Yes, eight goals. Not eight in the last week. Not eight in the last month. Eight in one night, two days after they scored six goals Sunday against Montreal. That’s fourteen goals in the last five periods, directly following a stretch of 147:02 without lighting the lamp on home ice once. Go figure.
To the particulars of last night’s 8–2 win: The top line of Marian Gaborik, Vinny Prospal, and Brandon Dubinski was outstanding — Gaborik earned four assists, and Dubinsky notched a Gordie Howe hat trick — but the Rangers got plenty of production up and down the lineup. Eight different players scored, and sixteen of eighteen skaters notched at least an assist. One would assume Artem Anisimov and
Wade Redden Michal Rozsival were thoroughly ridiculed after the game for not making it onto the score sheet, but they deserved it: Tampa Bay turned in one of the more pitiful performances we’ve ever seen. Not tallying at least an assist in that game is cause for great shame.
The Rangers have talent, but Tampa made them look like an all-star team by giving them ample space to operate all game long. When the game got out of hand, they appeared to just give up; the last five minutes were a shooting gallery. This game easily could have been eleven or twelve to two. The crowd, uncertain how to react to this stunning offensive output, started a chant of “Voros, Voros” when winger Aaron left the ice in the closing minutes after his second fight of the night. We never thought we’d live to see the day.
A published report last weekend — since denied by Tampa brass — had Glen Sather inquiring about Vinny Lecavalier. (According to the original report, the Rangers were offering Matt Gilroy, Wade Redden, and either Ryan Callahan or Brandon Dubinsky.) After watching the team the last two games, you’d wonder why they’d want another scorer — even if the three games before that raised the issue in the first place.