Saturday, February 13, 2010

Postgame Reactions - Rangers vs. Penguins 2/12

Rangers 3, Penguins 2 (OT)
  • First things first: Michal Rozsival...can we stop booing him now?  He played an outstanding game all-around.  OUTSTANDING.  He spent over 21 minutes on the ice, played physically and made smart plays with the puck, and his play set up Olli Jokinen's game-winner in overtime.
    • I found it a joke that the announcers were expecting a third man in/game misconduct to be called on Rozsival after he tried pulling Matt Cooke off of Chris Drury once they were both already down and Cooke was continuing to throw punches.  If that had happened I would have been livid, and I get the feeling that he would have been too.  He was simply doing the linesmen's job by stopping Cooke from being his normal dirty self (remember that hit on Anisimov from earlier in the season?).  The real question that came out of that scrap for me:  In a year where linesmen have been quick to jump in and stop fights while the player are still on their feet many times, where the heck were they when Cooke was raining down punches on Drury while they were both down?!?
  • Big points for Drury tonight.  He backed up his play after Cooke (oh the irony) apparently thought that his clean hit was dirty.  He also drove hard to the net all night, and showed me the consistent effort that I was looking for after Wednesday night's loss.
  • I thought that Cooke's hit on Matt Gilroy about a minute later was--no surprise here--dirty.  It was clearly from behind, and not one of those where Gilroy turned his back to an oncoming forecheck.  Cooke also seemed to skate right through Gilroy.  DIRTY.
  • Seeing Michael Del Zotto go down like that was scary.  His postgame comments shed even more light on it...he needed 50 stitches on his left side and was lucky the outcome wasn't worse after he lost the fight with Malkin's skate.
  • Marc Staal played over 28 minutes just a day after overcoming a stomach bug.  Why has he not been signed to a long term contract extension yet? I would sign him for 7 years at about $3m per season.
  • Olli Jokinen had his best game as a Ranger.  He scored the game winner, was credited with an assist on Dubinsky's goal, and was active all over the ice all night, especially in the offensive zone.
  • Brandon Prust impressed me a lot last night.  He seems to have very good hockey sense, but lacks any decent shot.  If someone can teach him to shoot, I think he can score 15-20 goals a year.
  • Henrik Lundqvist was very good when he had to be, although I think he wants that first goal back.  He wasn't very happy when Crosby beat him 5-hole.
  • Vinny Prospal.  Can Slats make a good signing for a change and sign him for another year immediately...please?  He goes all out on every shift and his enthusiasm is infectious.
  • I heard someone mention it during the game, but Ryan Callahan knows when he has to step up.  He stepped up into Marian Gaborik's spot after Gaborik left the game and was effective depite failing to score.  He had good battles in front of the net on the power play, and added energy throughout the game as always.

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