Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gaborik: "I Think It Went Pretty Good"

The rumors are true - Marian Gaborik is a New York Ranger! (I'd read the papers - but until he actually appeared in Ranger colors I wasn't sure). But last night - he was in uniform and on the Madison Square Garden Ice to help the Rangers face the Detroit Red Wings - last year's Stanley Cup runner-up.

After being a pre-season no show with nagging groin injuries (and I'll have to type Nagging Groin into WebMD someday soon) Gabby was a week or more behind the other players in terms of getting into the flow of real NHL action - and it showed. Still, the Ranger's new addition was able to launch five shots on goal, got rocked with an early check to the body - survived without injury and notched a pretty assist on a stunning no-look pass for a goal by Enver Lisin.

Gaborik later told ESPN:

"I felt pretty good out there for the first game. A new team, new arena, new fans, it was definitely my first game. I think it went pretty good."

And anyway Gabby has a few pre-season contests left to get himself into game shape.

As for the actual game, the Rangers won, this time beating the Red Wings (or some of them) 4-2. Most of the good news came early. The first period was a triumph for your heroes. We outshot the Wings 18-4 and outscored them 3-1 on goals by Lisin, Prospal, and Callahan. Cally's goal came from his collision at the net - his 2nd big hit of the day. Unfortunately his first collision was in practice with Sean Avery - sidelining Seanny with a sprained knee that we are praying is nothing worse.

Detroit later added a 2nd goal and at the end of the 3rd Anisimov added an empty netter to notch the Ranger's 4th goal and seal the win.

On special teams we finally showed something special. We were 2-8 on the PP and held Detroit scoreless on 4 attempts. So special teams were the difference - and for once - it was in our favor. In all fairness - in our first few games the Rangers didn't even practice powerplay - so give the fellows some time to come up to speed in this area.

Henrik played the first half and looked very Hank-like, coming up with some nice saves stopping 12 of 13 shots. And Steve V. played well also - stopping 16 of the 17 he faced.

The win improves the Rangers to 2-2-1 (not that pre-season matters). Let's hope Avery's knee will be okay.

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