Monday, December 15, 2014

Rangers Blank Oilers 2-0

The thing about the Edmonton Oilers is that they can’t score.  Their goals per game average of 2.1 is 29th in a league of 30 teams.   It reminds me of the old Rangers – under John Tortorella who could defend but could not put the puck in the net.   

But – happily – this year’s Rangers are something of an offensive powerhouse.  They are – incredibly – 5th in the NHL is goals scored with 2.96.  You out that together with what we think Henrik Lundqvist is capable of and this could be a special year. 

Last night – The Rangers did not get the huge opening jump they got against Vancouver the night before.  In fact, they didn’t get a shot on goal until 10:42 of the first period.  But at 16:04 it was Dan Girardi who ended up breaking through.  The Ranger defender threw the puck at the crease from an impossible angle – hoping to feed Mats Zuccarello.   Zuke missed the puck completely, but it caromed off an Olier’s skate and into the net – a lucky goal and – as it turned out – all the Rangers 
would need.

In fact, it was such a flukey goal (Editor – I’m not sure Flukey is a word) (Dave Pucks – I know and I’m using it anyway) that Girardi, despite notching the game winner – was not on of the 3 stars of the game.

But Henrik Lundqvist – with his 5th shutout of the year (55th lifetime) made sure the lone Ranger goal stood up.  Of course – the Ranger defense and the lack of Oiler offense were big contributors – Edmonton only managed 16 shots on goal. 

The final goal was by Carl Hagelin, who gained possession of the puck in the game’s final minute – with the Oiler net empty – and used his speed to become the only player on either team in the Edmonton defensive zone.  All alone – Hagelin scored the empty netter at 19:38 of the third to give the Rangers the 2-0 victory.

Loose Pucks:  One more item to note – Brassard had to sit out because he is the 14th NHL player this year diagnosed with the Mumps. 

Did Special Teams Decide This Game?  Only sort of.  The Rangers killed off two power plays – but failed to score on their only man advantage.

Where We Stand:  The Rangers happy little three game win streak still has them 1 point behind the 3rd place Capitals in the metro (with a game at hand) but their 32 points currently  has them with the 8th and final playoff spot in the East.  We’ll take it

Now What?  After 2 games in 2 days – The Rangers get a day off before heading to Calgary to take on the Flames.

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