Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Postgame Reactions - Rangers at Kings 2/2

Kings 2, Rangers 1
  • 5 forwards for a 5-on-4 advantage backfired pretty mightily.  I have a feeling Torts won't be trying that again soon, but Chris Drury HAS TO back check harder.  He glided in as Kopitar skated in and beat Lundqvist and it sure looked like he would've caught Kopitar if he had back checked harder.
  • Henrik Lundqvist had a stellar game in his return from the flu.  He was seeing the puck well, putting rebounds in the corners, and was beaten on 2 shots that were essentially partial breakaways.
  • Marc Staal had a very strong game, but got caught up ice on Ryan Smyth's eventual game-winner and was a step behind the play.
  • I liked what I saw from Olli Jokinen in his Rangers debut.  He's a much better skater than I thought and I think with a few practices he can blend in well.
  • I also liked the little I got to see from Brandon Prust.  He even almost scored in the third period.  I'm quite unclear as to what he did to earn himself 17 minutes in penalties for a fight as opposed to the customary 5.
  • Marian Gaborik scored 4 of the Rangers' 5 goals on the 3-game road trip.  Not to sound redundant, but others are going to have to chip in if this team wants to win with any degree of consistency.
  • This was a very solid defensive game on both ends, but the Kings were clearly the more physical defensive team.
  • The Rangers need to do a better job of getting through the neutral zone.  Ryan Callahan mentioned in his post-game interview that the Kings were shutting them down in the neutral zone, but good teams get through that.  It seems to me that their tendency is to move backwards every time before moving forward, but Gaborik's goal was a product of Wade Redden pushing the puck up instead of back.
  • Speaking of the goal, very nice move by Erik Christensen to get the puck into the zone and find Gaborik streaking to the net.
  • Christensen should see time on the top line Thursday night with Jokinen centering the second line.  My guess would be Dubinsky and Callahan on the wings.
  • I also think Enver Lisin will make a return to the lineup with either Aaron Voros or Brandon Prust taking the night off.  Likely Voros.
  • Michal Rozsival quietly had another very good game.  I know a lot of people have been calling for him to be shipped out or down to Hartford, but if either one of those is going to happen there needs to be a very solid blue liner coming in to replace him.
  • On the contrary, I think Wade Redden has a future in Hartford ahead of him.  Outside of his assist, he had a pretty forgettable game.

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