So, for a few minutes there, I was worried that this game was going to turn into the Boston-Toronto game, where Boston came back from a 3 goal deficit to win in overtime. But that didn’t happen. Lundqvist scored his second shut out in a row and the Rangers broke their streak of never winning a game 7 on the road with a 5-0 victory over the Washington Capitals. Congrats boys. Now we head to Boston for round 2….
I don’t know if it was the high of a home victory, the roar of the hometown faithful, or just a wake-up call from Torts, but the Rangers really showed up tonight. Hitting, winning face offs, McDonagh sticking to Ovechkin like glue, Brassard getting two assists, Hagelin showing up with a goal and two assists, and Stepan with the game winning goal for the second straight game… it all added up to another 4-3 victory over the Caps.
Once again, Henrik Lundqvist is nominated for the Vezina award. It will be the reigning winners fifth nomination in eight years. Why did he get nominated?
The 31-year-old tied for the League lead this season with 24 wins, and finished in the top seven in the League with a 2.05 GAA and .926 save percentage.
Those numbers aren’t bad, as usual for the King. Will he win? Honestly, I doubt it. My vote is going to Sergei Bobrovsky of Columbus and I’m pretty sure most of the GMs agree with me. At least they better. He was the only reason the Blue Jackets came close to the playoffs (and no I don’t think making the playoffs should be a criteria, especially when your numbers are as good as his).
There will be some people who question the nomination. That is fair as Lundqvist was far from what he normally is. Having not watched every goalie in the league, I can’t say for sure who should’ve been nominated ahead of him. I can however say I’m not surprised he did get noticed as let’s be honest, an off year for the King is still a better year than most goalies had.
Two weeks ago, all the talk was about how great Henrik Lundqvist was playing…but he didn’t have a shutout. All he needed to do was play the Islanders and the Devils.
This afternoons game against the Devils really wasn’t fair. The game meant nothing to our rivals across the river and it was obvious from the first puck drop that they really didn’t want to be in the Garden today. Sure they got chances but they put a measly 20 shots on net and to show how difficult they were, Lundqvist was only the third star of the game after saving all of them. The Rangers, on the other hand, came out with a purpose. It was far from a 60-minute effort (which honestly worries me) but they did what they needed to in order to win the game and ensure they would not be heading to Pittsburgh next week.
What a game! The Rangers gained two points and their first shut out of the season in a hard-fought overtime victory against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. Dan Girardi scored on a high rising shot to the upper right corner of the net at 3:11 of overtime with a nice pass from Brassard setting him up to go to the net. Nice work by Brassard, showing more of the talent gained in the Gaborik trade.
I should know better than to crow about any victory against the Penguins, no matter how big or small it is. Because that second game against the Penguins was no fun, no fun at all! So, the Rangers dropped in the standings, but are still hanging on to a playoff spot. They face the Islanders tomorrow, in what will be a great match up of long time rivals.
Good. Bad. I’m the guy with the keyboard. It’s the week in review:
There was some good news around the Rangers yesterday, which I was too pissed off after the game to remember to include in my recap so now I’m playing catchup.
First, Henrik Lundqvist was named the NHL’s third star of the week last week after going 3-0-1 with a .962 save percentage and 1.22 GAA. Not bad numbers. I still think he needed a rest and shouldn’t have played last night. (No, I’m not saying it would’ve made a difference in the outcome. He just needed the rest since he won’t be getting much the rest of the way.)
Then after the game, this report came out from Nick Kypreos saying that Marc Staal could be back before the regular season is over. Word was, assuming everything continues to go as planned, Staal could be back on the ice in the next seven to ten days and be ready to play the last week of the season. I’m not looking to rush him but if he is going to play again this year, it would be great if he got some games in before the playoffs (assuming the Rangers manage to make them, which I still think they will).
Then today news came out that the report was completely false…because Staal skated this morning before practice.
It’s a known fact you need goal scoring to win hockey games. The Rangers have learned all too well what happens when you can’t put the puck in the net. But every once in a while, you need your goalie to steal a game for you. And that’s why the Rangers have Henrik Lundqvist who most definitely stole tonights’ game by making 48 saves against the desperate Hurricanes.
The Rangers lineup remained the same but they definitely dodged a bullet as the Canes Alex Semin was out with an upper body injury. One less “S” to worry about but unfortunately the Staals and Skinner were still there. And Skinner was his usual pesky self all night. (Side note: I do like little Jeff but he can be a brat sometimes. For someone with that talent, he doesn’t need to be.) I honestly expected Biron to play tonight but I guess it’s a good thing we had the King instead.
So, I feel like I slipped into some alternate dimension where everything is the opposite of the norm. Up is down, left is right, the Rangers score 6 goals in a game. But it actually happened and the Rangers actually beat the Penguins 6-1 on Wednesday. We’ll be seeing the Penguins again tonight… maybe we can repeat that feat?
You should check out Melissa’s great analysis of the recent trades, just to get the whole picture of what happened with the team this week before the trade deadline.
Let’s look at the whole week in review:
It is a proven fact – the Rangers go as their captain goes. Recently, they also go as their first line center goes and while their captain had four points tonight, he was on a line with the guy who wears 21 and that seems to be the only time any forwards look good anymore.
On Saturday night, I jokingly said after Kris Newbury took a dumb penalty that it was nice seeing him but the Rangers will drop him off in Connecticut on the way home. Apparently I was right as he was sent down yesterday. He didn’t play as poorly as I expected but he didn’t stand out and we need the guys who got pushed to the press box for him. Tonight, Darroll Powe got to take his place and looked perfectly fine to me.
The game started and wait…is this an April Fools joke? Did the Rangers score on the first shift? Holy crap, they did! The Rangers lost the opening face off yet somehow got the puck went into the Jets zone and buried it 19 seconds in.