Monday, December 5, 2011

Rangers Winning Streak Snapped In 4-2 Loss To Leafs

The New York Rangers had a number of streaks end in a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night at Madison Square Garden. The loss snapped New York's five game winning streak overall, and seven game home winning streak.

New York played sloppy, lifeless hockey for the first half of the game resulting in a 3-0 deficit just 6:49 into the second period.

Artem Anisimov and Marian Gaborik tallied within 1:32 of each other to give the Rangers hope. Anisimov capitalized on a loose puck in the slot to score his fourth of the season, third straight hame. Gaborik converted on a 5-on-3 on a great feed from Stepan.

The Rangers had chances, but never got the tying goal behind Guatavsson before Steckel sealed the outcome with his empty netter.

Arguably the worst game Ryan McDonagh has played this season aa he struggled all night.
Artem Anisimov continues to improve and was the Rangers best player again.

Video: Winter Classic Promo Commercial

Interesting player choices for both teams as the Rangers used Brandon Prust, Brian Boyle, Marian Gaborik, Artem Anisimov, Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh while the Flyers featured James Van Riemsdyk, Wayne Simmonds, Scott Hartnell, Sean Couturier, Max Talbot and Claude Giroux.

Christian Thomas' Chances of Making Canadian World Junior Team

New York Rangers Christian Thomas had lofty expectations heading into this season as he was coming off a tremendous 99 point (54G, 45A) campaign a year ago.  Thomas struggled out of the gate scoring only three points in his first eight games of the season.  He was picking up his game, scoring in five straight games (2G, 5A) before getting suspended 10 games because of a high sticking incident. 

Team Canada saw enough in Thomas to give him another invite to the World Junior Camp.  While many have written him off as a legit threat to make the team, Brock Otten of OHL Prospects believes that Thomas has a good chance to make the squad:
Christian Thomas
Thomas has a lot of things going for him. He's obviously one of the best pure goal scorers at the camp and could easily slot on one of the team's top lines. But he's also a tenacious forechecker and energy guy who could just as easily slot in on one of the team's checking lines to provide speed and energy. Again, his versatility makes him a very attractive option. He hasn't had a terrific year, with his slow start and suspension, but he's picking it up as of late (with 6 goals and 4 assists in his last 5 games).
Since returning from suspension Thomas has been on fire with 14 points (6G, 8A) in only seven games including three goals and six assists in the last two games.  Playing well leading into camp certainly improves Thomas' chances of making the club as his form will be at a peak level.  His sniping ability also helps him tremendously, but it will depend on what the team is looking for when shaking out the roster.  Hopefully for Thomas he will get the shot, but if he doesn't, then hopefully a response like he had last season will be in store for the Oshawa Generals.