No doubt boosted by his jump up in lines from Steps line to the Richards line, Marian Gaborik showed his star form last night with a level of skill that is rarely seen. His hands were magical, his vision was majestic and his speed was roadrunner like. From the beginning the Gabby- Richards-Nash line clicked and dominated play for the first 10 minutes of the opening period. That line was bolstered by some solid play from the defenseman early in the game which allowed their skill to be on public display. Rick Nash is truly an amazing specimen to watch, his combination of size, speed, and skill is truly mesmerizing and as a Ranger fan, I am beyond excited to watch this guy and this line for the remainder of the season and the coming years. Oh yeah and Brad Richards is not that bad a player either. If this line can click like this nightly and the other lines can follow suit and contribute at or around their career averages, this could be a special season.
All is well with that first line, but as the game progressed and especially the start of the second period, Boston started to impose their will on the NYR. The NYR took way to many stupid penalties as referenced by the benching of young Mr. Kreider and some other foolish penalties not to single him out. The difference between blue lines was apparent when Boston was on their PP, as it seems like every one of their D-men has a bomb from the point. On a side note, could Pierre McGuire be more in love with Dougie Hamilton? I was embarrassed for him. As a NYR fan I ask myself every day if we are ever going to see a defenseman who can get a shot through with some power and cause a rebound that can be put into the back of the net the way Lucic did? Does the front office consider moving some young talent for a bomb from the point or someone who can actually control the PP. Could you imagine the NYR with a PP that is slightly above average, scary to think about. These are early season thoughts, but really ones to consider as this juncture because of the importance of each game and how big a roll the special teams will play this year in this shortened season..
I wanted to talk a bit about Hank and the blue liners. Again playing against a tough team and one that came out flat and turned on the jets in the 2nd, Hank stood up and stood out with some crucial saves late in the game and the back 4 lets call it because we know what torts does played really solid. Marc Stall seemed to be everywhere, MDZ got into the play, I felt Dan Girardi was all over the ice on O and D and Mac Truck played his usual game albeit not stellar, but steady as a truck. Stallman and Eminger played well when given their few minutes to shine but we know that in a short season Torts is going to ride his top four blue liners and Hank. Look for Mac, MDZ, Girardi and Stall to get at least 23-26 minutes per night and perhaps more if the game calls for it. I also look for Hank to play 40 of the 48 games, but hopefully he will get a rest on back to back nights like tonight so he can stay fresh and focused. Although maybe playing tonight won’t kill him since he has been less then desirable so far this season and could use the game play to round back into form. We will see how Torts plays it out..
Tonight should be another good contest as Philly is injured and short a player due to suspension, but you know how that works. A team comes into a game supposedly short handed and blows the favorite team right out of the building. Here is to the NYR continuing their good form from last night and rolling into Philly and steamrolling them right out o the building. Heave ho Two in a Row..
LET’S GO RANGERS!!!