New York Rangers: Grinding Out Two in a Row
The Boston Bruins tried pounding on us early and often tonight in an attempt to set the tone with their clear advantage in size. The Rangers helped the Bruins' cause by putting them on the Power Play 10 times for a gross 37 minutes. What put a monkey wrench into Boston's game tonight was a very gutsy and gritty effort by the visiting New York BlueShirts. And yes, an early lead can thwart the best laid plans like the one the Rangers jumped out to this evening.
The Bruins couldn't keep pace with the rate in which Anisimov (3rd), Frolov (2nd) and Staal (1st) scored theirs goals. After correcting their penalty issues by not getting one called against them in the third period and a spectacular, not to mention lead preserving save by Henrik, the Rangers secured their second straight victory against their second straight Original Six opponent. Tonight's victory comes on the heals of a win over the Maple Leafs where by Martin Biron gained his first victory as a Ranger in a great over-all effort by the BlueShirts. So as Ranger fans, we'll throw out the junker against Colorado and stick with the results of these last two games.
They had ten penalties called against them. They killed nine of them; incredible in it's own right. Some of them sat well with me like the one (instigating) called on Avery. He was standing up for our guy; Fedotenko. That's cool; nothing stupid on his part; just hockey. Whatever Torts told them during the 2nd intermission worked because the Rangers didn't have an infraction the whole 3rd period. The other side of that coin is the four minute power play the Rangers were on resulting from a high stick to Brandon Prust in which the could not convert into a goal.
But it was a very solid third period indeed and 35 saves by Henrik Lundqvist; one of them a game saving Beauty was just enough to hold off the hard hitting Bruins. Henri even made one of his patented Head-Butt saves while they were killing a power play at the 12:40 mark of the 3rd period. I hate when he does that.
Early in the 2nd period Marc Staal came out of the penalty box, picked up the puck in the neutral zone and entered Boston's end unimpeded. His goal put the Rangers up 3-1 and they made it stand.
Final score Rangers 3; Bruins 2.
Prust was injured as he took a high stick to the eye. There was substantial bleeding and he did not return.
The Rangers are now 3-2-1 on the season.
Tomorrow, the Battle of the Hudson resumes as the Rangers and the Devils face off in MSG.
New Jersey Devils: Be-Deviling Situation
The New Jersey Devils have arrived at Hell's door in a hand basket. They picked an unusually odd home date to rest Martin Brodeur as Johan Hedberg made his first start and the even more peculiar situation surrounding Ilya Kovalchuk and Coach MacLean just screams for attention.
Coach MacLean decided Kovalchuk would be a healthy scratch tonight. Sitting the Devils' leading scorer was simply put by MacLean as a Coach's Decision. Is Coach Mac sending a message to the rest of the team? You betcha. You always go after the featured guy. The thought is if you go after him, no one feels safe. But this comes awfully early in the season doesn't it? What will he resort to in December, January and February?
We figured out this would be a different Devils team than we're accustomed to. This edition would be a scoring team with less emphasis on defense compared to years prior. But what we didn't anticipate with a Lou Lamoriello team is the chaos that is encroaching upon the Devils' locker room on the heals of the Giant Dollar signing.
After tonight's 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Buffalo Zach Parise offered, "...it's gonna be a long year if we keep this up." That's a pretty accurate assessment. The Devils are now 2-5-1. What should sound alarms is the fact they have only scored 14 goals this season while allowing 27. Six goals against, came tonight and seven more in one earlier game.
Don't go sticking pitch forks into these guys yet. It's only October. But these guys are clearly bedeviled by problems at the outset. There's plenty of time to straighten things out. The question moving forward is...
New York Islanders: Tavares Hat Trick; 3 Game Streak Ends
If this strikes you as a surprise, shame on you. But here it is; - The New York Islanders are the best team in the Metropolitan area right now. They along with PITT sat atop of the division with ten points each entering tonight.
But they couldn't ride a John Tavares Hat Trick, falling to the Florida Panthers 4-3 this evening in Florida. They played from behind but kept coming back. They? Tavares, excuse me.
Their three game win streak was snapped with this loss. They play again Wednesday when they begin a home and home series with the Habs.
Consider yourself updated.