It was a roller coaster week for the New York Rangers, an OT victory over the Bruins, which featured a Hat Trick from Marian Gaborik, followed by a terrible showing against the Flyers in Philly, culminating Saturday night with an impressive 5-2 comeback victory of the Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden. In this lock out shortened season, every bad game, every missed opportunity is going to be scrutinized because every point is valuable.
The fact that the Rangers first four games were against teams that made the playoffs last season a tough start was to be expected. For a team that is introducing five new players to their system, you had to know there would be some growing pains early on especially since there was no training camp and only six days to practice together before the first game.
There were plenty of good signs from the Rangers Saturday night, after trailing 2-0 after the first period, which was actually well played, except for a few defensive mistakes, the Rangers started to turn it around. The top line of Gaborik-Richards-Nash lead the way with an 8 point night led by Gaboriks 4 pts, but the bigger story was the contributions from defensemen Marc Staal and Michael DelZotto, who played solid all around games, DelZotto assisting on two Ranger goals and Staal who scored the game tying goal and assisted on Gaboriks go ahead goal midway through the 3rd period.
Saturday night’s game marked the debut of Benn Ferriero, acquired earlier in the week from the Pittsburgh Penguins, made his impact known by playing a feisty game and giving the Rangers a jolt that seemed to have been missing the first few games. Also after the game the Rangers announced the signing of veteran center Jason Arnott to a 1-year deal, the deal will be official once Arnott passes his physical. The Arnott signing provides the Rangers with more depth at the Center position and could also help out the struggling Rangers Power Play.
If there was any negative from the game against Toronto on Saturday, it was the continued struggle of the Rangers Power Play, which had at least three or four power plays with zero shots on goal. This on the heels of another failed 5 on 3 Power Play at a crucial time of the game against Philly on Thursday.
With 2 days off before a return match at the Garden with the Flyers maybe the Rangers can figure out a way to start getting their power play going. They need to build off all the positive things that happened in last night’s game against Toronto and clean up some of the defensive breakdowns that plagued them early in the game. For Ranger fans enjoy Saturday night’s victory and let’s hope the Blueshirts keep the Good Feelings going and start making their way to the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
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