|Who you gonna call?|
To quote Sam Rosen, “OH BABY!” Welcome to another blog here on DOINOW.com. As always, check out the right hand of the site for the archives for previous articles, as I don’t like to rehash myself. Don’t forget to tip your bartenders, don’t venture into bad neighborhoods at night, watch out for speed traps, don’t eat the chicken at the Nassau Coliseum, don’t eat Papajohns if you have any sense of morality, and ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS, use “In Cam We Trust” as your personal mantra.
Get used to that link folks, because in what seems to be the norm for Cam Talbot, Cam Talbot is beating the same teams on the road, that Henrik Lundqvist were blown out by at home. Whether it’s Hank being 1-7 in his last 8 games against Boston, giving up a 6 goal shit-show in the home opener to Toronto or being embarrassed by a cellar dweller team like the Av’s at home, Cam Talbot is here to clean up the mess. Since Hank went down, Cam is 3-1-1, with the one loss against the best team in the NHL, in a game with a one goal margin. In other words, bring on the fucking Islanders on Monday!
The Rangers, who escaped Toronto during Cam’s shakiest win of the year, went in Thursday’s late game, knowing that the division leading Islanders already picked up two points against the Leafs. With Pittsburgh blowing out Ottawa, when the puck dropped for tonight’s game (Pittsburgh blew their lead, only to win in one of those lovely shootouts) the Rangers needed to win tonight, to keep pace in the division. With the win, the Rangers move into third place in the division & can catch first place if they win their two games in hand.
In what seems to be the norm for the Rangers lately, this was a game of two halves. The Rangers dominated the scoring and puck possession for the first 30 minutes of the game. However, when that ten minute mark in the second period hit, the Rangers fell apart. Luckily for the Rangers, Talbot kept the blueshirts in it, stoning Jarome Iginla on a breakaway and preventing a near 2 minute 5 vs 3 powerplay goal.
|Cam Talbot’s dad pounding beers and stuffing his face nonchalantly after Cam blanked Jarome Iginla|
After tonight’s victory, many stocks went up. Nash could wind up the MVP this year. Hayes & Zucc are on fire. Hags joined his linemate, Kevin Hayes, as a guy who’s stock is rising. Unfortunately, MSL continues to struggle and Tanner Glass is about as useful as tits on a bull. However, good teams should always find a way to beat the bad teams. The Rangers did just that.
Dan Boyle kicked off the scoring, four minutes into the first, on a sweet pass from Hayes. Boyle looked like a 20 year old stud, deking and faking and making more moves than a young man on prom night, and beat Avalanche goaltender, Semyon Varlamov. I know, I know, usually Varlamov is doing the beating! However, this woman beating piece of shit was owned by Dan Boyle, giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead early.
After assisting on Boyle’s goal, the Kevin Hayes coming out party continued, as he skated down a huge chunk of the ice with a puck and made a move that looked like it came out of NHL ’94 on Sega Genesis on the woman beater. 2-0 for the good guys.
|He may be young & look goofy, but Hayes is the future of the Rangers|
The Rangers were up 2-0 early. It seems like in the NHL this year, more than any other season, the 2-0 lead is never a gimmie. Once the team catching up scores, they have the momentum. Talbot would make big save after big save, but the Rangers broke down mid-way into the second period.
The Av’s had the puck, for what felt like forever, but in reality was 2 minutes, 30 seconds. The Rangers tried to clear three times, but had the puck intercepted before it could cross the blue line. The Ranger announcers tried to blame the Colorado altitude, which you always hear about during Rockies games or whenever an opposing team plays the Broncos. I understand the theory, but the Rangers were completely flat-footed. You could see Marc Staal leaning on guys. Athletes in this day and age are overly conditioned. It’s not like it’s my fat ass trying to scale Pike’s Peak. It’s a hockey game.
The Rangers, basically dragging over their own tongues, allowed Av’s stud, Gabriel Landeskog to score an easy, uncontested goal. This goal was completely on the Rangers inability to clear and move the puck.
With the Rangers up 2-1, but slowing down and playing lazy, Mats Zuccarello extended his points streak to 7 games, after receiving a picture-perfect pass from Rick Nash, and blasting it by the wife-beater, giving the Rangers a 3-1 lead. It was a good game for Zuuuuuuc. His head was up a lot and he wasn’t looking to pass all the time. He let the game come to him and took his shots. That’s all you want to see. I’m very biased about this team and these players, so I am happy for Zucs. I want him here for the playoff run.
|I will never forget what this man did for the Rangers during the 2014 playoff run|
While Zuc’s stock is skyrocketing as of late, as he’s broke his slump, Martin St. Louis, the hero of last year’s playoff run, is struggling mightily. He looks as old as his age out there, not producing and like his linemate Derek Stepan, was benched for the majority of the third period. Everyone goes through their shit. Any of us, no matter what job we do, we just have bad days and slump. Marty’s slump is hard to watch, as a big fan of MSL. He can slump the rest of the season, although I hope he turns it around soon, but I will never forget his production during last year’s run.
It’s one thing to slump and not score. It’s another thing to help the other team score. MSL produced a disgusting turnover, early into the third period, and Iginla got the goal he should’ve scored from the first period. MSL brainfarted and wasn’t paying attention, as he was stripped of the puck, Talbot made a fantastic save, gave up a rebound and Iginla drove it home. 3-2 Blueshirts. The dreaded two goal lead was in jeopardy again and Colorado made the Rangers pay.
