Well this was miserable. Not just because the Rangers lost, but because I spent 11 hours on trains to get to and from Boston to watch the travesty. As I am exhausted, I will add photos later and get right to my observations:
*The Rangers may have been playing a team wearing the black and yellow of the Bruins, but don't be fooled, they took on the New Jersey Devils and lost. Claude Julien had the B's playing the Devs system to perfection and the Rangers couldn't break the trap.
*Marty Straka is my hero. You may have heard he is now out for a few weeks with a busted digit. It happened when he blocked a Chara slapshot on the pk. Did Marty fall to the ice, roll in pain and cry for a trainer? Nope. He stayed in the play, dug the puck off the boards, went down to block another shot, and made sure the puck was cleared before going to the bench. Yeah, you guys try to tell me that baseball players are men. 'Ooo, a blister! I can't play!' Sissy marys. Marty's hard work and dedication is often overlooked but he epitomises everything a Ranger should be.
*Hank's save on Marc Savard was utterly unbelievable. I almost went down the stairs jumping up and down.
*Chris Drury took part in the pregame puck drop with his friend Travis Roy. If you have no idea who he is, look Roy up. Here is the link to his foundation. When life is kicking your ass, think about what he has gone through and how he has dealt with it. Amazing and inspiring.
*Drury actually had some nice scoring chances on the power play ... when the Rangers started shooting the damn puck. When they reverted back to their power play of last year - pass it to Jagr, wait, wait, wait, skate back because the puck was turned over - nothing happened and nothing worked. When they shot it, they got chances.
*Speaking of Jagr, the guy baffles me. He battles through a ton of dirty play and doesn't bitch or stand up for himself. Instead, he takes lazy, sloppy penalties that put his team down. When he is into the game, he is unstoppable. When discouraged, he is horrendous: late in the game with Chara in the box Jagr skated the puck into the Bruins zone then turned it over. He didn't even flinch. It was astounding and infuriating.
*As for someone who has been utterly infuriating his entire Rangers career, Marek Malik actually had a pretty good game. Man does it feel weird to type that. He still played a bit soft but made no mistakes. However, his partner Rozy played like crap again and should get the same reward - a game in the press box.
*There were more people wearing Red Sox gear than Bruins stuff. And for that matter, there were a ton of drunk, obnoxious college kids who did their best to ruin the experience for everyone around them. Also, as a nice slap in the face to the city, there was a sizable Rangers contingent and we got some good Let's Go Rangers chants and even a pair of Potvin Sucks.
*The few real B's fans there seem to worship Milan Lucic and the game showed why - the kid is a junkyard dog and could turn into a helluva player a la Cam Neely.
*Scott Gomez tossed a puck to a little kid next to me during warm ups, then saw my jersey and went to toss me one but couldn't get it over the glass. Wuss, lol. But seriously, at least the kid got one - it was a very nice gesture.
*And with that, the Professional Hockey Writers three stars:
3-Hank - Kept the Rangers in the game, yet again.
2-Phil Kessel - One nut scored to win the game in a shootout. Big deal.
1-Manny Fernandez - yeah he had a shutout, but I don't think the Rangers made him work all that hard to get it.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Straka - To quote Kellen Winslow, he is a "f-ckin' soldier!"
2-Hank - What a save, what a save!
1-Claude Julien - Turned the B's from a joke into a contender by reforming them into the Devils. Yeah, Gary Bettman did a good job opening up the game and getting rid of the trap ...