NYR/CBJ 2/13 Review: King Raanta Returns To His Throne & Has The Best NYR Goalie Effort Against CBJ This Season, Raanta Continues To Start & Win Against Top Teams in the NHL, Rangers PP Goes 0-5 While AV Chews Gum & Watches The Third Highest Scorer in the NHL Sit, James Dolan Needs To Ban Joe Micheletti From MSG Too, Lundqvist Trades What’s Best For the Team For Personal Milestones & More From a Raantastic Victory!

King Raanta, the only Rangers goalie on the roster to win a Stanley Cup, had the best Ranger goalie effort against the Columbus Blue Jackets this season. It was also his first start in a month’s time.

Note: There are several four letter words not suitable for children in this blog. That’s what 0-5 on the PP will do to me.

Welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. As I write this, I have just brought my fire extinguisher to my keyboard, just in case smoke starts coming off of it! Why am I so angry about the Rangers 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets? Two words: Joe Micheletti.

Before we get to the worst hockey announcer under the MSG umbrella, we must talk about what led up to this game and the game itself. I will save Joe “You get 50% off of Papa John’s Pizza every time I shoot three loads talking about Henrik Lundqvist” Micheletti for the end of this blog.

I knew this was going to happen. I really did. I didn’t want to believe it, but the second I saw Lundqvist was getting a chance to get a milestone victory on Saturday, I knew that Raanta would be doing the heavy lifting on Monday. I really wanted to give Lundqvist and AV a chance, but once again, in what seems like the 15th time this season, when the Rangers got a tough opponent, Lundqvist has the ball cap on.

Look at Raanta’s starts this season, courtesy of ESPN.com:

2016-2017 REGULAR SEASON GAME LOG
DATE OPP RESULT TOI GA SA SV SV% SO PIM
Mon 10/17 W 7-4 59:58 4 31 27 .871 0 0
Sun 10/30 W 6-1 59:32 1 32 31 .969 0 0
October Totals 119:30 5 63 58 .921 0 0
DATE OPP RESULT TOI GA SA SV SV% SO PIM
Sat 11/5 W 5-2 60:00 2 37 35 .946 0 0
Tue 11/8 L 3-5 53:05 2 22 20 .909 0 0
Sun 11/13 W 3-1 59:52 1 39 38 .974 0 0
Mon 11/21 W 5-2 59:57 2 31 29 .935 0 0
Wed 11/23 L 1-6 27:03 2 21 19 .905 0 0
Sun 11/27 L 0-2 57:41 2 20 18 .900 0 0
November Totals 317:38 11 170 159 .935 0 0
DATE OPP RESULT TOI GA SA SV SV% SO PIM
Thu 12/8 W 2-1 60:00 1 18 17 .944 0 0
Fri 12/9 W 1-0 (OT) 60:55 0 26 26 1.000 1 0
Sun 12/11 W 5-0 59:29 0 19 19 1.000 1 0
Tue 12/13 L 1-2 58:41 2 26 24 .923 0 0
Thu 12/15 W 2-0 5:31 0 0 0 .000 0 0
Tue 12/20 L 2-7 60:00 7 47 40 .851 0 0
Fri 12/23 L 4-7 33:44 2 7 5 .714 0 0
Tue 12/27 W 4-3 59:58 3 36 33 .917 0 0
Thu 12/29 W 6-3 59:59 3 21 18 .857 0 0
December Totals 458:17 18 200 182 .910 2 0
DATE OPP RESULT TOI GA SA SV SV% SO PIM
Sat 1/14 L 4-5 20:00 0 10 10 1.000 0 0
Tue 1/31 L 4-6 33:16 3 10 7 .700 0 0
January Totals 53:16 3 20 17 .850 0 0
Regular Season Stats 948:41 37 453 416 .918 2 0

 

Out of Raanta’s 17 starts this season, Raanta has played against:

