Last time the Rangers were in Pittsburgh, they were in it til the end. This time they were done in the first. As predicted here on the Beat yesterday, The Rangers did in fact get obliterated by the Penguins with a final of 8-3. Sidney Crosby led the way with a hat trick and 2 assists.

Steve Valiquette got the start and was awful. Not sure why he started being that Henrik Lundqvist got the early hook the night before but he gave up several goals a good men's league goalie could've stopped.

Matt Cooke took Artem Anisimov's defenseless head off in the third period and got 2 minutes. Donald Brashear tried to go after him but was prevented by the refs and Cooke's fear. They gave him 4 minutes. I just don't get how you're allowed to injure someone, get only 2 minutes and then be suspended 2 games. This league is an absolute embarrassment as is Matt Cooke. Later Ryan Callahan was able to drop the gloves with this pussy but you'd rather someone who can fight go after him. Now Cooke gets protected by the league and will not be in the lineup tomorrow in the rematch at the Garden.

John Tortorella adressed it angrily after the game, "To me it's pretty simple, change the rule book. Some of these guys that go about doing that and have no fear at all as far as maybe a little retribution, it'll continue and that's why our game is more violent now because I think guys hide behind that rule book." He also referenced Brashear's effort to get to Cooke, "The linesman jumps in when someone is trying to take care of business that should have been left alone. This is where our game is screwed up as far as I'm concerned, there's just no respect, no respect in these types of situations and I think the rule book has a little bit to play with that." You can watch it all here:


The team seems to be trying to stick up for each other more now but they're just not a very good team. Normally I'd be excited to see what kind of response the Rangers would have on Monday night but I'm sure there will be none. That's just what this league is now.


Not good...

The Rangers were absolutely dominated in a 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning last night. Not a great homecoming for Vinny Prospal or John Tortorella, except for a video tribute they did for him.

The team was simply never in this and doesn't appear able to compete with the quicker and more physical teams in the league. That's what happens when you have players like Michal Rozsival, Wade Redden and Chris Drury signed to gigantic and ridiculous contracts. You have no money for secondary scorers and tough defensemen. Good job Glen.

Not many bright spots except Ryan Callahan finally scored and Bobby Sanguinetti was pretty good in his debut. The pivotal play happened in the second with the Rangers down 2-0 though still in a game. Victor Hedman held Artem Anisimov's stick for :03 heading toward a puck in the corner. Anisimov finally yanked his stick free and it clipped Hedman up high. The only call was a high stick that iced the game for sure. Another joke call from the clowns... directly impacting the game, and in this case, deciding it.

Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after giving up 4 goals on 22 shots... Marian Gaborik's 8 game point scoring streak came to an end... Rangers will get obliterated tonight by Pittsburgh.


Two in a row... (UPDATED)

The Rangers won consecutive games for the first time since the 7-game streak at the beginning of the season. They did need the shootout and the King to beat the Florida Panthers 2-1 last night.

Chris Drury returned from his concussion and was solid. I get aggravated with him at times as everyone does. It isn't his fault Glen Sather was dumb enough to pay him Marian Gaborik money. He is the same player he always has been and that is not a scorer. Drury wins faceoffs, kills penalties and has the abiltity to score in big spots.

The Rangers opened the scoring with Drury on the power play point in place of Ales Kotalik, who is nursing an injury. The Captain took a good, low, hard shot Gaborik effortlessly tipped in for his league leading 19th goal of the season. He has now scored in 20 of 22 games as a Ranger.

You knew the refs would have to make their presence felt in this one and they did. Victor Oreskovich had already knocked Wade Redden out of the game with a clean hit in the first. He drilled another Ranger later and when Matt Gilroy, of all people, stepped in and dropped the gloves they gave him 17 hysterical minutes in penalties. That left the Blueshirts with only 4 defensemen for most of the third period and overtime. Of course that never would have happened if Oreskovich had fought Donald Brashear when challenged but he was afraid.

Sean Avery missed a perfect outlet pass just inside his blue line in the third that Dominic Moore turned into the tying goal. Henrik Lundqvist was screened by Dan Girardi on the play and had no chance. He did have a chance in the shootout stopping Nathan Horton, Steven Reinprecht and Stephen Weiss. P.A. Parenteau won it for the Rangers on a beautiful drag move out waiting Tomas Vokoun.

