New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
3-2, Rangers (OT)
Goals: Ryan Callahan (New York), Andrew Ference (Boston), Marian Gaborik x2 (New York), Adam McQuaid (Boston)
Goalies: Henrik Lundqvist (32/34, .941%), Tuukka Rask (30/33, .909%)
After that roadie, psychologically it was just good to be back home, to have the goal horn and song correspond to the correct team and hear the proper chants and such. Furthermore, NHL Network gave me a little treat: this time, they used the NESN version of events! I was happy!
It was also very good to see Marc Savard. He seemed to be in pretty good spirits and spoke to the media about coaching, exercising and the problems he continues to experience. I think what he’s done with having the suite available for kids who might be going through the same stuff he’s going through is so admirable.
The game got off to a great, speedy start. Nathan Horton‘s speed was especially surprising. I saw a guy blazing down the ice, saw the 1 on his back, figured it was Tyler Seguin and then realized “no, wait, that’s 18!” You can’t deny this was a big-time, speedy, serious-business kind of game. (The unpopular opinion: I would really rather not have a Boston-New York playoff series if at all possible. I just feel like I’d go prematurely gray from stressing out over every game.)
Having defensemen who can also score–and in Adam McQuaid‘s case, break a drought going back to November–is just another example of the versatility I am so thankful for on this team.
Shawn Thornton‘s fight against Michael Rupp was not only fun to watch, but I feel like it did help change the tone of the game in Boston’s favor. I can only find the MSG version of events for a video of it, and their commentators aren’t very good at calling fights it seems, but yeah:
Eesh, our power play is definitely nothing to write home about. New York’s one regulation chance to show off their man advantage wasn’t much better, though. (Their one overtime chance…well…) Lots of zone clearings to shave time off the advantages, valiant but failed attempts to get shots on goal–I just have to remind myself that we won the Cup with a shoddy power play and that it could be worse, but it could be better.
There were also some problems passing. I saw a lot of thwarted passing attempts that ended up on the stick of a guy in white instead of a guy in black. That’s not fun to watch!
I don’t know if Brad Marchand is just a little rusty after his suspension or what, but there were a few times today when he did not perform up to the standards we’ve come to expect from him. C’mon, Marchy! Back to the good ol’ days! Make us proud.
While some of our defensemen finished today with positive ratings because, hey, they scored, there were other ones who were out there when the other guys scored–and I feel like they could’ve done more to try and stop it. Dennis Seidenberg, playing in his 500th game, tallied a -2 and both Zdeno Chara and Joe Corvo came out of this with negatives too. Just standing there and hoping Tuukka will get it isn’t enough as a d-man. Sometimes you might have to block that darn shot, or flail about, or just try to make some sort of effort to stop it before the red light flashes. This is a common complaint lately and I really do feel that if it continues this way, Peter Chiarelli and company might be looking to replace a blueliner or two before the trade deadline.
Ugh, speaking of defensemen. No one is making excuses for what Andrew Ference did to Ryan McDonagh in overtime, and everyone fervently hopes McDonagh feels better soon. Claude Julien would like to kindly remind all haters that Ference is not a dirty player, and he is deferring to the league for potential further discipline. Recently I was discussing no-touch icing with some friends because they use it in the ECHL and World Juniors. I feel like it could work very well in the NHL and, considering the atmosphere of the game these days with the focus on head safety, the end-of-season rules meetings might in fact include some discussion of this rule. Collisions like the Ference-McDonagh one could be avoided with no-touch icing.
Oh, and hey refs–might want to check your phone–at the end of regulation, you missed some calls, both on New York, both for pretty obvious instances of tripping. Maybe they just didn’t want Boston to have a carryover power play for overtime or something.
at Philadelphia Flyers
January 22 NESN
Alright! Let’s do really well in these last two games before the All-Star break! Especially against the Flyers.