The Los Angeles Kings are everything you want in a young team. They are hard working and unrelenting and they took advantage of a tired New York squad playing for the second night in a row to attack, attack, attack. Luckily for the Rangers, their top young goaltender didn't play and the warm body that did fill the crease was terrible, allowing the Blueshirts to escape from L.A. with a 3-2 overtime win.
Actually, what let the Rangers finish the SoCal sweep was a stellar performance by Stephen Valiquette. Valley played every inch of his 6'6 frame and stood tall in the net despite the usual defensive deficiencies in front of him. He showed no signs of the mental lapse that hit him in Toronto and he stopped 39 shots.
*The Kings wore their new third jerseys and they are beautiful. While the black trend has been overdone in the new NHL, the Kings made it famous first and these jerseys give a nod to their old sweaters with a simple black, silver and white design. I half expected to see Gretz and Lucky Luc jump over the boards; great work by L.A.
*If Santa Claus wants to be kind, he will give Ranger fans the gift of a new colour announcer on MSG. Man oh man is Joe Micheletti annoying!! Someone took the time to explain just why he was so bad over on the HFBoards and the fact that there are people actually standing up for him disgusts me. He is atrocious and his mistaken analysis does a disservice to viewers. Dave Maloney has proven that he is capable; it is long past time to make the switch.
*Hey Joe, when Ryan Callahan was hauled down midway through the second period it wasn't close to a penalty shot, it was the definition of a penalty shot - Cally had a clear advantage; it's your job to point that out. Then on the ensuing power play, the absolute confusion as to why the next play was deserving of a penalty shot was infuriating. And that was BEFORE Micheletti admitted to not paying attention and missing the play entirely!!! Later, when MSG showed replays after the next break, Micheletti claimed he just had thought it was a innocent looking play. How did he think it was an innocent looking play when he didn't see it in the first place?
*As for the penalty shot that was awarded, it was not a "great, great goal" by Rozsival as Micheletti said. It was a whole lotta flash and a backhand that barely cleared LaBarbara's goal pad. Let's face it, any capable goaltender would have poked the puck off of Rozy's stick as the Czech was skating in slow motion. Now his goal in overtime, now that was an impressive shot. It was hard, it was through traffic, it was pinpoint perfect. And, if anything, it justified the Garden's pleas for him to just put his head down and shoot!!!
*Oh, Dmitri, you truly are horrible. Mr.
*Although I can't fully blame Kalinin for Brown's goal as he was standing right next to Rozy ... but the bigger issue is that if there was no instigator rule, Brown wouldn't have been on the ice. He deserved to get his ass kicked for running around hitting people and yet the instigator rule (and Renney's innate pacifism) let him get away with it. For shame.
*Perhaps it was because they were playing other skilled youngsters, but Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi both played better than they have in weeks. They were more involved, they were more physical and they were more fun to watch. I wasn't as impressed with Nigel Dawes as the Ranger broadcasting crew was, but he did play inspired hockey.
*On the other side of the coin, Wade Redden and Aaron Voros didn't seem capable of keeping pace. Redden was caught flat footed on several occasions and it boggles my mind that Voros got more ice time than Colton Orr, who can skate harder and faster while providing more physicality. And where was the Mexican't??? Blair Betts was a bigger offensive threat than Scott Gomez ...
*Stat of the night: Brandon Dubinsky was awarded nine hits, while Brown had seven. Was the off-ice official actually watching the game? And on that note:
*PHW Three Stars
3-Kyle Calder - one assist.
2-Michal Rozsival - two goals.
1-Patrick O'Sullivan - one goal.
(What the hell were they smoking?? Even if they made their picks before the end of the game, and even if you are a homer, how do you pick these three guys in this order to boot?)
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Rozy - He made these stars and it is not in a sarcastic manner, who'da thunk it.
2-Valley - A phenomenal display of Benoit Allair's hybrid style of goaltending. And he is the backup goaltender. The backup!
1-Marc Staal - Staalsie was the only Ranger to battle back against Brown, he pressed the action throughout the game and was the catalyst for the game-winner.