Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Captain and the Kid - Rangers in 1st after downing Islanders 3-0

For the past few seasons the New York Rangers have been scrambling to make the playoffs. Each year since John Tortorella took over, the Rangers have set their sights on 8th place - the final playoff spot.

They're not looking at 8th place this year.

This year your New York Rangers - fresh off a 3-0 shutout of the rival Islanders - have climbed to impossible heights - first place in the Eastern Conference.

Yes - go back and read that again. First Place. Eastern Conference.

Ahead of the Flyers. Ahead of the Penguins. Ahead of the Canadians. Ahead of the Bruins.

Ahead of everybody.

Go ahead: Print out the standings. Get a nice frame. Hang it on your wall. Because 2 days after Christmas - Gaborik, Lundqvist and the rest of your heroes are a first place hockey team.

And they got there last night by doing what the 2011 Rangers do:

They shut down our opponent. They got an all star performance from our goaltender. And they "scored the puck". Put that together and you have a 3-0 win, our fifth in a row.

In the 2nd period and again in the third it was the Captain (Callahan) assisting the Kid (Hagelin) on the rookie's 5th and 6th goals of the season. And young defenseman Michael Del Zotto got assists on both goals, featuring prominently on the first one - dekeing the 'slanders out of position in deep on the left side of the offensive zone and setting a perfect holiday table for Hags. (Yes – Dave Pucks just nicknamed Carl Hagelin "Hags" and you heard it here first.)

The final tally was an empty netter by the league leading scorer Marian Gaborik - his 22nd - tying his goal total for last year.

And Hank - what can we say? Consistent - quiet - excellence in goal. 28 saves. A perfect 1.000 save percentage. A brick wall in the crease.

And the Rangers are rolling once again. Right now we're a perfect mix of experience, talent, and up-and-coming youth.

The Captain and the kids. The New York Rangers. First place in the East.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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