Saturday, October 30, 2010

Henrik Decides No Mischief or Mystery on This Halloween Eve Blanks Leafs 2-0

TORONTO - OCTOBER 30: Kris Versteeg #32 of the Toronto Maple Leafs is stopped in close by  Henrik Lundqvist #30 and Michal Rozsival #33 of the New York Rangers during game action October 30, 2010 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)
After two straight losses this week the Rangers decided the time for a win was the same place they started their last winning streak, Toronto. This time instead of Martin Biron being the man in the net to lead the charge it was Henrik Lundqvist. The win puts the Rangers at 5-4-1 after their first 10 games with a brutal November schedule on the horizon. After 34 saves in a loss last night, Henrik would outdo himself in making 36 en route to his 25th career shutout.

If the Rangers were looking to keep up the effort after last night they got started in a big way early as Brandon Prust decided to worry about his injured eye and fight Mike Komisarek who decided he didn’t really want to fight fair cheap shotting Prust multiple times after he wrestled him to the ground. The rest of the team didn’t come out with the same energy Prust had as they were pretty sluggish overall for the first 10 minutes. Later in the period after Orr dumped Eminger prust did a good thing in sticking up for his teammate but it was a bad penalty to take at that point in the game. It is the way Brandon plays so you have to live with it and appreciate the intent of sticking up for the team. Coming out of the box following the kill as the puck is cleared Prust gets the puck and found a streaking Brian Boyle who then drove the net and roofed it by Giguere. for his 4th goal. Boyle is playing out of his mind compared to last year as he had four goals and two assists in 71 games last season and tied his career high with that fourth goal in tenth game.

Late in the period the Rangers tried to get themselves in trouble as Eminger took another interference penalty and during the ensuing kill Dubinsky slashed Kessel giving Toronto a 5 on 3 for 30 seconds, which would be split between the two periods. The Rangers would kill the penalty and it would typify the mood of the period as Henrik Lundqvist would stop 18 shots during the period and maybe because tomorrow is a day where people where costumes the Ranger defense decided to dress up as guys that actually hit players and pucks in the crease around Hank. Henrik has always been very good with the initial shot, but rebounds become an issue and if the defense will play like that clear the crease this team will be so much more effective overall. This game had the feel of being over at 1-0 as Hank just didn’t give the impression of giving one up tonight, but at the end of the period Ryan Callahan on a penalty shot would make it 2-0 and really put the game out of reach.

The third period was more of the same from Henrrik and the Leafs could not solve him to make it feel any closer than it had all night. In the clutch when the Rangers needed forwards to help kill the game there was no doubt that Dubinsky and Callahan would be the ones to do the job and they did stifling Toronto on any attempt to build a rush to get back in it. Much better defensive effort all around combined with Henrik being himself and hard work of Callahan, Dubi, Prust, Boyle is a winning combination most nights.
  • Props to Brian Boyle for his huge strides from last season and continuing it from game to game
  • Brandon Prust is fearless and if anyone doubted that they cant after this evening.
  • Cally was Cally.
  • Defense was better, but there is still work to do. If Torts BS media comments ever mean anything his talk on Sauer hints he might be back in as soon as Monday but I will believe it when I see.