Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Daily Recap: Rangers Fall in Close One; Dubinsky Deserves All-Star Nod; Rozsival, Drury Updates; Smid to IR Means More Grief On Avery

The Rangers took on the Boston Bruins tonight in the unveiling of their Heritage jerseys looking for a fourth straight win, but their comeback attempt would fall short in the third period.  All in all the effort was good on the night, but Boston made the Rangers pay for their mistakes and the Rangers could not solve Tim Thomas enough to salvage points.  The comeback would be sparked by Brandon Dubinsky’s hit in the third period that awoke the Rangers from their early period slumber.  On the night Dubinsky would also add his 11th goal of the season only reaffirming why I made the case this morning for Dubinsky as an All-star this season.

During the day there were updates on Michal Rozsival here and here as well as Captain Chris Drury as both look to make their way back into the lineup.  Rozsival is not coming back before next week and Drury appears to be 2-3 weeks away.

Other than that there was the pregame for the tilt against the Bruins along with me discussing again the Avery situation this time in light of the fact that Ladislav Smid was put on IR with a concussion and how that would only restart the calls against Avery and what happened.

Rangers Comeback Falls Toe Short Against Bruins In 3-2 Loss

Al Bello/Getty Images
The Rangers took the ice tonight looking to extend their winning streak to a season high four while at the same time evening their home record at 5-5-1.  The opponent, Boston Bruins, came in with an impressive 6-1 road record so the task would certainly not be an easy one for the Rangers.  The two teams would play a pretty even first twenty minutes with the Rangers getting the better of the chances, but Tim Thomas being up to the task.  In the second the Rangers would cash in on the back half of a double minor as when Brandon Dubinsky scored his team high 11th goal of the season on the power-play at 7:10 of the period.  

The Bruins would strike just under four minutes later when Milan Lucic would capitalize on a Rangers defensive zone blunder scoring at 11:06 to tie the game at 1-1.  Tyler Seguin would show off why he was the 2nd pick in the draft at 16:35 of the second to put the Bruins up 2-1 capitalizing on another defensive mistake, this time by Matt Gilroy at the offensive blue-line.  To start the third the Rangers would make some tactical changes, but the key moment was 1:10 in when Henrik Lundqvist gave up a soft goal to Mark Recchi creating what proved to be an insurmountable two goal deficit for New York.  The Rangers would battle back, get within one and have chances but in the end they would fall a toe shy of getting back to even, losing 3-2.  

It would be easy to blame Lundqvist for the loss seeing as how the soft goal he let in to start the third period, especially since it would ultimately prove to be the game winner but there were plenty of other reasons the Rangers lost this game.  The defensive breakdowns that lead to the first two goals, and the failure once again to capitalize on a long five-on-three advantage would be chief among those other reasons.  Also while he doesn’t always look pretty doing it because of his unorthodox style credit must be given to the battle with which Tim Thomas plays and helped him stop 34 shots tonight.  The Rangers will get back at it Friday in Colorado.

Details of play, my thoughts inside.

Final Lineup vs Boston: Boogaard In: White Out; Rozsival Updated Again

As I speculated about in the pregame Derek Boogaard is officially back in vs the Bruins tonight, while Todd White will get his seat in the press box back during the game. Rest of the lineup same as it was against the pens on Monday.  Again it is Heritage Night and one of the guys in the picture will be showing off the awesome alternate jersey's.


Rozsival: Update from this afternoon on Rozi is that he is going to miss the trip, but could be back for the home game Monday vs Calgary and it is still the shoulder.  Still no callup expected from Hartford as Tortorella doesnt think anyone there is really ready but if necessary they would bring someone on the trip.  Expect them to travel with six.  First one up right now would probably have to be Kundratek as he has played the best of any of the prospects down there.

Full pregame thoughts

Smid To IR With Concussion: Cue Avery Wheel of Hate

Getty Images
Getty Images

In this morning's Edmonton Journal, Jim Matheson reported that Ladislav Smid suffered a concussion as a result of his scrap with Sean Avery on Sunday and that he would be placed on injured reserve (IR) with no timetable for his return.

Pregame: Bruins vs Rangers 11/17/2010: Can Rangers Ride Momentum Over Bruins?

The Rangers come into the Garden tonight on an upward loop to their rollercoaster so far having won three straight including a huge character win Monday night against Pittsburgh.  In tonight’s game they will eye a .500 home record as with a win tonight they would improve to 5-5-1 and start to build a home ice advantage with their 3rd straight at the Garden.  If the current Rangers needed any more help tonight they will be playing their first game in their Heritage jersey’s so they will truly be skating with history on their backs pushing them forward.  The team currently sits at 10-7-1 overall and will have a tough task in playing the Bruins in what are seemingly always tight and low scoring affairs.

Chris Drury Injury Update

Per Larry Brooks Captain Chris Drury has finally started skating on his own following he broken finger suffered on Oct 15th against Toronto and the timetable is looking like another 2-3 weeks as this point which would fall right into the original 6-8 week window.  This is good news for the Rangers as while others have stepped up in the leadership and penalty killing departments it never hurts to add a leadership type and penalty killer into a lineup.  Obviously it will be interesting to watch where he is inserted once he comes back and this update gives up 2-3 weeks to speculate on it before there is real news about it.

Personally I never understood the delay in him skating to this point since it was a finger injury because I am sure they could find someone to lace his skates and he does not have to have a stick in order to keep some hockey/skating conditioning up.  The 2-3 weeks should also give us a timetable on Todd White's Rangers career though it is possible the Rangers will carry two extras until Prospal comes back and based on reporting last week that appears to be another month to six weeks away.

Practice News: Rozsival Injury Update (Knee?); Girardi Unibrow

Not a whole lot out of practice today as the lines were the same as the last game, though no definitive answer on whether Boogaard will play tonight against the Bruins.  If I had to guess I would say yes and White goes back to the press box, but we should know for sure at 5ish.  When asked by about it Andrew Gross reports Boogaard replied, "Ask Torts or Glen," while smiling.  I think that the idea of Boogaard smiling can be a very scary thing to witness. 

Dubinsky Ascends To All-Star Heights

Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Many of us are having fun with the Sean Avery for All-Star Game idea that was originally brought up at least to my vision by Kevin @NYRBlog, but right now I want to be a little more serious and start a series on which Rangers I believe have played their way into the All-Star Game.  The players which will be in this series you already know from last week when I complained they were not even on the initial ballot are Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi.  For the first in the series I will tackle the case for Brandon Dubinsky.

Video: Hilarious Avery Phaneuf Animation

Never saw this before but this is a hilarious take on those Avery comments that got him suspended six games back when he was with Dallas and ultimately led to him being back in NY. Think of this as another reason to vote for Avery to make the All-Star team just so Bettman has to take questions on him.