Despite a big boost from grinders Brian Boyle (two goals) and Derek Boogaard (one goal), the Rangers dropped another game at home to the Washington Capitals in a 5-3 loss yesterday. They failed to hold a one goal lead (three times), couldn’t convert on a third period powerplay and couldn’t keep the momentum swinging in their favor.
The Rangers are now 2-5-1 at home. Last season wasn’t much better either with an 18-17-6 showing. Madison Square Garden is not exactly home sweet home for Ranger fans of late with dismal numbers like that.
Marian Gaborik told Larry Brooks of the NY Post that’s going to change.
“We’ve had trouble winning at home, but we’re going to turn that around starting tomorrow.”
The sniper is set to return to the lineup tomorrow night when the Rangers face off against the struggling Buffalo Sabres at MSG. Gaborik missed twelve games with a separated shoulder. Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahan held it down offensively and defensively with agressive forechecking and shot blocking. Coach Tortorella will likely keep that trio together and put Christensen at center and Frolov at left wing with Gabby.
While Christensen may not be deserving to center the top line, Tortorella really doesn’t have much wiggle room if he wants to keep the blue collar line intact. Rookie Derek Stepan has been quiet since his hat trick opening night. Todd White, not so much. Brian Boyle is making a name for himself but probably doesn’t have the finesse needed to center a superstar like Gaborik.
If Frolov and Christensen don’t step up, it might be time for a shakeup. Anisimov should get a go centering Gaborik with sparkplug Avery or new found hot hands Dubinsky on the left. Or maybe even try Dubinsky back at center.
Center Vinny Prospal is not expected to return until late December while Chris Drury is probably going to be out for another few weeks.
Gaborik may be set to return but yet another Ranger will be down for the count.
Defenseman Michal Rosival will be sidelined for at least a week after a nagging strained right shoulder injury.
From the NY Post:
“Rozy has been playing through a really bad shoulder and it finally came to the point where he can’t handle it and is worrying about hurting the club. He sometimes gets a rough ride, people get on him for not shooting, but he had problems shooting,” said Tortorella.
This is the perfect opportunity for Matt Gilroy to show the coach he belongs on the squad. Surprisingly, after some solid showings, Torts opted to go back with Sauer and Eminger as his third pair with Gilroy a healthy scratch. Gilroy needs a point, a better +/- rating and/or a lower score for the away team to help plead his case.
Boogeyman Trends on Twitter:
Boogaard scored his first goal since January of 2006 last night. After Boyle netted two goals, shooting up his career high, he was trending on Twitter. So I decided to start up a Twitter topic: #TheLastTimeBoogaardScored to time travel back to 2006 and help get another grinder a nod, even if it was ever so fleeting. Pretty cool for a guy who has more vowels in his name than goals.
Below are some of my favorites. Feel free to post your own:
About the Author
Written by Margaret DeJesus
I'm a recent college graduate looking for a dream job covering hockey. I've been watching the New York Rangers since my grade school days of VHS and Gordon Bombay's "ducks fly together" speech. While studying journalism at Boston University (COM '10), I wrote for the Daily Free Press, the student newspaper. I worked two summers at the Staten Island Advance, my hometown newspaper, writing city news and features. I've also written CD reviews for Music-Reviewer.com. One of my favorite gigs was interning for hockey analyst extraordinaire Stan Fischler covering the Boston Bruins and attending all their home games in the 2009-2010 season. (Yes, including the crushing defeat against the Flyers in the Eastern Conference playoffs.)