  • The Western Conference Champions, San Jose Sharks (In October)
  • The Lightning (Who were coming off two strong seasons at the time)
  • The Boston Bruins (Playoff team and on the road)
  • Two of three games against the current Cup Champions & division rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Raanta also had to come in relief for Lundqvist in the third game)
  • Ottawa Senators twice (Playoff team)
  • Chicago Blackhawks twice (Shut out on the road, my favorite game this season)
  • Montreal Canadiens (Was winning before getting hurt and missing a month. Hank blew the game with 3 goals allowed in a minute.)
  • Columbus Blue Jackets (Beat them and potential Vezina winner, Sergei Bobrovsky, tonight.)

For a back-up goalie, Raanta has been doing the heavy lifting all season long. While Lundqvist is beating the Colorado’s, Buffalo’s, Calgary’s and Carolina’s of the world, Raanta is beating the best of the NHL. How can some of you still argue with me and tell me that Lundqvist is worth every dollar this season? I get what he’s meant for the team in the past, but he was compensated for those years. He’s being paid to be the best in the world right now and right now Raanta is the better goalie & much cheaper to boot! For the best of the team, Raanta’s cap hit is far superior than Hank’s!

Unfortunately, as we all know, Raanta will be starting somewhere (Vegas looks good) next season while Ranger fans & management think of new ways to get “Lundqvist” a Cup, ignoring that it’s about the team winning the Cup.

Colorado Avalanche, sign me up!

If you follow me on social media, know me in real life or read my blog from Saturday night, I said I had no problem with Lundqvist getting his personal milestone at MSG, providing that he played tonight against CBJ. Why was I so hellbent on Hank playing tonight when I would prefer him traded off the team altogether? Easy. We all know Hank is not getting moved, despite my wishes and desires. He’s the one that will be in between the pipes, come playoff time, barring injury.

THERE IS NO FUCKING REASON FOR LUNDQVIST TO GET WORK AGAINST LAST PLACE COLORADO WHEN A PLAYOFF TEAM, A METROPOLITAN TEAM AND A DIVISION RIVAL IS UP NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE!

For all this bullshit and talk about how Lundqvist needs rest, the motherfucker had three separate five day breaks. It’s not like a break was interrupted by being named an All Star!

Plus, if he gets blown out Thursday night by the Islanders (Lundswiss hasn’t won a road game against the Islanders in three seasons) then the excuse will be “He only gets better with more work.”

I’m sick of the fucking excuses for this overpaid diva. If I took as much time off as he did at work, I would be fired! Plus, I don’t make $9.5M a season and sure as hell am not 13% of any company payroll!

As I said all along and the proof is in my last few blogs and on the tweet tweet, if Lundqvist wants the personal milestone at MSG, I’m all for that, as long as he played tonight. NYR isn’t going to see Colorado in the playoffs. They have a good shot of seeing CBJ. I want Hank to be tested and playing against the very best. If we have to monitor the amount of minutes/games Hank plays, I want those minutes/games to be quality games against playoff opponents.

If any of you ever played sports at any level in your youth, any coach, parent or player will tell you that that the only way to get better is to play people better than you. Wasting time with Colorado so you can say you’re the fastest player to 400 wins (Such a fugazi stat anyway, considering Hank plays in the no tie era, has the best goalie coach in the NHL, racked up a majority of wins under a shot-blocking system and the level of competition isn’t as good as it used to be with 30 teams, etc) is garbage. Getting the work against Columbus is more important, especially since they ran Lundqvist off the ice before the halfway point of the game just two weeks ago!

Just look at the Rangers history with Columbus this season. Lundqvist lost to Bobrovsky. Lundqvist beat McElhinney, after the Rangers scored 3 quick goals in the third period. As a result, McElhinney was cut the next day. Lundqvist then lost to Korpisalo and was pulled from the game after being torched. So Lundqvist is 1-2 and really should’ve been 0-3. He also played against Bob only once.

