Sunday, February 3, 2008
27-22-6: Old Time Hockey, Eh?
So I had considered going to this game for several months but the official announcement of the Rangers going international next season officially quashed the trip ($$$).
Man, oh man, am I pleased that I didn't head north, my nerves wouldn't have been able to take it and I likely would have gotten into a fight with a Hab fan or three. But what a game for a national audience ... and what a change from the last Ranger game on NBC. I can't believe we won. I am sitting here in shock so before I ramble, onto the notes I took during the game:
*I tune in to NBC at 2 and immediately hear a reminder, "Bull riding is up next." Why is hockey so often tied to the fortunes of the idiotic sport of redneck cowboys?!? Its horrible to hear and see in-game promos for it on Versus, but that is understandable as that station was formerly known as Outdoor Life. But NBC?? That is just lousy.
*The game didn't even start and NBC has already blown away Versus and MSG ... they actually let viewers hear the ovation for the Habs when they took the ice as well as the anthems. No Joe Micheletti rambling on about nothing of importance, just the ambiance of one of the best buildings in the sport. Fantastic. I still am distressed by the bull riding, but can live with it now, lol. Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury make for a really entertaining intermission team - not quite Don Cherry and Ron MacLean, but fun nonetheless.
*We've gone on and on about the ineptitude of Marek Malik, but his boyfriend Michal Rozsival hasn't been all that much better. Yes, he has more goals than Scott Gomez, but he is a defenseman, he needs to be able to play defense. A minute and a half in he committed a lazy penalty, allowing the league's second-best power play a chance to open the scoring. Then a stupid cross check to negate a Ranger power play and give Montreal a 2-0 lead. Renney has spoken about accountability; he has to finally show Rozy a seat. Call up Andy Hutchinson to fill his roll for at least a game, see what happens. Of course, he scored again, so that won't happen but one can dream.
*How is it that Jagr gets double teamed most every shift and yet no Ranger appears to be uncovered?
*Speaking of the Ranger captain, I just want to clarify that I don't hate him. I hate him on the Rangers because I think that he is not suited to be a leader, is moody and is vastly underperforming. You can argue the first two points, but not the third, that is irrefutable.
*I hate the idiot fans down by the glass that jump up and down waving when they know the puck is down by their end so they can say they were on tv. Sit down and shut up.
*When will Dubinsky's energy finally embarrass the veterans on the team into playing harder? Every shift he is forcing the play, banging bodies, going after the puck, scoring ... too bad we have just one of him. Callahan had been like that but in his first game back from Hartford he was a bit meeker. Watch out if he turns it up too with Shanny out ...
*"The Rangers puck management is pitiful." - Pierre McGuire in the first period. (I couldn't have said it better.)
*Henrik wasn't much better. He made himself smaller on Sergei Kostitsyn's penalty shot, giving up almost half of the net and Kostitsyn took advantage to make it 3-0. Luckily he remembered how to do his job and was solid the rest of the way.
*Somehow I don't think the NHL brass will suspend Alex Kovalev for his elbow to Ryan Hollweg's head, but they should (for one game, that's it). Then Hollweg loses his mind when he comes back and gets tossed and will certainly be suspended for several games. Kostitsyn certainly sold it, even though his shield protected his face from hitting the glass, but that will mean nothing as Hollweg has a bad reputation. When a Flyer lays a hit like that he gets two games; I guarantee Hollweg will see at least five, maybe 10.
*On that incident, why did Colton Orr fight Francis Bouillon? The guy is a sissy who doesn't fight and wears a shield ... I don't get it. Senseless move by a senseless player.
*Best line of the game came from Doc after the second period-ending scrum, "Nick Fotiu and Chris Nilan, somewhere, are smiling."
*There is something to be said about for games between these two teams. Not only are they two Original Six rivals, but its like America vs. Canada ... red, white and blue vs. bleu blanc rouge; just call me a patriot (but not a Patriot, go Big Blue!).
*The Dark Ranger has been jocking Chris Drury lately and I can't fault him. Captain America has certainly stepped up his game and was in the perfect position to tip in the go-ahead goal.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Mike Komisarek - shut down Jagr.
2-Kostitsyn - penalty shot goal and spectacular acting job to draw a five minute power play.
1-Drury - gwg and an assist.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Blair Betts - best defensive player on the team, he was out on the ice in big situations late and helped hold off the Habs attack.
2-Dubi - love this kid.
1-Captain America, Captain Clutch, The Little Leaguer - what a third period. Aside from his goal, his penalty killing was top notch.