The New York Rangers defeated the Edmonton Oilers tonight 4-2, making them 1-1 two thirds of the way through this Western road trip. The highly publicized reunion of Tom Renney with the New York Rangers was fun to watch. For the Rangers it was just what the doctor ordered, a 60 minute effort that turned into a pretty resounding two points that were sorely needed.
All throughout last season we saw Tom Renney's New York Rangers back-check furiously, clog up the neutral zone and try to transition defensive turn overs into a quick offensive opportunities before getting back onto defense again; all while opposing teams were running the Rangers off the ice. Tonight it was more of the same, for Tom Renney. The New York Rangers made the Edmonton Oilers look like the Rangers looked last year. The Rangers controlled the play, took tons of offensive liberties and basically made the Oilers defense look motionless throughout the game.
Chris Higgins, Ryan Callahan, Ales Kotalik and Marian Gaborik were the goal scorers for the Rangers. The power play woes (0 for their last 15) ended last night with the Rangers converting 3 of 5 opportunities. The Rangers played a good defensive game but you really need to tip your cap to StephenValiquette who had an unbelievable game. He really bailed the Rangers out when they needed it.
Chris Higgins looks like a different player now that he has finally scored his first goal. He was all over the ice and was making brilliant plays with and without the puck. I guess all of my stories on him did the trick. Also nice to see Callahan score his first goal in 10 games, he also added an assist and played a great gritty game.
Join me after the jump.
I'm going to implement a new segment to my game recaps called "empty netters." This segment will be where I bullet point some important parts to the game. Without further ado here they are.
- This win was the Rangers first win in Edmonton since 1999.
- All 19 teams that passed up on Michael Del Zotto during the 2008 draft must be kicking themselves pretty hard right now.
- Back to Del Zotto, he seems to be gaining some real chemistry with Callahan; which lead to some great passes and deflections. Del Zotto was back to his normal self again today really taking control in the offensive zone. Man this kid was a steal!
- Marian Gaborik really rebounded well after he was nullified against Vancouver. He had a goal and an assist (on an brilliant pass) in this game and had tons more opportunities over the course of the game.
- Gaboik's goal was his 12th which is good for second in the NHL behind Alexander Ovechkins 14. Gaborik also has 21 points on the season (in 15 games), when was the last time you saw numbers like that from a Ranger?
- Ales Kotalik had another great game scoring a beautiful goal and adding two assists.
- Interesting to note here that Sean Avery played just under six minutes today. He was relegated to fourth line duty but you can't deny that he has been off his game of late.
- Chris Drury also answered the call tonight putting together one of the best games I have seen him play in a long time.
- It's amazing how bad Aaron Voros can be even when the team is playing an excellent game.
- Vaclav Prospal also added his league leading 15th assist on the season. He had another great game and really looks good with the A on his chest.
- Also did anyone see the MSG commercial for Saturday night's game. The announcer says: "Saturday the New York Rangers play this team ... with fire coming out of their logo ... how intimidating." Not exactly my idea of some good trash talk but what can you do.
Blueshirt Banter player of the Game: