Well we said from the get-go that this was going to be a big measuring stick for the Rangers, especially their youth on D. They answered that call, and the Rangers ground out a gut-check 4-3 win. Well you all have me doing the recap tonight so you know the drill. Good, Average and the bad.
The Great (I had to include a new category for these three):
- Marian Gaborik. There is a huge difference between having a perennial sniper on your team and a wanna be. You saw that difference tonight. Two brilliant goals from the slot, one game tying and one game winning, giving him 4 goals and 2 assists in 4 games. And don't tell me he hot lucky because the puck trickled into the net. The reason why that happened is because his shot was so quick that before Jose Theodore could react the puck was under him.
- Marc Staal. Man you really can't say enough about this kid. He is without a doubt the Rangers best defenseman and without him this penalty kill would be lost. Without him patrolling the blue-line I don't know where the Rangers would be.
- Chris Drury. Didn't score a goal or put up an assist but my God this man had a great game. He was all over the place blocking shots, clearing the puck and playing great defensivley. He even took a slap shot straight to the chest on the penalty kill and finished his shift. Can't say enough about him tonight.
- Michael Del Zotto. Man are you falling for this kid like I am, he actually looks like (through 4 games folks) a power play quarter back. Without his vision and a perfect pass Gaborik doesn't bury that first goal. He was good defensively too, against the best offensive team in the league.
- Henrik Lundqvist. Yeah, he gave up the rough goal in the third but aside from that he was pretty brilliant. Jim and I disagree here but I think he kept us in the game and was great on the PK.
- Ryan Callahan. Finally got his first goal of the season. You really can't say enough about this kids overall effort. The goal he scored was pure hustle seeing as how he rushed up the ice after killing off an entire penalty. Love him, love him having the A and I love Torts going with him when it matters.
- Ales Kotalik. Scored a beautiful goal and played a very good overall game. I know he didn't connect on the power play but man does he have a hell of a shot. He makes the power play much more lethal.
- Chris Higgins. Was all over the ice, too bad he didn't score he deserved one. He made one or two brilliant moves and took great shots. Once he lights the lamp he is going to get hot.
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- Wade Redden. Again he played a pretty solid game but made his gaffs. Regardless when he wasn't on the ice I missed him. Although that might have been the poor play of Dan Girardi and Michael Rozsival.
- Matt Gilroy. Was good at times invisible others. He has all the makings of a great player he just needs to get himself a little settled. Regardless solid performance tonight.
- Brandon Dubinsky. He looked pretty good, skated well and created chances.
- Dan Girardi. Played a pretty bad game for a guy who was called out by his coach. He made a few horrible turn overs and looked pretty shaky all game. He needs to play better or else he might be shipped out by the trade deadline.
- Michael Rozsival. There really aren't enough family friendly words to describe how badly he played. He was benched the entire third period. He deserved it.