After the somewhat slow news day on the Thanksgiving holiday the Rangers got back at it today and that meant more news and stories on the site ranging from looking at Staal becoming a scapegoat for some; Stepan creeping up in Calder contention; previewing tonight’s game; looking at the Sean Avery rule being called on Chris Pronger and of course the recap of the game itself.
This morning after a couple of days of reading a series of comments sticking the majority of the loss to Tampa on Marc Staal’s shoulders I wrote about how for some Staal has become a target to be criticized whenever things seem to go wrong defensively. The fact is he did play a lousy game against the Lightning, but so did just about everyone else and to act like he was the main reason they lost that game just takes it too far for me. If that part of it was not enough to then take a bad game and claim it as proof of him being over-rated is just beyond comprehension to me as he is one of the best defensive defenders in the game.
Following the Staal story I looked at how in the past week Stepan has made the most of his increased role and with his hot scoring was not only taking himself off the Hartford train but moving him into the talk for the Calder. Obvious it will take more than a hot week for him to be a legitimate candidate for the award, but with the signs in his game the idea is certainly within the realm of possibilities.
The pregame is as the pregame always is, but today the question was about how the team and especially the best players would respond to being called out by Tortorella for the way they performed against the Lightning.
During the early evening the news broke about how during overtime of the Flyers-Flames game that Chris Pronger was called for the Sean Avery rule not only giving the Flyers a penalty but nullifying what would have been the game winning goal for the team. I put up the video of the incident which to me looked relatively harmless though the intent from Pronger was obvious and the video of Pronger’s post-game comments which were great. Later on I put up the video of back when Avery faced up against Brodeur literally and was the impetus for the rule in the first place.
From the game itself there was the video of an entertaining fight between two very good fighters in Brandon Prust and Darcy Hordichuk which can be seen here. Finally there was the game recap in which I looked at how while the effort was better tonight the team did not play nearly well enough to have beaten a better opponent on the night and if not for Henrik Lundqvist and his brilliance might not have even beaten this one. Stepan kept his hot play up making me look smart from this morning, Prust got his first of the year, Gaborik, Staal and Girardi all responded from their subpar games to have a very positive impact in this one.
The Rangers will be in Nashville tomorrow to take on the Predators and we will certainly cover that along with other news and stories.