The Rangers opened their season in upstate NY with a 6-3 win over Buffalo on Saturday and looked good doing it. Yesterday afternoon, in a Columbus Day matinee the Rangers lost 6-4 to the Islanders out in Long Island, NY, and Boy! - did they look bad doing it.
The two games wash each other out. We are literally talking about 6 of one thing and a half dozen of another. And so Ranger fans, this is the way it will be for us. The season has been foreshadowed for us. Things will be Blue some days and Bleak on other days.
Offensively, Marian Gaborik is still yet to get uncorked. He earned a penalty shot yesterday afternoon, while playing on the Penalty Kill Unit, (Huh?). *sigh* On the penalty, he picked up the puck at center ice and skated wide to the right. He took aim and fired off a shot which found it's target; Rick DiPietro's chest. D.P. didn't even have to move. - Penalty Shot thwarted.
Gaborik aside, the team has scored 12 goals in their first two games. When you score 12 goals in two games and Gaborik is yet to find the back of the net, I think that's a good problem. Brandon Dubinsky scored goals in both games; my boy Artem Anisimov chipped in with a goal also. Both of them played very very well in the first two games to start this season off.
But no goals were more satisfying, stupendous and so personally special to "MOM" than the three goals scored by DEREK STEPAN; the Rangers rookie who flat out won his job and roster spot in camp. He netted himself a Hat Trick in his first NHL game and in the first game of the season for the Blueshirts. MOM and many others were on hand to see and support Stepan; he did not disappoint. The kid had himself a special night personally, in front of and for his family. Congratulations to the Stepan Family.
Now for a bad problem; DEFENSE.
Let's not pick on the kid, Michael Del Zotto. He was bad yesterday. OK! He knows it, we know it, Torts knows it, everyone knows it. He's best served by forgetting yesterday afternoon.
The Defense had their moments in the opener, but yesterday they were just plain abysmal and I'd rather not get into it. It's sparking flashbacks.
The Rangers were in control of yesterday's match. Then they were out of control. I left the room in the third period yesterday. The Rangers were up 4-3 at the time. When I returned a few short minutes later, the Blueshirts were down 5-4. The Islanders later scored again into an empty net to seal the final at 6-4.
So would the real Rangers team please stand up? No, better yet...Will the real Rangers team please show up in Madison Square Garden Friday night when they take on the Maple Leafs in the MSG season opener. They started out to nicely Saturday but yesterday was just obscene.
Yes....speaking of Obscene.. ~ There's a lot of talk about James Wisniewski (D-NYI) and the obscenities he directed Sean Avery's way. He repeatedly tried baiting Sean, and resorted to the 'ol Phallus-to-Mouth hand gesture. Avery commented on that after the game and basically he was right in what he said.
Had Avery been the one issuing obscene hand-to-mouth gestures, as Avery said, he'd be in rehab already. Commish Bettman was in attendance but stated he didn't witness the incident. But he did say NHL Watchdog Colin Campbell would review the questionable behavior.
If you remember, SEAN AVERY was suspended by the NHL for 6 games because of his premeditated "Sloppy Seconds" comments he made on a nationally televised game (if you give Versus Channel that much credit). The comments were directed at Calgary's Dion Phaneuf because he was now dating Avery's ex-girlfriend (at the time). Who cares really!? What I do care about is Avery not feeling like this League is keeping him under a microscope while everyone else who comes into conflict with Avery isn't viewed with the same convicting eyes. Aside from that nonsense, Avery is off to a very good, spirited and effective start.
I am a Ranger! But if last year's team shows up this coming Friday night like they did out in the Nassau Coliseum yesterday, I will be A MAD RANGER (fan).
Wash your hands of the last two games. Let's see what they bring Friday night.
Let's Go Rangers ! ! !!!