Penguins 5, Rangers 2: Rupp Outduels Gaborik In Showdown Of Star Free Agent Pickups

I woke up in the middle of the night Sunday with a startling, half-awake realization: This offseason, instead of trading multiple dudes to the Rangers to acquire Scott Gomez’s suffocating contract, why didn’t the Canadiens just trade no one and sign Marian Gaborik? I know there’s some injury concern there, but geez, the dude’s 10 times the threat Scott Gomez has ever been, Gomez’s contract is just as massive, you keep Chris Higgins this way, and you end up with a dude who’s already scored more goals in 25 games this season than Gomez has in every season of his career except one.

Yep — half-awake Me is a better GM than Bob Gainey. Man is that dude fired after this season…

Anyway…the Pens remained impressive last night, beating the Rangers on the road with Henrik Lundqvist back in goal, despite a continued power play malaise and repeated inability to cover Gaborik with seven guys at all times. We knew it going in, but how clearly is Gaborik the only remotely threatening player on this Ranger team? Who else would you even think about covering in a playoff series against the Rangers? Like, Vinny Prospal? I feel like he should be the captain and star player on an expansion team somewhere; he’ll be on the Las Vegas ThundercrushDogs for their 2012 season opener, once Phoenix moves.

Mike Rupp’s inconceivable offensive season continued with a hat trick, including the game-winning goal and an empty netter to give him 8 goals on the year, shattering his former career-high mark of 6 goals in a season (and doing so after only 28 games).  Sidney Crosby added two more goals of his own, flanking a play where he bumped Gaborik in the Pens’ crease after a whistle and drew MSG chants of “CROSBY SUCKS!” I will henceforth refer to the “goal-Crosby sucks chant-goal” combination as a “Crosby Sandwich,” because that’s precisely the sort of lame-ass Crosby term that would really piss off other Atlantic Division fans, but then it would keep happening, continuing to piss them off even more. For as hated as Crosby is by the Flyers, Rangers, and Capitals, the guy really couldn’t own the Flyers, Rangers, and Capitals more.

On a both good and bad note, I keep forgetting that Chris Kunitz is out of the lineup. It’s great that the Pens have the scoring depth to notch 13 goals in two games against a division foe despite a depleted lineup, but it’s also a little disconcerting that the absence of a so-called top-line winger is so insignificant. Hopefully he’ll be back botching Crosby’s one-timers thus frustrating Crosby and getting him to keep shooting more and racking up goals in no time.

Also, why have the Pens played like 12 more games than every other team in the conference? Is there a stipulation in the schedule that the Flyers must always have 5 games in hand on the Penguins every season to ensure that you always get more initially excited when you look at the standings than you should? Just another example of the league’s clear anti-Crosby bias…

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4 Responses to “Penguins 5, Rangers 2: Rupp Outduels Gaborik In Showdown Of Star Free Agent Pickups”

  1. k Says:

    Is it just me or was Crosby’s shot from behind the blue line with a man trapped offside the hardest slap shot he’s ever gotten on net in his career?

  2. S. Poole Says:

    Keeping Chris Higgins is a good thing? He is all flash and no finish. But yes, Gainey is as good as gone, the new ownership sealed his fate with a vote of confidence today.

  3. Dan Hopper Says:

    Higgins is nothing special, but he’s a three-time 20-goal scorer who only counts 2.25 mil against the cap – nothing wrong with stashing that on your second or third line, particularly when Glen Metropolit is your team’s #4 scorer.

  4. S. Poole Says:

    True that. Good God, that Gomez contract looks worse every day!

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