NYR/NYI Recap: Talbot The Best Goalie in NY, Nashty, President’s Trophy & More

Talbot vs the Isles 2-0, Hank vs the Isles 0-3

Welcome everyone to another blog here, on the new and improved DOINOW.com. As always, visit the archives on the right hand of the site for previous blogs, follow me on twitter, try the black bean soup at the Bold, drink responsibly and always, and I mean ALWAYS, use “IN CAM WE TRUST” as your personal mantra.

How funny is it how a month of games play out? A big FUCK YOU to every single one of you who doubted Cam Talbot. I been the conductor of this Talbot Train from day one, and again, Talbot did what that overpaid Swede couldn’t do – and that’s beat the Islanders during this 2014-2015 season. Talbot is now 2-0 vs the Islanders, where your $8.5M man is 0-3. I’ve been getting many messages lately about “You’re right, Talbot is the real deal.” Sorry guys, you’re too late to jump on this train!

This will be Hank’s team when he comes back. Hank, who wasn’t even considered for the All-Star Game, even when two goalies were injured, will eventually come back and be the netminder for the Cup run. Can anyone truly say they are more confident, TODAY, with Hank over Cam? Throw away the past. Who is better RIGHT NOW? Who gives you the best chance to win? I’m sorry,  I’ve seen 10 years of Hank in the playoffs and while he’s been the best player on some bad offensive teams, he hasn’t shown anything this season that he’s the Hank of old. Right now, there isn’t a better goalie in the NHL than Cam Talbot. With the games in hand, if the Rangers keep doing what they are doing, they will have the President’s Trophy, easily.

Look it’s not just me. NHL.com is currently verbally orally stimulating Talbot as well. Check out this article:

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=757524&navid=nhl:topheads

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Truth.

Truth who?
Talbot is a starting goalie in the NHL.

The best goalie in the NHL right now

Tonight’s Rangers vs Islanders game was the last game, in the foreseeable future, barring playoffs, at the dump known as the Nassau Coliseum. A big FUCK YOU to all the scalpers charging $175-$225 to sit in Row S of the 300s. It’s amazing how those same tickets are only $10 for Friday & Saturday night. Some fanbase.

I’m not made of money. While I wanted to go to tonight’s game, I couldn’t justify spending near $200 to sit in the second to last row of the Nassau Coliseum. It’s sickening where prices have climbed up to this year for Rangers tickets. For this game, many scalpers made enough money to afford a full tuition and then some, to attend my alma matter, Nassau Community College.

This was a huge game, no matter what anyone says about “it’s all about the playoffs.” Heading into tonight, the Islanders played four more games. They could’ve been 5 points ahead of the Rangers, with four extra games played. However, due to Talbot & the Rangers, the Rangers are now 1 point behind the Islanders, with 4 games in hand. The Rangers are playing their best hockey of the season right now and have a better win percentage with Talbot in net. It’s going to be a tough pill to swallow if Hank comes back and stinks the joint out like he was doing for the majority of the season. Unlike Talbot, Hank wasn’t stopping deflections, breakaways, powerplays and anything else thrown at him.

ICWT!

This game wasn’t for first place, point wise, due to the Islanders stealing a game against Toronto, late on Monday night. However, this was a huge statement game, and the Rangers & Talbot made the statement that they were for real.

This was true team effort for the Rangers, winning tonight’s game 2-1. The Rangers were completely dominated in the first period. They lost the majority of the faceoffs. Forced to kill penalties. Couldn’t get a clear. Couldn’t possess the puck. The Islanders completely dominated the Rangers in the first period. After a ton of shots, chances and big saves by Talbot, the Islanders trickled one in, off a soft shot from Anders Lee, which hit Marc Staal’s skate and snuck by Talbot. Yes I’m Mr. Talbot fan club, but that goal was completely on the Rangers defense and lack of control.

The Rangers were fortunate to get out of the period only down 1-0. The Islanders completely owned them.

The Rangers were more lively in the second period, fighting off the Islanders pressure. As I said in Sunday’s blog, Carl Hagelin has been complete perfection on the Rangers penalty kill. Hagelin once again was a beast, clearing pucks, making stops and making sure the Islanders didn’t get any good looks. Hagelin’s speed combined with his nose for the puck, made sure the Islanders were 0-4 on the PP.

HEY! HEY! HAYES! HAYES! HAYES!

How about Rangers rookie Kevin Hayes? While Forsberg has the Calder Trophy locked up in Nashville, Hayes matches his NY rival contemporary, Anders Lee, by scoring the tying goal tonight. The Hags/Hayes/Miller line has been a great line for the Rangers since being put together by AV. Hayes took NO for an answer, as he completely fought and won the puck, 11 minutes into the second period, and slammed one home past Halak. Talk about a manly goal. Hayes just willed his way and powered the puck, knotting the score at 1-1.

