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Where Did We Go Right?

Where Did We Go Right?

Yesterday was a huge day for the New York Rangers.  After two games where the Rangers could not buy a goal, albeit against a stellar Montreal team (why we didn’t start Henrik Lundqvist is a mystery to me) and against an efficient Ottowa team (I would be amazed if Paul MacLean did not win Coach of the Year), the Rangers needed a home win against the Winnipeg Jets, a team they haven’t been able to beat this year.  They played great hockey, scored four times (hurray for offense), but there is still fear in the air.  Every time this team looks good, they lose a big game to keep them buried on the brink of playoffs.  Unfortunately, the Islanders win on Tuesday did not help and we are battling division rivals for the final two playoff spots.  So Wednesday is a huge day for The New York Rangers.

Hey, they tried to overpay me, I just couldn’t pass the physical!

The trade deadline has approached and what moves were the Rangers and Glen Sather going to make. (He is in luck, there are no Devils we can overpay for)  They acquire Ryan Clowe from San Jose.  So, to help us with our scoring, we get a guy who hasn’t scored all season.  It doesn’t matter, he can score and he fits into the John Torterella system and will fill the whole Brandon Prust left from last year.  However, the anticipation of who was getting traded was enough to give me a Todd O’Connor style heart attack.

(EDITORS NOTE – It’s just too sensitive for us…)

Was it going to be Brian Boyle or Marion Gaborik?   I knew it would be Marion Gaborik.  He never fit into Torts’ defense-first philosophy.  Goal-scoreres go through droughts, but Gaborik was not producing on the backend defensively.  That’s why he was getting benched or moved to third or fourth lines.  Torterella has said what he was concerned with about Gabby was his legs.  He wasn’t using his speed. So, in a year when the Rangers are expected to win a Stanley Cup (and that is if you believe in power rankings, which I do not), and they’re going to get hit with the new salary cap, and your star has to prove to be re-signed, Marion Gaborik goes on an offensive drought; all the evidence points to a trade.  So, I’m elated, we’re trading the A-rod of the Rangers (minus the Steroids) (EDITORS NOTEAND THE EVERYTHING ELSE HE DID) and we get a young defenseman in John Moore, a fast facilitator in Derick Brassard, and Derek Dorsett, who has no collarbone, so he is out for the next year.

A-Rod, seen here preparing to club baby seals

So now, our team is ready for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are 15-1 in their last 16 games, and who we have lost to twice this season so far, but who are without Sid the kid (who currently looks like Cousin Eddie’s son in Vegas Vacation) and Kris Letang, their best defender.   And the New York Rangers showed up to play.  They went 3 for 4 on the power play.  That is 75% as opposed to their usual 14%.  They killed two penalties, which is great considering they’ve let up power play goals in our last six games.   The defense was strong.  Moore, our newest acquisition, fit in well to the Torts way, plus he scored.  Ryan Clowe had a huge game, getting 2 goals, his first and second of the season, and an assist.  Derick Brassard scored one goal and garnered two assists.  Brian Boyle scored four points, which proves he deserves to stay with the team.   They fore-checked and it paid off!  The defensemen pinched and it paid off!  Henrik Lundqvist let in one goal on the league’s leading scoring team and he even blocked a goal with his helmet (now according to Ilya Bryzgalov, you should duck when a puck comes toward your head).

The team played all around great hockey and it was a good win for a team lacking confidence.

They have some key games ahead including Toronto twice, Devils twice, and Pittsburgh on Friday.  It really doesn’t matter how well we played Wednesday night, accept to prove that we deserve to be among the best.  We are a threat with depth now.  As long as we keep up the pace and the fore-check , we should be able to secure a spot in the playoffs and in the playoffs, rankings mean nothing!

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Alan Pagano is a New Jersey based writer and actor. He legitimately believes that writing this article will jinx the Rangers.