|New York Rangers goaltender Martin Biron makes a save on the Toronto Maple Leafs during second-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)|
The Rangers came into tonight at 1-2-1 and many calling it a must win in October. I don’t buy that part of it, but the Rangers came out with that kind of intensity and when they faltered, Martin Biron bailed them out. The point of bringing in Biron was to have a backup for Henrik Lundqvist who you could trust to start any game and let Henrik rest more. If this is any indication of Biron is going to play this year, then the Rangers can take it a lot easier on Hank as the year moves along.
Rangers came out very strong, putting pressure in the Leafs zone with no early goal to show for it. It didn’t take long to see one of the subplots of the game develop as Orr and Boogaard dropped the gloves in a relatively even fight I thought Orr won slightly, though many disagreed. The only thing that kept the game close early was the play of the goaltender on the other end Jonas Gustavsson. The first time the Rangers would get through was when Derek Stepan skated to the corner to create space, then threw the puck at the net, which would eventually be put in by Ruslan Fedetenko off the goal line with just under 4 minutes left in the first. Shortly after that Artem Anisimov showed off both his strength and his hands winning the battle in front to tip in a Michal Rozsival pass.
The Leafs came out very strong in the 2nd period but they could not find a way past Biron as he stoned chance after chance on some of the Leafs best forwards Grabovski, Kessel and more. The Monster continued to keep the Leafs close in the 3rd continually stopping the Rangers with excellent chances to extend the lead. When the Rangers couldn’t figure out how to get by Gustavsson it just had a feel the Leafs were going to get a chance to tie the game. The Leafs finally got a goal by Colby Armstrong off a scramble in front, but there was not the same sense of here we go again that one might expect. That was due in large part to Biron who with a 2-1 lead then stoned Kris Versteeg on a breakaway while the Rangers were down a man. Biron just would not let this one get away.
- The top line played like a top line tonight with phenomenal efforts from Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahan
- Stepan played an excellent game with an extra burst in his stride
- All six D played very well with their positioning and blocking shots, but I will single out MDZ for his excellent positioning and work on the PK
- PK went 5-5 on kills due to great work from forwards D and yes the goalie
- Huge effort blocking 30 shots tonight
This is what I meant by getting back to basics and it lead to a 2-1 win