Clearly the home opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t go the way anyone wanted. For the fans, for the team, and for many of the players.
The Rangers lost the game, Chris Drury, and Marian Gaborik all in a matter of 63 minutes and 8 seconds.
Chris Drury, who just came back from an injury he received in training camp, didn’t stay long as he got re-injured in the 2nd period. Dru broke the same exact finger just in a different place and will now require surgery. The Captain will probably be out about six weeks. Not good news to start this off.
Gaborik was checked from behind into the boards in the same game and separated his shoulder. Colby Armstrong received a boarding penalty and possibly many accolades from his bench. Gabby will be out 2-4 weeks.
The game went just as unusual as the game started off with an unseen goal from Michal Rozsival who threw it at the net from the corner. The second period became as a disaster as it seemed like Henrik Lundqvist was the only one playing. At the end of the second, the Leafs took a 3-1 lead. Brian Boyle came to the rescue as he scored two goals in the third period to bring us to OT.
Boyle has really come a long way from last year. He was facing the chopping block that if he didn’t show the team something in training camp and preseason, he was gone. Well he showed up and showed everyone he’s ready to play. He took that mentality into the regular season throwing his body around and shooting pucks.
In overtime, Marc Staal took a penalty and the penalty kill that killed off six power plays let in the 7th one at the worst time. Sad to say, but this game was one of the rare shining moments for the PK unit this season. More on that later.
Erik Christensen, who was injured in the Islanders’ game, did not play in the Toronto home opener, but did play Monday against the Colorado Avalanche. Christensen didn’t manage much more than a shot.
That’s okay because the rest of the team couldn’t produce much either. The Rangers had 5 power play opportunities and even kept a great forecheck up with plenty of offensive possession. They just could not capitalize on their tries as the Rangers dropped their third straight game 3-1.
The Aves didn’t quite have it as difficult as the Rangers did scoring both times on their only two power plays of the game. The Rangers are ranked 27th in the NHL with a 68.4% PK. Like I said, the Power Play unit isn’t doing much better with a 11.8% and ranked 18th. Last season, the Rangers finished ranked 7th in PK and 13th in PP, so here’s to hoping we get our groove back.
In their defense, Craig Anderson, Colorado’s netminder, played on his head as he turned away 31 of 32 shots.
Alex Frolov scored on an awesome play off the transition in the first period to initially tie it at one. Ironically, the lone Rangers goal came when the teams were 4-on-4, yet they couldn’t find a way to get one in with the man advantage five times.
Colorado won 60% of the game’s faceoffs, as the Rangers continued to feel the absence of Chris Drury. In four games, the Blueshirts have won a majority of night’s faceoffs only once. – From Rangers.nhl.com
On a side note, both home games were played by Matt Gilroy who was in for Mike Sauer. Both have played two games each, more than likely as head coach John Tortorella tries to play with the lines as the D is continuing to suffer. The Rangers defense has allowed at least 3 goals in every game. Rumors continue to swirl around about the Rangers looking to trade to acquire some defenders with more veteran experience. Sheldon Souray is still out there, just saying.
Vinny Prospal, who hasn’t played a game this year had surgery, went under the knife on Monday morning to remove a bone fragment from behind a joint. Luckily this wasn’t the microfracture surgery everyone was afraid of that would’ve ended his season. Prospal went to get three different opinions before making his decision. If everything goes well, Vaclav could return as early as the first week of December. Expect him to be out 6-8 weeks.
At this point, the Rangers could use a ringer. Or we’ll take some more goals from Frolov.