NYR/ANA Recap: DUCK HUNTING, NYR Explosion, PP Found, Talbot, Tons of Pics From the Game & More From a PRESIDENTIAL NIGHT!

DUCK HUNTING!

How the hell do I even start this blog?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Welcome everyone to another blog here on the new and improved DOINOW.com! Suffice to say, there is tons to get into, so check out the right hand of the site for all the goodies, don’t drink & drive, tip your bartenders, always buy tickets last second on Stubhub and always, and I mean always, use “IN CAM WE TRUST” as your personal mantra.

WHAT A NIGHT. Let me repeat, WHAT A NIGHT!

The last time I saw a rape this brutal, it was in the 1995 cinema classic “Showgirls”, when that black chick got raped by Jesse Spano’s male acquaintance at that party that Charlotte’s husband from “Sex in the City” threw. The Rangers brutalized the number 1 team in the league, the not so Mighty Ducks, with a final score of 7-2.  As a result of the the thrashing, the Rangers return to first place in all of the NHL. Of course you know the Rangers are setting all kind of winning records under the guidance of Cam Talbot, as the $8.5M man continues to look overpaid & overrated with each passing day.

The Rangers returned to MSG, for the second game of a back-to-back, after playing in Carolina the night before. The infamous JEFFREY wanted to go to this game, and since I had off from the real job on Monday, I was game. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. In fact, I saw the Rangers playing a similar game that they played with the Blackhawks. If the Rangers lost tonight 2-0, I wouldn’t have been shocked. Taking that LIRR train back, after a 7-2 win?  I still can’t believe it. It’s like seeing Jesus Christ smoking pot with Hitler. It just isn’t believable!

JEFFREY (Samardzija) was excited about the big Rangers win!

Let’s face it – the Rangers have played like shit recently but have been able to escape with wins. The Rangers, despite giving up 1 goal a game, due to the strong play of Cam Talbot for 8 out of the last 9 games, struggled to score. The powerplay was more atrocious than a fresh hot diaper on a summer day. The Rangers were on a goal drought, after previously lighting lamps, 4,5,6 times a game. Whether the Rangers bottled up this offensive explosion and let it all out here, or if this is a sign of things to come, bottom line, the Rangers made a huge statement, thrashing the now second best team in the NHL.

I won’t get ahead of myself here. This win is forgotten come game 1 of the playoffs. However, for fans like us that care about the regular season, this was a game the Rangers told the NHL that they are here and ready to win NOW.

BOUGIAS!

There won’t be many games left this season to pull the Stubhub trick, but on this Sunday, JEFFREY & I were able to make it work. We were able to score $256 face value tickets for $125, by buying tickets two hours before game time. If we waited out a bit longer, we could’ve bought LOUNGE tickets for $135. I talked about this in my Chicago/NYR blog, but the difference between sitting in the 100’s/bridges vs 200’s/400’s is really night and day. MSG has a class system. You are treated like a fucking asshole if you sit in the 200’s/400’s where in the 100’s or bridges, you are treated like a winner, like a King, kind of like Mike Richter. Hopefully Henrik Lundqvist will know that feeling of being a real king one day.

Lundqvist can make all the silly TV shows he wants, there is only one real blueshirt goalie King & one mask that matters

I am telling you. If you ever have the money or time, you need to sit in the 100’s. It’s going to be tough this late into the season, but the veteran move is to buy tickets right before game time, when the sellers trying to rip people off, panic and unload their good seats for cheap. There is a downstairs bar and bathroom at MSG, which you can access by taking the downstairs escalator by section 103. There are no bathroom lines, a spacious bar and no one bumping into you. You really feel majestic down there. It’s bougias as all fuck, but a great experience. If you do venture to the bar by that center of the arena escalator, make sure to ask for Frank! He’s always accommodating and a close personal friend of JEFFREY!

Long time Ranger season ticket holder & converted Talbot fan, Mike B. & myself at the bougias bar!