Now, you may you say “oh this is all AV.” It’s not. Hank has pull here. After all, he already helped get one coach fired from here, ironically, the coach who the Rangers were facing tonight, in John Tortorella. Remember, AV said he wanted to give Raanta a start during the homestand. AV went back on that to give the person everyone has to coddle, Henrik Lundqvist, a chance to make history at MSG. Again, I’m fine with 400 at MSG with the condition Hank played tonight. I don’t want to hear about rest, because the Rangers now have two days off after tonight’s win.

Hank even admitted to John Giannone before the game that he was exhausted and drained from the intense homestand. The intense homestand that  featured last place teams like Calgary & Colorado. The intense homestand that featured the Rangers giving him four goals a game. Yea, real fucking intense. Hank said he needed the game off. How fucking convenient.

How many of us at our jobs would love to take the day off when we know a day from hell is on the schedule? Too bad we all can’t be a Swedish diva.

Of course, not one Ranger reporter pressed AV on this issue. The other issue that wasn’t pressed by any Ranger reporter was the Rangers powerplay. With my rant on the precious, fragile, bubble-wrapped Lundqvist now over, let’s talk about that horrible Rangers PP and the game itself.

I “puck-lucked” this item from the Steiner mystery bag at MSG on Saturday. As a reward, Dan Girardi got a puck luck SHG tonight!

As always, the official box score comes courtesy of ESPN.com. As always, NHL.com is impossible to use, which is why I use the ESPN one:

1st Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail NYR CBJ
8:12
Brandon Dubinsky (8)
Assists: Brandon Saad, Seth Jones
0 1
Time Team Penalty Detail
6:12
Pavel Buchnevich: 2 Minutes for Delaying Game – Puck over Glass
11:25
Josh Anderson: 2 Minutes for Slashing
16:40
Sam Gagner: 2 Minutes for Tripping
19:30
Kevin Klein: 2 Minutes for Holding

2nd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail NYR CBJ
0:12
Dan Girardi (4) (Shorthanded)
Assists: Kevin Hayes, J.T. Miller
1 1
Time Team Penalty Detail
3:45
Oscar Lindberg: 2 Minutes for Holding the Stick
4:30
Boone Jenner: 2 Minutes for High-sticking
14:11
J.T. Miller: 2 Minutes for Boarding
19:58
David Savard: 2 Minutes for High-sticking

3rd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail NYR CBJ
4:49
Kevin Hayes (15)
Unassisted
2 1
11:53
Nick Foligno (19)
Assist: David Savard
2 2
13:28
Jimmy Vesey (13)
Assists: Derek Stepan, Nick Holden
3 2
Time Team Penalty Detail
13:46
Zach Werenski: 2 Minutes for Hooking

Goaltending Summary

New York Rangers Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
A. Raanta 32 2 30 .938 59:06 0

Columbus Blue Jackets Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
S. Bobrovsky 23 3 20 .870 57:57 0

Of note on CBJ’s 0-4 PP, CBJ scored a goal the second the PP expired.

Everyone else has to coddle Lundqvist and his ego, why not Raanta? Let’s just hope these two are coddling a Stanley Cup in their arms in June.

Lundqvist ducking competition aside, I didn’t know what to expect from Raanta going into this game. Raanta hadn’t started in a month, ever since getting hurt in Montreal. (Thanks a lot for ruining my road trip there Hank!) While we still don’t know what Raanta hurt specifically, what we do know is that Raanta’s only action since coming back after the NHL All Star Break was in relief of Lundqvist. Raanta gave up 3 goals and looked a bit rusty in that relief work.

Again, if the plan was to trade what’s best for the team for a milestone, I’m against that. If it’s one or the other, Lundqvist would’ve got 400 eventually. The better scenario for the team is Raanta getting his feet wet with a bad team in Colorado and letting Lundqvist play a team he will potentially see in the playoffs.

