I didn’t write a post about the Rangers trading away Gaborik for 1 reason and 1 reason only. I was PISSED. I was so pissed in fact that I decided to go out with my wife and have a nice dinner to take my mind off of things.
I then got home and proceeded to watch the Rangers absolutely dismantle the best team in hockey.
What the hell?
Yep. The new look Rangers just dominated a team fresh off a 15 game winning streak. But, let’s be honest here folks. The Penguins looked horrendous tonight. How much of that was us? How much of that was playing back to backs? How much of that was not having Crosby, Letang, Martin or a 100% Malkin in the lineup? I’m not sure, but whatever it was, the Penguins looked slow, they looked passive, they looked like a team that couldn’t care less about playing a hockey game. On the flip side the Rangers looked eager, they looked hungry, they looked to make a play and take the body rather than be passive and reactive. What I liked was that the 4th line really set the tone early with a nice long hard shift of typical Torts grinding hockey. Wear the other team down, then wait for their goalie to have a meltdown.
Oh, did I mention how happy I was to see MAF in net for the Pens rather than Vokoun? Vokoun>>>>Fleury….just my 2 cents anyway.
Don’t think this is it, that the season has turned around, that we’re going to do a Kings like stampede to a championship. 1 game does not a season make. Remember the game against the Flyers? That’s a game you should really think long and hard about…and how we looked god-awful for the next 120 minutes of hockey we were forced to endure.
Biggest different to me, was not the play of Brassard, who looked terrific. Nor was it the play of Clowe, who looked terrificer. No, to me it was the play of John Moore that really stood out. Maybe it’s because I’m so sick of seeing Roman Hamrlik plod up and down the ice, but seeing a kid who looks a little like Anton Stralman back there really brought a smile to my face. Kid is mobile, looks like he can carry the puck up, and plays well in his own zone. A SIGNIFICANT upgrade over Roman Hamrlik (as you would expect when you give up a player of Marian Gaboriks talent).
Make no mistake though folks, the best player in the trade today left our team, it didn’t join our team. I just hope that Richards can find his game and that the parts continue to click beyond a 1-hit wonder that this has all the makings of being. Keep it going, make me a believer…I dare you.