Oh yea, so there was a game tonight too! After a few drinks at the bougias bar, where few men wear jerseys, it was time to catch the game in our cheap seats, but that were so close, we could feel the ice. It’s times like this that you really appreciate the game. I’ve said it a million times on these blogs – nothing beats an NHL game live. The NFL, NBA, MLB… all that stuff is made for TV. The live NHL experience is like no other & I cherish being at a game every time I go. Perhaps I blow too much time and money on all this, but I could spend money on worse. After all, I don’t have a drug problem, buy fancy clothes, have a fancy car, buy jewelry or anything else. This is what I enjoy and my vice (outside of drinking, gambling, smoking, Rose’s Penn Station Pizza, but who’s watching?)

 

No clue if Talbot was praying for goal support tonight, but whatever he did, it worked!

As I said above, I was nervous about this game. The Rangers barely beat Buffalo & Florida, lost 1-0 to Chicago and were lucky to escape with two points against the lowly Hurricanes. Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine the Rangers destroying the Ducks 7-2 here tonight.

The Rangers kicked off their barrage of goals, with an ALL-AMERICAN goal, as Kreider took a pass from Stepan and buried it home. Rangers Captain Ryan McDonagh picked up the secondary assist on the goal. Kreider’s 18th goal of the season came 90 seconds into the game. What a difference from the 1-0 game I saw at MSG on Wednesday already!

The celebration was short-lived, as Corey Perry got his 30th goal of the season a minute later. It was a soft goal. We all know I’m the conductor of the Talbot Train and all that blah blah blah, but we’ve seen enough of Talbot to make this assessment of him. He’s either lights out all game, or he gives up one really bad goal, then settles down. Just like in some of his previous games as starter, Talbot gave up a bad one here, and was strong the rest of the game.

Believe it or not, the Rangers won this faceoff!

Within three minutes, the score was already 1-1.  The Rangers then went on a powerplay, after Girardi was boarded 4 minutes and change into the first period. I hate that milk carton picture of the Rangers PP that I’ve been posting. I’m now happy to report that the powerplay was found, at least for this game, as Derek Stepan took a pass from Keith Yandle (Who finished with 3 assists tonight, his best game as a Ranger) and got the Rangers first PP goal in what seems like forever. 2-1 Rangers, and the game was barely five minutes old.

Carl Hagelin continued the scoring, as he tipped in a shot from Kevin Hayes, 10 minutes into the period. The Ducks saw enough, and Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen was pulled, to a raucous ovation.

Let me tell you something – if you ever go to a game at MSG, just watch Hagelin. The guy is so fast and does so much. Even on the Rangers PK’s tonight, he was all over the place. The Ducks would pass the puck and he was able to cover two guys at once, outskate everyone else and make clears and just fly around like a circus monkey. He’s in a contract year, and it would be a fucking shame if the contract of another Swede on this team prevented the Rangers from keeping him. He is a huge asset to this team in so many facets.

With 10 minutes to go in the first, the Rangers up 3-1 & with Andersen now pulled, everything was coming up blueshirts. However, the Rangers left Perry wide open in front of the net a minute later, and you were back to biting your nails, as the Ducks cut the lead in half, making the score 3-2. This goal was on the Rangers defense, as opposed to Perry’s first goal, as he was all alone for his second tally. However, it would be the last goal Talbot let slide, and he would finish with 36 saves, none bigger than preventing a Perry hat-trick in the third, that illicted huge “TAL-BOT” chants in MSG.

Stepan broke out of his point drought tonight, with 2 goals, 1 assist & the number 1 star of the game

With Gibson in net for the Ducks, the game settled down. I thought it wasn’t because of Gibson, as much as the Rangers slowed down. The fourth line was brutal tonight. They were constantly on defense, the Ducks had too many chances in the Rangers zone and with a 3-2 lead in the first, the Rangers opted to go back to over-passing the puck, rather than taking the shots that gave them the 3-2 lead in the first place.

JT Miller & Derek Stepan would each add a goal in the second period, making the game 5-2 and seemingly deciding the game result right then and there. For JT Miller, he continues to be hot. For Stepan, he broke out of his scoreless slump.

