This week in New York sports has been a fun one. Both hockey teams were involved in some great games, including a thriller between the two on Monday. Both basketball teams made moves at the wild NBA trade deadline on Thursday. It’s been a good seven days. To recap, here are New York Sports Hub’s Weekly Awards.
Once again, there hasn’t been much basketball this week, so this will be hockey-centric
Team of the Week: New York Rangers
The Rangers played very well this week, but they also win this award by default. The Knicks and Nets combined to play three games this past week as they returned from the All-Star break, while the Islanders went 2-3, and lost on Monday to none other than these Rangers.
We’ll get to that game later on, but let’s talk about these Rangers for a bit here. They simply kept on rolling, going 3-1 this week, with their only loss coming in a closely contested game against the Canucks. The biggest stories have been their ability to bounce back from mistakes, and their offense
The most impressive part has been that they won games on Monday and Friday after allowing goals 11 and 14 seconds into the game, respectively. In the case of Monday’s game, they found themselves down two goals at three different points, but they continued to claw their way back to win.
The offensive piece is rather self-explanatory, as they scored 16 goals in 4 games this week (not counting the extra “goal” from their shootout victory last night over Columbus). Rick Nash is playing like a superstar, and this week featured the reappearance of Martin St. Louis.
Player of the Week: Martin St. Louis, New York Rangers.
Speaking of… St. Louis’s four goals and three assists this week earned him honors as the player of the week. That’s seven points in four games, compared to his six points (all assists) in his previous sixteen games. I didn’t want to rail on the man who gave me so much joy last spring during the playoffs, but I literally forgot he was on the team during games over the past month. But, he magically regained his form this week, and made some familiar Martin St. Louis “wow” plays.
Play of the Week: Martin St. Louis’s wrist shot against the Canucks.
I wasn’t immediately floored by this play, because it’s what we’ve come to expect from Mr. St. Louis, but that’s just a testament to how great he is. Great pass from Stepan, great finish from MSL.
Worst Play of the Week: Lou Amundson’s wildly illegal layup.
Was that four steps? How did the refs miss that?
Game of the Week: New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders
There really wasn’t much competition here. The Rangers played a great game a few nights later against the Canucks, but it’s impossible to beat a nail-biter that involved both New Yorl teams. The Islanders were out in front from the get-go, with John Tavares scoring 11 seconds in, but the team from Manhattan fought their way back from a 2-0 deficit, and then 3-1, and finally 5-3 before ripping off three unanswered goals in the third period to win the game.
The Islanders were playing great hockey, so it wasn’t as if they did anything to blow the game but it was simply a great game between two great teams. One of these great teams was simply better than the other. Right now I’m salivating at the prospect of a playoff series involving these two teams.
Worst Player of the Week: Cam Talbot, New York Rangers
13 goals in 3 games, plus failing to save either shootout attempt on Thursday night means it was a bad week for the Rangers backup-turned-starter. He’s been great in Lundqvist’s absence, with this past week being the exception to the rule, but he still deserves some criticism here.
Transaction of the Week: Thaddeus Young acquired in exchange for Kevin Garnett.
At the trade deadline, Nets GM made one of his few good moves, trading Kevin Garnett back home to Minnesota, and getting Thad Young in return. For a team on the edge of playoff contention in the East, the upgrade from the dinosaur KG to Young should be a nice boost that may give them a leg up on other teams in the scrap heap of the Eastern Conference.
I’m not going to sit here and praise King for making up for a terrible trade he made almost two years ago, but for this week at least, kudos to you Billy. Why he didn’t accept the Pistons’ offer centered around Brandon Jennings for Joe Johnson is beyond me, but this is supposed to be a happy segment! Let’s save the bashing for later.