It was a tough loss for the Rangers tonight against the Sabres but there were a few positives. The good thing is the Rangers really have no time to dwell on this loss because they’ll be right back at it against the Leafs tomorrow night on Hockey Night In Canada. I listen to TSN Radio a bit everyday and everyone in Toronto just wants the Leafs to tank at this point, so that game will be interesting.
Anyway, let’s talk about this game:
John Mitchell- Really a bonehead play when the first Sabres goal was scored but that’s sort of been the case for the Rangers of late. They’ve really had no puck luck, and that play doesn’t happen 999 out of 1,000 times. The second goal the Sabres scored was completely his fault. I knew when he gave it away the Sabres would score because they are a great team in transition (not to mention the Rangers gave up something like 5 or 6 odd man rushes throughout the game). Mitchell didn’t play the entire third period because he was in “chateau bow wow” to quote the great John Davidson.
Mats Zuccarello- This is terrible break for Zucc. He comes back from the Whale and plays great and now has a fractured wrist and is out indefinitely. You couldn’t write a script worse for Mats. I mean this is the day after Tortorella praises him enough to say if the playoffs started tomorrow Zuccarello would start. I bet Glen Sather is really hoping Air Force beats Boston College tomorrow, especially after this injury to MZA.
Henrik Lundqvist- Looked really sharp in the early going, but then the Rangers defense broke down and allowed so many odd man rushes Hank can’t be blamed for this loss.
Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto- Both were atrocious this game with the amount of terrible pinches they both had. This is a terrible defensive pairing and I really hope Tortorella changes it. They both want to always get into the play and they both are huge reasons for this loss. I really hope they put Staal with either Erixon or Bickel tomorrow.
Brandon Dubinsky- Maybe the best forward on the ice tonight for the Rangers. While he didn’t get a point he was really playing well, and did all he could to get on the score sheet. A for effort.
What To Watch For Tomorrow- The Leafs are riding high after tonight’s shootout win in Jersey, but have yet to really string some wins together under Randy Carlyle. If the Rangers can score early I wouldn’t be shocked if they broke the Leafs spirit. The fans are itching for any reason to boo the team, and the Leafs will definitely hear boos tomorrow. Watch for the “Fire Burke” chants, and hashtag #TankNation on twitter tomorrow. Tomorrow being it’s a back to back I expect Marty Biron to get the start.