Wednesday, February 15, 2012

N.Y. Rangers ~ King Henrik Sacks Boston - Nuf Ced




Chicago Blackhawks

Madison Square Garden
33rd Street at Seventh Avenue

NEW YORK RANGERS:   Blueshirts Increase Their Eastern Conference Lead to Nine Games After Rolling Over The Bruins.


New York Rangers   3
Boston Bruins           0

One of the big bad Bruins punched Brandon Dubinsky in the mug.  He needed stitches to close a cut and had a tooth or two chipped as well.  It's plainly evident Boston has a size advantage over the Rangers.  It's something that stands out whenever they play each other.  Tuesday night, Boston out-played the Rangers as well and that too was clearly evident.  The Bruins took forty-two shots on goal.  They took more and more with each passing period, and eighteen shots against Henrik Lundqvist in the third period alone.  Defensively, they held the Rangers to just twenty shots against Tim Thomas.  New York's shots on goal total red like this: Twelve - Five - Three.  On the outside, those dwindling shot totals do not read like a recipe for success.

That said, the Rangers were never out-matched; out-classed; nor out-done by the Bruins in Boston.  They met Beantown head-on, hit for hit.  The Bruins took the body thirty-two times against the Blueshirts.  And the Rangers responded by initiating thirty-one body shots of their own.  What's closer to the truth about Tuesday night's game is, the Rangers were just better.  Period.

The Rangers and Bruins exchanged one power play opportunity all game.  Boston was denied their chance to score with the man advantage.  And for them it came too late anyway.  The Rangers were only two more minutes away from closing out yet another cleanly played, and convincing win.  For their part, the Rangers continued to cash in on their most recent PP opportunities.  One chance for the Rangers Tuesday produced one goal.  It was the game's first goal.  And it was delivered by the Ranger Captain who is riding an offensive surge.  But his goal also set the tone for this game.  The Rangers turned Boston's night into a dilemma when the Bruins found out nothing short of perfection would beat the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist; at least on this night.

And there's the rub.  The New York Rangers capitalized on nearly every mistake Boston made.  The Blueshirts played superlative hockey inside their defensive zone causing nine Bruin turnovers and took away another eight pucks on top of that, while only committing one turnover themselves all night.

Two first period goals by Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh put the Bruins in an early hole.  Then the Rangers seemed contented to play defense until Artem Anisimov's sweet third period goal sent the Bruins to sleep for good.  As I write, my clock just struck midnight and the Rangers are now nine points ahead of the Boston Bruins for the Eastern Conference lead.  Please allow me to say that again.  The Rangers are nine points ahead of the defending Stanley Cup Champions for the Eastern Conference lead.  They now have seventy-nine points on the season.

One of the biggest reasons why is because of the guys between the pipes.  First, props to the best back-up goalie in Hockey; Marty Biron.  He did not start Tuesday night.  Lundqvist did.  I'll get to our Liege in a moment.  Martin Biron is 10-2-1 this season.  His Save % is .919 and maintains a 2.03 GAA.  He authored two of the Rangers' nine shut-outs this season.

Shut-out number nine of the season came Tuesday night against Boston via Henrik Lundqvist.  He was masterful in turning back forty-two Boston shots.  This was his seventh shut-out of the season and the forty-second of his career.  The King is now 27-11-4 this season and well on his way towards a seventh straight thirty-win season.  His career best is thirty-eight wins.  If he achieves that number this season, it will not have been out of necessity this time.  Instead, he can possibly hit his career high for wins this time through sheer brilliance alone.  He is no longer needed to start 70; 72; and 73 games a season.  And the results speak for themselves.

They also just made another strong case for why they should be left alone come the trade deadline.

See you at the game.   Let's Go Rangers!


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