As a Raanta fan (I think I’m the only Rangers fan with a Raanta jersey!) I was nervous for the guy. This is like taking the last month off from school and then being asked to do trigonometry test. It’s hard to get right back into the swing of things. However, King Raanta got support from his defense in the first period, then when he was under fire in the second and when he was under heavy fire in the third, Raanta was more than willing and capable.

Being around for 90 years, the Rangers are going to have bigger rivals than a team with a 17 year history. As Ranger fans, most of us hate the Islanders, Devils, Flyers and Penguins more. After 2014, some of us even consider the Kings a rival now. However, in the last few years, the Blue Jackets have become a rival. While the battles aren’t as intense as rivalry games of years ago, the games have been pretty exciting hockey contests.

The rivalry for these teams is rooted with Rick Nash. When Rick Nash, the best CBJ ever and the holder of most individual records for the franchise, decided to bolt for NYR in 2012, CBJ fans were furious. To this day, and as was evident tonight, CBJ fans boo him whenever he touches the puck. The Rangers would have other trades with the Blue Jackets. To this day, one half of the greatest announcers in MSG history & former Ranger goalie, John Davidson, is the president of hockey operations in Columbus. The coach is former Ranger coach John Tortorella. In the short tenure of the CBJ, there are many crossovers between the franchises.

This season, CBJ is playing some of their best hockey in the franchise’s history. After a historic win streak, the CBJ have handled the Rangers with ease. As noted above, in the four games played thus far versus the Rangers, Vezina candidate, Sergei Bobrovsky, has only played in two of them. Torts ain’t scared of his former team.

There is a Joe Micheletti bobblehead. It usually bobbles around the groin and ass area of Henrik Lundqvist.

This game started off with CBJ largely dominating the puck possession. However, quality shots weren’t seen much in this period. In fact, there weren’t many shots at all. The Rangers out-shot CBJ 8-7, but NYR also missed 6 shots on net. That pretty much sums up the Rangers PP, but more on that below.

These teams are starting to know each other a bit now and you kinda saw that. There wasn’t much risk taking in the first period. Unfortunately for CBJ, Scott Hartnell took a nasty tumble into the boards in the first period and would miss the rest of the game.

Brandon Dubinsky, because of course, it is mandated by law that an ex-Ranger score in these games, got the first goal of the game and the only goal of the first period. Brandon Saad, near the boards, made a backwards pass to Duby, who was all alone and in front of Raanta. Bang 1-0. If this was Lundqvist, Michelettti & every Ranger fan living in their mother’s basement would be blaming the defense. This was tough for Raanta to stop, there was no Rangers blueliner in sight but we have seen Raanta sniff these attempts out before.

After twenty minutes, CBJ took their 1-0 lead to the locker room. They didn’t look dominant, but neither did the Rangers, who shit the bed on 2 powerplays.

Let’s get the PP talk out of the way now. THE POWER PLAY WAS FUCKING HORRIBLE, BRUTAL, DISGUSTING AND I THINK I GOT GOUT ON MY LEFT ASS CHEEK FROM WATCHING IT! Seriously, TERRIBLE!

How many times this season must we see Zucc turnover the puck instead of shooting the puck? How many times will Zibanejad take a point bank shot that goes the same way of a Scott Norwood field goal?

If you know me in real life, follow me on social media or just read these blogs, you know that I ALWAYS defend AV. ALWAYS. I don’t want him fired like many fans. I have no problem with his contract getting re-upped. I think he’s easily one of the top 5 coaches in NYR history to boot.

However, for the life of me, I can not figure out why the third highest goal scorer in the league, Michael Grabner, doesn’t get PP time? Even the Rangers announcers are mum on this. While I will never get a press pass because I’m too opinionated, usually drinking and have no problem farting in close quarters, can someone who does this shit for a living, and not as a hobby like me, please ask AV why isn’t Grabner on the PP?

