Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gaborik More Or Less Okay – Ranger Recap

The Ranger Nation watched in horror as Marian Gaborik - our best offensive player since I don't know when (he may be better than the version of Jagr we had here) - left the bench early and limped to the locker room. Now – the Rangers are notoriously secretive about injuries – which makes sense I suppose in a league where players fight and cheap-shot each other – but it is frustrating not to know the details. Here's the quote from Gaborik himself (thanks to Blue Notes):

“It's nothing related to my groin or hip or torso. We'll see how everything is in the morning. I collided with one of their players, but it's nothing major. It happened with about five minutes left and the game was pretty much over."

So we have a “lower body injury”.

Oh yes – and there was a hockey game last night. The Rangers finally ended their 3 game slide, jumping to a 4-0 lead and ultimately winning 5-2.

(Be sure to read Nugman's amazing in-game analysis in the several posts below. Did anyone else notice that while Nugman was away the Rangers kept losing? Anyway, I'm glad he's back.)

The Coyotes are a hard working (if ownerless) hockey team and were 6-3 coming in to last night. They had their moments but in the end the Rangers had too much offense and too much Hank.

The Goalies: Lundqvist made 30 saves on 32 shots for a .938 save percentage. He came up huge once again. Phoenix had to pull Bryzgalov after he let in 4 goals on just 11 shots (.636). LaBarbera did better, saving 12 of 13 (.922) but it was our guy who made the difference. We were outshot 32 – 24 on the night, but having the superstar goalie made all the difference.

Special Teams: Another win on the powerplay. We were 2 for 5 and the Coyotes were 0-5. And that was too big an advantage for Phoenix to overcome. The Coyotes did score a shorty – but we did better than they did on the night.

The New Veteran Rangers were most of the show once again. The amazing Gaborik had 2 more goals and an assist. Vaclav Prospal continues to amaze with a goal and 2 assists. Boyle had an assist. Brashear had an assist! Kotalik had an assist. Lisin continues to be on the rise here with a goal, an assist, and some great play.

The Returning Rangers added just a little. Dubi, fresh off his benching, had an assist. Avery drew a penatly or two. And that was it.

The Kid Rangers again contributed big time. Anisimov had a nice spin-o-rama goal. I'm running out of adjectives for Del Zotto, but Delzy added 2 more assists.

Defense on Offense: Had Kid Ranger's 2 assists. Something every night from this bunch.

In Conclusion I had predicted a 3-2 win and we won 5-2. This is exactly how the Tortorella plan is supposed to work. The new guys score. The defense scores. Hank is Hank. Let's just hope Gaborik is okay.

How We Stand: The win puts us at 8-3-1 with 17 Points. This means 4th place in the Eastern Conference, 5 points above 5th place NJ, and just one point behind the 1st place Penguins. And by the way - our 46 goals this season lead the National Hockey League! How about that?

Next Up: Wednesday we have the hard-luck but still hated Islanders. Let's rest Hank – and Gaborik if he's sore.

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