressing for the game. My brother wanted Carkner in....and Boulton in. In essence, the same line-up the Islanders had when they beat us weeks ago. He believes, as do I, that playing physical...ultra physical...is the way to beat this Rangers squad. My brother was furious at Capuano....said it was a big mistake.
Next..was a text...shortly after the game started...."Rangers all over us...had to be the other way around...freaking Cappy!!!""
The next text...I guess came sometime in the first period...Hank must have made some kind of crazy save...because the next text read..." The King! Unreal. The Isles have no chance. We're done"
My brother told me all I needed to hear. The Rangers were gong to win...big.
I saw five minutes of the first period - Sam and Joe were acting soooo touchy about how Callahan "just wants to play", "he's a player"...and barely and pussfootingly alluded to the trade rumors, which I guess are real. It's so homer that they couldn't just say that he is potentially on the block. Or maybe it's über professional not to stir the pot on MSG during a game.
MZA FTW.I didn't get to see the game - how physical was it? Any post-whistle scrums or face washes? Any big hits?How about that fourth line?! Stall too. Do we still want to write him off to Carolina?
Sorry I missed the festivities - was driving through the great Smokey Mountains on my way to my daughter's volleyball tourney in TN. Got updates texted to me from my nephew. Watched highlights on my laptop - damn, Hank looked good!
Also agree with Kevin, it was nice to see the Rangers wearing white at home again (even if I'm not thrilled with these SS ones). What are the odds it's a superstition thing?
Lundqvist is making me eat my words about trading him.Also liked Brassard in this game a lot.Him and Zucc are a really aggressive and skilled combo.Really good game.Rangers bent but didn't break for 60mins and then Islanders fell apart.Kudos to Staal.
Oh...and last thing. Nice tribute to Sam Rosen at the start of the game. Very classy by the NYR organization. And JD was there! I was shouting for him to come back and replace Slats!
About Klein.... I also saw Klein step up into the play when the puck was in their zone a couple of times, a la Brian Leetch! Maybe AV told him to take a few more chances.... he looked good in the offensive zone. He does have skill on offense. I just think his defensive play is so strong we sometimes overlook that he is a decent offensive defenseman....
At the game tonight, and it was a good one. Some things I noticed.
-Step and Nash were talking...A LOT. I think Step is actually having a hard time playing with Nash & Kreider (keeping up with their speed). Looked like Nash was directing plays with Step during their many conversations. Nash was doing most of the talking. Usually the center talking to their wingers, like Richie does a lot.
-NYR wearing those jerseys. Made me think I was at an uptempo Wolfpack game. All the "shovel" boys were wearing them too. Guess they're trying to advertise them heavily.
-Lots of celebrities in the crowd tonight. Guess they must be here for the SuperBowl.
-Kevin. Spot on about Klein. I barely noticed the NYR defensemen playing defense, and I mean that as a compliment, cause they were so "boring" by being steady and defensively sound. Klein makes such simple, yet effective defensive plays, and Moore has been better because of him. Other 4 D men, all solid. It's nice to watch a game and not be anxious about NYR defensemen turnovers. (MDZ)
-I can't stand Chris Rooney live either.
I'd trade Cally Ladd or for Neil and a pick.... makes a lot of sense.... Neil is an impact player for sure...
It blows my mind when teams like the Islanders decide NOT to play the way that -- they must know -- would assure them a victory.
This is why sather doesn't want to sign him to a big deal, he doesn't want to tie his hands up for a guy who may be hurt half the time. It's the business of the game
@shishya100 I totally agree. I've noticed he has taken the foot off the accelerator quite a bit this season.
@shishya100 Remember Jan Erixon? Fast is looking like a faster version of him with a bit more offensive upside. that would be a really good thing. Lindberg is coming along nicely. I'm starting to get excited about the prospects
@Joe_1045 He's got to come down on his seven year demand.
@McPhee37 Agreed .... Come playoffs when games are more physical/emotional and push-back is needed the Rangers might fall short. Carcillo is one man and can't do it by himself. Dorsett, while I love his heart and fire, doesn't scare anyone. Klein has shown he can throw down while in Nashville but still, scares no one. It's b/c of this that I might be in the minority but I'm ok with Sather possibly looking to acquire Chris Stewart. Hell .. I'd even ask them what it would take to pry Stewart and Reaves.
@_Jack Both Staal and Kreider got into post whistle scrums. Both threw punches to Islanders heads after the whistle. Staal was a beast last night. 4th line scored first goal.
Zucc was on another planet. Everytime he touches the puck, something incredibly good might happen. He is quickly becoming Martin St Louis caliber
@JoeyKocur Agreed and feel he will only get better and more effective as he plays more games and get's used to AV's system.
I saw that too. He was a part of that sick passing play where the NYR did everything but score. He also holds the offensive blue line very very well, which DelZotto never did well (as an offensive defenseman mind you) He made a couple nice plays to keep the puck in tonight, and there were two plays where it looked like he was going to be trapped, but he broke up the play on one, and the other, he stopped the opposing player from breaking out. Real solid.
@Bleed_the_freak I just hope he doesn't turn out to be another Michael St. Croix.
Holy crap. When is he eligible to play in the NHL?
@TheNYRBlog True. & I know the smart move is to get something for him. But they're a contender w/ him, not w/o him. Don't trade him.
Thats 85 points in 49 games. Crazy. If he doesn't make the Rangers next year then he goes back to the Juniors and proabably Hartford the year after.
Exactly, but he still is lighting it up. He really has matured compare to his previous seasons which is something you like to see in a young guy. Just keep an eye on him that's all.