The King is back. The Rangers were outshot 40-19, but managed to pull off a 3-0 win. This win is credited to Henrik Lundqvist. Still wanna tell me that he's not an elite goaltender and that Biron should get more starts?
There were a few lucky bounces and times when my heart stopped because I didn't know where the puck was, there was no whistle, and then suddenly the puck would appear behind everyone and a Ranger (often Steve Eminger) would clear it out.
For a team that's been getting a lot of dirty goals, all 3 last night were kinda pretty. First, Steps goal: Staal sees Aves coming out of the box, gets him the puck, he takes a hard shot, rebound went straight onto the rookie's stick and he put it in. Then Cally with a perfect redirection of EC's shot on the power play...and last, but definitely not least Trusty Prusty with his first goal of the season, shorthanded perfect stick work from when he got out of the zone until he wristed it right into the net.
My MVP of the night? Brandon Prust...but at a close second: Steve Eminger. He was the one clearing the crease every time it seemed like Hank would miss a rebound. When I was at the Garden early in the season, I was definitely screaming "get out of here, Eminger, you're worthless," but now I'm swallowing my words. He has impressed me so much, as has Sauer. Sauer started out as a quiet presence, but now he's showing that he's exactly what we needed on the blueline. Staal and Girardi are getting tired...I don't know how Staal played 28 minutes last night because he looked like he could barely breathe.
By the way, last night, I saw the Sean Avery that I love...he has such great hands and a talent that no one recognizes unless they're a Ranger fan. Torts rewarded this play with a little double shifting and extra minutes compared to what he had been playing.
This whole post sounds complimentary, so I just need to add this: if that was most other teams last night, it would not have been the same. It might be that they're exhausted, but they were not playing their best game. Hank had something to prove and he did. The Weiss goal being waived off definitely helped the Cats gain some momentum and luckily the boys were awake enough at the end of the game to continue to fight them off...however, I think their lack of remaining energy prevented them from capitalizing on 3 minutes with an empty net. I did love that everyone thought Hank was gonna go for it and he even admitted that if he wasn't going for the shutout and they still had a decent lead, he would have done it. It was nice to see a happy Hank interview after the game.