Monday, February 18, 2008

Rangers Sucker Punch Sharks, NYR 3, San Jose 1

Prior to the game, I wanted to sucker-punch this guy for supporting the San Jose' Sharks and for looking like an ass, but I was pleasantly surprised that the New York Rangers sucker-punched him for me instead. Official recap here.

First and foremost, the Rangers are surprisingly 8-3-1 in the last 12 games and have captured 7 of a possible 8 points in the last four games. Currently they sit third place in the Atlantic Division - the NJ Devils of Newark are tied in first with the Pittsburgh Penguins - both with 71 points overall. The Rangers are only four points away from first place in the division. For now they are seeded in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, only seven points from leading the Eastern Conference with just over 20 games left in the season. If we can expect any consistency similar to the past four games, we can only climb from here. Playoff hockey two-thirds into the season and a majority of wins against our division rivals 'aint a bad place to be. F*** me!

When the heck did this all happen? Have I been consumed with complaining about my Rangers?

The Blueshirts opened with a truly physical game yesterday - a gritty hitting level of game - declaring to the bloggersphere and it's fans that the 'new Rangers' have arrived and after only 100 player line combinations, Tom Renney has finally found two lines that 'work wonders.' The first line Avery-Dubinsky-Jagr was impressive, as Dubinsky ripped up the ice with his 'go-to-the-net' philosophy - Sean Avery by his side instigating and Jagr conveniently double-teamed and trying to score (on a side, Jags still has no goals in 11 games -- ouch! Do you smell off-season extension? Not here.). The second line Dawes-Gomez-Shanny line was effective, but 'Coach Tom Renney kudos' go to the unexpectedly awesome Straka-Drury-Callahan line. Hurray. Bravo.

Our 'tenacious brand of hockey' kid, Ryan Callahan speared two goals into the Sharks and was afraid of NO ONE! He took the hits, made the hits, kept himself in the play at all times and scored goals. What more could we ask for in a rookie playing in the big leagues? (okay...maybe someone named Ovechkin, but I digress...). The kid showed heart and deserves the stars. So far he has scored four goals in five games after going 25 games without one following a score on opening night this season. I can only imagine how a reconditioning demotion to the AHL Hartford Wolfpack could raise Ryan's game. Now back in the NHL, I am looking forward to more of Callahan's enthusiasm -- just wish it would rub off some of his comrades.

Our future captain, Chris Drury, scored another goal and assist yesterday - making him look more worth the money the Rangers paid for him to begin with. Now at 19 goals for the season and seven goals in nine games, Drury is much more to this team than the 'clutch' goal scorer -- he is a leader by example. Though 'Toots' and Girardi provided solid blueline coverage throughout, Chris Drury was present at the crease on both ends of the ice -- offensive and defensive. Not only did he score the game winning goal yesterday, but he was the first Ranger to score on the power-play at MSG since January 8 - a span of nine games and 39 opportunities. Ouch. May the dry spell be over.

As difficult as this may sound, I 'peace-out' my war against Coach Renney and embrace his latest move with the combinations. I will actually respect the guy when he figures out the power play special teams. Nice job Tommy Boy.

Tuesday we again challenge the most successful team in NHL history, The Montreal Canadiens for the fourth and final time this season - the Rangers are 3-0 against the Habs so far. Tune in for more 'Rangers Dark-ness' as we continue to kick more ass and spread the great word of good hockey.



  1. who is this team beating san jose? forechecking, aggression, throwing their bodies at the puck? who took my ny rangers and replaced them with this team. whoever you are. we thank you.

  2. Only 100 line combinations? ;)

  3. 1) Has to be one of the most complete and satisfying wins for the rangers this season. SJ is a Cup favourite. By man handling, and dominating them yesterday they should gain plenty of confidence going forward.

  4. anonymous...agreed. if this is the new/old idea, then so be it.

    works for me if it gets us the win.
    dj...thought I'd downplay the number. :)

    faux...It was extremely satisfying. Could be... Who knows....


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