Friday, February 29, 2008
Rangers newbies one good one…not so good
Well the Sjostrom/Backman era began last night and it was to mixed reviews. This Sjostrom kid looks like he can play all aspects of the game. Orr/Holloweg better not play over this guy the rest of the season. He will bring a nice spark to that last line and when Avery goes off for a fight or a top forward gets banged up he can fill in as a formidable top line winger. The speed he showed on that break-in was nice and he did not make any mistakes when playing with Betts/Hollweg.
Backman on the other hand….Holy Shit he better have been nervous and trying to hard because, he was out of position all night and took 3 penalties (should have been a 4 minute high stick on top of that, but the refs called Staal). I agree with Brendan Shanahan (boy he will sleep well at night now) when he said it is much harder for a d-man to jump in and play over a forward, but this has to be one of the worst Ranger debuts ever. You have to give him a little lee-way but if we are paying 2.3 million next year for this type performance we are in trouble.
Visions of Montreal were dancing in my head right when Sam Rosen said the same thing on the broadcast. Dawes set up Shanny for a perfect top shelf shot and a game clinching 4th goal. Rangers showed poise and got the job done.
Memo to Glen Sather SIGN AVERY NOW. This is 2 years in a row Avery shows he is not scared to play in big games and the big time of the season. His wrists must have really affected him the first half of the season. He is playing like a man possessed right now and the Rangers need that in a big way.
SIDE NOTE IN PITTSBURGH- Unreal for Marian Hossa and the Pens (not that I am complaining). He suffered a knee injury in there loss to the Bruins (do they ever lose) and early reports are a sprain/strain of the knee and out 1 week. It could be much worse but man that is a downer for the Pens.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Even though he did not get on the scoreboard last night, this player has been there all year night in and night out. He really is making me believe he deserves # 1 d-man money with his play. Should he shoot more, no doubt, but when the team needed him last night he was a monster on the penalty kill. Michael Rozival gets my player of the game for the 8 plus minutes Backman put them a man down. He intercepted about 2-3 passes and stood up 2-3 players at the blue line. The main reason the Rangers won was they killed off those penalties and allowed Shanny to ice it.