If anything concerned you, it’s the fact that Rick Nash is not scoring goals right now. As I said yesterday, the Rangers will need him to produce if they want any shot at winning a Cup this year. In the meantime, it was great to see everyone else produce.

I don’t think Cam was drinking Molson’s like I was

With a 5-2 lead, heading into the third, Ranger fans were able to relax and enjoy what we were seeing. Everyone in that building was aware that within 20 minutes, the Rangers were back to being the best team in hockey and with games in hand on everyone. The Islanders, the Canadiens, the Ducks, the Blues, the Predators, anyone & everyone, the Rangers have the most points and have the most ROW victories to boot. I’m not going to start another Hank vs Cam debate here, but man, pulling Cam could backfire for the Rangers, and everyone knows that.

Jesper Fast & Derrick Brassard would add goals in the third period, as Gibson became a victim of the Rangers explosion tonight. The game has been over already for three hours as I write these words, and I’m still fucking giddy. The Rangers got production from their top three lines, saw Yandle fit into the system, had another strong (not his strongest though) performance from Talbot and really just kicked the piss out of the Ducks.

It is amazing how this NHL rollercoaster goes. You look like shit against a bad team, but then put on your top offensive performance of the season, against a top team in the NHL, off a back-to-back. How do you explain it? The Rangers were due to score goals, but no one imagined this.

I don’t like to fill blog space by copying and pasting, but these post-game notes from the Rangers official website will make any Rangers fan grin from ear-to-ear:

Team Notes
–        POINT TAKEN – New York has earned at least one point in 19 of its last 21 games (16-2-3), including nine of its last 10 games (8-1-1). The Blueshirts have won 16 of their last 20 contests (16-2-2), including 12 of their last 15 games (12-2-1) and seven of their last eight games (7-1-0). The Rangers have also recorded at least one point in 22 of their last 25 games (19-3-3). The Blueshirts have won 39 of their last 53 games (39-11-3), including 37 of their last 50 games (37-10-3) and 35 of their last 46 contests (35-8-3). The Rangers have also earned at least one point in 52 of their last 67 games (45-15-7), including 45 of their last 57 games (40-12-5).
 
–        TOP OF THE HEAP – The Rangers currently have the top record in the NHL this season. New York is tied for first in the league in points (99) with Anaheim and Montreal, but has played two fewer games than the Canadiens and three fewer contests than the Ducks.
 
–        TWO GOOD – New York has allowed two goals or fewer in ten consecutive games and in 39 of 71 games in 2014-15. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Blueshirts have allowed two goals or fewer in at least ten straight games for the first time since Feb. 20 – Mar. 18, 1971 (12 consecutive games). The Rangers have posted a 35-2-2 record when allowing two or fewer goals in a contest this season.
 
–        HOME COOKING – New York has won six of its last seven home games (6-1-0) and has earned at least one point in 11 of its last 12 home games (9-1-2 record). The Blueshirts have won 15 of their last 20 home contests (15-3-2) and 18 of their last 24 home games (18-4-2). The Rangers have also earned at least one point in 28 of their last 34 home games, dating back to Oct. 16 (23-6-5 over the span).
 
–        MAKING NOISE ON THE WESTERN FRONT – The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in nine of their last 10 games against Western Conference opponents (7-1-2) and have posted a 13-3-2 record in their last 18 games against teams in the Western Conference. The Rangers have posted a 16-4-5 record against Western Conference opponents this season.
 
–        SEVENTH HEAVEN – The Rangers registered a season-high seven goals in the contest. It is the first time the Blueshirts have tallied at least seven goals in a game at Madison Square Garden since Mar. 6, 2011 vs. Philadelphia.
 
–        FIRST IN SCORE – The Blueshirts have tallied the first goal of the game in 26 of their last 41 games, in 34 of their last 53 contests, and in 43 of 71 games this season. New York has posted a 35-5-3 record when tallying the first goal of the game in 2014-15.
 
–        THREE’S COMPANY: PART 1 – The Blueshirts tallied three goals in the first period of the contest. It was the first time the Rangers registered at least three goals in one period since the third period of their game against the NY Islanders on Feb. 16.
 
