Sunday, April 10, 2011

Video: Ryan McDonagh First NHL Goal A Game Winner Vs Devils

Ryan McDonagh has come close to getting his first NHL goal a few times, but the one he got yesterday is one he could not find a way to top in the regular season.  He scored what turned out not only to be the game winning goal, but also the goal that indirectly sent the Rangers to the playoffs against a bitter rival in the final game of the year.  Special stuff.

What a Difference A Year Makes For The Rangers; Bring On The Capitals

What a difference a year makes.  What a difference a day makes.  When Rangers fans awoke the day after Game 82 in Philadelphia last year the devastation of missing out the playoffs was brutal.  The way that they missed both in terms of having a chance in a shootout to make it and having it be to the hated Flyers only made it worse.  Yesterday the majority of Rangers fans woke up dreading having that feeling again and feeling helpless because the team had given away control of their own destiny. 

This time the result was different.  This time when fans woke up the day after Game 82 there was elation and anticipation of the upcoming playoff series with the Washington Capitals.  They could do so because the team played to the identity they have formed over the course of the year as a team that outworks their opponents and has a mental toughness to it that never has them out of a game. The difference in the makeup and mentality of this team fro one year to the next is vast.  Last year there was a team that you never knew what version was going to show up in any facet of the game and while this year the offense is still inconsistent the effort is there nearly every night and that can be the difference between missing by a point or making it by just two.

After taking care of all they could control yesterday that pensive nature of Rangers fans was tested waiting for four hours to have the puck drop between Tampa Bay and Carolina.  Having been heartbroken many times before there was a decidedly cautious approach to hoping in terms of the result of the game last night.  Tampa came in with nothing but pride to play for, but they got on top early and would not relinquish control of the game against the red hot Hurricanes. 

Some will say the Rangers got lucky in getting the help they did from Tampa, and maybe they did, but luck is where skill meets opportunity and the Rangers while not having the most skill have put in the work to earn the opportunity.  Now it will be up them to take advantage of it against the Capitals in round 1.  I for one wouldn’t bet against them with the way they can fight with and for one another.

Yogan Scores Twice, McIlrath Fights For Whale Against Sound Tigers

There will certainly be plenty of discussion over the Rangers and their tremendous Saturday in their own game and the Tampa Bay-Carolina game that sent them to the playoffs, but first take a look at what a few future Rangers did for the Connecticut Whale down in the AHL.  The Whale, unlike the Rangers, locked up a playoff birth before the final game of the regular season so they went with a young lineup against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Saturday.  The result was that the fans got to get a glimpse of some potential future Rangers.  On the night Andrew Yogan (2010 fourth round pick) would score twice in his professional debut and Dylan McIlrath (2010 first round pick) would drop the gloves. 

During the second period is when Yogan would get his night started as just 1:54 into the period Yogan would score after a very good cycling shift with Kelly Tessier and Evgeny Grachev.  The trio worked the puck along the wall very well and finally Tessier would find Yogan at the side of the net where he beat Nathan Lawson high to the short side.  Yogan would finish off his excellent pro debut with his second goal when he redirected Bickel’s point shot into the net during the third period from another high traffic area in front.

Yogan had a shoulder injury that kept him out of action until mid-March and only allowed him to play 10 games this season in which he had three goals and one assist.  The talent has never been questioned with Yogan but some other questions have been raised so next season will be very interesting for him to see if he can stay healthy and how he progresses in his play.

The McIlrath bout against Alex O’Neil would come midway through the second and was a high action affair that saw Dylan both land and take some punches, but stand in there just the same.

Video of McIlrath Fight:

Full highlights of the game…

Video: T.J. Oshie Dekes Around Pekka Rinne From His Knees

The St. Louis Blues might have been playing their last game in a somewhat disappointing season overall, but T.J. Oshie’s goal against the Nashville Predators gave the fans something to remember and was part of a late stretch that creates a lot of hope to for next season.  Oshie got the puck in the slot, as he was falling the ice, and had the skill to still deke around Pekka Rinne from his knees before scoring on the back hand. Truly one of the best goals of the season