Sunday, January 15, 2012

Boyle, Rupp and Biron - Rangers win 3-0

Prust and Boyle. Together again. Last year these two were awesome on a line together – forechecking – digging – and keeping the puck away from whoever they were playing against. Last night – for the first time in a long time – John “the mad line-tist” Tortorella messed with his lines again – this time putting P&B back together again,. The results?

The first goal in 23 games for Boyle – an assist for Prust and great play for both against the Leaf's top line.

Torts also went with “1a” goaltender Marty Biron – who once against turned in a tremendous effort – shutting out Toronto and getting the Ranger back on track.  And got an assist in addition.

Ranger Hockey has a real brand this year – it means we out-hit and usually out-shoot our opponents. And last night we out hit Toronto 48 to 39. And we outshot them 30 to 20. If you do that – and if your goalie plays well, you're going to win a lot of hockey games. And we have.

The Rangers started off the scoring in the 2nd period with an Odd Man Rush goal. And you can't get much odder men than Mike Rupp – the career enforcer who is suddenly gotten a scorer's touch – and Wolski – who wasn't even on the NHL club a few days ago. Those two and Stepan did some nice back and forth passing before Rupp ripped one past Gustavsson for the 1-0 lead.

Boyle's goal came on a 49 foot bomb that found the net through 3 pairs of Maple Leaf legs that Jonas Gustavsson only got a good look at after it was behind him.

The final goal came in the third. Marty Biron started it – with a great long pass to the rookie Hagelin. The former Michigan Wolverine turned on the jets, advanced the puck and fired a perfect pass to Derek Stepan, who moved in, and buried the back-breaker.

It was 3-0 Rangers – more than enough for Marty B.

What a season the Ranger's back up netminder is having. He stopped all 20 shots he faced last night upping his record to 8-2 this year – giving the Rangers a huge boost and Lundqvist a nice day of rest.

Elsewhere in the box score: Only 1 SOG for Gaborik, but 3 hits. Brad Richards: 1 shot, 1 hit. Marc Staal had 18:53 of ice time with 2 shots and 2 hits as he gradually returns to top form. What you have to like about this team is that we have many ways to score goals – even when the top players and the top lines go cold. Our defense has been a constant – our hitting and blocked shots our identity. And our offense, wherever it comes from – has been enough to put us over the top.

We're good. We're 28-10-4. We have 60 points on Jan 14th.

And yes, I'm still having trouble believing it.

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