That the Rangers were able to come out with 2 points speaks about the resolve of this team. Here they were in a game where they were quite clearly outclassed in the talent department, but nonetheless played the John Tortorella grind-it-out style of hockey to earn themselves two mega-important points. I find it amusing when the people on the message boards claim that Tortorella is not a good strategist. Watch tonights game and you’ll see why that is B.S. Once the Sharks tied the game the Rangers dropped their center (or a covering winger) WAY back in the zone. In short, they were playing for a shootout the entire third period. Do I agree with that sentiment? Not usually, but when you have Lundqvist, Christensen, Zuccarello-Aasen, and Wolski I will take that chance any day of the week. Granted it was all Henrik in that shootout, but still, nonetheless the Rangers played the standings in their strategy rather than the moment. It was smart, and it worked out.
It was also a huge bounce-back game for the Staal-Girardi duo that were absolutely abused by the big line that Anaheim sports. Give the kids their due, they played great.
Regarding the benching of Sean Avery. To me it’s been overdue. I’ve been a Sean Avery fan for almost his entire tenure here, but his play as of late has been downright awful. He may have a good shift here and there, but mostly it’s just blind passes leading to turnovers, stupid curl back into his own zone moves, and high risk across the middle passes that are just killing his teammates. I would be OK with the Rangers looking to move him this offseason if they can find a taker. To me, he’s just not worth the icetime he gets, there are much better options within the organization. Unless of course Sean goes back to the dominant player he used to be where his attitude and his mouth drove him to success, whereas now he tries to play based on skill alone…skill he simply does not have.