I’m writing this recap because I have to. Honestly, I have no intention of focusing on the game. If you saw it, you know why. If you didn’t, well you’re better off not knowing.
Oh you want to know? Fine. The Rangers let my two favorite Devils score, with my absolute favorite getting two, while they only managed to get one past Brodeur. It was a pretty important goal as it was Chris Kreider’s first official NHL goal. Congrats kid! (Although I’ll talk more about him later.) He becomes the fifth current Ranger to score his first NHL goal against Marty. Who were the other four? I didn’t need the beat writers to tell me but if you don’t know keep reading.
But that was the only bright spot of the night. In other words, told you that you didn’t want to know.
So what do I want to talk about? The lineup, that’s what.
I know he doesn’t play much but I was convinced you needed to play Stu Bickel in this game just in case the Devils decided to goon it up like they did at times last year. And I said I didn’t care how he got in, just that he had to play. But when I said I didn’t care, I didn’t mean he could take the place of the Rangers All-Star defenseman!
For those who didn’t hear, the Rangers took the ice for warmups and the first tweet to be sent out was this:
What do you mean Dan Girardi is apparently out of the lineup? Where is he? Twenty minutes later, we got our answer:
According to the team? Aren’t you the team?
And he’s “banged up”? Dan Girardi doesn’t miss games because he’s banged up. He’s permanently banged up. That’s what happens when you block a million shots a game.
But in all seriousness, Girardi doesn’t miss games. He’s missed two since he was called up on January 27, 2007 and they were because the Rangers forced him to sit out after pulling a muscle in his rib cage during a fight against the Thrashers. He planned to play through the pain. The Rangers saw the All-Star break coming and felt he would have a week to heal and forced him out of the lineup. Otherwise, Dan Girardi plays every game, every night.
So don’t lie to me and tell me he’s banged up. I want to know what’s wrong and I want to know now.
As if that wasn’t enough, Kreider returned to the lineup tonight before he was ready. How do I know it was before he was ready? Because even Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti said he didn’t look ready as he kept cutting his shifts short because he didn’t feel right. But let’s rush him into the lineup and send Brandon Mashinter back to Hartford because we don’t need him.
And don’t get me started on J.T. Miller. If I’m being honest, he didn’t look horrible out there. (That said, if you were comparing him to the rest of the team, that wasn’t difficult.) But being how shorthanded the team was to begin with, you don’t have a rookie play his first NHL game on the road when even the coach admits he will see what happens because he wants to make sure to develop him “the right way”. The right way would be in Hartford if you ask me but I’m not the coach.
The best part? Kreider and Miller looked like our best forwards as the game went on so got the most ice time in the third period. For anyone wondering why the Rangers lost, there you go. And that’s not a knock on the two kids.
Alright, I’m done venting. Let’s just pretend that didn’t happen okay? (The game, although you can pretend my venting didn’t happen either if you want.)
So who are the five current Rangers to have scored their first NHL goal against Brodeur? Marc Staal, Brian Boyle, Matt Gilroy, Ryan McDonagh and now Chris Kreider. McDonagh was the only one not to score his in New Jersey. And all of them did it as a member of the Rangers except Boyle, who did it during his first NHL game with the LA Kings.