Well everyone can step back from the proverbial ledge. The Rangers are on the board in the eastern conference with their first victory of the 2013 season. The New York Rangers (1-2) defeated the Boston Bruins (2-0-1) by a score of 4-3 in overtime. While the Rangers did not make it easy on themselves, a win is a win. Here are some quick takes on the Rangers first W of the season:
What I liked:
-Rick Nash and Marion Gaborik
Gaborik was simply outstanding, especially on his third goal, the game winner in OT. On that play he showed the speed and instinct that makes him the all-star player by skating right at Bruins’ defensemen Andrew Ference who was trying to receive a bouncing puck. Gaborik poked the puck ahead with his long reach and then turned on the burners, creating a breakaway. While his initial shot missed, Gaborik stayed with the rebound showing exceptional hand-eye coordination swatting the puck out of mid-air and into the back of the net. Gaborik showed the same brilliant speed on his first goal when he, Nash and Brad Richards went end to end in seconds with a flurrying array of passing that finished with Gaborik burying the puck behind Bruins’ goalie Tuukka Rask. On his second goal he was crashing the net and able to clean up on a bouncing puck sent in towards Rask by Michael Del Zotto. All that said, Rick Nash had another great night, notching an assist and creating countless play. He is truly a unique blend of size and speed and stick skills. He draws players to him, weaves in an out of them and then drives hard to the net. He has been the Rangers’ best forward by far.
Through three tough games, Pyatt has been a cool customer, playing solid, gritty hockey filling the void nicely that was left by Brandon Prust and Brandon Dubinsky. He is not flashy and may not score a lot, but I have to imagine he is a player that fits right into John Tortorella’s scheme. He grinds, he dumps the puck and chases it hard, goes into the corners hard and gets to the net. This was all evident on his the Rangers’ third goal as he found his way to the front of the net and while getting knocked around found the puck and banged it in
Just absolutely solid. He was step for step with one of the Bruins best offensive players, the young Tyler Seguin the whole night. Seguin was held with out a point and just two shots on goal. Look for McDonagh to be matched up against the best the other team can offer night in and night out
What I didn’t like:
-2nd Period Let Down
The Rangers are making a bad habit out of this over the last few years. After the first period, they had the Bruins at 2-0 and were absolutely running the show. Then the second period came around and they let the Bruins back into the game. They stopped picking up guys in front of the net and let the Bruins dictate pace of play. Thankfully, Taylor Pyatt’s goal got them back on top before the horn, but still the Rangers have to find a way to play 60 minutes. There is too little margin for error when you are always playing close games.
The Rangers took 6 penalties (not including Brian Boyle’s fighting major) that’s simply too many. For a team that struggles to find scoring, they can’t give the other team extra-man opportunities like this. I know it’s a league that is cracking down and calling more ticky-tacky stuff, but the Rangers need to adapt to the new rules and spend less time in the box. When your constantly killing penalties that shelves your game plan and some of your top offensive talent. For a team coached by John Totorella, who is theoretically a disciplinarian, the Rangers must cut down on PIM
Well I’m going to continue to beat a dead horse. This power play absolutely stinks. Terrible, awful. I don’t know what they do at practice but it needs to change and fast. They run the same play with a runner carrying the puck up the ice to the blue line then doing a drop pass to the high point man and then trying to set it up. They look lost and confused. They have opened the season 1-14 and what is most concerning is that this is problem that has been going on for several years now and has not been fixed, not in the least.
-Will the real Henrik Lundqvist please stand up? No he hasn’t been awful, and no the Rangers haven’t played well in front of him, but he has not looked as sharp as usual.
-Face-offs please? The Rangers lost 36 of 53 face-offs tonight, this has to improve.
-Solid game for Michael Del Zotto and Marc Staal. I like the idea of having Del Zotto protected by a strong traditional defenseman, this allows him to play his game with a little more flexibility.
The Rangers will look to build on this momentum as they take on the suddenly hurting Flyers’ who come in desperate. The puck drops at 7pm ET. What did you think about tonight’s game? Let us know, like us on facebook, and follow me on twitter @jeffgonewild