Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bruins' Lucic Runs Sabres' Miller Leading To Miller Calling Lucic "Gutless" (w/video)

Milan Lucic plays a physical brand of hockey and has the size that makes all hits with him painful for the opposition.  Now imagine him with a full head of steam rolling over a goaltender and you have what happen to Sabres' goaltender Ryan Miller late in the first period Saturday night.  Lucic blew what should have been an easy breakaway chance by fumbling the puck too far ahead and instead of dealing with the fact he screwed up, he decided he was going to freight train through Miller.

No Sabres responded on the ice, but Miller had plenty to say after the game.  John Vogl of the Buffalo News tweeted out the following from Miller:
"I just stuck around because I wanted to say what a piece of [feces] I think Lucic is. Fifty pounds on me, and he runs me like that? It's unbelievable. Everyone in this city see him as a big, tough, solid player. I respected him for how hard he plays. That was gutless. Gutless. Piece of [feces]."
Miller went after his own team for their lack of response as well and he is absolutely right they should have gone after Lucic to send a message that it was unacceptable.  Lucic while denying it was intentional after the game said that if it had happened to a Bruins goaltender they would have responded while Buffalo didn't.

Video: Dubinsky First Goal of Season, Complete With Prospal-esque Celebration

Sean Avery Reminds Us How Important He Can Be For Rangers

Last night Sean Avery showed just how effective he can be for the New York Rangers.  In the end he was not the star of the show as Brandon Dubinsky scoring his first goal of the year took away much of the spotlight, but Avery was the Rangers best forward for two periods.  Avery provided energy when much of the lineup was lacking it, scored a beautiful goal top shelf over Cam Ward and drew two penalties.  Avery was so good that he saw time with Brad Richards in the third period and reminded all Rangers fans why his army was so adamant to have him back.  The boxscore says that Avery only played 10:06, but his impact and effectiveness on each shift certainly made it seem like he was out there for significantly more time.

As someone who has taken the tact that the impact of #16 has been overstated to this point it was a pleasure to see him be a key player at MSG again.  For his sake and the Rangers let us hope that he can keep up that level because while the 5-1 final overshadows some of the importance to his goal and effort, those who watched know just how important Avery was to the Rangers maintaining their win streak.

Welcome Back Dubinsky

Chris Trotman/Getty Images
It took a lot longer than anyone expected, but New York Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky has finally tallied his first goal of the season.  The level of relief on the face of Dubinsky immediately following the puck hitting the back of the net showed just how much the drought was weighing on the 25-year-old forward.  As he said postgame
“Picture’s worth a thousand words, isn’t that the phrase? If you take a still shot of me with my head back, my arms up, it was just like ‘mercy, finally, thank God. Something gave.’ That’s what you need,” Dubinsky said. “Puck going off my butt or something, it was pretty dang close with a puck on my stick and an empty net in front of me 15 feet away.”
For some the tally will validate Dubinsky’s effort on the evening, but for those who understand the way the team needs him to play the Rangers fourth goal was even better. Dubinsky’s work along the way fighting off multiple defenders, drawing a penalty and then getting the puck to the front of the net in what was eventually Ryan Callahan’s goal off a scramble was pure Dubinsky at his best.  That is the kind of work that Dubinsky has been doing for much of the early season, but the focus has been on the zero he had in the goal department.  Now that he has broken the seal, look for Dubinsky to go on a run here as he has always been streaky when it comes to goal scoring.
There is no denying that the Rangers need Dubinsky to be a part of the goal scoring if they are to maintain their current level in the standings, but they need him to play the way he has even more.  Goals will come and go as you will get lucky on a few and lose some you certainly deserve, but the effort is what makes Dubinsky the player he is; the vital part of the Rangers core.
His position in the core of the team was stunningly evident with the pure joy of everyone else on the ice the moment he scored and as they continued to mob him along the wall afterwards.  The crowd joined in providing arguably the loudest cheer of the season to let the forward know the love never left even if his goal scoring did to start the season.