The New York Rangers hosted the Ottawa Senators last night, in what turned out to be a very exciting game. As the Rangers walked away with a very impressive 5-2 win against the always dangerous Senators.
The Rangers first line looked very good, and you can see that Dubinsky, prospal and Gaborik have established some chemistry early on in the season. They totaled 13 out of the 34 shots on goal and knocked in four out of the five goals scored.
I have said time and time again that I did not believe that Brandon Dubinsky was ready to take that first line center job. But after the first two games played, Brandon is looking good. In fact that whole line is looking extremely good early on in the season.
I have also said that this will be the year that Dubinsky will break out. Whether playing the first line or second line, dubs is do and last night’s game was a good start as he banged one in past Ottawa goalie Pascal Leclaire in the second period and in the third, he slid one in the empty net. After his weeklong hold out, and his performance last night, Dubs is trying to make a statement. I am worth every penny!
Brandon almost had his first hat trick of his career last night as he rang one off the post. Marian Gaborik was there to finish it off for him as he slammed in his second goal in two games. Gaborik is looking really good. It is hard not to get excited when he has the puck in the offensive zone. He has such a quick and accurate shot, you don’t even want to blink, if you do you probably will miss a great goal.
Vinny Prospal scored his first goal in the second period. A two on one rush and a beautiful wrist shot gave the Rangers the lead. Prospal has looked amazing in the first two games of the season. His fore checking have been very effective and he has just been all over the ice.
Michael Del Zotto scores his first career goal late in the second. You have to expect great things from this young player. He looked really good on the power play, pitching in down low, adding to what has been an already very dangerous looking power play. Del Zotto’s goal was shot from high slot with dead on accuracy, but you cannot forget the great job Ryan Callahan did in screening the goalie.
Rozsival looked sloppy again with trying to control the puck in the offensive zone on the power play. Missing a pass that was right on his stick, costing the Rangers time off the power play which up to that point was cycling the puck and getting shots on goal.
We cannot expect perfection every second of a game. They are only human! But Rozsival is a veteran player with 9 years in the league. Missing a simple pass, hockey basics, is just unacceptable and the fans let him know as they booed him.
Rookie defenseman Matt Gilroy looked good. He had one very costly mistake that lead to a Daniel Alfredsson goal. This was a mistake that was made last year time and time again. The Rangers gave up so many shorthanded goals last year due to this same mistake. As a defenseman Gilroy should have known better.
As a lone defenseman racing for the puck you either skate hard all the way to the puck or you simply let the opposing player get the puck and you fall back to protect the net and wait for reinforcements. Gilroy was racing for the puck and stopped skating, allowing Spezza to get to the puck first and pass it to a wide open Alfredsson who knocks the puck in. A rookie mistake which did not come back to hurt the team, but it could have. This is basic defense 101 and if Gilroy makes any more like this expect Tortorella to bring in someone else. Redden was caught down low pitching in on the offense which caused Gilroy to be alone.
Over all Gilroy played well, as did the rest of the ranger’s team. A very good win at home and a boost as they get ready to pay the Devils.