Monday, November 14, 2005

Hot Rangers, Jagr Head to the Mecca

The Rangers road tour gets its latest test with a trip to the Mecca Of Hockey, Toronto. Riding a three game road streak and led by their hot star, Jaromir Jagr, the Rangers are hoping to prove that they are for real and will not fade anytime soon. All aspects of the game are now clicking. The goalies have been outstanding with Kevin Weekes now joining The Prince as the top goalie tandem in the NHL.

Another big plus is the sensational play of the penalty killing unit which now ranks second in the NHL. The Kamikaze Kids: Betts, Ortmeyer, Moore, Ward etc. have been fantastic and play defense with complete abandon. They have also contributed with big goals lately as the opponent's defense concentrates more and more on Jaromir Jagr.

Jagr is racking up points at a record breaking pace. In nineteen games he has seventeen goals and twenty-eight points. The seventeen goals tie him with Gagne of the Flyers for the league lead and his twenty-eight points rank him third in the league. He has exceeded all of Tom Renney's expectations and while not the official Captain he most certainly has been the Ranger leader. They will need him at his best in what looms as the Rangers toughest test in this young season against Toronto.

Speaking of Toronto, I was watching Hockey Night In Canada two weeks ago and caught Don Cherry making some remark about some article that puts the rap on Jagr for not playing all out when he was with Washington. Something to the effect that he was kind of mailing it in. I can't attest to that. I didn't see that many Capital games but he almost always played well against the Rangers. However, in three seasons with the Caps Jagr played 190 games, scored 83 goals and had 201 points. That is some mailing it in. Over a point a game, not bad. In six playoff games, two goals and seven points. So where is the problem?

Hopefully, Jagr and the Rangers can continue their magic before some of the harshest critics in the NHL, the Toronto Press. Kevin Weekes will probably get the start in goal against the Leafs. It looks like Renney may decide on a rotation of every two games now that Weekes is back on his game. So each goalie gets two games and then sits for two games until we get deep in the season. Then who knows? We may have another Ed Giacomin/Gilles Villemure duel that took place back in 1970-71. Why not?

Retired NY Rangers Number 1 - Ed Giacominrelated:
Retired Numbers - #1 Eddie Giacomin [NY Rangers]
Vezina Trophy []
1970-1971 Rangers Team Roster [NY Rangers]
I remember Eddie Giacomin [I remember]

triva: In the late 1980's, Eddie Giacomin was mugged in broad daylight outside Madison Square Garden.

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