Sunday, November 14, 2010

Daily Recap: Gaborik Hat-trick; Frolov Alive; Brawl at MSG; McIlrath Hurt; Byers Return

Today was a good day on the professional level for the New York Rangers as the big club struck a match against the Oilers in the 8-2 win.  From 12:30 on the news for the Rangers and their fans has been mostly of the very good variety, but let us take a look back at the full day that was for us here at Bleeding All Blue.

The morning got off to a less than upbeat note as I passed along the reporting that 2010 1st round pick Dylan McIlrath injured his knee last night in a game for his Moose Jaw Warriors.  As of this moment there is still no reporting on the severity of the injury, but there was an update in the original post about how Dylan is in good spirits and hoping to be back soon.  Hopefully we will hear news in the next few days on the severity of the injury and we selfishly wish that Dylan is right about being back soon.

Following that I wrote up the scene in Hartford last night as Dane Byers made his return just days after his trade and inexplicably for me was booed during the game, but Byers would end up with the final say as his shootout goal clinched the win for his new club.  There were good signs for Hartford, but not enough to get the win.  In the write-up I mused that the new line assignments should help Grachev as he he is playing with some skilled partners and should get stability in his role.  It was also nice to Redden step up and smack a guy and then not back down when the teammate took exception.  Finally Kundratek just destroyed a guy in a fight.

The day then shifted early to the professional club as the Rangers had their afternoon tilt with the young Oilers.  The morning news concerning the game was that coach John Tortorella decided to change from what was announced yesterday as the lineup pulling Todd White and inserting Derek Boogaard.  This move would certainly be noticed during the course of today’s game as Boogaard would have two scraps with Steve MacIntyre of the Oilers, the first being the more memorable.  In Round 1 Boogaard following a slow start as MacIntyre successfully tied him up would get his right arm free and destroy his opponent reigning down bombs.

In the game itself Marian Gaborik was the headliner as superstars are supposed to be and he did it from the opening moments of the game and his teammates rallied around that spark he created.  The most obvious beneficiaries of Gaborik today were his linemates in Alexander Frolov and Erik Christensen who both played their best games of the season.  On the day Gaborik would have 3G 1A; Frolov 2G 2A; Christensen 3A as all three ended up a spectacular +5 on the afternoon.  Video of the Gaborik hat-trick is available as well.

Other than the outcome of the game which was far from in doubt during the third was the brawl that broke out following a Sean Avery clean hit and what I see as a cheap shot against Ladislav Smid.  Yes, Smid did come up to Avery and ask for a fight, even dropping the gloves so nothing that Avery did was illegal.  My problem is that Avery gave no indication of being willing to square up and fight the kid until Smid let his guard down and Avery proceeded to clock him with a right.  As I said it was all legal, but to me it was bush league behavior from Avery.  This incident would set off a series of scrums as Avery was lead off the ice to the locker room.  The best fight in the group was Stortini vs Prust, but the biggest potential news was in Peckham coming after Avery from the bench area, though Brian Boyle intervened and Brandon Dubinsky engaging and then trading blows with Frasor from on his bench.  I expected there would be suspensions, but news tonight said there would be no suspensions issued, rather just fines.

Finally I took a look at the week that was for the NHL club in how they started the week coming off a loss, lost to Washington but then battled back as reinforcements in the form of Gaborik returned and got the final two wins of the week to improve to 9-7-1 overall.  The rollercoaster is sitting at a high point right now and the question after today and the week is how long it can stay there and if it can go higher.