*Brian Leetch took his place among the best of the best of the best tonight as a Hall of Famer. Let's face it, it is an honour well deserved but for all of the great achievements on the road to Toronto, there were bumps as well. I never understood why he accepted the captain's C and still don't. The man avoided the limelight like the plague and yet took the leadership mantle without being able to handle it. As he did during his number retirement ceremony, Leetch should have deflected the attention to Adam Graves. While I disagree with the authors of 100 Ranger Greats that he was the greatest Ranger ever (the failure as a leader and litany of injuries - slipping on ice? geez - being the main reasons why not), Leetchie certainly retired as one of the best so congratulations to him, his family and his fans.
*Just why did Glen Sather make the trip to Toronto? So he could taunt Leetch about trading him away against his wishes? So he could make that "Forever A Ranger" number retirement tag line be a blatant lie? Or maybe so he could try to learn how to build a real team from the back-end out like Lou? Or perhaps it was to get thanks from Luc Robitaille for dealing Gretzky to LA (even if it was under ownership duress), essentially making the slow left wing's career?
*So Glencross got three games for a pretty clean hit, huh? The Flame didn't jump, didn't throw an elbow, just caught a player not playing attention with a solid hit - perhaps a second or two late but it was clear that he wasn't following the puck. For everyone to cry "headshot! headshot!" I just don't see how you can justify that without mandating that all NHL players skate with their heads up all the time and be the same height and the same weight as everyone else. I mean, I want to play fanboy and call foul but there simply is no reason to in this case. Three games achieves nothing so why bother slapping him on the wrist? Oh yeah, because that is what Colin Campbell does: make examples of the goons, slap the middle-of-the-road guys on the wrists and let star plays off scot-free.
*Let's face it, the loss of Brandon Dubinsky for a few weeks far outweighs any absence by Drury - which may be as little as one game. While Dubi had just two assists in his last 10 games, he was quite active all over the ice making things happen. You have to figure that with him out, we will see Vinny Prospal or Chris Higgins slide to center and maybe P.A. Parenteau return to Broadway. Higgins has been going hard to the net so maybe his north/south play up the middle could turn this little spark of offense into something bigger.
*As for the call-ups, the argument for Geno Grachev in lieu of Pappy is an interesting one. On one side you have the thought that bringing up Grachev for a cup of coffee so early in the season would likely prove detrimental to his long term development. But, the other side of it is that he could step up his game and help pull the team along - likely bringing Arty Anisimov along with him. Two-for-one is quite tempting, especially seeing as Arty has gone back to looking wooden and lost most of the time. Then again, maybe Donald Brashear's
*As for some folks being alarmed that no one has been called up yet - the less days a guy is recalled, the less days they have to pay him for against the salary cap. Someone like P.A. can come up Thursday for the game and fit right in, having been on Broadway in the recent past.
*I love that we still call it being on Broadway, even though this Garden is between 7th and 8th. I don't know, just a nod towards history and a sense of grandeur I guess.
*Tyler Arnason is a tool. Did he really think he could make it as a Ranger? Or more to the point, as a NHLer? He shoulda taken the European money and ran in the offseason rather than waste our time.
*The Rangers are having a season ticket holder forum on Tuesday night. The media alert had Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan, Marc Staal, Envir Lisin, and Brian Boyle showing up. I think you can pretty much expect that the players will be kept well away from the fans - to avoid the flu and having to have any actual personal interaction - and the usual questions: 'why don't you shoot when we yell shoot' from an old guy, 'when/how/who did you look up to when you started playing hockey' from a well-coached kid and 'Henrik will you marry me' from some fetching young female. Still, I should have a report back here sometime afterwards ...