Where to begin?
No, honestly, where do I begin?
The team actually played well. Captain Drury's self-described best all around team effort so far this year. I am not going to start agreeing with The Boring One, but there is actually not much to complain about. And I won't.
The Rangers scored 2 goals on the powerplay. 2!
The Rangers scored AND didn't give up a short-handed goal!
Hank's first period was outstanding! No other word but - outstanding.
Drury did not pull down Prucha. In fact, for whatever random illogical reason, The Boring One's line actually played better than the other lines. He even scored. Set up with a nice behind the net pass from Prucha, I might add.
Gomez, shockingly, used his speed more effectively.
Orr had a nice fight with Godard. I just wondered to myself why that took so long to start. Jeeze!
Roszival and Mara had pretty complete games.
It was an all-around good effort.
And even better, the NHL's favorite son, was rendered useless, being boo-ed without mercy from the 400s, and spending much of the game on his rear-end.
Things might not be great in Rangerland, but things are BADDDD in Pitt right now. And you know, for one day, things were better in NY. Not great, but better.
Now, I say that to keep the Rangers win in perspective. They beat a very dismantled team who's captain is going, well, nutso.
So a win, yes. An important win, yes. But, not anything that can't be erased with a crappy effort tomorrow night versus Montreal.
And while I actually really enjoyed the game, I must say, that I hated, slightly that Renney's line changes didn't completely blow up in his face.
That being said, I didn't notice three players last night. Voros, Dubinsky, and Zherdev. At all.
Dubinsky is slumping, that's a fact. Zherdev - again - has moments. One game great, the next - bad. (But tell me that I didn't predict something of this sort happening with him, the Alex Kovalev clone).
So Voros for Korpikoski? Not sure that panned. But because there was a win, I expect they'll all last another game in the lineup.
And that goes for Prucha, who despite an errant four minute double minor for high sticking, had another effective game.
But Montreal, although not at the top of their game right now, has got to be a more formidable opponent than Pitt was. I'd think.
I guess we'll see tomorrow.
Wait, this just in courtesy of the Team990. Jaroslav Halak to start. And apparently half the Habs might be fighting mono??
This just got interesting.
Around the League:
I listened to parts of the Edmonton/Islanders game yesterday on the way home from the Garden. And I found something I heard from Edmonton announcer Rod Phillips very disturbing.
When the Oilers had a powerplay, Denis Grebeshkov missed the puck at the point and it went out of the zone.
Phillips then said "a North American player would have kept that puck in the zone."
Sit on that for a minute.
I don't know if I've heard such a sweeping generalization in a long, long time.
I appreciate that Canadians love their own, certainly. But this type of blantant anti-European thought is counter productive.
These are the people that (sorry again Joe) will vote Thornton over Jagr, just because Jaromir is from Czech Republic. They are the people that might have cringed that a Russian knocked Crosby from the Hart Trophy throne last year. They are the people that attacked the Russians the Cold War ended and they joined the NHL freely for the first time.
Am I generalizing now to make a point? Absolutely.
But while I cannot truly comment on whether this is a continuing trend with Phillips, I can honestly say it did not sit well with me.
His point, for those who didn't listen, was that a North American would put his glove down, or his knee - do anything to stop the puck from going out of the zone.
Obviously he hasn't seen the plethora of bad point men to play for the Rangers in the last decade. I'm sure many were European, but not all of them.
Point taken, Rod. But I simply don't agree with it at all. In theory or in actuality.