Obviously you have to overlook the fact that the Rangers played some of their best hockey of the season in that first period to clinch a win after 20 minutes of tonight’s game and turn your attention right to Hank.
After taking that hard hit on the goalie interference, Lundqvist looked shaky for the rest of the game, even refusing to allow his teammates to give him the traditional celebratory head pat after the game.
Also, love Rammer there. Rammer was there taking care of Hank before the scrum in front of him was even over.
Obviously nothing to report on his status now but what we’ve seen, but I’m sure we’ll get more coverage than we want on it tomorrow…
Now, back to the game.
So how about that game? The Rangers came out hard and heavy in that first period and essentially dominated with one major gaffe in between domination.
First there was Artie’s goal which was a typical Rangers goal this season. Anisimov gets big and blocks the shot with his body, doesn’t fall down but keeps skating to get himself a breakaway and finish on Price; followed by what has to be my personal favorite hockey celebration, the bow and arrow.
After that goal however came the major gaffe. Gaborik’s line was on the ice when PK Subban seemed to wind up his slapshot for about a minute with no one willing to get into the shooting lane. Now personally, I don’t want Gaborik going down to block shots so that’s not a big deal to me, but somebody has to get in the way there, or just put some pressure on Subban instead of allowing him to wind up for as long as he did and set himself up for a perfect shot.
The third Canadiens goal was the same deal although a little different because the Rangers were on the PK. Wisnewski had all day to line up that shot and get it on the stick of Gionta for the easy deflection. The Rangers need to do a better job of getting big in the shooting lanes while not taking themselves out of the play.
The rest of the game was just an interesting thing to watch. Taking a four goal lead into the first intermission it’s gotta be hard to continue to focus and play with the same edge you were as the rest of the game, and the Rangers proved human in this aspect.
4:13 into the second period the Canadiens who basically held the play up until that point in the period were able to make it 5-2. It was only after that the Rangers got going again. Tough to fault the team for not playing with the edge they need in this situation, but that sort of killer instinct needs to be developed. The game was far from over.
And even though the Rangers were the better team in the second half of the second period, the Rangers still took a 3 goal lead into the locker room.
Then what happens? 54 seconds into the third period the Canadiens make it a 5-3 game, and while the game was still 5-3 Lundqvist had to come up with a HUGE save to keep it a 2 goal game, and it nearly took the life out of the Canadiens. The Rangers went up 6-3 shortly after and put the game away.
A lot of good intensity in the game as well. Finally a Prust fight that I can get behind even though it was 1 second into the game. That’s a spot where he knows the Garden is fired up and the crowd is ready to go, and in these games some times the Rangers come out a little slow, but not after Prust fires them up with a real good fight to get the game going.
Then there was the PK Subban show where he again proved his cowardess against the Rangers. Slew foots last time at the Garden to only dropping the gloves VS Sauer when the linesman were in good position to save him. Subban’s turning into quite a pest and he’s doing it the right way if he can get the fans riled up.
Speaking of pests…Wolski played 8:24 tonight. For a guy like Wolski to be effective he’s going to need regular shifts during a game and log around 13 minutes of ice time, in my opinion the Rangers would be better off giving that 8:24 to Avery and letting him act like the Canadiens use Subban and Gomez in some aspects of his game as well. Even in his limited ice time and although they were the only line to not record a goal tonight, I believe when they were out there, as always, the Wolski – Stepan – Zuccarello line created good things. If they continue to play like that the ice time will come. Keep in mind that the Rangers next game is Sunday against division rival Pittsburgh, so Torts may opt to throw Avery back into the lineup.
A fun game for the fans but more importantly a statement in that first period. The statement being that the Rangers aren’t going to be taken lightly on home ice anymore, now back over NHL .500 at the Garden. The fact that the Rangers are going to continue to grind until the end of the season to do whatever they can to move up in the standings. With 10 games remaining and only 5 points behind 6th place Montreal now, the Rangers proved they can hang with the best of them.
It’s once again time to start looking up to 6th place rather than watching the scoreboard night after night. Continuing this type of play can catapult the Rangers to a comfortable playoff position by the end of the year. If they can roll into Pittsburgh with the attitude they brought to the Garden tonight it will be a huge boost to my confidence for this team.
Regardless of what happens, it’s going to be a fun stretch run here. With 10 games to go, the Rangers have no reason to get complacent. Time to put foots on throats and defeat the competition by any means necessary.
Congratulations to Hank on his new NHL record of 6 consecutive 30 win seasons after entering the league.
Congratulations to the Rangers for matching their win total from last year with 10 games to go at 38.
Keep the fire going.
Keep the electricity alive
Let’s go Rangers!!
About the Author
Written by Adam Gavriel