Friday, November 13, 2009


Uh, Hank?

You okay, man?

Look, I know King Henrik caught a bad break on the deflection on a Kovalchuk shot that bounced in off a Ranger's face of all things. And I know we're not playing great defense and he is rusty after a long layoff.

But the Rangers can only win if Hank is a top 5 goalie in this league. And last night – and for too much of this season – he just isn't.

You can't blame the Centers – we won 35 of the 70 faceoffs. And we out-shot Atlanta 36 to 27. We're just supposed to win games like this. And with Hank in goal we usually do. Or did.

I felt pretty good physically” Hank admitted after the game. But he just didn't play all that well.

Let's hope it's just rust from the long layoff. Because if Hank isn't going to be Hank anymore.... I really don't want to think about that.

(Nik Antropov got himself an assist in his first return to the Garden since being a Ranger himself.)

The Goalies: Like I was saying – we lost the game right here. Hank faced 27 shots and Hedberg faced 36. I would sign up for that shot differential in a minute. We really can't play much better than that. But Hedberg saved .917% of the shots he faced while Lundqvist only stopped .846%. This team simply can't win when we're outplayed at the goalie position.

Special Teams: Not that special last night. We were outplayed here too. Atlanta was 2-5 on the Powerplay while we were 1-4. You won't win many games when you're outplayed ion specials – and this game was no exception.

The New Veteran Rangers: Stellar once again. Boyle had a goal. Higgins had and assist. Cannon Kotalik had 2 assists – one of which came off a rebound from his cannon-shot that Boyle punched home. Gaborik? What can I say. Another goal on a beautiful sneaky fast shot that beat Hedberg to the left post.

And Gabs made an incredible diving play to deflect away a sure empty netter and give us a few more moments of live late in the third period. Night after night - the man is just amazing.

The Kid Rangers contributed again. Anisimov moving up to the 2nd line had a goal, Delzy had 2 assists.

The Returning Rangers? Pointless. And I have to say it – where in the world is my favorite player Sean Avery?

Defense on Offense: Two assists from this unit.

In Conclusion: There are horrible sick to your stomach losses. This wasn't one of them. For the 2nd straight game we out-shot out opponents by a wide margin. Not bad for a team down two Centers. If we can keep this up – Hank is bound to return to form and we're sure to start winning some games. We have to. Or I will kill myself.

Next Up: The dreaded Saturday Matinee. A 2pm road game against the Ottawa Senators, a team we got our first win of the season against (5-2). Those were the days...

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