Monday, December 12, 2011
4 Point Weekend For Blueshirts
Stevie44.com Steps Up Into Bigger Minutes And Proves Himself
"Alright, Who Sat On The Broadway Hat On The Plane From Buffalo?"
Everybody was Working for the Weekend as the Rangers picked up 2 points in Buffalo and then returned to the Garden where they exploded on Florida for a 6-1 W. Both goalies won, we racked up shorthanded goals, PP tallies, even strength scores, Del Zotto improved his (+-) to plus15, Gaborik hit lamplighter 15, and the Blueshirts picked up win 2500 in franchise history.
So much for an awkward let down after the quote/unquote AnisimovCelebration Distraction.
The team effort was strong in both games, but it was the Individual Extra Effort of a few key players that earned the Rangers 2 wins.
RYAN CALLAHAN--Captain digs for extra juice while shorthanded-- a long 1 on 1 ends with a cut up spinarama and a backhand that slips beneath the Enroth's pad. Rangers never relinquish the lead.
CARL HAGELIN--Exceptional speed, quickness in the corners, tenacity and 2 laser-like shots against the Sabres put the game away.
MICHAEL DEL ZOTTO--Joins rushes (huge assist on Step's 2nd goal against Sabres and Anisimov's shortie against Tampa), works the powerplay with great vision and quick hands, and improved his defensive game to a plus 15. Possible comeback player of the year.
DEREK STEPAN--like Cally, his late shift extra effort shorthanded goal spurred on a Ranger victory, tilting the momentum of the game in our favor for good. When analysts talk about Hockey IQ, they don't mean how strong a player is in each facet of the game, but how well that player understands the game and how effective he is at applying that understanding to his advantage. Step isn't the strongest skater, but he knows where to go and gets to where he needs to be. Combine that with a growing durability against tough NHL opposition, exemplary passing skills, vision and you have a clutch hockey player much like Chris Drury at the beginning of his career. Gamer. Big goal type of guy. 20 years old.
With 4 games coming up this week, the Rangers will need to continue to get extra efforts from their whole roster. I was psyched to see Christensen back in the lineup and coming up with a big assist on an Anisimov powerplay tally, if only to use this picture again:
Hopefully we'll see a Twisted Wrister sometime soon.