Wade Redden is expected to be out a week with an upper body injury. According to Arthur Staple of Newsday Bobby Sanguinetti has been called up and will make his debut tomorrow against the Tampa Bay Lightning... Michal Rozsival will be the only defenseman over 25 in the lineup Friday night... Ales Kotalik will be a game time decision with a rib injury. If he does play, P.A. Parenteau better not be the man sitting.

Kotalik will play tonight in place of Aaron Voros which is obviously the right choice.


The Captain Returns...

Chris Drury returns from a five game absence tonight. Hard to tell who the odd man out will be but it could be Ales Kotalik who got drilled the other night. He evidently has some sort of "body" injury... good to know that it is in fact a portion 0f his body that is in pain.

Rangers look to win back to back games for the first time since mid October. Florida is 5-0-2 in their last seven including a 3-2 win last week at the Garden.


For one night the offense was there... thank goodness there was no one in net for Columbus as the Rangers blew out the Blue Jackets 7-4. It was much of the same with the Blueshirts playing a couple of good stretches of hockey through the game.

The game started with two defensive breakdowns leading to two goals from Columbus' fourth line. Coach Tortorella called a timeout after the second one and the Rangers woke up led by... all together now... Marian Gaborik. He did have help from Steve Mason who was awful for the Jackets. Mason had no chance on Artem Anisimov's 5th on a deflection. Michael Del Zotto made a nice rush right after and a simple wrist shot eluded the net minder letting the Rangers walk out of the first with a 3-2 lead.

The Rangers scored 7 straight including 3 in 1:11 (2 by Sean Avery and another by Gaborik). Gaborik finished with 2 goals and 2 assists and is now tied for the league lead in goals with Dany Heatley. Of course Gaborik doesn't have Joe Thornton passing him the puck but he still has scored a point in 19 of 21 games as a Ranger. Christopher Higgins was the new winger with Gaborik and Vinny Prospal on the first line and had one of his best games of the year. He had 2 assists and hit the post, of course.

Matt Gilroy capped off the scoring off a beautiful no look cross ice feed from P.A. Parenteau. Gilroy abused backup goalie Mathieu Garon going forehand-backhand-forehand. Parenteau has played very well and when the time comes he should be playing over Enver Lisin. The scoring was there... at least for one night.

Artem Anisimov was great getting a goal and 2 assists and the third star of the game... Aaron Voros did well for a second fight in a row with Jared Boll who ealier went hard at Marc Staal... Rangers with a concerted effort to get in the face of anyone who went near Henrik Lundqvist but he eneded up getting run over by Rick Nash anyway. Someone should have punched him in the face but instead the Rangers were happy to take a power play... which is ridiculous.


Fading Fast...

The 7-1 start for the Rangers is long gone... as are the hopes most of us had at that time. They dropped their third straight to Florida Saturday night by again playing the only second half of the game. Apparently they don't realize the games start at 7.

This team is a disaster and that starts with GM Glen Sather. The coach hasn't been much better though. I've always liked John Tortorella from afar. He seemed like the kind of coach who would hold people accountable. But what has he done? They played a more aggressive style toward the end of last year and in the beginning of this one. Now they appear not good enough or scared to play it. If Tortorella was the guy I thought he was, Rozsival would have been sent down or released already.

Sather seems to be doing just fine though. No talk of him being released. Let's see, he signs a second and a third line center for $7 million + a year. Gomez scored over 80 points once while Drury has never scored 70. Then he signs Wade Redden for 6 years and $39 million and Michal Rozsival coming off hip surgery for 4 years at $20 million. 4 horrible players taking up half the salary cap. Somehow he moved Scott Gomez and got something in return other than a bag of pucks. He also went after Donald Brashear (2 years and $2.8 million) who has been awful. He can't fight, skate, or hit anymore. But hey that's how you spend $20 million on 4 useless players. Ok maybe Drury isn't useless... but Blair Betts could do all the things he does... for a lot less.
And why not give Patrick Rissmiller a million to play in Hartford?

They have absolutely no offense except for Marian Gaborik (points in 18 of 20 games) and Vinny Prospal. Don't expect that to change anytime soon. It's nice that Sather signed 2 good players but they don't have one that plays with an edge. Sean Avery is just not who he was. They don't stick up for one another to the point it's embarrassing. Paul Mara would stand up but of course they let him walk. Marc Staal and Dan Girardi seem to be regressing. No one on defense can clear the front of the net or prevent their franchise goalie from being run over regularly. This is a horribly constructed team built by a guy who should've been fired a long time ago. Somehow it's never even talked about though.

I guess I'll continue watching the least physical team in the league get pummeled every night. Even if they somehow made the playoffs they would have no chance against bigger teams like Philadelphia and Washington (See 6'7" Brian Boyle who falls over if the AC kicks on in the building). I picked a good year to start a blog... even when they play a game there's nothing to write about.


Same Old Song...

After starting 7-1, the Rangers are now 11-9-1. Not very good. It's the same problems that the team seems to have every year. They take penalties and they can't score. Every game they say they have to be aware of penalties and every game there's at least 2 lazy ones. You could also argue that John Tortorella's usage of players like Marian Gaborik and Vinny Prospal tires them out.

You look at the power play which started off blazing but has now cooled except for Gaborik. Yet Ryan Callahan continues to trot out there with the first unit. He has 6 out of his 7 points with the man advantage but he doesn't seem to fit with Gaborik and Vinny Prospal. He has 7 points in 21 games... anyone expect that? Nice to see P.A. Parenteau get a shot on it last night and he produced an assist on a good drive to the net.

The first line has had Enver Lisin on it for weeks and though he has some upside, he's done nothing. He has no points in the last 8 playing alongside Prospal and Gaborik... That's almost impossible. I know he hurt his foot but c'mon. Coach Tortorella ended up trying Ales Kotalik with them in the third last night.

Another reason for the lack of scoring could be the loss of Brandon Dubinsky and Chris Drury but let's be honest, they had 16 points between them before going down. Tortorella has said he has the players here to get it done but they haven't.

Why not take a look at Corey Locke (9-15-24 with 7 PPG in 17 games for Hartford this year)? He'd allow you to put Prospal back on the wing. Gaborik-Anisimov-Prospal sounds pretty good for a first unit. If Anisimov is offensive, put him with offensive players. Parenteau-Locke-Callahan as your second and Higgins-Avery-Kotalik/Lisin as the third. Putting Avery at center may wake him up from the invisibility cloak he's been wearing aside from the last 2 games.

On the defensive side, there's not one unit that appears cohesive. Not one pair that you say 'Oh we can't break these guys up'. I'd like to see Ilkka Heikkinen (4-8-12 in 17 GP) or Bobby Sanguinetti (6-13-19) brought up. If the coach really holds people accountable then he will realize that no matter what Michal Rozsival makes, he is just not the same player he was before surgery.

The bottom line is scoring. It has to come from somewhere and it's not coming from the guys on the ice every night.


Rangers-Caps Thread...

Boy talk about boredom. The Rangers came out solid with a goal by who else? Marian Gaborik scored his 14th of the year. Then from 4:35 into the first the Rangers didn't get a shot again til 3:51 into the second. They did let Henrik Lundqvist get run into again, this time by Jay Beagle (real tough guy) with no response and no call.

Alex Ovechkin responded with his 15th on the power play in the first. He also helped set Brooks Laich's PPG in the second. A period in which I don't remember seeing one good chance other than a quick shot by Ales Kotalik. John Erskine gave a lesson to the Rangers when Sean Avery went near Semyon Varlamov. He was immediately drilled and put down Erskine. I wish the Rangers had one tough guy who would protect his goalie.

And in a great end... Aaron Voros won the first fight of his life leaving Matt Bradley bloodied. Bradley came back and won the game with 4:51 to go.

The Blueshirts had 5 shots in the first and exploded for 6 in the second. They're getting blown out 21-11 in shots and dominated in the game.

2-1 Washington through 2...

Gaborik ties it on the second of back-to-back power plays in the third. Great play by P.A. Parenteau to drive the puck to the net with Gaborik pumping in the rebound from a near impossible angle. Funny moment as right after this a scrum ensued which reulted in Niklas Backstrom punching Ryan Callahan in the face and him not doing anything. I sat here and guaranteed matching minors and got them. You knew the clowns couldn't feel comfortable calling 3 in a row in the third on Ovechkin's Caps... especially on a nationally televised game on a hunting channel.

Aaron Voros won his first fight of his life in this one leaving Matt Bradley a bloodied mess. But Voros still can't win as Bradley came back to score the game winner with 4:51 left in the third. Beagle added insult to injury adding an assist on it. The Rangers are still seemingly unable to see their franchise goalie getting run over.


Parenteau's Patience...

The Rangers beat the Ottawa Senators 2-1 in a shootout yesterday. P.A. Parenteau, despite missing an open net in the closing minutes of regulation, won it it in the seventh round of the shootout.

