It was a VERY physical game; it's been said by others that it was played like a divisional rivalry game.
Let's go to the touchy subjects, I'll talk about Marc's hit: I've watched it a few times and tried to pause it on certain spots...from what I could see, he did hit Stajan in the shoulder, but Stajan's head was down and jerked back. The only people who find the hit CONCLUSIVELY dirty are fans (and fans make most decisions with their hearts not their brains, myself included) and Larry Brooks....and Bob McKenzie did say it looked like a violation to him. I watched NHLlive today and they talked about the hit quite a bit and they said that it was very inconclusive because it happened so fast and Stajan's hit was down. It had become a very physical game and it was the Flames who decided on that pace. Although I was INCREDIBLY amused that everyone wanted to go until Boogey got on the ice, then they would all mess with him to see if they could draw a penalty out of him. Boogey has proven to Ranger fans that he's an intelligent player.
My choice MVP of the night - Michael Sauer. While I am probably the #1 advocate for Stepan for Calder, he was not the rookie who caught my attention in the first period last night. Sauer dished out a hit and was ready for the repercussions of it. Not only did Sauer fight the guy who protected his teammate, but when he came out of the box, he fought someone else. It brought so much energy to the Ranger bench and since he had the take down both times, it gave us faith that Sauer is reliable in even more ways than we though. He's been solid in our own zone, intelligent in the offensive zone, and now we know he has the skills to fight when challenged. I don't know if I want to see Sauer starting fights (but if he's protecting his teammates, then I'm all for it), but I am very happy with every aspect of his game last night.
Now as for my favorite rookie...he might not have been the best rookie of the night, but he was still on his game. He's currently on a 4 game point streak...pretty nice after going like 10-15 games without a single point. Everyone who doubted him will soon have to admit that they were wrong and the kid is NHL material if they haven't already. I can't wait to see what Steps brings to the team in the next few years, especially once he's joined by guys like Kreider, Bourque, Werek, Thomas, and the rest of our prospects.
I wish Prusty was able to score. He played great though, especially on the penalty kill. By the way, the Rangers now have 24 (or is it 25) CONSECUTIVE PENALTY KILLS and have scored PPGs in the last two games.
One more note: Ryan Callahan is the definition of defensive forward. He is strong in both zones, he might not have the scoring skills of the Crosbys, Ovechkins, or Stamkos' of the world or even rack up the assists like whichever of the creeper twins gets the assists on his brother's goals, but Cally leads the league in hits by a forward and has 17 points in 21 games...he's on track for over 60 points if he keeps healthy after last season he only had 37 in 77 games. I would love to see Cally at least in the top 3 for Selke if his play continues like this.
It's a very comforting feeling to know that we have a backup goalie who can stop one of the hottest goal scorers in the league. While I didn't see the goal that went in, from what I heard on the radio, Marty didn't have much of a shot at it. I did see the entire 3rd period and he was excellent. Though, as many have said, it was weird to hear "Mar-ty" being chanted at the Garden when that name is usually said "Maaarrrttyyyy" in a taunting manner.
I'm not going to vent about fair weathered fans again, but I know that I need to start being less irritated by things I see on twitter. That's the end of that.
Now onto the tweets:
- keep Cally away from Fro. he just tried a wraparound.
- Just a question - when our PK team clears the puck and gets in the way of making shots, they're good...but when other teams do it, we suck?
- Danny just made an amazing move to protect the stickless Boyle.
- omg Eminger, that was beautiful. I'm sorry for everything at the beginning of the season
- Cally just pulled a Fro and came so close
- PS. CALLY FOR SELKE. js