Friday, January 15, 2010


That's not a biblical chapter and verse. 127:30 is the amount of consecutive time Henrik Lundqvist had shut out the opposition. That is more than 2 full hockey games of shutout goaltending. It's more than Lundqvist returning to form - it is the longest streak of its kind in the King's amazing career.

So, statistically at least - with no exaggeration - that was the best he has ever played here.

The only problem is - he's lost 2 games in a row while doing it. It doesn't even seem possible - but it's true. After Tuesday's shoot out loss to the Devils, last night the Rangers found a way to lose 2-0 to the Ottawa Senators - a team that had lost 5 straight and was missing most of their top line and their two top goalies due to injury.

The Rangers have been ramping up the defense the last two games - and Henrik has shown a level of play I had been concerned earlier this year that we'd never see from him again. So the fact that the King can be as goos as he ever was is very good news.

But the very bad news is - we can't score.

You can point to Lundqvist and the late goal (just 1:46 left in the third when the Senators Campoli broke the scoreless tie), but you shouldn't. Lundqvist was magnificent - it was Marian Gaborik who failed to cover Alex Kovalev which led to the game-tie-back breaking goal.

And to John Tortorella's credit, he saw what happened and benched Gaborik for the final minute of the game. And, to Gabby's credit - he stood up and took the blame. The Gifted One told reporters yesterday:

"I totally lost my man. It was Kovalev. It was my mistake. It should have been right there. It cost us the game"

So if you're looking for positives in this terrible loss - think about this:

It's good that we have a superstar like Gaborik who gets it - and who doesn't complain or try to deflect the blame in a situation like this. There are things he might have said - that the coach had put him out there with an unfamiliar line (with Higgins and Anisimov). Or that the man he was supposed to cover didn't score the goal. But Gabby is a rare superstar - a true stand up guy - and we're lucky to have him.

And of course the other positive - as mentioned - is that Henrik has showed us he can still be The King. Of course - you can't blame him if he's not feels so good about things right now. After the late Ottawa goal Henrik turned and smashed his stick against the crossbar - even though that crossbar had been his best buddy earlier that night - it had stopped a shot that had beaten him. And he had some angry words for reporters:

"You're not going to win games if you can't score. That's pretty simple. I'm so mad right now"

And you can understand why. When we score we can't defend. And when we defend, we can't score. Add that up and you get 127 consecutive shut out minutes.

And 2 straight losses.

Next up
- a day of practice and yelling by John Tortorella. And then, Saturday night in St. Louis.
Loose Pucks
- forgive me if I don't mention the fact that Ottawa's rookie goalie was named Broduer and was a distant cousin of the guy who also shut us out the game before. It was weird though. Let's hope the Blues don't have another one to throw at us.
Where we Stand
: still in 6th place, but a thundering herd of teams just behind us.

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