The Rangers controlled the first period with 16 shots on goal for the Rangers and holding Atlanta to 6. But towards the end of the first period Wade Redden takes a very bad holding penalty , putting the always dangerous Atlanta Thrashers on the Power play. It took 14 seconds for the Thrashes to capitalize on the advantage and score the leading goal.
Brandon Dubinsky and Enver Lisin was back in the line up. Enver played a total of 4:18 seconds for the game. Although the Rangers had shots on goal and looked good, the offensive skills of Lisin may have made the difference.
Last month Lisin went from playing on the first line with Gabby to seeing hardly any ice time. If he was good enough for Tortorella to place him on the first line, then he is good enough to see more ice time than Chris Drury who has not scored a goal in 18 games now. Drury played 18:34 seconds.
Brandon Dubinsky looked like he has recovered from his broken hand as he played physical and had a few scoring chances. He skated well and over all had an good game. How ever his presence did not make a difference as the Rangers came away with no goals in the first on 16 shots.
There has been quite a few fans thinking that Ryan Callahan should be traded. At 5’11” the 188lber has the most hits in the NHL. His defensive play has been fantastic, especially on the penalty killing unit. For the most part he has struggled with accuracy this season early on, how ever, he has created chances for a team that has been struggling. He has been a threat on the PK in which he has had 4 break a ways and a short handed goal. Over all he plays harder then any other player on the ice he is always a threat in the offensive zone. The problem has been that he has not been playing his position where it has benefited him in the previous year.
Ryan has been controlling the puck more, where as last year he played in front on the net allowing his team mates to control the puck. Against Buffalo he played in front and scored a goal. This is something that Tortorella and Cally need to work on. Using his strong points! Other then that Cally is young and a very talented player. If this team is to go into the rebuild stages , he is what you will want on your team. Cally stays!
The Rangers won most of the battles along the boards for the puck. In the second Ryan Callahan off of a great pass by Del Zotto to cally, the Rangers tie the game on the Power Play. Del Zotto has created these break a ways several time this season. Leading the rush on the PP, Del Zotto has come a long way in his first season. This is kid is awesome and will only get better in years to come.
The Rangers give up another short handed goal in the third. This was do to a bad rebound off the boards. It looked like Del Zotto took his eyes off the puck and was unaware that the puck did not go around the boards but ricocheted in front where Colby Armstrong was to knock in the goal.
The Rangers answer right back a minute later on a Marion Gaborik PP goal. Gabby is awesome as well. Can you imagine if this guy was not plagued with injuries his whole career how many goals he would have scored. It is unfortunate that his awesome play his not good enough to help this team win games alone.
As awesome as Gabby is the star of this game was clearly Atlanta’s goalie Johan Hedberg. The saves he made and the amount of saves he had was just superb. At 36 years old Johan saved 46 shots and took the game in the shoot out. Giving the Thrasher the win 3-2.
At the other end of the ice, Lundqvist played good as always. Although I think he should have been able to stop that short handed goal, Hank did his part in keeping the Rangers in this game.
Defensively the Rangers did alright. Better then most of the games this season. For the first game this season, Rozsival actually played a good game with the exception of a turn over in the Rangers zone. He had a few hits and even took a few shots from the point.
There are 18 players on the bench every game. But if you watch the Rangers games you would only think they have 11 players. Lisin , Brashear and Brian Boyle all played 5 minutes and less. Defenseman Heikkinen plays 7 minutes again and Artem Anisimov played only 9:55. Avery who has been playing well only played 12 minutes. Although the first two lines were playing well, there has not been a game where Anisimov and Lisin has not created scoring chances. Boyle as well has been very consistent on driving to the net and creating chances. Why in the world would coach Tortorella not play these guys. This is an every game issue and it clearly maybe the reason why the Rangers can not muster more then 2 goals.
So it is clearly obvious that Tortorella will not change who he plays for the entire game. With that being said, maybe he needs to stop worrying about scoring more then 2 goals and work on his defense to stop allowing more then a goal. Since nothing he does has worked yet, maybe he can tighten up the defense and will the games with the 2 goals. Either way something needs to be done here for these guys to start winning. When you do not have it offensively , then you need to do it defensively. They lost 4 in a row now and heading into back to back rivalry games against the very tough New York Islanders John Tortorella and this team better get it together before Wednesday or it just may turn out to be 6 losses in a row. If that happens I think Sather better open his blinds and do something here!