Monday, October 25, 2010
When Marian Gaborik went down with a shoulder injury in a home loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs I think the whole Ranger world took a deep breath and began to wonder- How on earth are the Rangers going to create offense and win the game? Personally, I thought this was a perfect time for this Ranger squad to show their makeup and mental ability to stand up and face adversity. With added pressure comes greater responsibility, and the boys in blue responded with flying colors!
After a terrible showing at home in a 3-1 loss to the Avalanche, the Rangers went on the road for two. First, in Toronto, with a 2-1 win in which I thought they were the dominant team. The score was not indicative of the play. Then it was off to Beantown for a 3-2 win (didn’t get to see this one). By all reports it was a well deserved win- at least that’s what my son Cody told me and I value his opinion greatly. The next test came at home last night against the hated New Jersey Devils (boy, have they got problems). The Rangers played two periods of dominant hockey and had to hold on in the end for a 3-1 win in which Lundqvist was solid. In these three games the Rangers have proved to themselves and the coaching staff that they can handle a major crisis (Gaborik’s injury). More importantly they have found a formula that works. It’s really quite simple, work hard and play to your limits. Nothing more, nothing less. I can’t stress enough that if you outwork the other team the results will tend to lean to your side. Playing smart and to your limits means- do what you are capable of. If you meet these standards, that’s all you can ask!
It also helps when you get great goaltending and the duo of Lundqvist and Biron have stepped up in a big way. Martin Biron shut down a tough Maple Leaf team in Toronto and the King did the same in Boston. Lundqvist’s performance in the third period last night as the Devil’s were trying to claw their way back was vintage Lundqvist. Listen folks, I’m not an idiot. Trying to replace Gaborik is absolutely out of the question. Gaborik is a star player who is a major threat every night he laces his skates, and the opponents know it! Are the Rangers better with him in the lineup? That goes without saying. But until he is healthy and ready to go the Rangers MUST stick to the formula that has them winning: Hard work! Hard work! Play within your limits! It’s really that simple.
I just want to give a shout out to a player who I believe is a throwback player if I’ve ever seen one. Brandon Prust is first and foremost a great team player. He is tough and competes like no other. Prust gets cut over the eye in Boston (looked serious) and plays the next day! That’s old time hockey for you and I will speak for most Ranger fans that we are glad to have him in a Ranger uniform. Up next is Wednesday at MSG against the Atlanta Thrashers. Over and out!