Thursday, November 5, 2009

Five Things About the Rangers/Oilers Game. . .

(Note, didn't see the whole game tonight, so these will be really simple, random thoughts. What? You always get simple, random thoughts here? Hmmmm. I try.)

* Christopher Higgins follows up his first goal of the season on Tuesday with his second goal of the season in the very next game. Is this just a breathing the Western Canadian air thing, or will he bring it back to the States with him next week?

* Three, count-em, three power play goals on the night. How refreshing the powerplay is working again. How refreshing to see guys like Gaborik, Prospal, Kotalik, and Del Zotto on it. I still have nightmares from last year sometimes, so the reminder that those days are over is nice.

* As much as part of me loathes the man for what he did in his final season here, Tom Renney will get a moment of thanks from me for what he did in the years previous. Yes, Jagr and Hank carried that team, but Renney was the right coach for the team coming out of the lockout. It's just a shame that no one seemed to realize any sooner last year, that such was no longer the case.

* Anyone shocked that Renney and Jagr want to potentially re-unite the perfect relationship they shared in New York in Edmonton next season? Jagr was the dominating force he could be when healthy and Renney stood back and let him do it. If we are so lucky, it will be great to see Jagr return to the league, because yes, he is good enough. More than good enough. As for Renney, I'm kinda pretty happy the Rangers only play Edmonton once a year, for his sake, and ours.

* I was just going to comment last game on how Callahan was really having a slow start to the season and to add to Carp's thoughts (at Rangers Report, #2) where he asked where he had been, noting relative invisibility, when along Callahan comes and scores a pretty goal. This guy doesn't need to score (although after a 20+ goal campaign last year, we were all expecting him to do that more), but he needs to be effective in other ways. Goodness knows he always hustles and hits, but I have to question whether "Captain Fun" is dragging him down a bit.

Important win for the NYRs. A win in Calgary on Saturday would really help make the Rangers (and me) feel good before a 4 day hiatus. We'll see how that goes...


Luke said...

I'm developing a theory that we play slightly smarter hockey when Vally is between the pipes. I think they get complacient when Hank is there. Vally coughed up a lot of rebounds but teammates were there to get the puck out of danger. It's good to see him getting that level of support.

What did Avery do to deserve being put on the 4th line? I think he needs to be given a longer leash. He can't be effective if he's not allowed to cause a scene. It's what he does, it's why he earns as much as he does. Why stop him from doing it?

Will be curious to see what he does on Saturday night...


kels said...

I've felt that in the past too, Luke. Which is refreshing on some level. Especially last year - most times, not including the chew toy game in Dallas - they were pretty supportive of Vally. Noticed it a lot then.

I am very, very confused about Avery. I've been meaning to get some thoughts down but I'm not sure even what to write. Is it Avery being afraid and walking the line too closely or is something just not right with him? He's hardly noticeable. And I don't like that. If he needs to be aggravating to be effective. Right now, he seems to be just going through the motions.

Think he needs to be playing with different players? When he was with Dubi (and was it Cally) that one game, at least he looked more involved in the offensive zone.

Best game for him was last year's game 7 v. Washington where he played with Dubi and Antropov. What's the equivalent now?

Luke said...

You make a good point Kels. Perhaps who Avery plays with has a big impact on his game.

I completely agree that last seasons game 7 was the best game I've seen him play. I thought he looked good when he was opposite Jagr. Personally I'd like to see him play with Vinny (Vinny in the middle) and Gabby. I think it would be very interesting to see the amount of space Gabby could get with Avery attracting his usual level of attention.

I understand he's not really a top line player. But it would be an interesting concept to try.

Was at the Sharks vs Preds game last night. Sharks looked like they were asleep for the first 50 minutes. Could not picture how they managed to rumble us and look so bad at home against a team like the Predators? Then they turned it on for the last 10 minutes and things made sense again.


kels said...


That's right! You had the Sharks game to go to! I'm sorry I didn't talk to you before hand. How was Cali? HP Pavilion? I've never been. I hope you had a wonderful trip!

Good point about Avery with Jagr. He did make that work. Avery needs better playmakers, movers, to show more of his stuff. Definitely. And, call me crazy, but it was the rumour he'd potentially get time with Gaby on the first line. Perhas it is time to try that. He'd provide some help/distraction for sure. Paging Tortorella!

Thanks as always for reading. I hope you've been well.I kinda unfortunately used the Rangers west coast trip as a break because I've been watching way too much Coyotes and Rangers games. ;)

I will be very, very curious how they respond with so many injuries in such a short period of time. Tomorrow will be interesting. Sounds like Kovalchuk will play.

Luke said...

Hey Kels,

Was getting slightly off topic so I dropped an email to your profile address. Cali is great, thanks.