"We won our last game. If we win again today, that's 2 in a row. If we win again tomorrow, that's what they call a winning streak..... It has happened before."
- Lou Brown, Major League II
I think this was the pregame pep talk Tort gave they boys.
Rangers goal- Rangers dump the puck deep into the Isles zone, and both Gomez and Naslund forecheck from opposite sides. The Isle's defender makes a panic pass behind him up the boards right to Nikolai Zherdev. Zherdev coasts in and fires one by Danis through a Gomez screen.
2 guys forechecking= increased pressure = Tortorella goal.
- There is a clear energy in the crowd and on the ice whenever Avery is out there. The pace is much faster and the inexperienced Isles are visibly scared. Apparently Bruno Gervais never got the memo that Avery was in the lineup tonight. YOU DON'T SKATE WITH YOUR HEAD DOWN BRUNO. Avery gave him a powerful reminder.
- The Rangers now have 3 good defensive pairings. 3 lefties and 3 righties. 3 Offensive d-men paired with 3 defensive D-men. Mara and Rozsival never have to be on the ice together. This pleases me.
- The team has Avery's back. Blake Comeau gives a couple cheap shots to Avery and the other 4 Rangers jump in and start a scrum. Great way to make the vagabond winger feel like he has a home.
- End of the first. 1-0 Rangers
Isle's Goal: McAmmond gets the puck in his own end and moves it through the neutral zone. Both Rangers defensemen collapse on McAmmond and he hits Blake Comeau streaking down the left wing. Comeau gets behind the D and slips one through Hank. Game tied at 1-1.
-Antropov with a golden opportunity to answer quickly and retake the lead and he demostrates great patience by waiting and gets Danis to the ground. He then procedes to hit the crossbar. I think this is a microcosm of Antropov's skill set. Shows some promise but in the end frustrating.
Ranger's POWER PLAY Goal: With the Rangers on the power play because of a Trent Hunter trip, the Rangers capitalize. Tortorella has a power play philosophy called weak side shooting. Basically its hold the puck on one side and once the defense shifts, get it quickly to the other and blast away before the D can get back into position. After a couple weak side rockets on net, Antropov gets the puck on the wing and gives it the Drury at the point. Drury rockets one through a Dubinsky and Redden screen and Danis never had a chance. Rangers now have 5 power play goals over their last 7 games.
Forward and defenseman screening in front of the net = Tortorella goal. Two thus far on the night.
- Callahan, Dubinksy, and Korpikoski are all very much Tortorella type players. Lost of hustle, lots of crashing the net, lots of solid passing. I wouldn't be surprised if Tortorella told Sather that those three weren't allowed to be moved yesterday.
- I've never seen Hank use his stick so much in a game to chip pucks away. He's cleared like 5-6 pucks already that were trickling out front.
-The Rangers have been sacrificing their bodies a ton this game. Tons of shot blocking and diving to get into the passing lanes.
End of 2 and Rangers up 2-1
Rangers Goal: Andy Hilbert collides with Dean McAmmond in the offensive end and both fall down. Zherdev picks up the puck and streaks down ice with Gomez next to him and Naslund trailing. Zherdev peaks back over his shoulder to Naslund and Martinek takes the bait. Zherdev hits Gomez in stride and flicks it into the back of the net.
Isle's collision (Freaking Hilarious) + 3 on 1 = No Tort goal. 3-1 Rangers.
- On the power play I don't want my 6'6" 230 forward on the wing. I want him camped out in front on the net screening like a sumo wrestler. Tort needs to tell Antropov to get himself out front.
Isle's Goal: Jack Hillen and Blake Comeau play give and go up and down the ice. Hillen uses his speed to cut to the net and sneaks one through Hank's pads for his first NHL goal. 3-2 Rangers.
- Blake Comeau looks like he wants to claim that C on his chest that Guerin left behind. He has been vocal all game and has stepped his game up. And remember this, in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.
- Every time Rozsival gets the puck at the point, he takes longer than Russ Tyler in the Mighty Ducks shooting the knuckle puck to get a shot off. BLAST AWAY MICHAL.
- The Rangers are not playing scared hockey like they did over the last month and sitting on the 1 goal lead. It's refreshing to see them still attacking the net and not taking the proverbial knee.
- Is there anything more nerve racking than the puck staying in your zone for more than 1 minute? It felt like the Rangers couldn't clear the zone forever and I was ready for a goal against or a stupid penalty. Luckily we averted disaster.
Ranger's POWER PLAY Goal: Thank you Radek Martinek. Isle's turn it over behind the net and Drury gets the puck out to Naslund. Naslund winds up to fire and breaks his stick. Radek Martinek goes to deflect it to the side and instead deflects it over the shoulder of Danis. I'll take it. To be fair, Duby was in the front screening and Danis had no chance to react to a soft deflection.
Power play + broken stick + dumb luck+ a screen out front: These things never happened under Renney, hence: Tort goal. 4-2 Rangers. 3 Tort goals on the night.
- Kyle Okposo is going to be that pain in the ass player that always seems to be around the puck in the years to come. Experience will help him get to the right place at the right time. Right now he's just about half a step away from being potent.
- I'm willing to bet Tort has some sort of rule that each defenseman needs to wind up and let one fire at least once a game. Tons of shooting from the point from the Rangers blueliners.
GAME OVER: RANGERS WIN 4-2...
- Hank with 28 saves in a very solid effort
- 1st Rangers road win since January 16th at Chicago
- Rangers record with Avery in the lineup: 51-23-13
- Rangers 10 goals over the last 2 games... Woohoo
Tort Goal Update Total
Tort Goals -7
Non Tort Goals- 3
And to take this full circle... If we win on Sunday, that's what they call a winning streak... It has happened before.