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Every once in a while you need to bail your goalie out. Henrik is usually great out there, but today, he wasn’t. I thought the Kovalev goal should have been stopped (he was in position, just didnt stop it), I thought the Lapierre goal should have been stopped (Henrik was distracted by Callahan instead of being focused on the play) and the goal by Markov was just atrocious with no explanation required. With that said, the Rangers, who seemingly are bailed out by their goalie every other game, finally were able to bail him out. Im sure Henrik was pretty happy at that. It’s not often he isn’t perfect and we still win. This is a testament to this new system. While we may not have had Henrik there to bail us out, we had our forwards creating immense pressure on a defense that wilted under said pressure. Honest, if not for Carey Price playing a pretty spectacular game himself between the pipes, we could have netted a few more easily.

Regardless, while this may have been a shootout win, it definitely had the feel of a “justice” win, where the team that deserved to win, did win.

Another thing became very apparent to me while watching this game. We might have the best top 6 defenseman in the East, if not the NHL right now. Seriously, did you see those guys out there? They are playing damn near flawless hockey on nearly a nightly basis. Even Wade the pariah Redden has played superb hockey for the most part under Tortorella (don’t boo the guy when he gets points, thats just retarded). As a group though they seem to compliment each other very well. Their styles are similar, but different enough to bring an all around effectiveness thats hard to match in the east, if not the NHL. We are mobile, we are smart, we are somewhat physical, and we are relatively young. The only thing we aren’t, is deep. But with the 6 we have, it’s not tough to see why we lack so much depth. Also, Marc Staal just continues to grow as the most dominant defenseman in our lineup, and possibly the most underrated defenseman in the entire NHL. Did you see the play where he steals the puck from Koivu, skates around 2 guys, head up the entire way, and passed the puck up to Korpedo? Jesus Christ, this kid is only 22 years old!!! Imagine how he will be when he hits 27, the prime of an NHL defensemans career. Sheesh.

We now sit in the #6 spot with pretty firm footing from here on out. The Sabres don’t have Ryan Miller and it shows, the Panthers don’t have Horton and McCabe, and it shows as well. Those are the only teams that can leap frog us and into the playoffs, and for that to happen, a lot has to go wrong. With the way the Rangers have played (imho they probably only deserve 1 loss since Torts has come here), I can honestly say I’ve never felt stronger about this team, NEVER, in the past 12 years. That’s saying a lot. If we can avoid playing the Devils and Bruins in the first round, I really like our chances.


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