I’ve made it no secret, I’m a HUGE Marian Gaborik fan. I wanted him on this team for years, and I was thrilled when we signed him. I want us to bring him back when his contract is over next season, and I want him to retire as a Ranger. The guy brings such a dangerous dimension to this team. The ability to get lost on the ice. It sounds counter-intuitive, but Gabbys ability to disappear on the ice and then reappear right in the perfect spot to score is something so few guys have. Danny Heatley is another guy who can do that really well. You never notice them till they score…and they score a lot.
Gaborik had a great game, but our other big gun, Henrik Lundqvist did not. That Nathan Horton goal has to be stopped, it gave away a point to a team we will be fighting with, after all is said and done, for a playoff spot. You gotta be better Henrik. Time to turn on the awesome.
The biggest difference between tonight and the first game? The Rangers didn’t force everything up the boards. They took a second, found the open guy, and skated the puck out. They stretched out the D and were able to connect on some long passes. The first night everything was up the boards and everything there was just smothered by the Brooins forecheck. Rangers did an excellent job adapting to this. They had some long stretches where they were pinned in their own zone, but again, this is Rangers hockey, EXPECT them to have stretches where they are pinned in their own zone. When everything collapses to the net it’s really hard to get the puck out of your zone.
Rick Nash has been just a monster thus far. It’s ridiculous how much he stands out on a nightly basis. Not just the skill, but the board play, his ability to control the puck with guys all over him is ridiculous. His board play puts Brandon Dubinsky to shame, and Dubi is an excellent board player. Once Brad Richards gets doing (and make no mistake, his game has been borderline awful…thank you flu) Nash will be all the more dangerous.
Although I am usually in favor of splitting up the big guns, I think right now we’re going to have to ride these 3 on one line to some wins. Get everyone else going, and then split em up. The rest of the team, Callahan, Stepan, Kreider, Hagelin, Boyle…pretty much everyone not named Nash, Gaborik, Pyatt, McDonagh, Staal, or Girardi has had some serious struggles….actually Staal has been up and down, so he probably should be in that category as well. Rangers still have a LONG way to go…isn’t that promising? They still haven’t really played a good team game yet, and at least have 1 win under their belt.
It’s coming…..slowly, but it’s coming.