I don’t want to hear how Grabner’s skill set doesn’t lend itself to the PP. FUCK THAT. When the PP has been horrible for most of the season, you go 0-5 tonight, you have no forward puck moment, etc, it is time to shake shit up.  More than half the time, the Rangers are battling to get the puck out of their defensive zone on the PP. Maybe Grabner can bust for a breakaway during this time.

It’s a shame too, because Grabner drew 3 penalties and his line scored the first Ranger goal of the game, a shorthanded goal from no other than DAN “THE IRON MAN” GIRARDIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE. (Read that in the Bruce Buffer voice.) The goal came 12 seconds into the second period and was a total fluke job. Still, a goal against Bobrovsky? You take it any way you can get it.

While the Rangers PP was floundering and looked dead on arrival, the Rangers PK was pretty strong, going 4-4 on the night. However, it is worth mentioning that the Duby goal came as a CBJ PP just expired, leaving the Rangers pretty much 5 vs 4 on that.

The Rangers were very sloppy tonight, taking a ton of penalties. This has been alarming trend lately. Usually it’s Skjei taking dumb penalties, but tonight it came from everywhere. The Rangers are lucky that CBJ didn’t make them pay, just as CBJ was lucky that the Rangers couldn’t get anything going on 5 tries. It’s hard to even blame the refs for these calls, as everything was legit. Sometimes these things are let go and sometimes they are not. That said, all 9 penalties were legit and you probably could’ve called more.

I gotta ask, am I the only one who thinks hockey players should carry a small razor in their gloves like wrestlers? It would come in handy on those high sticking penalties, when the ref is looking for blood! (I’m joking here, I don’t need the comments asking if I’m for real here!)

After 40 minutes, it was 1-1. As I said on twitter, I was happy with this. After all, the Rangers are the highest scoring team in the NHL during the third period. The Rangers would add two more to their league high total. Gotta give it up for the Rangers, no game is really ever over and they’ve been playing their best hockey in crunch time.

King Raanta played his best hockey in the third period.

While the Rangers pushed two goals by Bobrovsky in the final frame, they didn’t get many shots off. In fact, CBJ finished the game with 32 shots to the Rangers 23.

Kevin Hayes got the first goal of the third period, making it 2-1, five minutes in. He forced a turnover, got a breakaway and deposited a puck right through Bobrovsky’s legs. However, Nick Foligno would tie the game with 7 minutes left. You could smell this goal coming the whole way. CBJ was all over the Rangers. Foligno happened to be near Raanta. The puck was moved from near the boards (behind the net) and after what looked like it would be a Rangers defensive stop, the puck found JT Miller and went by Raanta. Total fluke goal here. Fluke or not, they all count. 2-2. However, at the end of the game, you have to be happy with King Raanta, because the 2 goals that went in weren’t really his fault. That’s impressive with all the time off and against a good team.

If you’re looking for the bright side in Foligno’s goal, at least the Ranger’s third line scored again. It’s easy to make that joke now, after the Rangers win!

Jimmy Vesey, who seems to be averaging one “that was so close to being a goal” moment a game, would be the hero of this soiree. Less than two minutes after the puck luck Foligno goal, Vesey was on the wing and beat Bobrovsky. Trust me, I’m glad Vesey scored, but this looked a lapse in judgement by Bobrovsky too. You take it any way you can get it. 3-2 good guys and two more third period goals for NYR.

The final 75 seconds of the game made your asshole pucker. With Bobrovsky on the bench, CBJ were up 6 vs 5 and fired a ton of shots. Raanta stopped them all. His defense, especially Marc Staal, looked like they needed an oxygen infusion after this shift. However, Raanta stepped up and took over when it mattered the most.  Not only did Raanta preserve the win, he denied CBJ two points. NYR wins 3-2.

