Found February 11, 2012 on Blue Seat Blogs:
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Another day, another game against the Flyers, another win against the Flyers. That makes it five for five against the Blueshirts against their division rivals. This game was owned by Callahan, Richards, and Gaborik, but special teams were the difference. The Rangers killed off all four of their penalties, and capitalized on three (THREE!) powerplay opportunities. Let’s get to the bullets.

Offense:

  • Ryan Callahan. Period.
  • The Flyers really owned the first period. They were beating the Rangers to every loose puck in the offensive zone, and had the puck deep for what seemed like an eternity. The Rangers were lucky to escape that first period with a lead.
  • Three powerplay goals. For the Rangers. Those Mayans might be on to something here.
  • The first Ryan Callahan goal looked eerily familiar to the Mike Rupp goal in the Winter Classic. Sergei Bobrovsky isn’t really a good goalie, and goals like that are why. But Bobo stood no chance on the Marian Gaborik goal. That was some great passing and a beautiful finish from Gabby, who also added three assists.
  • That third powerplay goal was a thing of beauty. Tic-tac-toe. Everything went right for the Rangers on that one.
  • What a pass by Derek Stepan on that fourth goal. He threaded the needle, and Artem Anisimov had an easy tap-in goal. It helped that Zac Rinaldo was completely out of position, but still a great pass.
  • Richards sure is making up for his poor play last month. The game winner the other night, two nice assists today, he sure did play well.
  • Outside of drawing the penalty in the first period, Carl Hagelin was relatively invisible.
  • It’s weird putting Stu Bickel in the offensive wrap up, but he wasn’t half bad as a forward.
  • Our captain is better than your captain.
  • One last thought on the offense: It looks like John Tortorella has found his top two lines. Anisimov/Stepan/Gaborik, Hagelin/Richards/Callahan.

Defense/Goaltending:

  • Steve Eminger took two pretty bad penalties this game, and the one in the second was just inexcusable. He can’t take penalties like that when the Rangers have the long change.
  • That Wayne Simmonds goal was one pretty deflection. Nothing Henrik Lundqvist could do. But the goal was a product of Michael Del Zotto being out of position and a failure by both MDZ and Anton Stralman to clear the crease.
  • Immediately after that, Ryan McDonagh put on a clininc on how to clear the crease. He was also dealing with Simmonds, and he got a solid low base with his legs and just drove him away from Lundqvist.
  • McDonagh’s not the only one from that pairing who put on a clinic. Dan Girardi put on a defensive clinic and a shot blocking clinic.  It amazes me that he went undrafted, especially after shutting down Sidney Crosby in the Memorial Cup that year.
  • Lundqvist needs to stop handling the puck. Seriously. It needs to stop.

Officiating/Opposition

  • The Claude Giroux goal was pretty. Nice breakaway move, and a good idea to push Hank’s glove over the line. That goal was a product of a bad change and the long change. Giroux was just left wide open on the far end of the ice.
  • Scott Hartnell had a funny moment with the fans in the first period. He gave a fan a thumbs up after a tussle with the Rangers along the boards. Not a fan of Hartnell, but that was funny.
  • The fact that the linesmen tried to separate Stu Bickel and Tom Sestito is appalling. Just let them fight. Still don’t know why Sestito got the second minor though. Or why Danny Briere got the misconduct. I’d have to guess that word came from Toronto that this game could get ugly. It would explain why the game was called so tight.
  • That slash by Rinaldo was dirty. Cheap shot by a cheap player. That sparked more fights, but the resulting misconduct penalties were a good idea. Get the punks off the ice so it can’t get ugly…which it was about to.
  • With the win, the Rangers hold a six point lead on the division with two games in hand on the Flyers. Going 5-0 thus far against the Flyers helps with the tiebreaker too.
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