Welcome everyone to another blog here on DOINOW.com. As always, check out the archive section for previous thoughts and musings. I’m planning on finding a webmaster here soon, to help clean up the look of this site. This site just started as a way to keep doing my writing thing, after my long ago days at DOIwrestling.com. However, readership is starting to expand and people are having a tough time finding exact topics. I know scrolling through the archives can be a bitch, so if anyone knows any webmasters who are reliable, send them this way. I just need someone to clean up the presentation and make this site user friendly. Sure I’m using a Blogger site to bring you this material, but it would be better for everyone to make this site more user-friendly.
How about those fucking New York Rangers? Arguably not only the hottest team in New York right now, the Rangers are the hottest team in the NHL taking 11 out of their last 12 games. However, the Rangers are still out of a divisional playoff spot, as they are making up ground for Hank’s horrible starts at home earlier this year. With the Capitals playing their best hockey of the season, and the Penguins & Islanders keeping pace, the Rangers, who do possess a wild card playoff spot, are holding their own.
What Ranger fans should be happy about is that the Capitals have played two extra games than the Rangers and only have one more point than them. The Penguins and Islanders, at 54 and 53 points respectively, have played three more games than the 48 point New York Rangers. If everything works out for the Rangers, if the Rangers were to win those 3 games in hand, they would be tied for first with the Penguins. You have to really like what you’re seeing from the Blueshirts right now.
The Rangers, who were coming off a 6-1 massacre of the Buffalo Sabres, at home, started their 3 game California trip on Wednesday night, against the best team, statistically & in the standings, in the Anaheim Ducks. These Ducks were not so “mighty” against the defending Prince of Wales champions. Going into this game, MSG were showing highlights of the Sabres game. To me, I don’t see how you could use a game, where the Rangers just massacred the worst team in the league as a sample of what could happen to the Ducks. The Ducks & Sabres are as far apart as any two teams in the league. This was not a game that was going to be over 5 minutes into the first period, like the Sabres game was.
Watching this game, you can see why the Ducks are so successful. The Rangers barely had any rushes, despite the juicy rebounds back-up goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was giving up. That’s another thing too. The Rangers have been very fortunate during this stretch, facing teams off back-to-backs, back-up goalies, dominating shitty teams like the Devils, Oilers, Hurricanes, Sabres, etc. Everything is bouncing their way. Tonight’s rematch, which we will get into later, against the Kings, is a game where the Kings are coming into with 4 days rest. Tonight will truly be a test.
Bryzgalov, who I feel is 50 years old, but is really only 34, did hold down his own in net. The Rangers got some chances early in the game off of Rick Nash’s stick, but defenseman, Francois Beauchemin, prevented the puck from going into a wide open net, similar to the plays Kevin Klein has made this season. The Ducks played a very strong and fast game. Their skaters prevented man advantages and were quick to set up scoring chances of their own. Despite the Ducks starting their back-up goalie, the game was tied 0-0 at the end of the first period. What I liked the most about that first period was that the Rangers held their own with the best team in the league.
The Rangers got the scoring started in the second period as a wide open Brassard just slapped one from 12-15 feet away. It’s good to see Brass scoring. He definitely needs to shoot more, as it seems he will always try to make that one pass too extra at times. Let it rip.
Before the third period started, with the Rangers winning 1-0, MSG flashed a stat saying that the Ducks are 20-0-6 in one goal games. I hate when networks flash stats like that, especially a homer network like MSG. I just felt like “here we go.” The Rangers would very quickly make it 2-0, as Nash tipped in a rocket from Kevin Klein. I’ve talked about Klein a lot on this blog, and while I know he won’t get any serious Norris consideration, this guy has been a beast for the Rangers. Just think about what you gave up for Klein. Absolutely nothing. The guy is saving goals on one end of the ice and scoring on the other. He may be the unsung hero of the Rangers.
After Nash’s 25th goal of the season, the Ducks got a powerplay. Of course, MSG let us know that the Ducks were 1-28 on their last 29 powerplays. Of course, the Ducks quickly scored, as Lundqvist was beat by Beauchemin. A game where you could breathe in the third period, with a 2 goal lead, quickly turned into a nail-biter.
I’ve talked a lot about the goalies here on DOINOW.com, and my biggest point with Lundqvist has always been his contract will cripple this team. It’s ridiculous what he gets paid in this salary cap era and the performance you’re getting out of him. He has no cups and isn’t in the top half of the league in SV% and GAA. Hank played fantastic last night, as the Ducks had many chances at the net. A shutout would’ve been nice, because I hate sweating out games watching Hank in net. When Zucc added an insurance goal late in the third to make it 3-1, I was able to breathe easier. Dominic Moore put the game away with an empty netter, giving the Rangers a 4-1 victory.
