1st Star - Lundqvist's glove & blocker
2nd Star - Lundqvist's pads
3rd Star - Lundqvist's goal stick
Post Game Cocktail Recommendation
With the Rangers sacrificing themselves for the greater good all night to the tune of 23 blocked shots, I've got to go with the Kamikaze. BTW, was Torts behind the bench tonight?
Gif of the Game
When Lundqvist is done with hockey, he's going to have an equally successful second career as an actor...
I mean Cogliano's skate barely taps into Lundqvist's and the Rangers goaltender goes down like he's been shot. Oscar worthy for sure.
I've said numerous times on this blog that I refuse to make Girardi the whipping boy and will continue to highlight the positives.
Girardi sets the tone right away with a big hit and a nice defensive clear just 30 seconds into the game...
Then the touchdown pass that would make Tom Brady jealous to Fast that lead directly to the Lindberg goal...
Just minutes later he jump starts the transition game with this great defensive zone outlet that leads to an Anaheim penalty...
Girardi doing what Girardi does best...
With just 40 seconds left in the 2nd period Girardi springs Hayes & Miller on a short-handed two-on-one that Miller should have buried...
Have I mentioned Girardi is fearless?
Finally, this ridiculous third period defensive stop on Perry...
And Girardi's reward? The Broadway Hat and a souvenir on his ankle...
How Is That Not A Penalty?!?!?
I mean, are you kidding me? AV, what did you think about the non-call on this egregious hit from behind by Shaw on Stepan?...
AV was so angry he actually stopped chewing his gum for like two whole seconds.
Got to love the NHL cracking down on fighting to prevent serious injuries, but they continue to look the other way when it comes to predatory hits. That's Bettman's NHL for ya.
Home Ice Advantage
With the way Lundqvist was playing tonight, he probably makes the save on Getzlef anyway, but got to love the notoriously bad MSG ice doing the Rangers a favor in the first period. If Getzlef scores there, who knows how this game plays out.
I think Vesey learned a valuable lesson about shooting the puck off the pass tonight. The goalies in the NHL are too good for a forward to corral the puck and then shoot. It's got to be all in one motion as Gibson taught the young Harvard alum tonight...
Who the Hell is Brad Chase?
New York Rangers' newest 1-2-3 punch: Brad Chase, Chris Kader, and Matt Zerella. I recorded it and I can't stop watching it. pic.twitter.com/APmSDl74v4— Joe Cutroni ⚯͛ (@jcutroni) February 8, 2017
Seriously, who the hell are Brad Chase, Chris Kader, and Matt Zerella. Is this supposed to be the bizarro Rangers?
That's not exactly how you'd draw it up as the Rangers were out shot attempted 83-40 and out shot 44-20, but the numbers were a little deceiving as the defense rarely allowed a rebound opportunity for the Ducks and for the most part Lundqvist had a clear line of vision on almost every shot.
Having said that, the Rangers were very careless with the puck, especially in the second period, and were guilty of icings at inopportune times. At one point I wondered if the Rangers players knew they needed to gain the red line before dumping it in.
To me, the turning point of the game was the four minute penalty kill at the end of the second and into the third period. With the Rangers clinging to a one goal lead and Gibson providing the Ducks with momentum through his acrobatics, if Anaheim scores there I think they go on to win.
The penalty kill also came up with two huge third period stops on questionable penalties which were all the more frustrating considering the refs missed the hit from behind on Stepan.
Gorton's overhaul of the penalty killing personnel paid huge dividends tonight.
JT Gretzky with two more assists tonight, giving him eight helpers in the last six games. Let's take a look at some of them shall we...
Kevin DeLury fun fact: I was actually at this Rangers/Canadiens game back in 1996. My friends and I took a train up to Montreal to witness this amazing display of hockey from the Great One. While the train ride was miserable, it was one of the best trips I've ever been on. If you have the means, get up to Montreal for a game. You won't be disappointed.
Man the fans in Las Vegas are going to fall in love with Grabner next year.
Getting a goal from the Rangers 4th line last year was tantamount to trying to find the Loch Ness Monster, so any offensive contribution from the bottom three is a huge bonus. And to be honest, potentially key to the Rangers finding success in the postseason.
Don't look now Rangers fans, your Blueshirts have actually won two straight on home ice. The next thing you'll tell me is that the MSG crowd was actually loud tonight.
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