Rocky Mountain Beat-Down.
N.Y. Rangers 1; COLORADO Avalanche 5
The best part of last night is we have a quick turn around and play tonight against the WILD. A short memory will serve everyone well after last night's drubbing at the hands of the Avalanche in Denver. Of course it wasn't the ideal way to start this Western swing. But we should expect this kind of a game every week and a half to two weeks, or so. Look back at the schedule and last year's too. They come like clock-work. Even the ancient Mayans could have planned accurately around a Henrik Lundqvist stinker.
But if we all thought the Rangers were an 8th or 7th seed team early in October, then last night shouldn't be freaking you out. Be cool about this. Just remember; You can't be disappointed with what you don't expect. If you have no expectations of grandeur for this team, there will be no disappointment. I hope winning three of four prior to last night didn't get you too carried away. I can't speak for myself.
So let's just forget it. Dissecting a game like that is maddening. There was so much to criticize.
Me personally, I'd start with Michael Del Zotto and his frighteningly bad defense and decision process. But I'm going to cut the kid some slack and just say he's been horrible. But our follies in the Neutral Zone have me sweeping my hair off the floor and the Power Play is missing like O.J. Simpson's Black Bag.
Torts gave Sean Avery almost 15:00 of ice time last night. While he didn't exactly cash-in with the increased playing time, I'm glad to see Coach Torts let Avery off the leash for some quality time.
Chris Drury is coming back soon, as will Prospal. There will be decisions Torts and Glen Sather will have to make. I'm going to start now and voice my want to have Drury and Avery play on a line together. Christensen might be odd man out when Drury returns, but it's a pretty decent problem to have. Obviously Torts has instituted Dunbinsky-Anisimov-Callahan as the top line, as well they should be. Gaborik's line may still be a work in progress and since there is tinkering to be made, I'd like to see Frolov joined with Drury and Avery on the third line together. This is something I'm going to be flapping about a lot more. It looked like Torts was burying Sean Avery, and he has been, but the time received last night was a surprise to me. So, since Avery isn't exactly shackled inside Torts' dog house, let's be creative.
New York Rangers
"Land of 10,000 Lakes"
A Solid Bounce Back Victory. Biron the Dependable!
Marty Biron continues to be a superlative back-up to Henrik Lundqvist. After Torts pulled Henrik from last night's contest at roughly the 7:30 mark of the second period, a night like tonight and a back-up performance like Biron's was sorely needed not to mention timely. Coach Torts said this was a scheduled start for Biron.
OK Coach. If you say so.
The Rangers played a much smarter, crisper game tonight, except for allowing a short handed goal with 7 minutes left in the third period and then a bad angle shot off a face-off.
For a second it looked as if someone flicked on the "melt-down" switch with 4:30 left. The Wild had another shot on goal at Biron's doorstep. Then at 2:15 left, the Rangers put the Wild on the Power Play when Del Zotto got whistled. The Wild pulled the goalie for the extra skater. They fired off a slew of shots on goal before running out of time.. Game over.
The Rangers played a solid 53:00 minutes of hockey tonight. Things got a little strange over the last seven. But this win still is a three fold improvement over last night. Let it reinforce why we should be deleting yesterday's loss to Colorado from our re-callable memory.
**Sean Avery played 9:04 tonight; the second lowest on the team after Boogaard.
Tonight's Ranger goal scorers:
Anisimov (7) sweeter
Del Zotto (2) sweet
Dubinsky (12) sweetest goal of the night.
Next up ~ Calgary Flames at MSG. Monday; November 22, 2010