Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Henrik (Blanks) Cynthia Crosby, 4-0

Well, it was a sign from the heavens - Jagr smiling throughout the game, Scott Gomez moved to the first line between Straka and Jags, Chris Drury was moved forward to center the second line with Shanahan, the fourth line of Betts-Hollweg-Orr literally disengaged Sydney (a.k.a Cynthia, at least last night) Crosby, and goalkeeper extraordinaire 'King' Henrik Lundqvist turned all Penguin shots to irrelevance blocking eighteen attempts, the first shutout of the season for the Penguins. The slumping Rangers won 4-0.

Tom Renney finally played the All-Stars with the other All-Stars and let the kids dominate the third line, the fourth line to shutdown Crosby. It worked. This was the original plan from day-one. Last night it worked, and Scott Gomez (probably upset that he didn't make the hat-trick those last 30 seconds) actually looked like he belonged on the team -- for the first time.

Our defense kept the Penguins on the perimeter in our own zone -- our system worked last night -- and this limited the number of Penguin shots on goal. There were less than eight Pittsburgh shots during the first and second period due to a 'brick wall' of Dan Girardi and Marc Staal. Malik and Hossa were scratched - good coaach. Well done, boys. It was a strong game and I was a proud fan after such a display.

Don't get too excited.

Pittsburgh's alternate goalie Dany Sabourin was terrible in goal, replacing Marc Andre-Fleury, who will be out for over four weeks recovering, and not a good sign for the ailing Pittsburgh Penguins. I would like to proclaim "We've Rebounded" or "The Rangers Are Back", but our power play still sucks. Though more productive last night, it wasn't until Jagr charged the net on the power play that we saw some action. A foreshadow of hope.

The next three games will most challenge what the papers today are calling the "Rangers' Renaissance" based on last night's line changes. Minnesota, Colorado & Ottawa - a three-pack punch, all first-rate teams ready to deflate the Blueshirts. Look toward Vancouver's destruction of the Newark Devils last evening (Canucks 5, Devils 0) as an example of how the Western Conference plays a more stable and more discipline type of game - as opposed to our Eastern Conference scrappers. Sloppy play and laziness are punished by those Westerners, which ultimately, should make for some exciting hockey.

Keep smiling Jags, keep believing Rangers fans and be sure to check-in for new updates on our "improved team". Yee haw.



  1. Aside from the Simon thing, the Rangers Renaissance is big news if they can have a successful mini-road trip here. I am still not 100% sold on Jagr and Gomez, but maybe it will breed more power play chemistry.

  2. One game does not a season make.


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