This Rangers team just boggles my mind. I have no idea what to think. One night I’m getting ready to make my argument to Grover about how we’re ready to take down the east once again, and then two nights later this will look like a pee wee team. I just don’t get it. Where do you start pointing the finger? Vigneault? McDonaugh? Henrik? Sather? Everywhere but Nash????
There’s a very simple problem with this team. It a classic case of a Stanley Cup hangover. We had a wild and emotional ride to the Finals and so now the early regular season seems minuscule. It’s not that we’re a bad team, or even an average team, it’s that we’re an uninspired team. We just want the playoffs to come right now. We want to be back in the Eastern Conference Finals right now. Patience is a virtue though. Combine that with the fact that we lost a lot of veterans who know the importance of the regular season and you’re guaranteed to go through stretches like this before the new year. Is Lundqvist having his best year? No. Is Talbot? Yes. Does that mean that we should sit Henrik in favor of Cam? Absolutely not.
So we had a weird situation over the past few weeks. 3 games against the lightning in 15 days and 3 games against the flyers in 12. I was hoping for something along the lines of 4-1-1 but instead we are just incredibly inept against the lightning. For the first time we saw Captain Cally come back to the garden in a Tampa Bay uniform, where for some reason he was booed? I have no idea what idiots decided to start that up but it must’ve lit a fire under the dude because he ended up having 5 points in the three games, including 4 goals. We lost in the three games by a combined 15-7 so basically if we play them in April then we’re dunzo.
It was awesome watching the flyers games though. Pure domination. The puck never got into our zone. Like never. We shut them out the first two times and blew them out the day after Thanksgiving to win that three game swing by a combined 10-2. Domination. Now, I know the Flyers aren’t great, hell they aren’t even good, but seeing our team mesh like that is how we are supposed to play every single game. It’s how teams at the top of the conference play. When we’ve got the young guns like Miller and Fast making plays, and Nash doing his thing, we look like a team who could beat anybody.
- Larry Brooks of the New York Post wrote a ridiculous article yesterday about Lundqvist’s “regression” this season and how it is killing the Rangers. This just shows how little people in this town know about hockey and the Rangers. They make the cup 1 year and all of a sudden everybody is an expert. Henrik has done this every year of his career. He always plays like total do-do in November and December and then once you change the calendar he starts to heat up. He has a sub .900 save percentage in November for the 4th year in a row. He’s going to get it back up. Trust me. By the time pitchers and catchers rolls around Lundqvist will be back in playoff form. He’s a playoff goalie plain and simple. Some goalies are meant for the 82-game stretch, and some are meant for playoff runs. I stand by that if I need to win one game in the playoffs, the King is my man.
- Martin St. Louis said that he is in talks with the Rangers about possibly signing an extension. St. Louis as expressed a lot of interest about playing into his 40s and by the way he’s playing I’ll let the man play into his 50s. He’s collected his 1,000th point on Friday and he looks as sharp as ever. Every team needs a wiley vet who and ours can still snipe.
- Cam Talbot’s last three games have been shutout/shutout/2 goals allowed. The Dude is straight fire. Cam Talbot, so hot right now, Cam Talbot.
- Rick Nash is currently in 2nd place in the NHL for goals scored with 16, 2 goals behind Tyler Seguin, who has 18. Rick Nash, so hot right now, Rick Nash.
- After Tanner Glass was shut down with a case of the mumps (yes the mumps), the entire Rangers team needed to be inoculated and tested. Dan Boyle showed symptoms, but the team doesn’t think he has mumps. “It’s probably just the flu” Vigneault said.
The Rangers get some time to regroup before heading off to Detroit to take on the Red Wings on Saturday. We’ll see which team shows up in the motor city.