Before we get to the game review, which has graciously been written by James G, I felt that there was something that needed to be addressed. Over the past couple of days, someone has been posting personal information of users of this blog, often times with hurtful messages, but other times just a general display of his or her knowledge of people’s personal information. There is nothing that can be done to stop this person. The best I can do is remove his or her posts if I am alerted to them. I cannot monitor the blog the way Carp and LoHud did, so they will likely persist longer than I would like. I have asked ilb, CCCP, and James G to assist me. If you know any of their e-mails, you can reach out to them directly, or you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @rangersreport2 to report any suspicious or malicious activity.
Now, I’d like to briefly address the person who has demonstrated their mastery of the internet. You win. I know enough to know I am completely helpless against anything you do. I am even more helpless than Carp was, since this is not my full time job, and I just don’t have the time to track e-mail addresses and IP addresses to ensure people who post are who they actually say they are. But I’m not mad. I just feel bad for you. How hurt you must have been by Carp, myself, or some other people at Rangers Report to spark the vendetta you have chose to pursue. Whatever it is that I or anyone else did, I’m sorry. How sad and lonely you must be to continue your grudge to the point where you must either have a database of some sort, even if it’s just a few notes on a piece of paper, to help you keep track of the various poster’s names, e-mail addresses, names of loved ones, telephone numbers, addresses, etc. At least, I certainly hope that you have the information written down and that it’s not memorized from obsessively scouring the data in your mind. The returns on your actions must be diminishing at this point, as everyone’s information that you’ve shared has already been shared and made public to everyone else. And most of the regulars have already shared their personal information with each other in private. If you’re in it just for the lulz, maybe you should aim a bit higher than a Rangers fan blog, although I’m sure you would be licking your fingers while reading this statement. I can assure you that it will be the last time I mention this subject.
Whatever happened in the past is in the past. You have a chance here to start over. You can join the community and participate. Nobody knows who you are. Or, you can choose to keep doing what you’re doing, and we’ll remove the posts as often and as quickly as we can. I just know that the path you’re currently going down is the lonelier one.
Now, here’s the game review. As an example of this being only a part-time commitment for me, I had to ask James G to handle the review. I only caught the 2nd period of the game.
1- So it dawned on me while I was getting ready to do this fill in game review that I’ve actually never had so much as a single guest blog entry in all my years of being around the bonehead tribe. So hopefully no one will say I should have kept it that way when they’re done reading.
2- I thought I’d start with this little tid bit instead of diving right in to what was a pretty satisfying win. It’s well documented that last season the Rangers seemed to be playing so much worse at the start and yet they were winning games. I think you know where this is going- last season through 9 games: 5-2-2. 12 points. 24 gf and 19ga…This season 6-3 12 points 35 gf and 22 ga. Raanta started game #10 for his second start (and second victory) of the season and this year.
3- So why not start with the back up goalie who looks a bit more comfortable in his second year on Broadway? Raanta, known for strong starts to the season- especially at home- seems to me to have a bit of quiet confidence to him this year. It isn’t just how he’s looked in 120 minutes in nets but the way he speaks in interviews. He knows what they need from him and he’s provided it thus far. Didn’t have to stand on his head but he was sharp in what turned out to be a busy night. 32 shots, 31 saves/ Nearly had the shut out. He’s going to see 20+ games this year if the coach has his way and they’re going to need him to contribute to the stability in net.
4- Thought the first period was going to have that Sunday evening game stink to it and then out come this season’s Rangers. 16 shots on Ben Bishop over the first 20 minutes and a couple power plays that they wound up negating by taking penalties of their own. Not sure if it was the home team looking to bounce back from what was their worst showing of the young season in Raleigh or Tampa playing the second game of a back to back. Either way, the Rangers are showing some aggression so far with their speed and the way they have put the puck on net. It’s fun to watch and it’s working thus far.
