The Rangers beat the Canadiens by a score
of 2-1 in Montreal at the Molson Center Monday Night. The Rangers key to
the victory was the splendid play of 18-yr. old rookie goaltender Dan
Blackburn who was terrific between the pipes and held the Habs to only one
goal for the entire game. Coming into the game the Canadiens were
undefeated 4-0-1 and had been playing extremely well.
The Rangers fell behind first yet again
after a PP goal by Canadien defenseman Sheldon Souray but the Rangers
responded with a goal 6 minutes later when Theo Fleury netted his first
goal of the season. With the second period seeing no scoring, The game was
tied after two periods. Radek Dvorak broke the tie at 5:06 of the third
period with his 3rd goal of the young season.
Blackburn played extremely well the rest of
the way preserving the one goal advantage the rest of the way. It was upon
the shoulders of goaltender Dan Blackburn the Rangers gained their second
victory of the season. The Ranger win put the Rangers at 2-2-1 for the
year and handed Montreal their first loss of the season.
Blackburn. The kid played very well. He was
the main reason New York got two points out of the contest. Blackburn made
some crucial stops at key times on high percentage shots. The Rangers got
only 2 goals and won the game, which is shocking. The backline for the
most part played okay.
Coach Ron Low seemed to have used his
noodle for once by playing Barett Heisten and Manny Malhotra up front on
the Penalty kill. That move alone may have saved the Rangers. The Rangers
were last in Penalty kill coming into the game at 65%. Montreal went 1 for
7 on the PP. The Lindros/Fleury/York line is shaping up well. The Rangers
won the game without their captain Mark Messier.
The Powerplay is abysmal. They continue to
pass the puck around the perimeter when the rare occasion they are lucky
enough to gain the offensive zone. Nobody is cutting or moving. God forbid
somebody should get in front of the net. The same applies to even strength
play especially concerning the 3rd and 4th lines. The need to clog the
front of the net too many point shots Are easily handled by opposing
The Rangers beat a flat Montreal club. They
also scored only two goals of Montreal's backup goalie Jose Theodore. Not
one Ranger defenseman is able to clear the front of the net of opposing
Lindros - Battled with Souray quiet a bit.
He delivered some nice body checks. Held pointless. But centered best line
of the night.
Fleury- Scored his first goal of the season
on a nice pass from York. Bad obvious penalties continue to plague his
game. Got called for tripping Andreas Dackell twice Once in the first
period and yet again in the third.
York- notched an assist after he made a
nice play to set up Fleury's goal. Had a good chance in 3rd period on
breakaway but couldn't cash in. Gave Rangers a PP in first period by
drawing a penalty with hustle.
Nedved- Got an assist. Couldn't finish a
real nice SH opportunity in the 3rd period that could have given the
Rangers a 2-goal cushion. He is becoming increasingly annoying. He needs
to finish especially on high quality chances when they present themselves.
Dvorak- Picked up his third goal of the
season. Was robbed a couple times by goaltender Theodore during the game.
His contribution with his 5 shots on goal and his effort was notable.
Ciger - Had a good first period. Had an
assist on the Dvorak goal. Disappeared for the next two periods in which
he wasn't a factor.
McCarthy - Moved to third line. Still not
hitting enough. Took a stupid holding the stick penalty in the third
Johansson - Steady and involved yet again.
Made a nice play with a blocked shot with 1:30 left in the game.
Heisten- Showed reasonable effort and speed
at times. Killed penalties along with Malhotra.
Fata - played on 4th line. Non-factor. O
Malhotra -4th line center. Made some good
plays in Second period. Killed penalties and did it well. But he also got
0 shots on goal.
Grosek - Terrible pass in second period
that led to a glorious Montreal scoring chance. Me thinks his game is
going on vacation again like it did last year. I hope I'm wrong. He Looked
good in the Rangers first two games. 0 shots
Leetch - Received assist on Fleury goal.
Steady Performance. Made some nice rushes. His aggressiveness picked up a
Malakhov- Actually had 3 good moments. Nice
shot on goal on a PP in second period. Broke up a scoring chance also in
2nd. Played a chippy shift in third period. Jammed between those 3 good
moments were two thick slices of mistakes and giveaways. Including a
defensive blunder very late in the game.
Berard- Played a fairly decent defensive
game in his own end. His offense looked good. Still having problems
clearing front of net. Had to spear Chad Kilger in a futile attempt to try
to move him
Van Impe- Wasn't conspicuous out there.
Nothing good or bad to report. Once again that kind of a summation for a
ranger blueliner is a positive thing.
Karpa - 4 minutes in penalties. Hauled down
Rucinsky in 2nd period. Was a tad inconsistent defensively. Got in the way
of several shots but still doesn't hit enough For the physical defenseman
type he is suppose to be.
Smrek - Ice time was trimmed down in this
game. No news is good news for Petr.
Blackburn - Excellent game, much better
then his debut performance. Made some stellar saves especially in the
third period. Robbed several Canadiens several times of goals. Even when
he was bad he was good. His bad stickhandling in second period led to a
goaltender interference penalty by Montreal Jan Bullis. Terrific game for
Sam and J.D Propaganda Report:
Basically a serene night for these two on
the inane announcing front. Only a couple of things of note to report on.
J.D kept saying the Canadiens had a quiet (as in silent) penalty kill. He
must have said this a half a dozen times. Can't he just say they play a
tight box non-pressure the puck carrier style? He just gets annoying when
he tries to create his own or others buzzwords.
Toucan Sam also contributed his own goofy
moment. Rosen must have lost all control over his comb over when he
exclaimed; " Dan Blackburn is showing why he belongs in the
NHL!" Dan played good Sam but no need to make him sound like the
Second Coming of Ken Dryden.
Rangers Win ! They got two points on the
road. Blackburn played fantastic. They allowed only one goal against and
actually won the game. The Defense played well as a unit for the second
game in a row. I still fear in future games the Ranger Squad will be eaten
up by teams that grind and have good work ethic. Two characteristics we
don't possess. But they won Monday night in which they beat an undefeated
Montreal team on the road so it's all good for now.
Additional stories from this Author: