Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The New York Rangers got a major wake-up call from the New York Islanders after being down 2-0 after the first period. There was a severe lack of urgency and they played quite listless. The wake-up must have occurred in between periods, because in the 2nd period it was all Rangers.
Skating, forechecking, hitting, and scoring 3 straight goals to take control of the game. The big guns who had gone MIA for the last few games came through. Vinny Prospal's quick wrist shot cut the Islanders lead in half and really was a big goal. If the Islanders had gotten the score to 3-0, it might have been all over for the Blueshirts. From there, Olli Jokinen tied it up on a steal from Kyle Okposo that surprised net minder Dwayne Roloson. By the way, that was Jokinen’s first goal in the last 15 games! Where’s he been? Just asking… Marian Gaborik, who I thought played very well, had a little jump in his game and put up his 40th goal of the season on a nice feed from Aaron Voros. Voros did all of the dirty work in order to set up Gaborik on this goal. The Rangers totally dominated the 2nd period and took all of the momentum that the Islanders had built up. In the third period, Marc Staal scored off of a nice feed from Vinny Prospal to make the score 4-2. Later on, the Islanders cut the lead to one- but the Rangers shut them down for the victory. It was a big win, for sure.
However, this game was not without its problems. They had a slow start, dumb line changes, and selfish penalties. All of these factors could have easily cost the Rangers the game. This kind of stuff can’t and shouldn’t happen this late in the season. The Blueshirts did show some resolve though in fighting their way back to take the game from the Islanders (who were fired up from getting embarrassed last game at MSG, 5-0). The best players were the best players tonight as well. It was nice to see them bounce back from a terrible OT loss to the Leafs.
The job ahead is not going to be without peril. The Rangers need to play with desperation in mind and they have got to win their games- no questions asked. Waiting for help from other teams is out of their control. Obviously, they will need help somewhere- but it won’t matter one bit unless the Rangers take care of their own business. Onto Tampa Bay next, this is gonna be fun! Over and out!