5- Speaking of working, Stranger Nation said it to me and the rest of yous at least a handful of times over the summer. Grabner is a guy who can slide up to the third line and contribute on offense. He got proven right in a big way. AV’s decision to put him on that line with Hayes and Miller paid huge dividends. Grabner’s speed is pretty impressive and it fills the void left by Carl Hagelin. The way he goes to the net it’s hard to believe he hasn’t scored more since that one 30 goal season a few years back. Nice to seem him get the hat trick. And it wasn’t just him, that whole line had itself a night. Kevin Hayes played probably his best game of the season and J.T Miller just continues to show his progression.
6- I don’t think Miller was discussed enough over the summer. I wondered if there would be some regression there after a 20+ goal season but he’s been one of the best players here to start. Seems to have gotten past the whole “nightly blunder” phase that plagued him for much of last season. Many assumed he’d be on the top 2 lines but he’s found himself a home early on here on the third line with Hayes. Just great chemistry thus far and though I hate to repeat anything Sam and Joe comment about, it was nice to see him rewarded with a goal after the way he’s played and the opportunites he’s had. Looking forward to more of the same from him.
7- Speaking of more of the same, With the exception of Friday night’s debacle against the ‘Canes, the Rangers sure seem to enjoy the second period of games, don’t they? Just dominating the opposition in the middle periods through these first 9 games. Impressive when you consider how they take a good amount of those off last season. 3 goals in the span of 2 ½ minutes in putting Tampa back on their heels. The immortal Ben Bishop looked human at MSG for once. The Rangers don’t seem to be having a problem solving goalies that have been historically problematic for them so far.
8- They do seem to be cherry picking just a tad though. Last game it was Zucc and this time Rick Nash who saw an opportunity early in the second. Took the long pass from Holden and off he went on the breakaway to give them the 1-0 lead with his 4th of the year. Nash has been good thus far. Maybe he’s benefitting from not having the spotlight on him. That will happen when a team gets a balanced scoring attack and 35 goals in its first 9 games. But it’s a long season and they’re still going to need him to contribute on offense.
9- The word contribution is going to come up a lot this season with the way they’re getting them from so many guys night after night. But that word reall makes me think of this summer’s Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes and how he said he chose the Rangers based on where he felt he would have a regular role on the team where he can contribute and fit in well. Boy has he done that or what?. Scores his 5th of the year for the 3-0 lead. The kid has been great. Hasn’t made any rookie mistakes, has a nose for the net and the hockey IQ has really impressed me. Looks like a guy who’s been in the league 3-4 years instead of a 3rd round draft pick that everyone thought was overhyped this summer. He and Buchnevich have proven the ledge walkers wrong thus far and really add some elements that were sorely lacking on this team.
10- All this and I haven’t mentioned the defense yet. Thought they had a solid showing after two games where they really seemed like they were coming back down to earth. Ryan Mcdonagh has been an anchor. Looks like the Mcdonuts of old before the slew of injuries that have literally battered him from head to toe over the last few seasons. I still think he needs a partner upgrade. Danny G won’t last on that top pair and no one else on the team has shown they can take that spot. It’s concerning for the long haul even if it’s getting them by for right now. I hear some kid who is an RFA is available in Winnipeg. They may want to call and find out some information about him. Who knows, he may be a good fit here.
11- Have I ever told you guys how much I enjoy watching Jon Cooper lose? It’s enough to miss the beginning of the Walking Dead.
12- I’m sure I missed a bunch of stuff that you guys can let me know about but I’m going to wrap this up by saying how much I’ve enjoyed seeing so many of the “core” boneheads contribute to this place so far in addition to some of the guys who haven’t posted in a while making their return. It’s not just the great work by Doodie but everyone else who contributes quality hockey talk and jibberish (gibberish?) on a regular basis.
And Carp, if you read this please know that things just aren’t the same without you at the helm and this place really is just keeping your seat warm until you’re situated. We miss you man.