Thursday, April 16, 2009

One down....15 to go

The longest road in professional sports for a championship trophy has begun. (Tech basketball is as long, but hockey takes longer, and is more physically demanding) The Rangers got off to a great start stealing a road victory (better get used to it, going to be on the road for game's 1 and 2 most likely in every series, unless we meet the canadians down the road).

Some comments from the coach on game one:

- On switching Staal and Girardi off Ovechkin mid game, and using Redden and Rozisival:
"I thought young Marc and Danny were a little nervous that's why Redden and Rozsival got that chunk of ice time and I thought that helped."

- On the SEVEN penalties the rangers took:

"We took too many penalties, they're too dangerous."

- On the potential return of Chris Drury:

"Chris was close. The kid would do anything to get in, and I think he'll be in on Saturday."

Said Quasi-Captain in the place of Chris Drury, Scott Gomez:

"We stayed calm all game, even when they came back to tie it. Let's face it, there were times where they were all over us, but we responded."

Things to Look for in Game 2 (saturday):

1) Chris Drury. Rangers need him on the penalty kill, and they will need all the offense they can get. Drury for Voros would be a nice upgrade for game 2

2) The capitals will come out the first ten minutes playing like it's a game 7, because for them it is. Rangers will have to find a way to contain them.

3) Ovechkin, amazingly, he fired 28 shots in 26 minutes of Ice time (think about that, Scott Gomez shot ONCE, well, he got one shot on goal, but still). He had 13 shots on goal, 10 shots blocked, 5 went wide of the net. Gotta get the puck off his stick.

4) GREAT point from Michelleti in game one, although it didn't end up having an impact on the game but could on future games. The Washington power play stays out for almost the full 2 minutes (like 1:50 or longer). It's a very talented, but very selfish unit. Because of this, they are GASSED around the 1:45 mark of the power play. If the rangers can get a good clear and change around that time, they will have 4 fresh guys against 5 guys who have been on almost 2 minutes, could lead to a break away chance or two for the rangers this series on which they will have to capitalize. (It almost happened last night as callahan came flying off the bench and outraced an exhausted green to the puck, but he made a lunging stab to knock the puck out of play, almost a breakaway for Callahan) The idea of a breakaway on Three-or-more sounds great right now.

5) What does Washington do in goal? Removing the goalie is always a panic move, and can be viewed no other way, but at what point do you stop worrying about looking panicked, and start to actually panic? After game one Theodore said he was terrible and his coach Bruce Boudreu...agreed with him. He actually said theodore was awful, and that he cost the team the game, but that he expected him to rebound in game 2. Not sure he really believes it, but his only option is to start their 20 year old backup, who has SIX games of NHL experience. The goalie situation is becoming more and more of an advantage for the Rangers.

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