Well - that game had almost everything.
I must say though, I was highly entertained. Annoyed at points, but highly entertained.
The Most Entertaining Moments:
Marc Staal is the man. While I have never been a fan of knock-em down defenseman, Staal has found a way to do it in a way I enjoy. Perhaps because it appears effortless. While he's a tall guy, he's not overly big (196 lbs?) but he hits like he is. And his battles with Ovechkin make me wish these teams played more than four times. Great stuff.
AO. I've been saying it and it's nice to hear the even-if-we-are-getting-more-and-more-nauseating-with-every-game tandem of Joe and Sam say so. He is amazing. That character and that ability. Forget it. There really aren't words for how exciting he can be. A rare thing. I'm envious of Capitals fans getting to see that night in and night out. No wonder they pack the building. The team is great - (with only one loss and one overtime loss at home all year and their best start in 40 years!) but that is the man they are coming to see. No question.
Wade Redden actually stepping up and, well stepping up period. I almost thought I'd fallen asleep and woken up in dreamland. That's the most energy I've seen from him yet. I hope that won't be the last. Show you have a pulse, Wade, damn it. They are paying you enough! Too bad none of that seemed to help their defense.
Petr Prucha getting another chance and another goal. Hmmm. Wonders do never cease to amaze me. It wasn't even Dubinsky and Zherdev, in my opinion, that were having great games. Prucha was just skating with a power all his own, a man possessed. It was great to see and it paid off for him. Now, he scored. Again. He was one of the best players. Again. What else can you ask for from the kid?
Fight of the Year:
No, no, not Orr/Cote, not Orr/Boulton, but Staal and Semin. I have not laughed that hard in a long, long time. And it's just laughter. I mean Semin will never live that down, but he's a great enough player people will probably forgive him for it. But what was going through his head?? haha. I love Staal just ripping the jersey off with no effort. And what can Semin do but slap him like a child who had a toy taken away. I love Semin. I do. But that was the funniest fight I think I have ever seen. Ever.
Gomez, while speedy, had another one of those games were the speed appears to generate nothing, in the end.
Was it me, or did Drury spend a lot of this game on his butt? It seemed so.
And yet, those are the guys that are out there with the game on the line. The same stagnant group of players that have made the Rangers powerplay. . . a disgrace.
Why not next time the game is on the line, stick Staal back along the line by the defensive zone to block the empty net. Stick Callahan and Dubinsky and Mara in the offensive zone to hit and tie up every other player, much like the PK that seems to work so well. Put Z out there to put the puck on net. And stick Prucha in front of the net.
Tell me even my lay-man's idea doesn't make more sense than what Renney did?
More Than Halfway to a Record:I'd really love to hear the post-game comments on this one. If it hadn't happened 11 times already this year, you might be able to say, bad bounce, and it's Alex freakin' Ovechkin. But, guess what, it's not the first time. And credit AO all you want - you know I will! But the Rangers powerplay is so bad. It's so bad, there are no words. It's so bad they should have been denying it for years now. In fact, it's so bad, they should literally skate the puck back to their OWN zone on the PP, give the puck intentionally to the other team, and play it like a penalty kill.
Because any other way, they are just asking to be scored upon.
12 goals with just over half a season to go. They can hit 22 easy to tie and make 23 goals to set the all-time record for shorties allowed. I am confident they can.
And yet, do they really seem to care? After THREE years of a bad powerplay? And this third year where it has somehow, beyond anyone's comprehension, gotten WORSE?
That's It and That's All:
Really, despite a few decisions I'd correct - like pp personnel and the coaching staff in general - I thought the game was entertaining. I really did. Credit guys like Staal, Prucha, Callahan, Dawes, and even Redden for that tonight. (For the record, even though Joe/Sam overdo it a lot, Dawes has looked remarkably better in the last five. No doubt). And big props to Valliquette. He played very well on the fly and was not in any way the reason this team could not pull out a win.
And AO is AO, so that's entertainment right there.
I just wonder what happens next?
Does this team's big name, big priced players actually, well, learn to play?
When do they stop referring to whatever line Gomez is on as the #1/Top Line?
When do they take my ideas for the PP or give up entirely?
And lastly, if Prucha scores a goal - the only Rangers goal -, and they still lose, does he play again?
Tough ones, folks. Tough ones.
I'm upstairs to watch some World Juniors before the late evening Oilers/Stars tilt. Should be good. Enjoy all.