What helps accepting the Rangers trading their future away in the MSL and Yandle deals is the fact that they have a fully developed rookie in Kevin Hayes. Chicago’s salary cap loss is NYR’s gain. No goal was bigger for Hayes, than scoring his 13th of the season, in a game against NYR’s most hated rival after the Islanders were having their way with the Rangers.

Rick Nash scored his 30th goal of the season Monday against Florida. (USATSI)
I’m Rick Nash BITCH!

With the score tied at 1-1, the third period would prove to be the most important. No shot was bigger than Rick Nash’s rip, 3 minutes into the period, that deflected off Ryan Strome and beat Halak. Was it a luck goal? Perhaps. However, you got to be good to even get that shot off, and have so much power behind it, that it deflected, with distance, past Mr. Halak. Islander fans will whine that it was a cheap goal, but Lee’s goal was scored in the same fashion, just not as spectacular.

The Rangers got nothing out of an unhealthy Rick Nash, during the playoff run last year. For the Rangers to make moves in the playoffs this year, they will need the Rick Nash of the regular season. Nash scored his 39th goal here, the second most in the NHL (Ovi has the most) to win the game. However, Nash’s goal wouldn’t be the game winner if it wasn’t for, guess who? CAM TALBOT.

Where would the Rangers be without Talbot during Hank’s absence?

Talbot would finish the night with 29 saves, none bigger than Talbot stoning Bailey on a breakaway. Bailey had the whole ice to himself and in a match-up of Bailey vs Talbot, Talbot won. Talbot bailed out his team on turnovers, none bigger than the save Talbot made after JT Miller’s turnover and even made sure Tanner Glass was on the ice for a Rangers victory! Without Talbot coming up huge, as he’s been as of late (Talbot was named the 3rd best player in the NHL last week) the Islanders are running away with this game, just like they did against Hank the first three times these two teams played.

Listen. We can all say that the Rangers & the Islanders are playoff teams and seeding doesn’t matter. I won’t argue. Anything can happen in the playoffs, just look at the two runs the LA Kings made. However, this was a game the Rangers needed to win. The Rangers, under Talbot, are a team that not only can win the Metro division in a healthy fashion, but also win the President’s Trophy. We all know what happened the last time the Rangers won the President’s Trophy and we can all hope we get the same result this year.

Look at the beer belly on me! It’s safe to say Billy didn’t have as good of a night as I did! Talk about an understatement!

The Rangers, on Nash’s game winning goal and Talbot’s strong play won the game 2-1. There are rumors that the Islanders might return to Nassau in three years, but for tonight, the Rangers won the Nassau Eviction Cup. I just want to put out there here, I needed to go out to a bar to watch this game with other hockey fans. I also want to say, if you’re one of these idiots who get into fist fights over Rangers vs Islanders, you need to be medicated. Tavares & Nash aren’t going to your job and duking it out, so there is no reason for you and a fan of an opposing team (Especially when 99% of the time, you’re rooting for the same football, baseball or basketball team) to slug it out over their jobs. Enjoy the games, enjoy the bragging rights and leave it at that.

Personally, congratulations to my friends Christina Santiago and Keri Feore who believed in Talbot when I told them the Rangers would be fine without Hank. IN CAM WE TRUST! I even saw Talbot skeptic Eric Gorton tonight and while it may have bothered him, he even had to admit that Talbot has been flawless as of late.

I talked about this last blog, so I will just gloss over it here, but yes Talbot started slow, even when he was winning. He’s settled down now, knows the job and is comfortable. Now, he’s just beating the top teams all over the NHL and putting up monster numbers in those victories. The only sad thing for me personally, is that this bubble will eventually burst, Hank will be back in net and it’s hard to see Talbot remaining as a back-up for the NYR when he can be making starting money & getting playing time somewhere else. As much as it pains me to say it, Hank will be back and Talbot will be a trade chip. However, as someone who predicted Talbot would be the man, I’m enjoying it now.

Brian Lonergan is down with Team Talbot!

Your quick and dirty Metro standings:

Islanders – 90 points in 69 GP

Rangers- 89 points in 65 GP

Penguins – 86 points in 66 GP

Of note, the Canadiens have 91 points in 67 games played and currently hold the best record in the NHL. The Rangers have two games in hand on them.

The streaking Rangers will play the Capitals, a team with a wild-card berth and looking for third place on Wednesday night. Fortunately for the Caps, they catch the Rangers on a back-to-back. If it’s up to me, with the Rangers off until Saturday after the Caps game, I start Talbot on the back-to-back and let Skapski start Saturday in Buffalo, before  returning on Sunday against the Panthers. Those two points are precious and you have to go with the goalie who gives you the best chance to win and right now, for the NYR, that’s Cam Talbot.

It’s been a long night for me, celebrating the huge victory & the play of Cam Talbot. I’ll be back late Wednesday night, talking Caps & NYR.

Ranger fans- be happy.  The team is playing their best hockey and finding ways to win against top teams. I leave you with this bragging rights picture:

Is Halak number 1?

LET’S GO RANGERS

IN CAM WE TRUST

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@NYCTHEMIC on the twitter machine

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