The Rangers so far this year have been, in a word, uninspiring. They head into tonight’s game with San Jose with a 3-3-3 record and being a perfectly average hockey team. They finally got big games out of Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards, but they ended up blowing a big lead in the third period of that game to lose in a shootout.
No focus, no fire, no consistency. These are big issues for the Rangers and today they’ll likely be putting Sean Avery on re-entry waivers in hopes to get him back to play on Thursday. Is he the guy that can help snap the team out of their funk and get their act together?
It can’t hurt, that’s for sure. Avery’s role as a tenacious forechecker and agitator are two things this Rangers squad lacks. They don’t necessarily have a guy that will pressure the puck carrier in all zones nor anyone that can truly get under an opponents skin leading to power play opportunities thanks to retaliation calls. It also might get the fans to relax a bit on calling out John Tortorella.
Like him or not, he’s an effective player when focused. Therein lies the challege for Tortorella with Avery – finding a way to keep him on track and getting the Rangers turned around.
We’ll find out by noon tomorrow if the Rangers get that opportunity. If they get to hang on to Avery, we’ll see if Avery getting demoted to start the year is the kick in the pants he needed. Making Tortorella look like he made a big mistake should be motivation enough for Avery.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger