Extreme Views by RangerExtreme
The Rangers may have played their best game to date against the Senators at the Corel Center in Ottawa Saturday Night. The Rangers at one point in the game were down by a score of 2-0 and mustered enough resiliency to fend the Senators offense off for both the final period and overtime. New York gained a tie on the road and that’s always a positive especially for a team struggling to find their identity.
The Rangers gave up the first goal about midway through the first period on a 5 on 3 powerplay goal by Shawn Mceachern. The second period however was a different story. The Rangers actually dictated the play and displayed some of their best hockey of the year up until the Sens increased their lead to 2-0 in the on a late goal by Daniel Alfredsson. The goal was a gift courtesy of Ranger defenseman Vladimir Malakhov who went up the middle in his own zone rather then taking 2 strides forward out of it.
The second period also saw the Rangers lose the services of their Captain Mark Messier who left the game with after sustaining bruised ribs. However the Rangers showed rallied the troops and showed a bit of moxy in the third period by Getting goals by Mike York and Petr Nedved forcing the game into an overtime session with the score dead locked at two apiece. After regulation. The Rangers were definitely paying to win but it was not to be this night in Ottawa. Theo Fleury had a golden chance for an overtime winner for the Rangers but was stoned by Senators goalie Patrick Lalime.
Darren Van Impe made his Ranger debut on the backline in the wake of the dual seven game suspensions that defensemen Igor Ulanov and Dale Purinton received following Wednesday night’s game against the Capitals at MSG.
The Rangers Defense didn’t look horrible. The Rangers managed to gain a point on the road against a team that is better then them. Richter returned back in goal ending speculation his knee was acting up. The Rangers were down two goals and came back to tie. They outscored the Senators 2-0 in the third period another good sign.
They played a good second period. Their penalty killing looked a tad better when you compare it to the previous game against the Caps. The Senators went 1 for 5 on the PP. In addition the Rangers got 34 shots on net. Not too shabby. Rangers were great on face-offs.
The Senators are a team that matches up well against the Rangers defense. They are a finesse team with no bangers or muckers. So don’t get too psyched about this Ranger performance. The Rangers might have managed to win this game if it hadn’t been for Malapuke’s moronic giveaway at the end of the second period. Richter is still giving up way to many rebounds and his stickhandling like always is atrocious. Plus the stupid penalties continue to haunt them. The Rangers Powerplay was terribly ineffective against a very Bad Senators penalty-killing unit. The Rangers could not score on a 4-minute powerplay man advantage.
Messier- He played for two periods before sustaining a rib injury. Still playing mean. Bad giveaway in second period. 0 shots on goal in the two periods he played in.
Malhotra – He had a decent night. Ironically drew a penalty on a crosscheck after his line had the worst line shift of the game in the 1st period. Made some noticeable hits.
Dvorak- Steady. Played both end of the ice very well. Continues to be a catalyst for offensive chances.
Ciger – Excellent game. If he plays like this more often I will have to eat a lot of crow. Made a nice pass to Berard in the first period. Followed it up by making a tremendous play in the third period that led to Nedveds tying goal. He shook off a check along the boards from Senators defenseman Sami Salo and made a terrific pass to Nedved who scored.
Nedved – He scored his first goal of the season. He finished for the first time this season.
Grosek – Really was not all that involved. Got short end of stick when lines were juggled after Messier injury.
Lindros – Great on face-offs. At one point was 5-0 on draws. Overall good game. Made a nice rush along boards. Also almost scored on a tip shot from point. Good work ethic that that led to Rangers first goal. Knocked Chara off his skates with bodycheck. Was a +1 on the night.
York – Showed why he shouldn’t be buried on the 4th line. He scored a goal and was a +1. Also adds a bit of a backcheck on a line that sorely needs it.
Fleury – Held without a goal for the 4th game in a row. Did however record his first point of the year. Got robbed on overtime shot by Lalime. Got whistled for yet another stupid penalty when he tripped up Marian Hossa in third period. Had a +1 plus/minus rating for the night.
Johansson _ Unsung hero of the game. Drew two penalties. Worked every shift. Had a nice slapshot that lead to a Heisten scoring opportunity. Look comfortable after being switched to center. Played on shorthanded unit as well.
Heisten – Looked solid. Had couple scoring chances. Made a nice defensive play in which he fed puck back to Richter for a face off during pressure.
McCarthy- Not hitting at all. He would fit in a lot better on a 4th line that played very well Saturday night if he just would throw the body a whole lot more often then he does.
Leetch – Average night for Brian. Blocked a shot in first. Made one bad play on a drop pass to nobody in first period that lead to offensive counter for Senators.
Malakhov- Paired with Leetch for first time this year. He looked almost average until his moronic giveaway at the end of the second period that led to an Alfredsson goal. Also got burned by Martin Havlat at the end of overtime but was saved by the buzzer. Maldogs ridiculous give away in the second period in combination with him being totally non-existent offensively on even strength or the powerplay reduces his performance to sub par as usual.
Berard – Played very well. Had 6 shots on net. Made a nice one time shot on PP in first period. Looked a lot better in his defensive zone also. Was paired with recent call up Darren Van Impe
Van Impe- Did what is expected. Didn’t stand out negatively. For a Ranger defenseman that’s an achievement. Killed penalties.
Smrek – He actually looked composed. He played a steady game. He made a couple of nice moves to break up plays by the Senators.
Karpa – 50/50 50 was good. 50 was bad. For David Karpa lately that’s a success story. The good was he started a nice rush with a pass. He got in the way of a couple of the oppositions shots. The bad was David got caught out of position several times. One occasion things got so bad Petr Smrek had to take a penalty to save his ass.
Sam and J.D Propaganda report –
John Davidson’s partner was not Sam Rosen. Rosen was on assignment doing football. John Wischusen replaced Sam in the broadcast booth. I wanted to strangle Wischusen by the third period as he kept using the same phrase “He ladles the puck” about a good half a dozen times up to that point.
Davidson was no angel either. He got caught doing a flip-flop in the second period by announcing the Messier/Malhotra/Dvorak Line was the Rangers best line in the game. Five minutes later he was exclaiming The Lindros line was. I am now positive he just opens his mouth just to fill up the dead air.
He also pulled off another nice J.D gem by letting us all know that Sandy McCarthy conditions himself in the off season “With a Guru in the Carolinas”. Will somebody inform this Goober of two things? I find it a real longshot that the Dali Lama (a Known Guru) has ever participated in the personal training of Sandy McCarthy and secondly inform J.D that the Carolinas are a region not a State. Now you might say I’m nit picking on poor old Walrus Puss. But I’m not. I’m just trying to save J.D from coming off sounding like a complete dork in the future.
Don’t get too excited about this tie against Ottawa. This match-up played to the Rangers favor. It’s a perfect example of why the Senators got bounced in the first round of last years playoffs. They have no grit or tenacity. The Rangers defensive pairings so far have succumbed to every heavy forecheck they have faced. They faced one all night against Ottawa and got nabbed for a penalty on it.
They however stuck it out. Got two goals in the final period to tie. For that alone they should be praised. The lines showed some chemistry for the firs time. Overall the Rangers got a tie on the road and that’s mission accomplished in my book.