Monday, November 07, 2005

Stars Will Be Out Tonight - So Should The Prince

It will be star power at the Garden tonight. Old stars, new stars and potential stars. It should be quite a show. The Penguins are in town with the perennial Ranger nemesis, Mario Lemieux, and the league's poster boy, eighteen year old Sidney Crosby. Mario has five goals and twelve assists and Crosby has four goals and fourteen assists. Add Mark Recchi (six goals and twelve assists), Ziggy Palffy (five goals and eleven assists) and Gonchar on defense and you have a talented group of offensive players that will give the Ranger D and goaltending quite a test. The Pens have scored the same number of goals (48) as the Rangers have, with the Rangers playing one more game. However, the Pens have given up 63 goals, twenty-six more than the Rangers have.

The Rangers have their own star power. Jaromir Jagr has been outstanding with a twelve game scoring streak. He seems to be lapping up the crowd's adulation toward him - hamming it up as the number one star against the Devils, as the Rangers completed their home and home sweep, conceding the Devils one point. In the new NHL it isn't hard picking up a point. Beside Jagr, the Rangers have The Kamikaze Kids (Ortmeyer, Betts, Hollweg, Ward, etc.) and The Prince of Goalies, Henrik Lundqvist I. And that's the difference in this year's team compared to past teams.

The Rangers this year are devoid of the players who would mail it in on many a night. They are also devoid of head coaches who were overly impressed with past performances, afraid to challenge some egos or just not competent enough to recognize and correct the flaws that were affecting the team. This is all gone with Tom Renney, who has become the most pleasant of surprises. Tom is playing the players who can best perform up to the standards he has set. And that is why Poti was benched. That is why Nieminen was recently benched. He was taking too many penalties, mostly of the lazy variety. When players get sent down to Hartford they are not lost forever but monitored closely with the help of Jim Schoenfeld, GM and coach of the Wolf Pack. Petr Prucha was sent down for two games, scored two goals and returned and Saturday scored two goals, one in the shootout. Incidentally, they also brought up Ryan Hollweg, a tough winger who can hit.

In my last article I said that Prucha, Hollweg and Purinton should be brought up to give the team more toughness. The Rangers only brought up Prucha and Hollweg - two out of three. Not bad, I guess, Sather didn't finish reading my article.

The Prince should be in goal tonight. Weekes played two good games against the Devils but tonight should be a magical night at the garden. What better way than to have Henrik Lundqvist in goal. Two of the top rookies in the game. Sidney Crosby vs Henrik Lundqvist. Imagine a shootout (which I detest) and then it's Crosby vs Lundqvist for the game. Crosby skates in on Lunqvist he shoots and.........
Talk to me tomorrow.

ICINGS: Penguins will try to make it a three game sweep against New York area teams. They beat the Devils in OT at New Jersey and beat the Islanders on the Island. However in their last game against Boston, the Bruins hammered the Pens 6-3. John LeClair was injured and will be out for awhile.

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  • Brushback said...

    Wouldn't Purinton still be serving out the rest of his 10-game suspension if the Rangers brought him up?

  • mike said...

    You are correct. Right after I posted it one of my sons called to remind me of that. But the other two were brought up and have played well, so two out of three ain't bad. Also, thanks for linking the Pundit and we are reciprocating. Good luck and thanks again.