I listened to the majority of today's game on the radio not being near a TV, although I did watch the last 8 minutes just now.
I hate to say I'm not surprised, but I am not.
On the radio, Dave Maloney, whose insight and lack of hesitancy to say what is on his mind - popular or not - I applaud, pondered whether the Rangers had a game changer on their team.
He said the Bruins had plenty on the ice, even more on the bench.
What is a game changer?
To me, someone who can take a game over. Someone who when the team is down and needs a goal, that's the guy you can go to and he can get it done.
Goalies, too, can be game changers. But in the case of today, Lundqvist would have had to give up zero goals to be a game changer.
Well, in that case, add Tim Thomas to Boston's ever growing list.
Point is, I agree with Dave Maloney. I sadly agree. The Rangers do not have that guy. If they have a guy that has showed up at times, in certain games, in given situatuations, that's great. But to have someone, or preferably a couple someones, who can be counted on and called upon to get the job done, would be fantastic.
But if you look at this year, collectively, from beginning to end, the Rangers just do not have that guy.
There'll be plenty of time for more thought on this season and this team, but that's what I'm thinking right now.
I was at the 1-0 Rangers loss in Boston in January, where one misplay caused them the game. Boston is not a team you can mess around with. They are lethal at getting one and shutting the door, especially against teams like NY that struggle to score anyway. This has been the Rangers/Bruins track record for the better part of 3 years now. 1-0 games. At least if it was 1-0 in overtime, the Rangers would have gotten a much needed point. As it was, three games to go, all again, must wins.
As for the Sean Avery stunt, that moment was the first time I have been disappointed with him this year since he came back. It was unnecessary and pretty classless to be honest. Would it have "hurt" Thomas? Probably not. But it's that sneaky, behind the back bs that other people hate a guy like Avery for. And honestly, I don't like that. Get in his face, yap at him in the crease, but something like that. . . I think it was badly timed and foolish.
Now, if he got Thomas off his game and garnered the 4 on 4 and the Rangers made something of it, we'd be calling the move smart.
As it was, he has to be thankful it was only a minor to himself. You can argue that it became 4-3 for the Rangers in the next few seconds when Savard took the penalty. But it very easily could have gone the other way and the Rangers could have been down 3-4 at that key period in the game.
Avery had to have been frustrated, but I think he can do so much else effectively. Today was a rare moment I disagreed with his intentions.
Since I got the radio feed, I heard the Bruins give away their team awards. Chara, Savard, and Thomas got the team 3 star awards, and Savard picked up one for being the best player on home ice.
Maloney speculated that many Rangers fans might not like to think about Marc Savard's success because he was, first and foremost, a Ranger.
I've made no secret here at NHTP that I love Marc Savard. I think he's a funny, likeable guy. And I think he is a hell of a hockey player. The right mix of talent and spunk.
I hate (hate, hate, hate) that the Rangers lost him for nothing, in the end, and that he went on to become one of the hottest point producers in the league, for Atlanta and now for Boston.
But to hate him, the player, because the Rangers got rid of him and he became something of himself? Please. I'm a Rangers fan. They disappoint me on a yearly basis with who they get rid of. Savard is just another one of the many. But a great hockey player I enjoy watching, for sure.
I heard on hockey night in Canada a week ago (?) that his first game as a Ranger was at Maple Leaf Gardens and he got four points.
Gosh I wish ANY Ranger on the team right now could get four points a game.
As for Milan Lucic, who also won an award, he's a fun guy to watch, and I've heard big fan favorite in Boston. What I didn't know until today, and perhaps you didn't either, is he's a saxophone player who went through a lot to make it to the NHL, including overcoming a spinal condition. Check it out here.