Blog Entry

Rangers role call

Posted on: April 18, 2009 6:08 pm

Success iat this time of year is all the little things well and the New York Rangers are going home with a two-game lead over the Washington Capitals because they've been doing better at it.

New York won its second consecutive road game today despite being outshot 35-24 largely because Henrik Lundqvist stood on his head in goal again for the Rangers. No surprise there since the Rangers are counting on Lundqvist to steal games if not the series for them, and he'll have to because New York doesn't have the offense to match up with the run and gun Capitals. That was obvious today from New York's shot total and five botched power play tries.

What New York does have though is an effective group of role players who are making a major impact in this series.

Guys like Ryan Callahan, who scored the only goal of the game early in the first period but made just as much of a contribution to the win by pounding Alex Ovechkin at every opportunity and with his play away from the puck.

Or Blair Betts and Fredrik Sjostrom, who rarely get attention but are critical parts of the Rangers penalty killing unit that was the league's best this season and managed to neutralize Washington's high voltage power play three times. And shutdown types Brandon Dubinsky and Lauri Korpikoski, names you won't find on a marquee but telling were on the ice in the final minute when the Capitals pulled their goalie as they pressed for the equalizer.

Along with Lundqvist, the role players were the Rangers best on this day, spearheading a superb road effort that saw the Rangers keep the Caps from getting traffic in front of the net, minimize Ovechkin's impact and give up their bodies to the tune of 29 blocked shots.

It was a stunning effort in what is becoming a stunning series, with the Rangers now one step closer to a major upset and the Caps seemingly at a lost about how to proceed.

Washington shook things up by going with 20 year old Simeon Varlamov in goal, a move that didn't really backfire because the Caps played better in front of him than they did with Jose Theodore between the pipes in Game 1. But Varlamov was really tested severely other than the 2 on 1 break Callahan converted on the second shot of the game, and going into the hostile environs of Madison Square Garden could be risky.

Regardless of who plays goal for Washington, the Capitals won't get back into the series unless their star players start taking over games. Right now, the Rangers role players aren't letting them.


Category: NHL

Since: Aug 23, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2009 5:03 pm

Rangers role call

Redden was lousy all year, but he and his fellow D-man Rosie have done very well assigned to OV's line.

But I completely agree with you about Antripov and Morris.

They also have a hell of a team in Hartford.

Since: Apr 19, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2009 3:31 pm

Rangers role call

4-0 Rangers, the Caps suck.



Since: Aug 31, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2009 3:14 pm

Rangers role call

 i love what the rangers are doing to but i'm not too happy about reddens contract or the fact that we may not be able to keep this team together next season.   is antripov gonna be there??  what about morris???    they should buy out redden and keep the real players

Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2009 1:49 pm

Rangers role call

Yes, Thank God for the Cap!

I welcomed it after all those years with all the stars and going nowhere!

Funny thing how all anyone could talk about is Ovechkin and Malkin etc.

We used to have all the stars and went nowhere!

Like the Yankees.

I really like what the Rangers have been doing!


Go Rangers!

Since: May 4, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2009 2:18 am

Rangers role call





Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2009 2:10 am

Rangers role call

Ovechkin passes? That's news to me.  The guy has double the shots of other guys like Crosby and Malkin.  If they took 600 shots per season, they'd have more goals than 50 to show for it.  His shot percentage is crap, especially in the playoffs.  What does he have in the first 2 games? 30 shots just by him? And how many goals to show for it? How many wins?

The guy is one of the 3 best players in the NHL.  No doubt about it.  Crosby, Malkin, and Ovechkin are the 3 best, hands down, and people will debate about those 3.  However, Ovechkin can't lead his team in the playoffs.  Malkin and Crosby have already carried a team to the Finals in convincing fashion going 4-0 first series, 4-1, 4-1, and then hanging close with a stacked detroit team that was bound to win the Cup.  Ovechkin can't get out of the first round.

I'm not saying he shoots too much..but he does.  He needs to elevate the playmaker side of his game, because Crosby and Malkin own him in that category.  The Capitals have a couple snipers, so why doesn't he learn how to pass and set them up more? He is a good shooter, but he needs to dish it around more. 

And he needs to play DEFENSE.  Throwing cheap hits to guys who aren't looking is one thing, playing solid defense is a completely different thing.  He has the speed to be a solid backchecker, but he just doesn't do it.

And the guy who said Wes didn't spell the article is 'role' spelled incorrectly? I'll be the first one to criticize Wes Goldstein because he is a joke of a hockey analyst.  My 2 year old son knows more about the game than Wes does.  But it seems his article is spelled correctly, so what's your beef chief? 

Since: May 4, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2009 2:10 am

Rangers role call


 Enough already with the "Lundqvist stood on his head" storyline, as if the Caps barraged the Rangers at will...Rangers are not giving up restaurant quality scoring chances here, 35 shots yeah but not many are anything but 30 foot wristers into Hank's chest....Rangers are grinding this out, plain and simple, and the Caps do not have the team to do the same.  This series is over.

Since: Jan 1, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2009 1:46 am

Rangers role call

Alexander Ovetchkin - OVER-RATED !

lol I wouldnt go that far the hype that kid get's is well deserved ten fold. His defence isn't great but other than that they dude is flawless. He scores, he passes, and oh god does he ever hit. He's having a rough go so far in this series thanks to the King, but Ovi is very far from over-rated stop being a hater



Since: May 2, 2007
Posted on: April 18, 2009 11:48 pm

Rangers role call

Alexander Ovetchkin - OVER-RATED !  period. 

All I watched is this cry baby on the ice for 3/4 of the game and all he could do is hit a post.  <insert tissue here>

Rangers in 4

Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: April 18, 2009 10:58 pm

Rangers role call

Henrik's play is starting to remind me of J-S Giguere in 2003. He single handedly took Anaheim to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup with an otherwise mediocre team, and this Rangers club looks strikingly similar. If Hank continues to play like this, then maybe, just maybe, we can play hockey in June at Madison Square Garden. I will say this: if we close the deal in this series, then beat Boston in the next round, something special is going to happen. LET'S GO RANGERS!!!!!!

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