Metropolitan Division
GP
W
L
OTL
P
GF
GA
Diff
L10
STRK
Capitals
56
39
11
6
84
192
121
71
8-2-0
W6
Penguins
54
34
13
7
75
193
155
38
6-2-2
L1
Blue Jackets
55
35
15
5
75
177
136
41
4-5-1
L1
Rangers
56
37
18
1
75
192
147
45
8-2-0
W6
Flyers
56
27
22
7
61
147
168
-21
5-4-1
W1
Islanders
54
25
19
10
60
161
158
3
6-2-2
W1
Devils
55
23
22
10
56
128
157
-29
5-4-1
L1
Hurricanes
53
24
22
7
55
140
156
-16
3-7-0
L2

I think by now, we all know my take and the way the majority of the Rangers fanbase feels about the playoffs. We all want the Rangers to finish as the Wild Card and play the Atlantic bracket. It’s a shame, because potentially, you could have four Metropolitan teams finish 10-20+ points better than an Atlantic team, yet be knocked out of the first round, while a weaker team advances.

I said this at the time and I say it for the millionth time again now – who knows what happens if the Rangers took a dive like the Islanders did, on the last game, last season? I think the Rangers would’ve at least beat the Panthers in the first round, like the Islanders did. Would the Rangers beat the Lightning in the second round? Who knows? What I do know is that last year’s Rangers had no chance against Pittsburgh in the first round and I have that same feeling this year too. Of course, the roster will change by the time the trade deadline passes, but still, why play Pittsburgh in the first round if you don’t have to?

That said, some of you Ranger fans are more insane than me! I’m reading stuff about how winning this game is bad for the playoffs. Guys, 26 games remain. You can’t be on standings watch or playing for seeding now. Final week of the season is ok for that shit. You don’t start tanking in February! I get the agenda and agree with it, but you can’t be doing seeding in your head now.

If two points separate the Rangers from third place and a WC spot in the final two games of the season, I’m all for calling up the SWAMP RABBITS. However, for right now, let’s take it easy! Rangers need to win games, stay pace and play good hockey.

You know it’s bad when I would rather hear Milbury than Micheletti these days

As these words find your eyes, I’m happy that the Rangers won. I’m happy Raanta looked well. I’m looking forward to the trade deadline. I can’t wait for the playoffs, when this regular season exhibition is over.

Ever since the last lockout, due to selling my wrestling company, which took up all my free time, I’ve been attending more Ranger games than when I was a high school kid. It was a lot cheaper 20 years ago to go to 40+ games. (This includes Islander games.)  Now that I’m comfortable in life and sold off my second business, I have more time to go to games. However, this season, I’ve been working a ton of OT, so I don’t get to MSG as much as I’d like. I’ve been enjoying more games this year on the MSG networks as opposed to attending them live.

I also hate James Dolan, so I’ve also been budgeting my money to see more road games this season than go to M$G. I also like traveling, seeing new places, how other people live, etc, so incorporating a Rangers game makes it fun for me.

I’ve told you before. I grew up with Sam and JD. They are the best, bar none, when it comes to sports announcing for me. Am I biased? Of course. Growing up, it was all Sam & JD for me, with Phil Rizzutto calling Yankee games on Channel 11, being a close second.

When JD left to become a hockey executive, Joe Micheletti replaced him. To be fair, replacing Joe Micheletti is like asking a guy from Oasis to replace John Lennon. The shoes are just too big to fill, no matter how good you are.

However, Joe Micheletti has never been more horrible at his job than he’s been this season. Maybe I didn’t notice it as much because I saw more games live than on TV, but he’s been UNBEARABLE this season. It’s at the point where I watch the game on TV and “Hate-listen” to Micheletti, while having Maloney on the radio next to me. If I could have a dream like Martin Luther King for a second, it would be for Maloney and Micheletti to swap spots. It would be better for Micheletti anyway – you can’t see the herpes on his lips from kissing Hank’s ass so much, on the radio.

