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Alex Auld Owns the Rangers

Simply put, he does.  He is 3-0-2 with a slightly about 1.00 GAA against our Blueshirts. He put up a solid performance in net, perhaps helped by the Rangers failures on the PP, which is just under 19% now under John Tortorella. That’s a 5% increase in effectiveness from the Tom Renney era. The current 19% would put them in the middle of the pack in PP efficiency, whereas the 14% puts them in 29th. So regardless of the failed opportunities in last night’s game, the PP is still successful.

There weren’t many glaring holes in the Rangers game last night, just the ineffective powerplay. A few positives from last night’s game:

  • Wade Redden has been outstanding lately. Sure, every now and then he will make the wrong decision to pinch, but he has been joining the rush and creating offensively. Argue all you want about the contract, but that isn’t his fault.
  • I like Tort’s aggressiveness with pulling Hank with over a minute to go. It shows he will pull out all the stops to win a game.
  • Marc Staal, if not already, will be one of the top defensemen in the league. At such a young age, he has shown a mastery of the defensive game in his own end, and is now starting to show up on the offensive end. I am looking forward to seeing how he matures as he enters his prime.

With the Rangers and Penguins losses, there are no changes in the standings. The Rangers will need 5 more wins to make that 94 point cutoff that is believed to be the playoff cutoff. With Buffalo seemingly out of the race, Florida would have to go 7-3 in their final 10 games to match the 94 points. So, we should all be rooting for any team playing the Panthers, regardless of who it is.

The Rangers still hold a game in hand on the Habs and the Pens. The Habs have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rangers, and the Rangers have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Penguins. In the current standings, if the Rangers win their game in hand, they will slide up to the 5 spot, destined for a first round matchup with the Flyers and the hot Marty Biron.

It looks like Michael Rozsival will not be ready to go for tomorrow’s game, and Michael Sauer has been called up as a replacement. The oft-injured 21 year old is enjoying a nice season, putting up 6-16-22 in 59 games for Hartford this year.

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