The usual suspects showed up again as Marian Gaborik fed Vinny Prospal for the first short-handed goal of his career, 894 games. Prospal, Ales Kotalik and Parenteau beat Brian Elliot who was solid. And hey... even Sean Avery decided to show up for this one.

Parenteau said before the game, "I'm planning on making a point here [Saturday] afternoon and sticking here as long as I can." He made his point in the shootout going backhand forehand top shelf on Brian Elliott for the win. Nice moment for him as his family was looking on. He's been good and noticeable with the ice time he's received this year.

Thw Washington Capitals come to the Garden on Tuesday night. Last game in the Garden, Ilya Kovalchuk returned to the lineup for the Thrashers and basically won by himself. Now Alex Ovechkin will return from a 6 game absence with an upper body injury... awesome...


No Defense...

The Rangers lost another one last night 5-3 to the Atlanta Thrashers. The first line of Ilya Kovachuk (goal, 2 assists) with Nik Antropov and Maxim Afinogenov skated circles around them. Marian Gaborik (goal, assist) kept them in it for a little while and a late goal by Brian Boyle made it close until Afinogenov sealed it with an empty netter.

The Thrashers struck :19 in when Evander Kane made Michal Rozsival look like an old man. I know the kid is fast but it looked like old Rozy was out of gas :19 in. Is there any upside to this $5 million dollar defenseman? Kane fed Colby Armstrong who had beaten Michael Del Zotto for a tap in.

No one was in the stands to see how exciting Atlanta can be. Or how bad Henrik Lundqvist can be when he handles the puck. He put the game away when he played the puck away from everyone on his team. They were all next to him when he fired it around the boards to Rich Peverley who fed Kane wide open in front to put the Thrashers up 4-2.

With no Chris Drury or Brandon Dubinsky, Coach Tortorella rode Vinny Prospal (27:52) and Marian Gaborik (26:02) all night. Not sure how long that can last. What's Evgeny Grachev doing? He free? Something must change as the Rangers are now 3-7-1 in their last 11.

The roster and score sheet continue to have Sean Avery on it but I have yet to see him this year. He has become the most invisible player on the team. Aaron Voros has even been better than him this year. If Avery is not agitating and doing what he does best he is useless to this team. He has golden opportunities to lay people out each game with the fans just yearning to explode... but he just shies away. I'd sit him down and put Dane Byers in his place. At least you know you'll have some effort.

Donald Brashear returned and fought Eric Boulton's helmet. Brashear didn't land one punch but peppered the helmet to oblivion. The helmet was able to return and said after the game, "I'm fine". They build them stronger than the human hand nowadays which is odd.


Who will step up?

Chris Drury will not be in the lineup tonight at the Garden against Atlanta after sustaining a concussion in Calgary. Curtis Glencross was of course suspended 3 games though there was no call on the play. There is no timetable for Drury's return but the more important issue for the team is that no one responded. They all claimed they didn't see it. You believe this?

Then there's Henrik Lundqvist who is nursing a lower body injury but may return tonight. That injury was sustained one of the 90 times he's been run over this year. Surely the Rangers must have seen one of these. If you were screaming that Jamal Mayers should have had a penalty then someone should have seen it no? And you're telling me NO ONE saw the Glencross cheap shot on Chris Drury? No one took a look at it between periods?

I don't care if it's a men's league game, a college game, or an NHL playoff game, you do not allow your teammates to be abused. You shouldn't have to be told this either. It's instinctual. I remember one game in college where someone took a run at one of our players. He wasn't our best player but it was a cheap shot. My brother, who was on the ice and didn't even like the guy on our team, attacked the guy that ran him. He wasn't told... that's what you do.

Here's what Lundqvist said, "I don't think it's been as bad the last little while, but I know it's been a lot more than last year, and if it continues, of course we have to stand up and respond." The King continued, "As long as we get calls, I don't mind getting hit if we get power plays, but if we don't get the calls, then we have to respond to it."

You see him get run over when you know he's your best player and something should snap in your head. It should just happen and thoughts of taking a penalty or ruining a potential power play should be the last thing in your mind.
Especially when it's happened to the King over 10 times now.

So far no one on this team has even acknowledged what has been happening to them. They blame "not seeing it", the threat of penalties and suspension, or the instigator rule as Sean Avery did after the Calgary game. They lean on all these excuses to disguise the fact that they are cowards.