–        THREE’S COMPANY: PART 2 – Two Rangers (Derek Stepan and Keith Yandle) each recorded three points in the contest. It is the third time this season that two Blueshirts have each notched three points in one game (Oct. 27 vs. Minnesota – Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello; Dec. 23 vs. Washington – Derick Brassard and Rick Nash).
 
–        RIGHT BACK AT IT – The Rangers have posted a 9-2-1 record in the second half of back-to-back games this season, including a 9-0-1 record in the second half of their last 10 back-to-back sets.
 
–        FINISHING THE JOB – The Blueshirts have posted a 31-0-1 record when leading after two periods this season. New York has registered a 145-1-9 record in its last 155 regular season games when leading after 40 minutes. The 155-game stretch began on Feb. 6, 2010 vs. New Jersey. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rangers are the only NHL team since 1999-2000 (the first year when teams earned a point for a loss after regulation) to have no more than one regulation loss over a span of 150 or more regular season games when leading after two periods.
 
–        DUCK CALL – The Rangers’ seven goals against Anaheim are the most they have tallied in one game against the Ducks in franchise history. New York swept a season series against Anaheim (more than one meeting between the two teams) for the third time in franchise history (also accomplished the feat in 2002-03 and 2008-09).
 
Three Stars on Broadway
–        Derek Stepan recorded three points (two goals, one assist) and led all Rangers with five shots on goal in 16:43 of ice time. The Rangers alternate captain has registered 13 three-point games in his career, and he has posted seven career multi-goal games. Stepan has registered five multi-point games in the last 18 contests, tallying 12 points (four goals, eight assists) over the span.
 
–        Keith Yandle tied single-game career-highs with three assists/points, including his first assist as a Ranger, recorded four shots on goal, and posted a plus-three rating in 20:41 of ice time. The contest was Yandle’s eighth career three-assist game and his 14th career three-point game. As of the conclusion of tonight’s game, Yandle ranks second in the NHL in power play assists (25) and is tied for seventh in power play points (27) this season. Yandle also leads all NHL defensemen in power play assists and power play points and he ranks second among NHL defensemen in assists (40) in 2014-15. He has reached the 40-assist plateau in each of the last two seasons and in three of the last five seasons (three of the last four 82-game seasons). Yandle is also the only NHL defenseman who has registered three 40-assist seasons since 2010-11.
 
–        J.T. Miller tied a single-game career-high with two points (one goal, one assist), was credited with two hits, and posted a plus-two rating in 12:40 of ice time. He has tallied a goal in two consecutive games for the second time this season/in his NHL career, and he has registered three points (two goals, one assist) in the last two games.
 
Blueshirt Breakdown
–        Cam Talbot made 36 saves to earn his 18th win of the season. Talbot has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last nine appearances, posting a 7-1-1 record, along with a 1.21 GAA, a .961 SV%, and 1 SO over the span. He has also posted a 6-1-0 record, along with a 0.99 GAA, a .968 SV%, and 1 SO in his last seven appearances. In Talbot’s last 13 appearances, he has registered a 10-2-1 record, along with a 1.48 GAA, a .951 SV%, and 2 SO. Talbot has earned at least one point in 17 of his last 19 appearances (14-2-3) and in 18 of 21 appearances since Feb. 4 (15-3-3).
 
–        Chris Kreider tallied a goal in 14:58 of ice time. Kreider’s goal was his 18th of the season, which established a new career-high. Kreider also has recorded 37 points this season, which is tied for his career-high.
 
–        Carl Hagelin tallied the game-winning goal, was credited with two hits, and posted a plus-two rating in 15:07 of ice time. He has recorded a point in each of the last two games (one goal, one assist) and has notched three points (one goal, two assists) in the last six contests. Hagelin is now tied with Jan Erixon and Ulf Nilsson for the fourth-most goals a Swedish-born Ranger has tallied in franchise history (57).
 
–        Jesper Fast registered a goal and posted a plus-two rating in 12:45 of ice time. He has now tallied a goal in two consecutive games twice in his NHL career (he also recorded a goal in two straight games this season on Nov. 29 vs. Philadelphia and Dec. 1 vs. Tampa Bay).
 
