So maybe having Mike Del Zotto here with the Big Club is better than having him play in Connecticut with the Whale and next to Wade Redden after all. That's not the real reason why Del Zotto has been called back. But the further our kids are from Redden, the better.
Actually, Del Zotto has been recalled to reinforce the Blueline Corps because Dan Girardi finally grew a back-bone and went after Atlanta's Andrew Ladd when he dangerously (and un-penalized) Boarded Marc Staal into the backboards. Not only is Marc Staal his meal-ticket on this team, I'm sure the memory of his lack of action last season, when he stood around and watched Marian Gaborik get beat-up and the criticism he received because of it, got triggered in his mind.
He didn't go after Ladd right away. He took a few seconds and deliberated, then finally made his move. To his credit, Girardi did get one good shot in, but Ladd clocked him a few times and busted up his nose a little. Andrew Ladd actually did Girardi a favor after getting in the shot that bloodied him. Ladd didn't look like he wanted to bust him up any longer and got the Refs to step in. Girardi seemed relieved.
With injuries mounting, the Rangers still managed to play the Atlanta Thrashers with pure guts and whoever is left. Somehow, it was enough. They came back after going down a goal in the first period and ended regulation time tied 2-2. They pulled out a shoot-out win again seemingly unfazed by the caravan of casualties. The game was a nice come-back after suffering a Hurricane in Carolina.
With sustained minutes, Avery is going to be even more effective. He knows what's up. With all the injured Forwards and knowing how important he's become for the moment, he's not going to sabotage the Rangers with anything stupid now. To the contrary, it would be nice if he could get the benefit of a call once in a while. But Avery is playing calm, cool, and collected Hockey right now and will make it awfully tough on Coach Torts when he's faced with number crunching, as players return from injuries. For as long as Torts doesn't bury him on the fourth line again (with Drury!), I too will remain, calm, cool, and collected about Tort's handling of Avery (which if I had to grade the season so far...Coach gets a C-, bordering on a D+ for his handling of Avery).
Tonight, we get it on with the Capitals on their ice in the last game of this road-trip. Remember that 7-0 drubbing we handed them last time we played? Yea...so do I! Let's see what happens tonight.
We win; we lose; we lose; we win. It is what it is. All I know is this youth movement is 100% better and more fun to watch than Glen Sather's original A-Plan. If these Boys can sustain till Callahan and Dubinsky get back in the swing, The Rangers may supply us with our own March Madness at the Garden this year.
New York Rangers
The last time I went to see the Rangers @ Capitals
was 1989 and the place was called the CAP CENTER.
I wore my Darren Turcotte jersey!
Enjoy the game.
LET'S GO RANGERS!
New York Rangers 2
Washington Capitals 1
Get this; - Sean Avery played over sixteen minutes tonight and served zero time in the penalty box. He instead assisted on another Marion Gaborik (16) goal. It was Avery's 4th point in three games. The Gaborik goal came in the third period tying the game 1-1. Artem Anisimov provided the winning goal in Shoot-Out. Marty Biron made 22 saves versus 1 goal against and is now 7-4 while providing back-up to Lundqvist. He was especially clutch in the overtime segment with six saves as the Rangers only managed one shot on goal during over-time.
There can be little doubt now Sean Avery and Marian Gaborik can grow to be formidable together. The playing chemistry they've established is as obvious as the Goat-T on Coach Tort's face. Can anyone really get along with Avery? Who knows. But his and Gaborik's styles compliment each other quite well and nothing talks better and louder than results.
The Capitals? Yea, we beat them again! How about that?! But they are a team struggling to grasp a new defensive system and it's coming at the expense of their offensive explosiveness. Coach Boudreau is teaching them a 2-2-1 defensive trap that has broken a couple of ankles along the way because he said that's what ails them in the playoffs; lack of defense. They're also resorting to their third goalie lately, trying to see who'll be best come playoff time (no that they're looking too far ahead).
But that IS two wins against Washington in our last two games against them. This Ranger team has shown it can win against the leagues best teams. They've lost battles they've wished they won. But they have won games against Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington, Dallas, Atlanta and Nashville. St. Louis...we weren't so lucky. Montreal, Philadelphia and Tampa beat us like a cheap oriental rug....repeatedly. Carolina is another pain in our posterior.
All in all..., Ranger fans...can we complain? No, I didn't think so. Well, we can. But you know what I mean.
Thank goodness for all these injuries! Or, we wouldn't be in the position we're in! If it wasn't for another Glen Sather failure (assembling this year's team) we wouldn't be this good!
The trade deadline is getting closer and at this point I just don't want Sather to do anything stupid now. However, Toronto has a couple of players we can use, as does Buffalo; both Defensemen (hint). Something is going to give soon. All it takes is for one team to make a move and things start happening.
But be very careful Glen, these Kids are alright!!
Why the N.Y. Rangers should name a new Captain: