|AV, Future Hall of Famer?|
To quote Sam Rosen, “OH BABY” and welcome to another blog here, on DOINOW.com. As always, check out the right hand of the site for the archives, as I don’t like to repeat myself, don’t drink & drive, don’t eat the chicken at the Nassau Coliseum, tip your bartenders & if you have to eat White Castle on Valentine’s Day, make sure you have wet wipes at home!
|The neighbors & I|
Fortunately for me, I live in a co-op building where I have many cool neighbors who have become very close friends. We usually do football Sunday’s together, where we rotate apartments. However, I like to host the parties, because I have two TV’s in my living room, so I can watch any two games I want at any given time. Usually during the NFL season, it’s Giants/Jets on the big TV, Redzone on the small TV. Days like Saturday night, when you have the Rangers & Islanders on, the Islanders, like the Jets, go on the small TV, where the Rangers, like the Giants, go on the big TV.
It’s Valentine’s Day, but my girlfriend of nearly three years understands my Blueshirts addiction. We have the greatest neighbors anyone can ask for. We were supposed to go elsewhere, but decided to have everyone over for hockey, drinks and good food. On a snowy and freezing Saturday night on Long Island, hockey reigned supreme at the Mancave in Lynbrook, NY!
First things first. Congratulations to Alain Vigneault on his 500th NHL win. I’d be lying if I said I saw all 500 wins, but I saw nearly 100 of them. I admit, I was one of the guys who wanted Messier or Ruff as Rangers coach, after the Tort’s firing. However, AV has been perfect for this team. Not that my opinion means shit at the end of the day, but AV has won me over. Even in losing, I will never forget the ride AV & the blueshirts took me on during the 2014 playoffs. Thank you and congratulations AV.
|Cam Motherfuckin’ Talbot|
If I said it once, I said it 1000 times, but this month long stretch without Henrik Lundqvist means that every game, win or lose, will make you examine the performance of “The Goal-Buster” Cam Talbot. Let me give you the only stat that matters. Since Hank went down, Talbot is 4-1-1 as starter. If you know me or been reading me, you know I’ve been the conductor of the Talbot Train from day one. Nothing brings me more joy, than seeing Talbot hold down the fort, at $8 million less a season than King Contract.
Let me make it clear for the 10000000th time. I don’t like that Hank is hurt. I am not happy he has a life-threatening injury. However, I’m happy that Talbot is holding down the fort, and winning. Out of the six games he’s played as the starting goalie, this was the best game Talbot has had. Talbot needed a game like this, where he stole the win. Despite beating the Coyotes, 5-1, on a nice sunny day in Arizona, it was Talbot that kept the Rangers in the game until the Rangers exploded for four goals in the third period. With Henrik Lundqvist, arguably the third best goalie in Rangers history (Richter/Giacomin) out, Talbot has not missed a beat. IN CAM WE TRUST!
|The Eli Manning of the Rangers|
There’s a lot to be happy about if you’re a Rangers fan. You have to love the production you’re getting out of your third line, especially in rookie Kevin Hayes. I hate to repeat myself, but I’ll say it again, Kevin Hayes is the future of the NY Rangers. He may not be Rookie of the Year, but come April, he will be only rookie playing the most important minutes. Hayes, once again, connected with another goal tonight. It’s amazing the Blackhawks let him go for next to nothing.
With the Rangers in a playoff berth, nothing is a “MUST-WIN” game yet. However, with the Islanders winning & the Pens streaking, the Rangers need to keep winning to keep pace. Points in the standings are at a premium right now. The Metro division is one of the toughest divisions in hockey and even one loss can put you in major catch-up mode.
|The InKREIDible Shirt from WEBLEEDBLUE.com. Fuck anyone ripping off their ideas! WBB are the originals!|
This was a sloppy game early. The Rangers were all over the Coyotes, but couldn’t find the net. It felt similar to the Stars game all over again, although not as flat. The Rangers had many chances in the first period, but Mike Smith of the Coyotes shut them down every time. Even with a 0-0 tally, at the end of the first, you felt nervous as Rangers fan, because many opportunities to score were wasted.
The Rangers kicked off the second period with a goal from Chris Kreider, who made an INKREIDIBLE backhand move, making the score 1-0, the good guys. It was Kreider’s 13th goal of the season. The same Chris Kreider that John Tortorella thought shouldn’t be in the NHL. How that work out for ya, Torts?
The celebration was short-lived, as Antoine Vermette scored five minutes later. Thanks again Tanner Glass. I swear, I’ll take a WNBA player, a circus elephant, a roller derby chick, a Nassau Coliseum popcorn vendor or whatever Glen Sather can get right now for Tanner Glass. HE IS FUCKING USELESS. Again I ask, you sent Duclair back to the minors for this? Tanner Glass makes Michael Del Zotto look like Brian Leetch. Break this fucking Glass and get him out of here!
With a 1-1 score and going into the third period, I can’t lie. I was nervous. This was two points the Rangers couldn’t afford to give up. Especially with the Islanders beating Columbus, at home, 6-3. On a side note, I’m disgusted, that tickets to tonight’s Islanders game went as high as $48 to sit on the glass. Those tickets are $690 on Monday night. Man, is it tough and expensive to be a Ranger fan.
|RICK NASH BITCH|
Games are won and lost in the final twenty minutes. Tonight was no different, as the Rangers put up four goals against the Coyotes. It wasn’t the same as the 5 goals they put up on the Minnesota Wild earlier in the year, but it was a statement.
With a 1-1 score, Rick Nash pushed one past the goal line to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. It would be the Game Winning Goal & cement AV’s 500th win. Talbot would make phenomenal saves as the period continued, but the flood gates were open.
The “Say Hayes Kid”, Kevin Hayes, out of Boston College scored on a breakaway short-handed goal, making the score 3-1. If that wasn’t enough, Marc Staal, the new $6 million dollar man, connected on a shot, giving the Rangers a 4-1, effectively putting the game away. Lee Stempniak, who has been on a scoreless drought, ended his drought, putting on the finishing touches on the Rangers 5-1 win on the road.
Although this game looked like a slam-dunk on paper, the game didn’t play out this way. The Rangers did wake up in the third period, but this was anyone’s game for the first forty minutes. Thankfully, Talbot had his biggest game yet, since taking the starting job. Talbot wound up with 34 saves and boosted up his save percentage.
The trade deadline is not that far away, and Talbot’s performance tonight gave the Rangers some breathing room. The Rangers biggest test, since Hank’s injury, is this Monday against the Islanders. After that, the Rangers host Vancouver on Thursday, against AV’s old team, before heading out to Buffalo, a cellar dweller, on Friday night. It’s not inconceivable, that Talbot starts that back-to-back, since the Rangers will have three days off between the Isles & the Canucks.
|IN CAM WE TRUST!|
You had to love what you saw from Cam Talbot tonight. With the Ranger’s dads in the building, including Cam’s father, Cam played his best game of this recent stretch. Cam is doing what Hank couldn’t during this stretch. Hank got blown out by Toronto at home. Lost to Colorado at home. Lost to the Bruins time and time again. Cam has beaten all three of these teams. Hank hasn’t figured out the Islanders this season, as the Islanders have blown out Hank in the three games played thus far this season. If Talbot can pick up the win at the dump in Uniondale on Monday, the Rangers will not only build confidence, but gain another two points on the division leaders.
If there is anything to truly worry about, you have to hope that Martin St. Louis can get going again. Remember, he was cold during the cold months last season, but woke up once that spring air was floating around. Don’t sour on him yet, Ranger fans, MSL will be a factor yet again, come playoff time.
Here are the current standings:
Islanders – 75 points in 56 games
Penguins – 72 points in 55 games
Rangers – 71 points in 54 games
The Rangers still control their own destiny, with the two games in hand over the first place Islanders. After Monday’s game, the Rangers have a favorable schedule and it could be their time to advance to first place, for the first time this season, even with Talbot as their starting goalie. It would be exaggeration to say that Hank should just stay with the Ranger dads in the suites, but Talbot is holding his own. Monday will be the first true test. If Talbot can do what Hank couldn’t this season, and beat the Islanders, it will be a major feather in his cap.
All in all, the Rangers gained two points that they needed to gain. Bring on the fucking Islanders!
I’ll be back Monday night with NYI/NYR reaction. Until then…
LETS GO RANGERS
IN CAM WE TRUST
@NYCTHEMIC on the twitter gimmick