How about those Ranger fans, with Dancing Larry, making the California road-trip? What a great time to get out the freezing cold here in NY. I was laughing hearing them chant “HEN-RY”, as Hank stoned some serious shots in the third period, with the score at 2-1. Duck fans were quiet all night, with very sporadic chants. Ranger fans always travel well and it was great to see so many blueshirts in the crowd.
Despite the Ducks starting a back-up goalie, this was a huge win for the Rangers. The Rangers are playing their best hockey right now and to beat the best team in the league, on the road, back-up goalie or not, was huge. The Rangers are making a lot of history this year. From sweeping their Western Canada road trip, to winning this game, it’s the first time in the history of the Rangers that the Rangers beat the Canucks, Flames, Oilers and Ducks all on the road. The Rangers have also won 11/12 games, the first time they’ve done that since the magical 1993-1994 season. Even more impressively, the Rangers are third in the league in team scoring. Hank can no longer complain about his teammates now!
This was a true litmus test for the Rangers. Beating these cream-puff teams, while important and mandatory to do, doesn’t give you the truth on the Rangers. However, beating the Ducks on the road, shows that the Rangers can beat anyone, anywhere. This was an important victory and showed that the Rangers are for real. Everyone is contributing and playing at the top of their game. It’s all you can ask for. Right now, there is no weak link on this team and everyone is fulfilling their role perfectly.
Which brings me now to Anthony Duclair. I’ve done several articles on him this season. It’s sad to see him gone for the season. Duclair has dominated the QMJHL, was a top points getter during the IIHF Junior Championships and is doing everything right. What more can he do on the Junior level? The Rangers had money to keep him on the main roster, but minutes would’ve been scarce. In baseball, you bring up your top prospects in September to either rest your starters or to see what you have with them. I think Duclair, being around the team and practicing with the team, would’ve been a benefit for him. It also would’ve gave the Rangers an insurance policy, in case anyone gets hurt/suspended during the season. However, with all the forwards playing well, and Tanner Glass being the odd-man out already, the Rangers opted just to give Duclair playing time in the Juniors.
The Rangers quickly return to the road tonight, for the second game of their three game California road-trip, facing the LA Kings. I don’t think I have to tell you why this is a big game for Ranger fans. I find it hilarious that Lundqvist wanted no part of this game, and Talbot starts tonight. If you really analyze and look at the decisions AV & Lundqvist make about his playing time, it’s always Lundqvist taking the easy way out. You would think Lundqvist would want this game the most, out of these three games, but no, Hank wanted to start against the Ducks back-up goalie.
If you look around, the greats always wanted the other greats. Jordan wanted to play against Barkley, Bird, Magic. Manning wants to play against Brady. Mariano Rivera wanted to strike out Big Papi. In Lundqvist’s case, Lundqvist wants no part of the team that affected the biggest moment of his career. I just find that odd and somewhat cowardly. Why would you want to play against the Ducks back-up goalie? Don’t you want the Kings at their best? I guess Lundqvist, in the games that matter the most, mutters my mantra, “In Cam We Trust.”
As you know, as the self-appointed leader of the Talbot Bandwagon/Train, I believe Talbot should be playing a lot more and should be groomed for the starting job. He is way much cheaper and gets better production. Talbot gives you the flexibility to sign better players and gives you cap room. I think Lundqvist has peaked as a goalie where we haven’t seen Talbot’s peak yet.
I’m putting my money where my mouth is tonight. Despite the Rangers coming off a back-to-back, playing the Kings who are coming off a four days rest and with the LA crowd expected to be intense, I’m taking Talbot to do what Hank couldn’t, BEAT LA!
As you may or may not know, I’m a member of all these whacky and informative facebook and twitter sports pages. One of my favorite pages is the Island Park Pro Sports Debate page, hosted by Eric Gorton. You can join the group at:
The page is mostly people from Island Park, NY and other surrounding southwest Nassau areas. Knowing that I’m a diehard Talbot fan, I’ve been challenged by Garrett Gorton, who to his benefit, a month ago, called the upcoming Rangers win streak & how Lundqvist would turn it around, has challenged me. If Talbot loses tonight, I’m banned from the page for 3 games. If Talbot wins tonight, Garrett must post on his facebook page, “IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE. I’M SICK OF KING CONTRACT. ICWT. FOR MORE TALBOT PRAISE, VISIT DOINOW.COM”
So to the visitors of the Island Park Pro Sports Debate page, I welcome this challenge. If you’re not part of the page, feel free to join, as there are a lot of people who know their shit and hockey talk is always welcomed. For Garrett, it’s a win-win situation. If the Rangers win, he just has to post a status that people will forget about a day from now. If the Rangers lose, he can talk all the smack in the world, despite Cam having 3 shut-outs in limited action this season.
The Rangers have a brutal test of games coming up. After LA, the Rangers take on the Sharks, before coming home to a game with the Islanders. They then return to the road to face the Bluejackets, Penguins and Bruins. However, it should be the other teams fearing the Rangers coming into town.
I’ll be back tomorrow with Kings/Ranger reaction.
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