Monday, January 18, 2010

Postgame Reactions - Rangers vs. Canadiens 1/17

Rangers 6, Canadiens 2
  • Is there any better way to shake a scoring slump than with a 6 goal outburst against a team that you're fighting with for a playoff spot?
  • Three Stars: Ryan Callahan (2g, 2a), Brandon Dubinsky (2g, 1a), and Marian Gaborik (1g, 2a).
  • This was the most passion and physical fire I've seen from this team all season.  Wade Redden deserves a lot of credit after standing up for Erik Christensen.  First, after Christensen took a high, late hit from Benoit Pouliot, Redden was the Ranger who approached Pouliot.  After Pouliot returned from his penalty, Redden managed to find him during a post-whistle scuffle and the two dropped the gloves.  From my vantage point in the 400s it even looked like Redden won the fight, landing some solid shots.  Here's video of the fight.
    • Later, Christensen stood up to Scott Gomez on behalf of Dubinsky, who took a shot between the legs from Gomez after the whistle.
    • Enver Lisin stood up for himself after being interfered with by Tomas Plekanec.
  • The Rangers did a much better job at 2 very important things tonight: clearing the zone and getting traffic in front of the opposition's net.
  • The top line of Prospal-Dubinsky-Gaborik seems to be clicking again.  It's only 1 game so consider it cautious optimism, but I'm pretty sure we'll see them together Tuesday night against the Lightning.
  • Redden had a strong game on defense to accompany his feisty play.
  • Dubinsky had a strong 2-way game and excelled in the faceoff circle, winning 12 of 15 draws.  He also showed unselfishness in setting up Gaborik for the team's 5th goal instead of shooting for a hat trick of his own.
  • This game was a great illustration of why Ryan Callahan is on Team USA for the Olympics.  He scored goals on the power play and at even strength, and added assists short handed and at even strength.  Really, his play to get the puck out of the zone and around the defenseman completely set up Dubinsky's shorthanded goal.
  • Chris Drury was very good on the power play point.  He took shots when the lane was there, and did an outstanding job of keeping the puck in the zone at least 3 times tonight.
  • Michael Del Zotto had his best defensive game in recent memory, and did a great job of forcing Gomez around the net on a third period 2-on-1.
  • The second period was one of the team's best all season.  On top of the 3 goals scored, they limited the Habs to 2 shots.  In fact, I think the Rangers limited the Habs to 2 shots for the 30 minutes or so following their 2nd goal.
  • Speaking of that 2nd goal, it looked an awful lot to me like Brian Gionta knocked it into the net with a high stick.  I just saw the replay of it on TV, and I still think they got the call wrong.
  • From my vantage point I thought Pouliot deserved more than 2 minutes for his high, late hit on Christensen.  It seemed very late and clearly directed at Christensen's head.
  • Henrik Lundqvist appeared to be sporting a brand new mask.  If new mask = 6 goals for the Rangers, I think he should have a new mask every night.  He can surely afford it with his contract!
  • The last time Lundqvist allowed more than 2 goals in a game was that forgettable outing agains the Flyers on 12/30.  It's now been 8 straight games allowing less than 3 goals for Hank.
  • Sean Avery saw most of his time with the 4th line tonight, and had a good scrap with Josh Gorges.  It was the best I've ever seen Avery fight.
  • The only way I see a spot for Brashear or Kotalik in this lineup is if Higgins takes a seat.  Everyone else played themselves into a spot in my eyes.
  • The Rangers now have three 10-goal scorers on the year: Gaborik (29), Callahan (12), and Dubinsky (10).
  • One other thing...I didn't quite understand the reason behind booing Gomez.  He clearly used to be a Ranger, but it wasn't like he asked to be traded or left via free agency.

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