More Dubi Please
Hossa-Dubinsky-Dubi's Right Wing
LundqvistLast night’s match-up against the Flyers was the best game the Rangers have played since the Atlanta series at the end of last year. They were dominant throughout, played sound defense and got huge efforts from all of their key players.
In the first period they fired 22 shots on net. Brandon Dubinsky, once again centering Jagr and Hossa, continued to impress. He was strong on the puck, aggressive in the offensive zone, and responsible to his role on defense. He didn’t score, but the goals will come. And as a mark of how impressive he was, despite not finding the score-sheet, the kid from Anchorage was given 3rd Star. Put it this way: Two 600 goal-scorers added to their tallies and the defense logged a shut-out, and a rookie still got a star without putting up a point. It was a big game for Brandon. Last night he stamped his claim on the title of “Jagr’s Center”.
What a terrific game it was for our superstar too. The player henceforth known as “Dubi’s Right Wing”, put his own stamp on this game at the 19:27 mark of the first period. You have to love it when you get that late-period goal. They’re back-breakers for the opposition and the home crowd rides the excitement through the break. You love it even more when they come by way of laser beams shot by the All-World right wing of Brandon Dubinsky. The big guy had a big game despite a tweaked groin and slippery sticks. He was a monster.
After a confidence-building first twenty minutes, the second period seemed designed to take me down a bit. Yes, the Rangers continued to pressure and dominated play. Henrik was Henrik, coming up huge as needed, but the Blueshirts couldn’t capitalize on their chances at the other end of the ice. When a team plays well, but can’t seem to extend their lead, it’s a recipe for disaster and it had me scared. To add to that fear, Dubi’s Right Wing took to the dressing room early and Avery was seen stretching his neck/shoulder on the bench at the end of the period. No pay-off for a solid period and injuries to boot? I was worried.
At the start of the third, the concern seemed warranted. It began with a significant tilt in the ice leaning towards Lundqvist. True to form he came up big. Note from Zipay: The Rangers won 5 of 6* on the home stand and Henrik gave up two goals in the five wins. That helps.
* Arghhh - That stupid Leafs game cost me a beer too.
Their goalie’s play seemed to inspire the Rangers. After a seven-minute lull, they found their wheels again and reverted to dominating form. From top to bottom the team was strong. Avery did everything you want Avery to do. Drury was outstanding. Gomez was skating and carrying the puck like Scott Gomez can and should. Prucha was working for his shots rather than waiting for chances to come to him. And Shanny’s goal was vintage Shanahan.
The six defensemen were unbelievable. Strudwick even played well. Mara was solid and added four shots to the effort. Tyutin and Girardi were tough to play against. And Michael Rozsival deserves more credit than he gets. Finally, Marc Staal had his best game yet. He logged top-pair minutes and earned the right to do it again. He made the simple and smart plays most of the time and when opportunity presented itself he didn’t shy away from carrying the puck up ice. In the third, he drew a penalty (uncalled) by wheeling and driving down the length of the ice. His dump-and-chase move around the defenseman would have worked had he not been interfered with, but alas the men in stripes did not see it that way. Regardless, Staal played a big game in a big spot… Just like a lot of other Rangers last night. I’ll take 68 (+) more games just like that, thank you very much.
Hey, a guy can hope right?
- Referees Dave Jackson and Tim Peel did a decent job. No egregious errors or omissions and they were not afraid to make the correct call at difficult times.
- Go Leafs. Big game tonight.