The Rangers won their home opener against
the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 in OT in which Ranger fans got to see Eric Lindros
make his MSG debut. The game was a seesaw battle, which saw both teams
lose leads several times.
Brian Leetch got the game winner when he
netted a overtime goal on a shot that deflected off Sabres goalie Bob
Essensa's blocker and into the net giving the Rangers their first win of
the 2001-2002 season. Eric Lindros didn't disappoint the crowd as he
netted his first goal as Ranger while on the powerplay
The Positives - Rangers had 5 different
scorers. Richter wasn't nearly as barraged as he Had been in the previous
game against Carolina. The Rangers came away with two points in game they
could have easily tied or had even wound up losing. The line combinations
seem to make more sense then in the opener.
The Negatives- No hitting, no bodychecks at
all. The Hardest hit was delivered by Lindros. The Rangers continue to not
put people in front of the net on the powerplay and even strength. Theo
Fleury of all people did so and it resulted in a goal for the Rangers.
Although the Malakov/Ulanov defensive combo was a +2 they were by far the
worst Set of defenseman the Rangers sent out on the ice against Buffalo.
Nedved- Moved back to Center. Although he
was a +2 he continues to frustrate by not converting on his quality
Grosek - Got a goal. Looked better playing
with fellow Czechs. Needs to muck more.
Ciger - Misses nets way too often. Didn't
Lindros - Got a goal on the PP. Threw a
Fleury - Held without a goal for the second
game in a row. Did a good job of screening goalie on Johansson goal.
Typical feisty Theo game.
Malhotra - Not a hit in his game. Seems to
have forgot bodychecking is essential for him to have a role on this team.
Heisten - Completely useless in this game.
Will be a healthy scratch very soon.
York - Struggling to find rookie form. Was
McCarthy - Filled his role perfectly.
Fought Eric Boulton, which arguably ignited Ranger comeback. Previous to
fight garden crowd was booing.
Dvorak - Devo played solid game scored
Johansson - Very good game. Involved.
Scored goal. Impressive hustle.
Messier- Steady, Played on same PP unit as
Lindros. Playing with a nasty streak a t times for the Second game in a
Ulanov - Stumbled and fumbled throughout
the whole game. Broke Cardinal rule when he went down to block a shot when
on penalty kill which cost the Rangers a goal. Terrible game by some
miracle he wound up a +2
Malakhov - Guilty by association just
because of his partner Ulanov. But basically was non-descript Needs to be
more offensively involved.
Purinton - Played within himself. Had a
nice shot on goal. Got tagged for a fictitious penalty. Solid game even
had a scrum. Did what he is supposed to do. Solid.
Leetch - Got Overtime Goal. Played well
overall. Did however blow a coverage on one Buffalo goal by abandoning
front of net to pick up man in high slot.
Berard - Terrible game. Really was a toss
up between him and Ulanov for worst defenseman of the night. Missed net
horribly, and hesitated shooting several times.
Karpa - He wasn't a liability but he wasn't
an asset. He needs to hit people and clear the crease to fill his role.
J.D and Sam Propaganda Report -
Davidson called Malakhov an added offensive
weapon. If he is a weapon then that weapon is out of bullets. Maladog has
shown nothing in his 5 total games as a Ranger to deserve that ridiculous
statement made by Davidson.
J.D also called Ciger aggressive. If that
comment wasn't mind boggling enough for you he is already making excuses
for Cigers unimpressive play after 2 games by exclaiming, "He's
zigging when he should be zagging".
Summary - Mission Accomplished. They won.
They won at Home. They won in Overtime. It took 5 goals to win. That's not
a good thing. Richter was solid and not under constant siege like in the
game against Carolina. Andreas Johansson may emerge as a pleasant
surprise. Rangers got two points against an Eastern Conference foe.
Defense has to get its affairs in order though. They look lost at times.
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