Game Wrap-ups

Rangers/Tampa Post Game Thoughts

Somehow the Rangers won tonight by the score of 4-2 at Tampa Bay. Scrap that, we know exactly how they won the game. They didn’t give up. They didn’t let goals conceded rattle them. They didn’t get put off despite being unable to maintain a fore check or sustain pressure. They showed dogged determination and desire to win this game; couple that with the desire this team is showing every single game and you have the makings of a scary team my friends. Scary indeed.

In what was a fairly uneventful first couple of periods the Rangers managed to turn little pressure in to four goals and a fifth win in a row. With an original six match up on Monday the Ranger go for win 2500. Who’s betting against it? Didn’t think so….

Let’s get to the quick hits:

Dan Girardi keeps making simple, effective plays. Whether it’s getting sticks in the lane, making good quality crisp passes or through great positioning he’s doing it all. It may seem repetitive to mention him again but be he has taken it to another level this year.

Based purely on his play to date, please find me someone that still questions the Brad Richards signing – contract length aside – and I’ll run them out of town (having had to fly in to town to do so). Every game he improves, he’s clutch, his confidence levels on the puck keeping going up. He is a great addition and leads this team offensively.

I’m almost bored of complimenting Ryan Callahan for his effort and hustle. It needs to be said though. This year however he is showing greater intelligence on the puck which is resulting in a potential career year. My lord, can he really get better? He’s what Chris Drury dreamt of being as a Ranger.

Allow me to go slightly off topic for a moment: I’ve said it before but really, Anton Stralman can’t offer more than Eminger or Woywitka at this stage? Why give the guy 900k and let him rot in the press box? A month with the team and he still hasn’t learnt enough?

Without impacting the scoreboard, the Hagelin – Boyle – Mitchell line was very good again. They were busy, were one of the few lines to get any consistent pressure going (especially in the first) and showed confidence with the puck. Hagelin especially looks in great shape. He’s clearly not just about speed (his name would be Rico Fata) and the kid has a big future.

Food for thought: Hagelin’s development could impact the Prust negotiations in the summer with Rupp (fighter designate) still with the club. It certainly would affect Prust’s bargaining power.

Who saw any of the big three of St Louis, Stamkos or Lecavalier impose themselves tonight? Nope. Neither did I.

Marian Gaborik continues to show that health was the main factor in last year’s subpar play. The wrap around attempt in the second (following a nice move on Malone) was more evidence. Truly looks back to his best and; is it me or has Gaborik really improved defensively recently?

Funny that the Rangers rarely got pressure to the net yet when they did, they scored. The goals showed that if you go to the net you get rewarded. Its crease-play like that, that’s characterised the Rangers play recently. The game’s simple really: Fedotenko’s goal, Anisimov’s goal and Stepan’s goal – all the result of going to the net.

Quicker, quick hits:

  • Dear Henrik (once again) stopping playing the puck please? Thank you
  • You could really get drunk if you played drinking games with Ryan McDonagh’s name. Every time you hear ‘Ryan McDonagh takes it away’, you drink. It happens a lot.
  • If blocked Shots were emphasised as much way back when, would we have thought Dave Karpa was a good player? Nah, didn’t think so.

Final thought: It’s amazing to think that the Rangers played a subpar game (for the most part) and yet scored 4 goals, beat an Eastern Conference finalist on home ice and beat a team that swept them last year. Development anyone? The Rangers stepped up when this game was on the line. The kids are growing up right before your eyes. Get excited folks, if you’re not already.

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  • torts had hagelin matched vs st louis probably to match his speed.

    while id always take stamkos on my team he does have a knack of disappearing in games.

  • also stepan was wide open for the goal bc gaborik attracts so much attention in the crease. that line just works.

    • that whole line had limited ice time in the third. torts put the guys scoring out down by 1 obviously.

  • Good effort tonight. A couple of things I’d like to see going forward 1) a little less emphasis on blocking shots. Lundquist is a stud and can handle 9 out of 10 of the shots that are blocked. It’s really going to come back and bite the Rangers in the “A”, ie. Cally, last year. 2) I’d like to Dubbie stop playing the puck so much with his skates. He could be so much more effective if he adjusted his body and used his stick to accept passes. and 3)not that we saw it tonight,but Hank needs to Stop “heading” the puck. Just like all the blocked shots it just opens up the opportunity for injury. That being said, it’s good to be NYR fan. Have a great weekend my fellow Ranger fanatics!

  • Very nice commentary.

    A few things starting to creep into my observations of the team.

    It appears Dubinsky has settled into his role as 4th line role player, and the coaches don’t have a present strategy to work him into a more significant role. We’re winning, so I get it: why fix something that isn’t broke. However, we’ll need Dubinsky to regain form to reach potential.

    Second, our first period performances lately seem to be average, and the club is becoming dependent on moving things into higher gear during the 2nd and 3rd periods. That’s great when it occurs but it’s a concern that will hopefully be addressed.

    Hagelin/Boyle/Mitchell are the primary reason for last night’s victory. As stated, there were no points produced, DIRECTLY, yet their play set the tone and enabled other lines to produce, and they did.

    If Gaborik’s injuries last year were a big issue, and they obviously were, kudos to him for not ever letting that on verbally and throwing it out there for a potential excuse. He took a great deal of criticism last year like an elite pro.

    The ultimate return of Marc Staal would suggest Del Zotto gets moved down to the 3rd line. It will be interesting to see how that impacts his game. The added ice time is serving his development very well and, let’s not overlook the influence playing with Michael Sauer has on his game. Sauer is a rock of stability and consistency on the back line, and an emerging leader. Tampa Bay forwards dared not get too aggressive in the crease last night wit Sauer ready to take them on.

    • I was just musing to myself about the Rangers’ future defense pairings (potentially next year) Which I think could look like this

      McDonagh – Girardi
      Del Zotto – Sauer
      Staal – Erixon

      You’d play these guys basically equal minutes with your crunch time guys (Staal and Girardi but as you look at it that can be basically any of them at this point minus Erixon) getting more minutes down the strech. Staal is not a 3rd pairing defenseman, there really is no first, second or third pairing here. With Erixon’s assumed development you’re pairing a big offensive minded defenseman with our best shut down guy. That’s basically the formula for the other two pairings as well. Not exactly Leetch and Beukeboom… but not that far off either.

      Also please tell me where the hole is in that defense because I don’t see one. The addition of Hagelin and Mitchell have suddenly allowed us a true 3rd line making our 4th line a real 4th line. So you’re right, scary team indeed. If Staal does come back this year and is effective, look out. This team can make some serious noise.

    • regarding gaborik he wasnt as bas as evryone is making him out to be last year. in the playoffs versus the caps he was the only player that posed any threat at all on our side.

  • Anyone who’s a baseball fan remembers Ryne Sandberg’s nickname “the rhino”. I think it’s time we started calling Ryan Callahan “the rhino” as well since he’s compact and blows right through people.

  • I’m glad that I didn’t jump on the “fire Tortz” bandwagon that people seemed to jump on 4 games into the season. This team is really fun to watch and the scary part is that we look to the future and think they will be even better. Let’s hope they keep this up.

  • Was a great game.
    And I’m trying this game tonite. Wish me luck Im a light weight.
    •You could really get drunk if you played drinking games with Ryan McDonagh’s name. Every time you hear ‘Ryan McDonagh takes it away’, you drink. It happens a lot.

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