While I can hammer out these 5000+ word manifestos on a blog program that anyone can figure out, I’m not computer savvy enough to edit video. I wish someone would edit a video of Joe Micheletti calling Lundqvist saves and Raanta saves.

There was a point in this game where Raanta stopped an 70′ shot. Joe was quiet. However, when Hank stops 75′ shots (and then gives up a rebound goal after it) Joe acts like it’s a game 7 OT save. Raanta stopped two close calls from Cam Atkinson. Joe was quiet again, saying in a monotone voice, “save by Raanta.” If that was Hank, Joe’s semen would be flying all over the arena!

In the final 75 seconds of the game, Raanta made a ton of saves as his defense were on their last legs. Sam Rosen was going fucking batshit. I thought he was going under cardiac arrest. It’s why we love Sam. He’s a homer, but he really knows how to sell the biggest moments of a hockey game. Joe had nothing to say about the saves.

On the MSG Post game show, Micheletti said that “Raanta wasn’t challenged tonight. Pretty easy night for him.” ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? If this was Lundqvist, Joe would be personally erecting a statue outside of MSG for Lundqvist himself! Seriously, any of you people good with video editing, find Joe’s calls of Hank saves vs Raanta saves.

Listen – I know MSG employees are under a gag order that they can only talk good about the team. After all, MSG fired the legendary Marv Albert for breaking that gag order with the Knicks over 10 years ago.  Lundqvist is the biggest NYR investment. Even when Hank sucks, you never hear anyone calling him out for it. The only one who gets a little chippy is Ron Duguay. I think Steve Valiquette is great and I respect his opinion, but even he was bitching at Ranger fans for booing Lundqvist. (I really don’t think that Vally understands that not everyone attends every home game so people who pay a ton of money for tickets, seeing one game a year, and seeing that Dallas game, well, we all know M$G isn’t refunding anyone.)

That said, Micheletti calling this an “easy game” for Raanta was ridiculous. The guy hasn’t started a game in a month and hasn’t played a full 60 minutes once in 2017. If you’re going to go nuts every time Hank makes a save that 99% of all NHL goalies make, how about staying consistent and affording the same luxury to Raanta? I know I’m not the only fan who thinks this way, as I saw a ton of Ranger fans bitching about Micheletti during this game.

Halak, who is 11-2 against Lundqvist, most likely will not be playing on Thursday for NYI. Photo Credit: Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Up next for the Rangers are the Islanders from Barclay. The Rangers are still looking for their first win in the worst arena in the NHL. Jaroslav Halak, since demoted to the AHL (Where he’s playing well), isn’t a likely call-up, despite a 11-2 record against Lundqvist. The Islanders are fighting for a wild card spot and are playing good hockey since the firing of Jack Capuano, who I still believe was fired unjustly. (Garth Snow should’ve been fired if you ask me.)

Now that Lundqvist is playing average (He’s still ranked in the bottom of the league in SV% and GAA) against bad teams, I’m sure he plays Thursday. With Raanta having the game he had tonight, if Hank gets smoked again, it should be interesting on who gets the call on Sunday against Washington, you know, the best team in the NHL right now. In fact, it wouldn’t shock me, win or lose, if Raanta has another heavy lifting start on Sunday. The schedule gets tougher from here on out, so with Raanta healthy again, I would expect Hank to take his throne on the bench more often than not.

To be honest, I can see another goalie controversy debate in the papers before this season is over, especially with a hard stretch coming up. However, we all know Hank is starting in the playoffs, for better or for worse. We just gotta hope that AV allowing Lundqvist to miss games he should play, works out in the end. We all want that parade in June and all have different ideas on how to get it. Let’s just hope we get it!

Depending on work, see ya Thursday night. I may go to to the game, work schedule providing. Keep checking twitter for more!

As always,

LGR

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@NYCTHEMIC on the tweeter

Comments

  1. They don’t even need to protect Lundswiss. NO ONE will take that contract. He’s automatically protected by that fact alone.

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