Jan Hejda cashed in on the Rangers, after Tanner Glass was basically just being Tanner Glass. Another horrible turnover and defensive lapse, and the game was tied 3-3 with 10 minutes to go. Speaking of to go, Mr. Sather, it’s time to break Glass and deal this waste of space.
As the leader of Talbot Nation, this was tough to watch. The Rangers dominated the first half of the game, but were out-shot 13-0 with 7 minutes to go in the third period alone. Talbot’s three goals – one after the Rangers couldn’t move and clear the puck, the second after a brutal MSL turnover and the third after Tanner Glass being as useful as Helen Keller teaching an ESL class to immigrants, were not his fault. However, it affects his GAA. If you read the stat sheet, it looks like Cam gave up three goals and blew a 2 goal lead. If you watched the game, you knew it was anything but.
|The fastest man in the NHL?|
Carl Hagelin would come back and score what would be the game winning goal, giving the Rangers a 4-3 lead with a little under 8 minutes to go. I’ve been up and down on Hags this season. Several of his goals come from empty netters. He has taken point blank slap shots at goalies 3 feet away from him, rather than making a move to the net. In a contract year, Hags needs to step up more. A goal like tonight, after a feed from Hayes does just that. And while on Hayes, how about this Hayes/Hags/Miller line producing as they did? AV pumped the breaks on Step & MSL in the third in favor of his third liners. If they keep producing like this, they will be second liners.
|Future Hart Trophy Winner?|
Rick Nash, now the NHL league leader in Goals scored, put the game away with four minutes and change to go, after using his physical strength and sheer skill to pull off another NHL ’94 goal, this time via the wrap-around. 5-3 Blueshirts and game over. After his playoff performance last year, it was no surprise he wasn’t given a letter on his sweater. Perhaps this, coupled with the fact that he’s finally 100% healthy, has motivated him to the level he’s been on this year.
Captain Ryan McDonagh would tally in an empty netter, as the Rangers beat the Av’s 6-3. Even though the 6 goals is twice as much as 3 goals, Papapjohns still only gives you 50% off your next order, if you choose to eat terrible food produced by a man that doesn’t pay his workers healthcare, but will spend millions and millions on a league that promotes dog killers, rapists, murderers, drug addicts, women beaters, DWI’s, child abusers and all that nice stuff. Stick to your local pizza joint and spend the extra bucks.
All in all, while the Rangers looked sloppy and lost at times, the Rangers willed themselves to a win. The score is not indicative of the game itself, as you had to sweat out a win here. The Rangers are desperately in need of a center, which should move Hayes to a wing spot. I don’t know if any GM would take Tanner Glass, but he needs to go. He is killing this team like Michael Del Zaster last year. Dealing him for nothing at this point, would be addition by subtraction.
Next on deck is Arizona, who just announced that Martin Hazal is done for the year. The Rangers have them twice this month, so this is an opportunity to keep on winning and to gain points. It’s nice to look ahead to Monday, in a critical game against the NY Islanders, but the Rangers need to take care of business in Arizona first.
The Cam Talbot experience has been working for the Rangers, as they are 3-1-1 in his absence. There are reports that Hank may be done for the season, although those reports are mostly speculation. The deal here is that Hank can’t rush back. This isn’t a pulled leg muscle or a sprained hand. He has a life threatening injury. He’s not coming back unless he’s 100% and cleared by several different doctors. The last thing the NHL needs is Hank coming back, making this injury worse or in the most extreme case, dying on the ice. He won’t be back in his #30 jersey until there is a 0% chance of his injury not being life threatening.
Talbot has played well enough for the Rangers to win every game they’ve been in. Where he should’ve beat Dallas, but didn’t because the Rangers came out the flattest they’ve been all season, he probably shouldn’t have gotten the W against the Leafs. That’s hockey Suzyn.
While Talbot has 3 shutouts this season, and is playing well during this stretch, Ranger fans & Ranger management would love to see Talbot shutout someone here during this month. There is no way the Rangers should deal for another goalie, at the expense of the current roster.
I am nervous, as a Hagelin & Zuccarello fan, that one of them will be dealt, in order to acquire a center. I hope that doesn’t happen. While the Rangers need a center, it shouldn’t cost the Rangers someone who is producing for them. Perhaps a package deal of a pick, Allen, McIlrath or Haggerty will get the job done. Mike Santorelli, from the Leafs, sounds like the best option, as his contract won’t hurt the Rangers payroll.
At the end of the day, the Metropolitan continues to be the toughest division and hottest division in hockey. The Isles, Pens & Rangers are all playing well, with the Caps right there. What hurts the Caps is that they’ve played three more games than the Rangers. Everyone has control of their own destinies, besides the Caps, when it comes to finishing in first place.
I’ll be back late Saturday/early Sunday with a report on the Rangers/Coyotes. Anything less than two points will be unacceptable. After that, it’s a clash with the Islanders. Talbot has been beating all the teams Hank wasn’t able to. Will that streak continue at the Nassau Coliseum? We find out Monday night.
LET’S GO RANGERS
IN CAM WE TRUST
@NYCTHEMIC on the twitter machine