Love The Win. Hate The Style.
Anytime the Rangers beat the Devils it's a beautiful thing- and beat them they did, 2-0 in a snoozefest Monday night. The teams combined for a total of get this 28 shots. COMBINED!
Captain Ryan Callahan tallied the only goal that mattered in the first period. Carl Hagelin finished off the game with an empty netter with under a minute left in the third. While Ranger fans will enjoy the win, the style left much to be desired. The Rangers had 15 shots on goal. NJ was worse with only 13.
28 combined shots is just not good hockey. It was more like soccer- and I can't stand soccer. For goalie Henrik Lundqvist, it was his eighth shutout of the year. Both teams had a paultry 10 shots through the 1st 2 periods. YAWN.
Two things for me to interject with. Score is not the key indicator of how good a game is or isn't, but of the flow of the game- and this game didn't have good flow. It was a physical game, as the teams combined for 61 hits, 37 by the Rangers. After a little bit of a slumber, the Rangers have won 2 straight. The Devils are a vastly more entertaining team than they have been in years but they played not to lose as well. The trap is playing not to lose. It isn't appealing and it isn't fun.
My second thought is this: if I were interviewing for a coach and he told me they would play trap, my answer would be "Okay, thanks for coming in. We will call you- maybe." Then I wouldn't call. I can't charge my fans what NHL tickets cost and then play center-ice oh-my-gosh let's-play-safe hockey. It's not fun to watch. When the game has good flow, well, it's as good as anything to enjoy. This game did not, and it wasn't fun.
The Rangers have a GREAT goalie, and don't need to play it so close. They also have more fire power than many think, but are limited due to coach Torterella's style of play. They also have a young and mobile defense that can pinch a little and yet get back to cover their defensive responsibilities. I think the Rangers "lack of scoring" is due to mostly their defense being stifled when it comes to making plays in the offensive zone.
So yes, it was a win, and it gives the Broadway Blue Shirts a fat 9 point lead in the East and leaves them 1 point behind the Red Wings for most points in the league. I want a Cup real bad as a die-hard and long-time Rangers fan. I don't think they can get there playing the way they did Monday!