Sunday, November 28, 2010

Daily Recap: SO Win; Avery/Prust Fight; Dubinsky Untouchable?; Gaborik Out, Rozi Back, Should MDZ sit?

Coming off a less than stellar team performance but victory over the Florida Panthers the Rangers went into Saturday looking to build some momentum as they headed to Nashville.  For me the best way to continue that momentum was to go back with Henrik Lunqvist who after struggling for his prior few outings was spectacular in a 40 save shutout against the Panthers.  This morning I wrote about how staying with Lundqvist and letting him get the back to back action not only would help his confidence but it would give him another game to reinforce the positive habits he had in the game.  For many the focus was on the shutout and how that required the Rangers to go back to him tonight, but for me it was less about the final result as the way he got there with saves he had to make.  A large part of the inconsistency for Lundqvist this season has been his stance and how he has been going down early and being beaten on deflections high, but against Florida he stayed taller and it made a large difference.  Check out the whole post and what I am prescribing for the goaltending schedule the next week here.

My other point of focus in looking back to last night’s game was the play of Sean Avery who played his most impactful game in a while and so I welcomed him back to the hockey side of the game and the skilled player he can be and what that can mean to the club here.

In terms of tonight’s lineup there were a couple of updates, the initial being after the morning practice that talked about how Michal Rozsival was going to be back for the game, announced the start of Lundqvist.  After doing that I speculated that the likely scratch to make room for Rozsival was going to be Matt Gilroy, but I went on to discuss whether it should be Michael Del Zotto who actually took a seat instead, which can be found here.  The other post about the lineup would be late when it would be announced that Marian Gaborik was going to miss the game with the flu and that the Rangers since Derek Boogaard was once again unavailable would dress 11 forwards and 7 defense.  That post can be found here and within it I speculated on what I would use for lines to start the game.

For a full recap of the game you can go here but the quick version is that Henrik made key saves early, the Rangers got down and for the first time all season rallied when trailing after 2 to get a gutty shootout win.  Dubinsky and Callahan once again carried the club in the absence of Gaborik and were helped tonight by good efforts from Christensen, Boyle and Avery up front.  On defense Rozi was solid in his return, Sauer was steady as always, Eminger played well and Staal rebounded from a shaky first for a good overall game.

During the game tonight there were two fights; one with Sean Avery and Jordin Tootoo of which the video is here; the other with Brandon Prust and Shane O’Brien which is here.  In the fights I would have to say the Rangers went 1 and 1 though both had entertaining moments and should be checked out.

There were two other stories on the site today; one deal with a rumor mongerer saying Brandon Dubinsky was “untouchable” and I took a look at the rumor itself and then whether Dubinsky should be classified as untouchable here.  The other was about the finale of the AHL affiliate as the Hartford Wolfpack in which they collapsed, blowing a 3-0 lead in the third and lost in a shootout.  Inside are the details of the game including information on Mats Zuccarello, Dale Weise, Pavel Valentenko, Ryan McDonagh and that can be found here.