Monday, February 20, 2017

Rangers 2, Capitals 1

The New York Rangers (38-19-1) defeated the Washington Capitals (39-12-7) by the score of 2-1. For a box score, click here.

3 Stars

1st Star - The weather in New York yesterday (65 degrees in February!)
2nd Star - The photographer who caught this pic:

3rd Star - Whichever GM eventually pushes the hardest to get the offsides replay out of the NHL.

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

In honor of the Rangers announcing that they will finally be retiring Jean Ratelle's #19 next year, I give you the Quebec.

Gif of the Game

Getting a fist bump from your idol seconds before opening faceoff? Priceless...

Amazing job once again by the Rangers and Garden of Dreams allowing Moshe Illouz to live out his greatest fantasy.

Multi Sport Athlete

As if Zuccarello doesn't dazzle Rangers fans enough with his play-making ability, he drops this fancy footwork on us for his game winner...

Wonder where he learned those soccer skills from (click on video to watch)...

McD Celebrates Hockey Day in America

Pretty good timing by McDonagh to put together a signature performance on Hockey Day in America.

If this hard working goal doesn't personify what McDonagh means to the Rangers franchise I don't know what does...

Actually, this block does...

Ruining the Game

Was Barry Trotz smart calling for a review after the Zibanejad goal? Yes. And did the replay booth get the call correct? Absolutely.

But I don't care. For the love of God, please get the offsides replay out of the game!!! Offsides should be similar to the neighborhood rule on double plays in Major League Baseball. Unless it's completely egregious, play on! Micromanaging the game is not a good look.

Skjei Developing

The comparisons with Ryan McDonagh began the second the Rangers drafted Brady Skjei. But here's a hot take for you, I think Skjei has the skills to surpass McDonagh's accomplishments on the ice. Bottom line, he's a much more complete hockey player. While McDonagh's offensive game has rounded out, he doesn't have the instincts Skjei possesses. And sure, McDonagh is vastly superior defensively, however, in today's high paced NHL, Skjei's skill set fits perfectly with what most teams want to do in the defensive end. Here's a look at some of his handy work from yesterday.

Ridiculous poke check to thwart an odd man chance, then he turns it up the ice, eventually gets the puck back and feeds Lindberg for a glorious chance. I love McD, but not sure he has that ability in him.

Hank the Savior

Have you heard this one before: Lundqvist saves the day...again.

With a minute remaining in the game and the puck on the stick of the offensively gifted Johansson, this game seemed destined for overtime. But not in Hank's house!!!

After a quick start by the Rangers, the Capitals took control of the game halfway through the second period and Lundqvist, as usual, was there to stand tall and secure the victory.

Mini Recap

Amazing job by the Rangers jumping on a Capitals team playing the second half of back-to-backs and still trying to find their game after their bye week. The Blueshirts were flying all over the ice in the first period, but, sadly, were finishing like Michael Grabner in a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey.

Unfortunately, as the game wore on it looked like the Rangers were playing THEIR second game in 24-hours as the team's play dipped while the Capitals seemed to get stronger.

Encouraging game for Buchnevich coming off the healthy scratch as he was playing with some bite and was noticeable throughout as he ended the game with three shots on goal.

The Rangers special teams continue to drag them down as they're now in a 1-for-16 spiral on the power play and their vaunted penalty kill even allowed a goal last night. This needs to get cleaned up immediately.

Have I mentioned that the defense has been better lately? I know Hank had to bail them out a few times, but except for a fluky power play goal, Ovechkin was a non-factor.

The Rangers are now winners of two of the first three games during this difficult part of the schedule. With the defense coming around, Hank back to being Hank and the offensive depth, the Rangers are quickly becoming a team no one wants to see in the playoffs.

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