The Goods: Downed by Rangers
Henrik Lundqvist has eyes in the back of his head.
And on the side.
And on top.
That’s the only way to explain how the New York goaltender foiled Vancouver on all 40 shots Tuesday night at Rogers Arena as the Rangers blanked the Canucks 4-0.
Vancouver lost for the third time in four games and was shutout for the second time in three outings; ironically it was Lundqvist who put up a donut against the Canucks the last time these teams met, albeit in New York last January.
A second shutout against this early in the year saw Lundqvist stop 13 shots in the first period, 15 in the second and 12 in the third and through 40 minutes he was the only reason the Rangers weren’t already boarding a plane back to the Big Apple.
Through two periods the Canucks dominated the game, just not the scoresheet.
They had chances at even strength. Twenty-nine to be exact.
They had chances on the power play. Eleven on eight power plays to be precise.
The Canucks were relentless, but Lundqvist was flawless.
“That was obviously the difference,” said Kevin Bieksa, who provided the lone Canucks highlight in a late fight with Brandon Dubinsky.
“You can’t really outplay a team any more than we did for 50 minutes there, he made a lot of great saves and we got numerous numerous chances. We’re kicking ourselves we couldn’t put a few past him.”
The Rangers, who had just nine shots with 20 minutes to play, beat Roberto Luongo on three of six shots in a stretch of over nine minutes in the third to take a 3-0 lead en route
to the 4-0 win.
Luongo, undefeated in two career starts against New York while with Vancouver coming in, was jeered by Canucks fans late in the game and he acknowledged he needs to be better. He’s allowed three or more goals in all four of his starts this season.
“They’re not satisfied with my play, as well as I am not, so I guess they’re entitled to that, that’s totally fine, I understand that. It’s up to me to pick up my game and make some saves.”
BACK BUT NOT IN BEAST MODE
Superman was back in the building and although he wasn’t in beast mode, his debut what we all expected. Quality.
Ryan Kesler played 19:07, including 7:21 on the power play and 1:27 shorthanded, picked up three shots and was 10-for-17 on draws in his first game of the season.
More importantly, Kesler felt just as good after the game as he felt going in.
“I felt good out there, obviously there’s little things that are going to come and I’ve got to stay patient,” said Kesler. “It’s all in the process and that’s what I have to focus on and keep getting better every day.”
Kesler said it was good to face an actual opponent again instead of teammates in practice and that taking a few hits early on helped him get his groove back.
The reigning Selke Trophy winner is now putting pressure on himself to use this game as a stepping-stone to perform even better.
“I expect to get better every game.”
The Nashville Predators are on deck, the Nashville Predators that Kesler dominated last post-season.
Expect to see Superman fly.
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
It’s not easy to be me.
The lyrics to "Superman" by Five Five For Fighting, the song played during the Rick Rypien tribute video shown prior to Tuesday’s game, couldn’t have been more fitting.
It wasn’t easy being Rypien. Nothing the former Canucks player got was easy. He was a scrapper who earned literally everything he got in life, ice time included.
The Canucks officially said goodbye to the fallen soldier prior to puck drop at Rogers Arena and it was as emotional as one would expect. Rypien’s parents and brother were brought onto the ice and presented with Rypien’s 40th anniversary Canucks game-worn jersey.
The lights then went dark at Rogers Arena as Rypien’s tribute video, created by the masterminds at Canucks TV, played. Five For Fighting’s moving song was the perfect backdrop to a collection of pictures and clips from Rypien’s childhood to his final season in Vancouver.
If you missed it, click here to watch it.
Thank you for inspiring us Rypien, you’ll be missed.
- @fredewanuick, saying what I am thinking, but would get in trouble for saying.
Alain Vigneault scored his first career NHL goal in a 5-3 loss. Vigneault finished with two career goals.
Krueger-like hat for his post-game TV interview. He was a set of claws short of me giving him a Mars bar.
Members of New York media comparing a Vigneault press conference to that of John Tortorella.