Chew on this little tid bit. Rangers have scored no more than 1 goal in any of their past 3 games. They have collected 5 out of a possible 6 points in that span. That almost defies the laws of hockey physics right there. Conventional wisdom says, if you score fewer than 3 goals a game, you are screwed, leave alone scoring a total of 3 goals in 3 games. But, thanks to some magnificent goaltending by the King, and thanks to some outstanding team defense in 2 of the 3 games, the Rangers were able to grind out 5 huge points.
The Rangers are now 8-1-1 in their last 10, have gone from being out of the playoffs to being a stones throw away (just 2 measly points) from 5th, and are poised to do some serious damage in the playoffs, though granted nobody, myself included, expects them to make it out of the East.
I do disagree with 1 thing Torts did. Granted, Mats Zucarello-Aasen has been terri-bad for a while now, but with points being so huge, it seems to me it’s worthwhile keeping a shootout specialist in the lineup over a guy like Avery who hasn’t brought much to the table all season long. I for one wouldn’t have a problem sitting MZA come playoff time, but till then, to me, he needs to be in the lineup for that very reason. Until we are in, we have to play the percentages, and the Rangers play a lot of 1 goal games (today included), those games can, and often do make it to OT, and then the shootout, and even though we came up empty against the Senators, it’s still favorable to us to have Wolski, Christensen, and MZA in the lineup just in case.
Big kudos to Dan Girardi and Marc Staal tonight. Girardi in particular was a force, throwing the body around with reckless abandon, and showcasing a strong stick in 1 on 1 battles.
Getting back to the King for a minute though, you do have to ask yourself is Lundqvist going to get another Vezina nod this year. It’s tough considering how well Thomas, Price, Rinne, Fleury and Luongo have been, but I for one think he deserves a nomination. I would give the award itself to Rinne, but Henrik deserves a nomination in my personal opinion.
OK, that’s all for now, have a great weekend everyone!