–        Derick Brassard tallied a goal and posted a plus-one rating in 16:49 of ice time. He has notched a point in 15 of his last 24 games, recording 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) over the span. 
 
–        Kevin Hayes tallied two assists, recorded two shots on goal, and posted a plus-two rating in 12:21 of ice time. In 2014-15, 20 of Hayes’ 22 assists have been primary assists. As of the conclusion of tonight’s game, Hayes ranks second among all NHL rookies in primary assists this season.
 
–        Mats Zuccarello registered two assists, led all skaters with two takeaways, and posted a plus-two rating in 15:22 of ice time. He has tallied an assist/point in each of the last two games (three assists/points) and he has tallied 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in the last 25 games. Zuccarello, who tallied his 30th assist of the season in the contest, has reached the 30-assist plateau in each of the last two seasons.
 
–        Ryan McDonagh notched an assist, was credited with three blocked shots, and posted a plus-two rating in 19:02 of ice time. The Rangers captain has registered 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in 50 games since returning to the lineup on Nov. 28, and the Blueshirts have posted a 37-10-3 record over the span.
 
Talbot is now 15-3-3 as Rangers starter, but people will still say trade him
This was a big statement game for the Rangers. It is funny how fans are already trading Talbot and have him out the door already without seeing how these playoffs play out. I don’t know what Ranger fans expect to get for Talbot. They have no payroll. Furthermore, you don’t know what Hank you’re getting come the spring. Hank can come back and stink the joint out, and Talbot comes back and goes 16-0 in the playoffs, you never know.
Ranger fans, who can’t remember this team without Lundqvist (and there are way too many of you) will not admit this, but the best thing for the Rangers, is for Hank to come back, bomb and Talbot takes over. If the Rangers can deal Lundqvist (providing he waives his NTC to start somewhere else), the Rangers can trade an $8.5M out-of-his-prime goalie and give Talbot a decent raise. That’s all providing Talbot is sensational in the playoffs & wins a Cup. That’s the only way that would ever happen. The Rangers stand more to gain in a trade by trading Lundqvist than they ever would by dealing Talbot, because they have no cap room with Hank’s albatross deal on the books. Believe that.

However, it is Hank’s job to lose. At the same time, the Ranger fans that are already writing about Talbot to Edmonton or wherever, are fucking out of their minds. No one knows what will happen in the playoffs.

I can look at this all night, it’s better than porn!

The NHL season takes no break for no man. It is a shame how the schedule broke down this year. The Rangers have been 3-4 games behind in the Games Played stat all year against their division and conference rivals. It’s all because of money. The Rangers have a ton of NBC games. The NFL has been over and the Rangers are in these late Sunday games on NBC. It is what it is, but if the NHL was so concerned about player safety/health, why schedule the Rangers for a shit load of back-to-backs and 6 games in 9 days towards the end of the season? MONEY is what runs sports at the end of the day.

The Rangers busy month of March continues on Tuesday with a rematch with the Kings, a team Talbot beat earlier this year. Imagine if we could say Hank beat the Kings last year? The Rangers then take on the red-hot Senators, in Ottawa on Thursday, before their third back-to-back weekend in a row, heading to Boston on Saturday afternoon (NBC money game) and then hosting the Capitals at home on Sunday (NBC money game.) If all indications are right, chances are that Hank returns for that Sunday showdown with Washington.

Whether or not the Rangers win the President’s Trophy or not is not as significant as the ultimate goal – winning the Stanley Cup. Sure the President’s Trophy would be nice, but this team is in a Cup or Bust year. Let’s just get to that third week in April and take it from there.

I feel like this was a long blog, but more on the game experience than the actual game itself content. It happens. This is a blue collar blog for blue collar fans. Recapping 9 individual goals is an all-night affair, but I think you get the point – The Rangers kicked ass!

HUGE WIN EVERYONE!

LET’S GO RANGERS

IN CAM WE TRUST

SEE YA TUESDAY NIGHT!

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@nycthemic on that twitter machine

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