Monday, November 1, 2010

King Henrik Rambo's Leafs, 2-0 (SO)

The King Is Back.

Top of the week to you Rangers fans!

It was quite the weekend and for those that haven't already read every possible recap of the Rangers win over the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0, the Dark Ranger offers a belated view.

For the official recap go here.

For a start, we lost on Friday night against the Carolina Hurricanes, a sloppy but exciting game that could have gone either way, followed by our 2-0 shutout at the Air Canada Centre against the Maple Leafs.  Even Colton Orr's pink skates weren't enough to penetrate Henrik's Lundqvist immovable wall in net, as the first, second and third stars of the game should have been undoubtedly awarded to our King Hank.  If any Blueshirts fans have doubts about  the man guarding our goal, then go find another team to follow; he stopped a total of 36 shots, many of which were legitimate scoring chances to make this shutout his 25th over his career.

Rangers Brian Boyle scored on the backhand to put the Rangers on the board at the 13:12 mark of the first period.  Ryan Callahan had a breakaway with 1:25 left in the second stanza, but Phil Kessel hooked him from behind. That led to a penalty shot, which Callahan capitalized on for a 2-0 New York lead.  Go Kessel, Kessel!

The second period was a nail-biter as the Leafs slowly disassembled our d-men and controlled the tempo with Lundqvist turning away 18 shots, but the Torts system was in full effect with a short-handed Rangers squad sticking with the plan throughout the third period and holding the Leafs scoreless.  It was priceless.

NY Brandon Prust socks it to Mike Komisarek, sending the right message
Without question, two players have emerged to be the most consistent over the last two weeks, Brian Boyle and Ryan Callahan - and they've been commended by both coach and press on the work ethic they are instilling on the team. Both are perfect examples of what Coach Torts wants from everyone -- a hard and physical 60 minutes, always giving it your all, grinding to the net, forechecking, and an 'instinctual rather than second guessing' level of play.  Our boys on defense are slowly working into the system -- a young defense, but one that will look very differently toward the end of the season if Torts can maintain this hard-working grind.

Yet to return are Blueshirts' Marian Gaborik, Vinny Propsal and current captain Chris Drury -- and I rather like this team without their presence at this point - they've proved to the Blueshirt faithful that 'they want it, and they'll deliver it'.  It's a Rangers team that I especially like because they work so hard to get there -- win or loss, they have shown us a different work ethic and created exciting hockey.  No team can take us for granted - our B-club.

Tonight we see the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, an Original Six matchup -- so let the fireworks begin.  The good news is that they look very much like the injured Rangers as Marion Hossa, Brian Campbell and David Bolland are out tonight.  What Chicago has in remaining firepower, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, etc. we have in net with Henrik Lundqvist.   I wish it were evenly matched, but when is life fair?

As long as we play the system, we have a shot.  See you tonight.


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