Saturday, April 22, 2006

One Down

I freely admit having been somewhat offended by the Sharks loss to Nashville Friday night, but that was without seeing the game. I thought there were a lot of penalties, and the idea that the penalties ecided the outcome--only the Sharks scored at even strength--did not bode well.

I saw much of the Devils-Rangers game, in which all of the goals for both teams were scored on the power play. (Technical exception: one goal was scored 0:01 after a Ranger penalty expired.)

Before the series, the people who saw many more games than I--that is, those whose children go to bed before the middle of the third period--all said that the Rangers couldn't match the Devils for speed. (Only Burnside seems to think otherwise, not bothering to mentiomn any difference in his column.)

The game pretty much demonstrated that speed was the difference. And the Rangers helped the Devils set a team record for power plays (and then kept going).

Most interesting stat from the announcers (ex-ranger goalie John Davidson?): the Rangers did not score a shorthanded goal on the road all season.

Let's go back to Burnside:
[T]he Rangers' power-play and penalty-killing units are more efficient. [emphasis mine]

He does hedge ("That must continue if the Rangers hope to upset their neighbors."), but does this "efficiency" match with reality? Not judging by Game One.


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