Believe it or not, the turning point of last night’s game was not in the 3rd period when the Rangers looked more like a high school team. It was actually the end of the 2nd period, when Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 18 shots that he faced in that period. That must have deflated the Rangers, and maybe got their tempers boiling that they couldn’t solve him. Talking about that abysmal 3rd period is beating the proverbial dead horse, but this goes back to a post earlier, stating that the Rangers must play 60 minutes of consistent hockey to do well in the second half of the year. They clearly didn’t do that last night.
It looks as if Marc-Andre Fleury has found his game after numerous injuries and inconsistent play. That’s horrible news for the Rangers, and great news for the Pens, who expect Sergei Gonchar back in late February. They will be a very scary team down the stretch, luckily the Rangers don’t see them until March 28 (my birthday, buy me something nice). You can expect half of the playoff teams to again come from the Atlantic division.
And speaking of inconsistent goaltending, what happened to Hank? There seem to be a lot more of these lopsided losses this year. Maybe he’s burned out a little bit? He, like Scott Gomez, is a second half player, so let’s hope this is just another blip on the radar.