Just like last year the Rangers and Flyers played a heck of a game with severe playoff implications for both teams, granted more important for the Rangers than the Flyers. Just like last year the game was not decided in 60 minute regulation. Just like last year the game was not decided in the 5 minute overtime. Just like last year it was a shootout that picked the winner. But this is where things go awry. Unlike last year the Rangers were the victor, and boy oh boy did we need these 2 points desperately.
The Rangers, just a week ago were strongly in the playoff picture, and then the house came tumbling down and now here we are hanging on for dear life. Luckily the Rangers do tend to play pretty well in games against teams that are better than us, and today was nothing different. The Rangers brought their level of play back to where it needs to be after 2 highly discouraging efforts against the Sabres and Islanders.
Huge kudos to Marc Staal and Dan Girardi who 34:01 and 32:36 respectively. Those are mind blowing minutes to give to these guys, but they handled it with aplomb giving us over half the game of steadily played defensive hockey. Despite their monstrous nights though, to me the player of the game had to be Marian Gaborik. Gabby had a bounce back effort tonight, saving multiple high quality scoring chances with relentless backchecks, and generating numerous scoring opportunities. He didn’t score tonight, but he sure as hell played an outstanding game.
Those shootout specialists sure come in handy aye? I’ll tell ya, in this day and age, they are FAR more valuable than goons are. I think the days of wasting a spot on a goon are gone. Nowadays, teams are going to keep spots on their roster just for guys who are awesome in shootouts.
OK, thats all for now, got my own hockey game to get to!