I blame John Tortorella as well. If he felt the hit on Drury should have been called a major... well then he must have seen it. Instead he fell back on the excuse that it was a "close game". What a joke. Hopefully it won't take losing Henrik Lundqvist or Marian Gaborik
for the year for this team and this coach to realize you have to protect your teammates.



The Rangers lost in every fashion tonight. First they lost their Captain :49 in when Curtis Glencross threw his body into Chris Drury's head. The great part about this play was the puck was nowhere near Drury, he was not looking, completely defenseless, and the Refs didn't call a penalty. Even funnier is this guy will be suspended and nothing was called. "I'm a guy old school believes you have to still have a battleship in the ocean when they don't have Donald Brashear out there somebody's gotta answer the bell. That is their Captain and it was a dirty hit," said Ken Daneyko in between periods. No one answered the bell and I am embarrassed to be a Ranger fan.

Sean Avery was asked about it and said, "You can't... you can't. If the game had been more lopsided something would've been done." That's ridiculous. This was your Captain. Avery has done nothing to help the team all year and doing anything would've gone a long way. The Rangers and Coach John Tortorella ought to be embarrassed because they did nothing. I mean no one even had words with or hit Curtis Glencross. Are you kidding me? How do you think Chris Drury feels that there was no response because his team was scared of penalties? The more I think about it the more it blows my mind and it is unacceptable.

The MSG crew continued in the second intermission and who better to sum it up than Mike Keenan who was asked by Dave Maloney if there should have been a response to Glencross. "The accountability has gotten out of the game and I don't know if we have to go back and take the instigator rule out of the rulebook and I know that the people running the league don't want that to happen". He continued, "You have to review what has happened in the past and what has worked and we did not have serious injuries like we have now that go unchallenged. The teams that I coached, most teams would have responded to that. Now teams are fearful to respond because they think they're gonna get the book thrown at them. The jurisdiction on the ice is taken away right now." This man knows how this game should be played.

Even though the four idiots on the ice somehow missed this blatant call, they picked up on an Ales Kotalik high stick call in the second period. Funny but they caught it after the Rangers controlled play for :14 and play was whistled down for a Calgary penalty. And woudn't you know a Ranger power play turned into a Calgary one as they called a double-minor on Kotalik. It resulted in Jarome Iginla's game winner... you just can't make this stuff up.

The Blueshirts also lost Brandon Dubinsky who blocked a slap shot with his wrist or forearm. The Rangers finished the game without Drury and Dubinsky who it looks like they'll be without for a while. Daymond Langkow and Dan Girardi traded first period goals. The Rangers had a chance to tie on a 2 on 1 late in the third but Kotalik missed Christopher Higgins' feed for a wide open net. Shortly after that Marc Staal turned the puck over in Calgary's zone resulting in a 3 on 1 Rene Bourque goal to seal it.

Rangers lost in one more way... they got to watch Nigel Dawes assist on all 3 of Calgary's goals. Also Derek Morris, who was traded for Dawes and played a whopping 25 games for the Blueshirts, added an assist in Boston's win tonight.


Oilers Wrap...

The Rangers had their most complete effort in weeks in a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Steve Valiquette gave up a couple of soft goals to Lubomir Visnovski and Mike Comrie but otherwise was solid in his third start of the year.

Chris Higgins got it started on a pretty give-and-go with Matt Gilroy for his second in as many games. Higgins was all over the ice tonight. The Rangers had 14 shots in the first and second. They wound up with a season high 39 shots to Edmonton's 28.

The power play returned tonight and was nasty. Michael Del Zotto hit Ryan Callahan cruising through the middle on the rush for the first of 3 power play goals. Later in the second Marian Gaborik threaded a beauty from the right corner to Ales Kotalik on the left point for a one-time canon through the legs of Nikolai Khabibulin. "The Bulin Wall" was incredible keeping his team in the game.

In the third, Kotalik (1 goal, 2 assists) unleashed another power play rocket that got through Khabibulin and was tapped in by Gaborik who now has 12 goals and 9 assists. The Rangers needed a solid effort and played their most complete game in weeks against a depleted Edmonton team that was without Sheldon Souray and Shawn Horcoff. Tom Renney had said he wanted to beat the Rangers but was left with a sour taste in his mouth. Who cares? We don't miss ya Tom... but we'd probably grab a beer with you though.

Dan Girardi was all over the defensive zone blocking shots... Donald Brashear was scratched again... Aaron Voros played 1:00 in the first and took two idiotic offensive zone penalties.... AGAIN. He sat for a while and saw only 2:39 the rest of the way... Higgins played his best game as a Ranger.

