The Rangers played a pretty strong game tonight, but they almost didn’t come away with a win thanks to solid goaltending by Mike Smith and some strong defensive plays by the Coyotes. The Yotes played a 1-2-2 neutral zone trap and were able to force the Rangers wide for most of the game, but they also got beat by the Rangers relentless forecheck and seeded possession. Luckily the Rangers were able to come away with a win in a very exciting shootout. On to the bullets…
- Rozi started the game with a lazy icing. Welcome back Rozi, welcome back.
- Dubi was all over the puck tonight, but he couldn’t make a play once he had possession. He started at least three transition rushes that didn’t register a shot on goal. Hopefully this is just a hiccup in his game, which has been rebounding of late.
- The line of Hags, Boyle, & Feds might have been the best line out there tonight. It was great to see Feds finally score in the third, as that line was putting on pressure and generating chances all night.
- Derek Stepan had a strong game tonight with a fantastic backhand pass to Stralman early in the game that might have been Smith’s best save all night. Step also had a great shot on the power play off a cross-ice feed from Gabby and of course he scored the game winning shootout goal.
- Hank only faced 19 shots tonight, but he made some tough saves in OT and in the shootout, continuing his dominance over the world beyond the third period.
- Was Smith’s stick (off the shaft) save on Gabby during his penalty shot luck or skill? I’ll let Justin decide…
- Gabby’s goal in the shootout? All skill baby…and maybe some scouting during that penalty shot.
Not so much
- You think the Coyotes neutral zone trap is doing wonders growing the game in Phoenix? Yea me neither.
- Whitney almost put one away in the first after undressing Dan Girardi. Somewhere in Wales Chris was half-smiling downing his pint.
- There was a lot of obstruction nudging and pawing by the Yotes tonight when the Rangers were playing dump and chase. Funny, I thought the league made clutch & grab illegal. The trap lives on.
- Vrbata’s goal was one of the few defensive mishaps tonight by the Rangers. He came in off a line change while his mates were controlling the play in our DZ. No one picked him up and he ended up being the third man high and wide open. Cally and Rupp got their coverage mixed up and somehow ended up next to each other. Ah well.
Well that’s my notes. Anything else?