Dan Blackburn

Rangers v Canadiens

Extreme Views by RangerExtreme

The Rangers beat the Canadiens by a score of 2-1 in Montreal at the Molson Center Monday Night. The Rangers key to the victory was the splendid play of 18-yr. old rookie goaltender Dan Blackburn who was terrific between the pipes and held the Habs to only one goal for the entire game. Coming into the game the Canadiens were undefeated 4-0-1 and had been playing extremely well.

The Rangers fell behind first yet again after a PP goal by Canadien defenseman Sheldon Souray but the Rangers responded with a goal 6 minutes later when Theo Fleury netted his first goal of the season. With the second period seeing no scoring, The game was tied after two periods. Radek Dvorak broke the tie at 5:06 of the third period with his 3rd goal of the young season.

Blackburn played extremely well the rest of the way preserving the one goal advantage the rest of the way. It was upon the shoulders of goaltender Dan Blackburn the Rangers gained their second victory of the season. The Ranger win put the Rangers at 2-2-1 for the year and handed Montreal their first loss of the season.

The Positives:

Blackburn. The kid played very well. He was the main reason New York got two points out of the contest. Blackburn made some crucial stops at key times on high percentage shots. The Rangers got only 2 goals and won the game, which is shocking. The backline for the most part played okay.

Coach Ron Low seemed to have used his noodle for once by playing Barett Heisten and Manny Malhotra up front on the Penalty kill. That move alone may have saved the Rangers. The Rangers were last in Penalty kill coming into the game at 65%. Montreal went 1 for 7 on the PP. The Lindros/Fleury/York line is shaping up well. The Rangers won the game without their captain Mark Messier.

The Negatives:

The Powerplay is abysmal. They continue to pass the puck around the perimeter when the rare occasion they are lucky enough to gain the offensive zone. Nobody is cutting or moving. God forbid somebody should get in front of the net. The same applies to even strength play especially concerning the 3rd and 4th lines. The need to clog the front of the net too many point shots Are easily handled by opposing goalies.

The Rangers beat a flat Montreal club. They also scored only two goals of Montreal’s backup goalie Jose Theodore. Not one Ranger defenseman is able to clear the front of the net of opposing players.

Player Summaries:

Lindros – Battled with Souray quiet a bit. He delivered some nice body checks. Held pointless. But centered best line of the night.

Fleury- Scored his first goal of the season on a nice pass from York. Bad obvious penalties continue to plague his game. Got called for tripping Andreas Dackell twice Once in the first period and yet again in the third.

York- notched an assist after he made a nice play to set up Fleury’s goal. Had a good chance in 3rd period on breakaway but couldn’t cash in. Gave Rangers a PP in first period by drawing a penalty with hustle.

Nedved- Got an assist. Couldn’t finish a real nice SH opportunity in the 3rd period that could have given the Rangers a 2-goal cushion. He is becoming increasingly annoying. He needs to finish especially on high quality chances when they present themselves.

Dvorak- Picked up his third goal of the season. Was robbed a couple times by goaltender Theodore during the game. His contribution with his 5 shots on goal and his effort was notable.

Ciger – Had a good first period. Had an assist on the Dvorak goal. Disappeared for the next two periods in which he wasn’t a factor.

McCarthy – Moved to third line. Still not hitting enough. Took a stupid holding the stick penalty in the third period.

Johansson – Steady and involved yet again. Made a nice play with a blocked shot with 1:30 left in the game.

Heisten- Showed reasonable effort and speed at times. Killed penalties along with Malhotra.

Fata – played on 4th line. Non-factor. O shots

Malhotra -4th line center. Made some good plays in Second period. Killed penalties and did it well. But he also got 0 shots on goal.

Grosek – Terrible pass in second period that led to a glorious Montreal scoring chance. Me thinks his game is going on vacation again like it did last year. I hope I’m wrong. He Looked good in the Rangers first two games. 0 shots

Leetch – Received assist on Fleury goal. Steady Performance. Made some nice rushes. His aggressiveness picked up a bit.

Malakhov- Actually had 3 good moments. Nice shot on goal on a PP in second period. Broke up a scoring chance also in 2nd. Played a chippy shift in third period. Jammed between those 3 good moments were two thick slices of mistakes and giveaways. Including a defensive blunder very late in the game.

Berard- Played a fairly decent defensive game in his own end. His offense looked good. Still having problems clearing front of net. Had to spear Chad Kilger in a futile attempt to try to move him

Van Impe- Wasn’t conspicuous out there. Nothing good or bad to report. Once again that kind of a summation for a ranger blueliner is a positive thing.

Karpa – 4 minutes in penalties. Hauled down Rucinsky in 2nd period. Was a tad inconsistent defensively. Got in the way of several shots but still doesn’t hit enough For the physical defenseman type he is suppose to be.

Smrek – Ice time was trimmed down in this game. No news is good news for Petr.

Blackburn – Excellent game, much better then his debut performance. Made some stellar saves especially in the third period. Robbed several Canadiens several times of goals. Even when he was bad he was good. His bad stickhandling in second period led to a goaltender interference penalty by Montreal Jan Bullis. Terrific game for Dan.

Sam and J.D Propaganda Report:

Basically a serene night for these two on the inane announcing front. Only a couple of things of note to report on. J.D kept saying the Canadiens had a quiet (as in silent) penalty kill. He must have said this a half a dozen times. Can’t he just say they play a tight box non-pressure the puck carrier style? He just gets annoying when he tries to create his own or others buzzwords.

Toucan Sam also contributed his own goofy moment. Rosen must have lost all control over his comb over when he exclaimed; ” Dan Blackburn is showing why he belongs in the NHL!” Dan played good Sam but no need to make him sound like the Second Coming of Ken Dryden.

Summary:

Rangers Win ! They got two points on the road. Blackburn played fantastic. They allowed only one goal against and actually won the game. The Defense played well as a unit for the second game in a row. I still fear in future games the Ranger Squad will be eaten up by teams that grind and have good work ethic. Two characteristics we don’t possess. But they won Monday night in which they beat an undefeated Montreal team on the road so it’s all good for now.

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