Joke is on the NHL...

I've said all along that this league is now a joke. The jokes continued Wednesday for Dane Byers and Coach John Tortorella with Byers being suspended for a game and the Coach being fined $10,000.

Byers was deemed to have "instigated" a fight with Trevor Glass with 1:10 to go in Vancouver Tuesday night. Darren Dreger of TSN reported that going into Tuesdays action, the instigator has been called in 8 of 117 fights this year. Funny that the refs called it in this case, when a mandatory fine and suspension would kick in. Byers, who grew up in Saskatchewan, had about 8 family members attending tonight's game against Tom Renney in Edmonton. Of course now they won't see him... and you'll all continue to see less and less fighting in this ridiculously boring, European soccer game on ice.

I think Gary Bettman should take the player's driver's licenses away for a month for fighting also... maybe give a penalty APR on their credit cards for a year. That oughtta help deter this violence (that leaves fans screaming louder than they do for goals)...

The Vinny Prospal-Brandon Dubinsky-Marian Gaborik line will be reunited tonight... Enver Lisin returns to the lineup tonight after missing a game with a bruised foot. He will play with Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan... Look for Artem Anisimov to center Ales Kotalik and Chis Higgins... Steve Valiquette will start his third game of the season.


Raycroft the Great...

It finally looked liked we'd have some old time hockey in the third... then I realized there was no fighters on either team. What resulted was 10 players wrestling around during a line change. No big deal but the refs saw fit to hand out 10 minute misconducts to 5 players. The only guy that deserved one was Canuck defenseman Shane O'Brien who speared Sean Avery from his own bench while the clowns were trying to sort out the penalties. Not sure how he didn't get an extra 2 and a game misconduct.

Hysterical call on Rozsival in the third as Henrik Sedin grabbed his stick, wouldn't let it go and fell over. The refs are that dumb that they'll call it every time and that's what this league is now. Mikael Samuelsson cashed in with his second of the game on the gift power play to put the game away. Earlier in the third, Rozsival got roasted on the game winner after Christopher Higgins had tied it with his first goal as a Ranger. Rozsival tried mightily to take an interference on Ryan Kesler instead of turning to get the puck... which he was beaten to. Kesler skated around the net and fed Rick Rypien back door.

Coach Tortorella was pissed and probably wants a new defenseman. "There are some areas and some people that we continue to need more of an effort in certain situations and making big mistakes... big mistakes at a key time." He also mentioned "losing a battle initially" on that Rypien goal.
Can't help but think he's referring to Rozsival. Of course as of now, he has no one to replace Rozsival with if he wanted to sit him... which he does.

The Rangers continue to look like a one man team. Marian Gaborik was shut down by Willie Mitchell. He got some help in the third from Kevin Bieksa, who interfered with Gaborik 2 times on one shift and didn't get called.

Despite Vancouver being decimated with with 7 injured players, the Rangers were never in this. It's hard to win when you score 5 goals in 4 games.
Nice to see that someone was frustrated with the effort as Dane Byers dropped the gloves with Tanner Glass with a little over a minute to go. They're playing Tom Renney hockey just in time to go see him on Thursday.

Vinny Prospal was named the second assistant captain after Chris Drury recommended him to Coach Tortorella. He wore the A last night for the first time.


The Rangers snapped their skid the other day against Boston winning 1-0 on the strength of Henrik Lundqvist and Marian Gaborik's return and 11th goal of the season. They will have to be better tonight in Vancouver but get a break with Andrew Raycroft starting in place of Roberto Luongo.

Sean Avery and Christopher Higgins also returned to a lineup that looks to have lost Enver Lisin, at least for tonight. Lisin blocked a shot the other day with his left foot on Sunday. X-rays were negative but he couldn't put a skate on yesterday. Someone else needs to get it going other than Gaborik and Lundqvist. Maybe some of the Prospal-Gaborik magic can rub off on Higgins who will get a shot with the top unit tonight.

Michael Del Zotto won rookie of the month. He has been amazing with 12 points in 14 games. I had no idea this kid was going to be this good and he's getting better and more comfortable each game. Everyone who was screaming for Sather to acquire a power play quarterback... and he had one the whole time.

I'm getting really annoyed watching Rangers take hits from behind that leave them bleeding and injured with no call. Every time this happens without fail, someone gets touched by a Ranger stick and looks like they were shot with a canon... the refs are dumb enough that they call that.