Friday, December 30, 2005

Auld Lang Syne

The Rangers closed out the 2005 portion of the season with a dissappointing OT loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 4-3. The winning goal was scored by Sidney Crosby on a rebound as the Rangers were trying to kill off a power play. The Rangers spent the entire OT period in a penalty killing situation due to penalties by Marek Malik and Michal Rozsvial. Malik's penalty was the killer, a dumb penalty taken at the end of regulation for arguing a non-call with ref Craig Spada. As Malik's penalty was expiring Rozsvial was given a penalty for clearing the puck into the stands, a disputed call. The refs were horrible the entire game with the most glaring being a phantom call against Ortmeyer that put the Rangers down 5-3 and led to Pittsburgh's third goal.

The Rangers three goals were all on power plays and they were three for eight as were the Penguins, on the power play. In all fairness the refs called some questionable ones on the Pens also. This new NHL better get this referee situation cleared up soon as it will defininitely impact the playoff positions. The NHL wants to save money. I have an idea, Go back to one referee a game. We don't need two incompetent refs competing against each as to who can call the most ridiculous penalty. Tom Renney was seen having words with the refs after the game but to no avail.

The Rangers goals was scored by Jagr, Rucinsky and Tyutin and each one tied the game. The Rangers were outshot 38-17 and rarely created any offense at even strength. The Prince played well in the nets and made some sensational saves as the Rangers semed to be somewhat lethargic especially with five on five hockey where the opponents zero in on Jagr. Petr Prucha who has played well the last few games was a non-factor.

So the Rangers finished the first half of the year, 39 games, with 49 points. Not bad for a team predicted to finish 30th in the league by most experts. This is due to the outstanding play of Jagr, who now has 61 points, the great goaltending of The Prince, Henrik Lundqvist I. and the play of the Kamikaze kids especially on the penalty killing. They need to pick up scoring from Straka, Rucinsky and Rucchin for the second half of the season if they are to make the playoffs. They also need more solid goaltending from Kevin Weekes in a backup roll.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

Happy New Year!

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