by Patrick Hoffman on 10/12/08 at 02:10 AM ET
The New York Rangers squeeked by the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 for their fourth win of the season thanks to a dominant first period.
The rest of the game? Eh, not so much.
When the team was up 4-0, I automatically thought back to last season when the team dominated the Montreal Canadiens for a period and a half before blowing a 5-0 lead to lose 6-5 in a shootout to the Montreal Canadiens.
It was almost deja vu all over again. The Blueshirts dominated from the get go and stormed out to a 4-0 lead thanks to goals from Nikolai Zherdev, Blair Betts, Fredrik Sjostrom and Michal Roszival, knocking out Flyers’ starting netminder Martin Biron.
After that, the game changed and the Flyers took over, especially their captain Mike Richards who did almost everything for his team tonight. Luckily, they were never able to get the equalizer and the Rangers picked up a big two points.
The one thing that bothered me about tonight’s game was the team’s lapse in the second and third periods. Up 4-0 with a little less than four minutes to go in the first period, the Rangers had a chance to bury the Broadstreet Bullies and they never ended up seizing the oppportunity.
May be it was due to back-to-back games or having played four games in a span of seven days but the team cannot allow teams to crawl back into games when they have them by the throat. They can’t take bad penalties, leave guys open in front of the net and almost blow a four-goal lead. Next time, they may not get so lucky.
Enough of the negativity though. The Rangers are finding the back of the net, getting scoring from three of their four lines and have gotten great goaltending from both Henrik Lundqvist and Stephen Valiquette, who was brilliant tonight in making 25 saves.
The Blueshirts are4-0 for the first time since the 1983-84 season and have a chance to extend it to 5-0 on Monday night at the Garden when they take on the New Jersey Devils, who are 2-0 in this young season.
All good things going on in Rangerland right now. Let’s see how long it stays that way.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.