Friday, December 16, 2016

Rangers 2, Stars 0

The New York Rangers (21-10-1) defeated the Dallas Stars (12-14-6) by the score of 2-0. For a box score, click here.

3 Stars

1st Star - Henrik Lundqvist
2nd Star - Cody Eakin (His hit seemed to wake Hank up)
3rd Star - Rick Nash (Welcome back to the lineup!)

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

Gotta celebrate the return of #30 with some shots of 30-30 Tequila. No training wheels!

Gif of the Game

I'd be drinking through a straw for a month if I was ever hit like this.

The Lundqvist Incident

One of the greatest Ranger players of all time is freight trained and zero response from his teammates other than a token effort by Nash of all people.

I know there are fans who feel the best revenge is on the scoreboard. I get it. I really do. But not this time. Not when it's Henrik Lundqvist. The response to the decapitation of the face of the franchise needed to be immediate and it needed to be thorough.

Would retribution stop future predatory hits on Rangers players? Not even a little. Could having McIlrath or Glass in the lineup prevented the hit job on Lundqvist? Not a chance. Does that matter? Absolutely not. You defend your goaltender no matter what. Period. End of story.

If Lundqvist was bumped into at a nightclub I would expect swift action, let alone after taking a head shot in a game.

I have no idea if this has any impact in the locker room, but if I'm Lundqvist, after watching my so called brothers in battle literally turn their backs on me (watch the video again), I gotta wonder if I can count on these guys going forward.

The Not So Goalie Killer

Of all the games for Kreider not to take out the opposing goaltender on a breakaway.

The DeLury Reverse Mush Part II

For the 2nd time this season, my uncanny ability to reverse mush Rangers players was front and center. The first was Nick Holden. Tonight, it was Rick Nash:

BTW, how ridiculous was Nash's release on that goal.

Mini Recap

I joked on Twitter that Rangers fans should actually thank Eakins for the hit on Lundqvist as it seemed to jog his memory that he's an All World goaltender.

Here's the proof:

But there's probably a little bit of truth to that. The biggest reason for a goaltending slump is mental. Once you start thinking about stopping pucks instead of instinctively doing it you're in trouble. There's a good chance the Eakin "drive by" distracted Lundqvist from over-analyzing things allowing his natural talents to take over.

As for the rest of the team, I thought they continued their improved play of late. Sure, the second period was gettin, gettin, gettin kinda hectic...

...but the defense was in shutdown mode in the third period allowing just three shots on goal.

With Nash re-entering the lineup, AV obviously needed to make some adjustments to the lineup, but I wasn't a big fan of breaking up either the Miller-Hayes-Grabner or Hrivik-Lindberg-Fast lines. They've had too much chemistry recently and the new lines looked out of sorts offensively.

The Rangers also need to improve their shooting ability. While it's great they've been out possessing their opponents lately (actually, they were slightly below below 50% Corsi For last night), there's not enough pucks on net. Too many shots wide, shanked or passed up.

Jeff Gorton's commitment to improving the penalty kill in the offseason has paid off bigly. The units are dominate. Add in the fact that your super star forward is one of the most dangerous PKers in the league and you have a recipe for special teams success.

Even though it was an empty netter, it was good to see Zucc get on the board late. As always, he's the catalyst of the Rangers offense, so if he can get going again, the whole team benefits.


  1. Oh, Kevin, you couldn't stay away, could you? Good to see you, bud. I'll keep it under the hat.
    -- Hotfreak

    1. Ha! Good to hear from you! I'm like an alcoholic falling off the wagon yet again. lol

  2. I hate to get all sappy upon your return, but man I missed your blog! Great recap as always...what a roller coaster of emotion last night was.

    1. I missed your readership! It's good to be back! Thanks.

  3. I looked like Vesey thought about jumping Eakin, but then he either realized (a) I've never fought anyone before, or (b) AV will stample me to the bench in I ruin our 5on3.
    Have to believe Klein wouldn't have let it go, but he was on the bench. I was surprised Miller didn't do anything, the one other guy usually willing to mix it up for a worthy cause. Even Holden tried to stand up for Lindberg.
    It really makes me wonder what these guys think of Hank, but he didn't seem angry/frustrated in the post game interview.

    1. Yeah, the personnel on the ice wasn't ideal for retribution, but as you said, Miller and even Hayes, who was literally standing right there, merely skated away.

  4. I was sitting in the 3rd row next to stars bench. Nash skated up to Eakins and said what the f are you doing.... that was all.

    1. Oooh...I'm sure that will give Eakins nightmares.

      I've always wondered what Nash whispers to other players. It seems whenever there's a issue, he gets very close, stares right through them, and softly moves his lips, as if saying something about their mother without allowing anyone to read his lips. But its probably like you said " what was that"

    2. How great would it be if he was talking trash like Avery.

  5. Ha! Glad you're back. Your humor and insight has been missed. All the best to you and yours!

    1. Thanks Icy! Missed you guys as well.

  6. Nice use of "bigly"