Monday, October 27, 2008
Time to do some catching up here, so bear with me…
The Rangers put 6 more points on the board for a total of 19 out of a possible 24 so far on the season. This past Friday night, the Rangers had a 3-1 road win in Columbus, led by Nikolai Zherdev’s 3 point night (1 goal, 2 assists) and the usual stellar play that we all come to expect from Henrik Lundqvist. The penalty killing was perfect (5 for 5) and they even added a power play goal (Dubinsky). The Rangers played almost a perfect road game, which I believe is important to establish if you’re going to become a good team. So far, so good.
The game did feature what could have been a disaster for Coach Renney, when an errant Bluejacket players stick popped him pretty good and he went down for the count. We have a laugh about it now, but it just goes to show you how dangerous hockey can be at times! Maybe the coaching staff will come out with helmets in the future.
One other thing… the penalties called in this game were a joke! Once again, the NHL’s tweaking at it’s finest. 14 minors for 28 minutes in a 60 minute game! That just makes me sick! The penalty on Colton Orr made no sense to me at all. The new NHL says you can’t interfere, so Orr dumps the puck in and gets shadowed by the Bluejacket defensemen. Then, somehow, Orr gets the penalty. You’ve got to be kidding me with these rules. I will not stop my constant hammering of the NHL’s meddling of a great sport.
The win in Columbus set the Rangers up with a showdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins. I don’t want to complain too much, but honestly the Rangers received a little luck when Zherdev roofed one over Fleury’s shoulder with 8 seconds left to go in regulation (what a shot). Freddie Sjostrom’s goal in the shoot-out was the winner in a game where the Rangers were very fortunate to tie, let alone win. I know the shots were in favor of the Rangers (44-29), but the same old song is starting to play… where is the offense? Especially troubling is the lack of offense at MSG. I can’t figure it out, and neither can the Rangers. They must pick up their offense as the season goes on.
Lastly, ah, nothing like the Rangers and the Islanders to quench a Ranger fan’s thirst. Especially when one is at the top and the other is at the bottom. The Rangers took care of the lowly Islanders, 4-2, in what is becoming a pattern lately. King Henrik was evenly matched by Islanders goalie, Joey McDonald, but in the end the Rangers outplayed the Isles when it counted. Led by Chris Drury’s 2 goal explosion, yes… that Chris Drury who is heavily counted on for not just his leadership - but his offense as well. Hopefully this is a good sign for things to come for Drury’s game.
In a game where, let’s face it, I’m gonna beat a dead horse… but I can’t help it. The officiating was once again dubious, to say the least. For both sides. Does Gary Bettman watch these games? Does he see how ridiculous the new rules towards penalties look? I don’t think I’m the only one who’s absolutely astonished by the mediocre calls in the NHL season (and season’s past). It’s a joke.
Well, the Rangers are 9-2-1 after 12 games… who would of thought? Even though I believe they have some glaring weaknesses, I have to tip my hat to the players, coaching staff, and management. This start is one of the best starts ever for a New York Ranger team in all of their fine history. As the saying goes, “Let’s-Go-Rangers”! Over and out!