The Montreal Canadians really seem to have the Rangers‘ number. But you know what’s really odd? The one win in there was against the best team in the NHL, the Vancouver Canucks.
And it was a SHUT OUT.
Sometimes, I don’t understand this team. But I guess you can use the old football phrase of “On any given Sunday, anything can happen.” Except change Sunday into any day of the week.
In all four games, too, there was only a one goal difference between both teams. Another commonality was that the Rangers seemingly could not do much most of the games but brought their A+ game when it was too late, in the 3rd period. None of this can even remotely be blamed on Henrik Lundqvist. Although, Biron started this last game against Philadelphia Flyers, the man has been an acrobat from post-to-post knocking everything out of his way, even Max Pacioretty.
Lundy has allowed 5 goals in 110 shots. That’s wayyyyyyy too many shots in 3 games. At one point, when Pacioretty made no attempt to move from falling into him and knocking the net off it’s moorings, a frustrated Hank pounced on Max punching him mercilessly causing a football-like pile-up. At least he took out his anger on the other team, if I had a .927 Save % and still lost I’d be angry, too. Henrik still working on a Vezina-like year, takes on average a little over 31 shots a game. Yet, he still maintains a .927 SV %, 2.27 GAA, and has 6 Shut Outs on the year. You ever wonder where we’d be without King Henrik? Islanders.
On the first game, the Blueshirts could not find an answer for former Ranger Alex Auld who stood on his head the entire game. Auld allowed one goal in 26 shots, which clearly goes to show you that the Rangers need to shoot more. But the problem with Montreal is that they shove so many bodies in front of the net it’s hard to get anything through, which is how they got as far as they did last post-season. Just ask Mr. Ovechkin and Mrs. Crosby.
The Rangers brought their “A” game for all 60 minutes against the Sedin twins & Co. whom the Broadway Blue kept out of the goal catagory for Lundy’s 6th SO of the year. The entire game was a nail-bitter and possibility already a candidate for game of the season. I really don’t know what else to say about that game, because watching it only makes one speechless. I suggest watching highlights or find someone that TiVo’ed it, because it was a goody.
For Montreal-New York 2.0 the Rangers brought their game to French-Canada to try and get even, but Carey Price had other plans in mind. Once again, Lundqvist was all over the place to the point of the Pacioretty incident, but his great play was out shadowed by the Rangers’ lack of scoring when it matters. They managed to get 33 shots on Price, but only allowed two to Brian Boyle and Mats “Blueshirt Baggins” Zuccarello. Zuccarello scored his 2nd NHL goal to bring the team 1 goal away from tying it up, but they could not prevail. It should also be noted the Boyle has been outstanding this year and is looking more and more like his draft placement. Boyle has 23 points on the season, well above his previous career record of 6. I don’t expect 50 points from him, but if he continues this and puts up 30-40 maybe even 45 points every season I’d be more than fulfilled.
Finally, after tonight’s performance against the former Eastern Conference Champions, you can safely say that someone needs to tell the team that when the 1 is up there for Period, that means the game is on. Derek Stepan got a lucky goal a la last goal of the 2010 Stanley Cup, to once again, bring the team within one goal of tying it up, but alas, that proved to be too difficult as the Rangers walked away with another loss. And in the 3rd jersey’s again! In this case, I hate to be right when I said earlier this season that 3rd Jerseys and the Rangers don’t get along. So far, the Blueshirts have won a whopping total of 1 game in these Heritage jerseys.
Back to Stepan on the ROTY watch, he is tied with Taylor Hall who recently rushed up to 27 points for 3rd most points by rookies. Logan Couture who plays on the San Jose Sharks has 28, but dominates all rooks in the goals category with 19. Further ahead and playing in a whole new league, one would imagine, is Jeff Skinner (SOMEONE I SAID THE RANGERS SHOULD HAVE DRAFTED BY THE WAY) with 36 points. It should also be noted that all of these players average 2-3 more shifts a game than Steps.