Sunday, December 18, 2011
First thought when the puck hit the back of the net? That beat the clock! WE WON!!!!!!!!!
Second thought when the puck hit the back of the net? Screw you Chris Drury and your 7.7 seconds.
Third thought? Amazing how a great ending can wipe away an all-too-forgettable game. Brad Richard$ beat the clock and sent everyone home happy. The buzzer beater ranks up there with Malik's shootout goal and Marc Staal's overtime-forcing shorthanded goal against Pittsburgh last year as the most memorable tallies since the lockout (at least for me). It truly was an absolutely wonderful moment and one to take forward into the winter.
But would I be me if I got all giddy because of a tenth of a second of success? Hell no.
Entering the game Phoenix had lost five of eight games, there was a small library crowd of fans (most of whom were rooting for the Blueshirts) and Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith had a career 4-6-1 record and .899 save percentage against the Rangers. And with all of that the Rangers still blew a 1-0 lead, wasted power play after power play, gave up two terrible goals and were largely outworked by Don Maloney's desert dogs.
Vince Lombardi said “perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” Excellence is the Stanley Cup - not some singular, inconsistent wins before Christmas. The guys have to enjoy tonight's ending for the moment but realize that they have to be far better going forward - next week the Devils, Isles and Flyers, in April the playoffs.
*Marty Biron doing his best Mmmmaaaaarrrtttyyyyy Brodeur impression essentially gave Richard$ the goal. Phoenix cleared their zone but Biron charged out of the crease to get to the puck and fire it back down the ice. The move kept the Ranger attack going as the seconds ticked down and, clearly, every second counted.
*Loved Micheletti raving about Biron's play in the second period just seconds before the goaltender couldn't cover the puck, allowing the Coyotes to score the go-ahead goal. Micheletti is a moron. Dubinsky on the backhand! Ugh. No, it was clearly Brad Richards you clown. 'Pardon me Sam but I have to interrupt you all night with my shrill voice and incorrect analysis.'
*Had the game gone to overtime and a shootout then maybe Christensen could have proved his worth but otherwise, he showed that he is not just a waste of a jersey but a detriment to his team. His defensive zone faceoff loss handed the Korpedo a game-tying shorthanded goal. Utterly unacceptable.
*Thought Brandon Dubinsky had one of his better games. Still not saying much but at least he is trying.
*Mike F-ing Rupp is a lumbering neanderthal who doesn't belong in the NHL anymore. Cement skates, cement hands, cement head. His presence was pointless in this one but necessary if he is going to be any factor during next week's divisional games. And he had better be a factor.
*I will admit that Del Zaster wasn't entirely Del Zastrous - he had some awful shifts and some admittedly decent ones. His volleyball save came seconds after he tried to stick check a Coyote, only to see the puck get right past him. The assist that the MSG guys raved about was a clean 30-or-so foot tape-to-tape feed to Marian Gaborik. Was it nice that the kid finally, finally caught a teammate in stride? Yes. Was it worth all of their drooling? No. Plus that lone moment doesn't make up for the other eight minutes of power play time that he utterly wasted.
*Hope Steve Eminger heals well and quickly, if only so we aren't subjected to more 20 minute Anton Stralman performances. But how bad do you feel for Jeff Woywitka? Even with Eminger out, he saw just six minutes of ice time ... like his name was Sean Avery or something!
*I'm pretty sure that in some other language Girardi translates into granite. The dude is a rock. And Ryan McDonagh has clearly demonstrated that his terrible performance against Tampa was just a fluke.
*Hard to tell who was the better skater, Young Carl Hagelin or Oliver Ekman-Larsson. They were both simply outstanding to watch. Something in that frozen Swedish water I guess.
*PHW Three Stars
3-David Schlemko - Hahahaha!!! No, seriously, the guys selecting the stars picked this guy.
2-Marian Gaborik - two goals.
1-Lauri Korpikoski - one goal.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Korpedo - Nice to see the kid has some of the skill that we were sold on when we drafted him at 19 in 2004 - one spot ahead of Travis Zajac (Captain Cally went 127th).
2-Gabby - The Slovak Sniper struck twice on three shots, that's a pretty good percentage I would say.
1-Richard$ - Dude, zero-point-one seconds - no need to say anything else.