Sunday, December 11, 2005

More Magical Goals In A Magical Season

My friends, who sponsor The Carnival, would have loved last nights Rangers-Blues game. It had everything but good hockey. The referees got carried away and called twenty two penalties from excessive breathing to intention to hold. It was ridiculous. The worst infraction was Petr Prucha getting hit from behind into the glass with his helmet flying off and nothing was called. The Rangers continued their futility on the power play going 1-9 and on this three game road trip were 1-22. Unless Renney fixes this fast this will soon cause this magic ride to come to a screeching halt. Anyone for Jaromir Jagr on the point on the PP? Fortunately the penalty kill unit came up big with a 2-13 night and Kevin Weekes was strong enough to get the win. Remember my admonition in my last column that this was a trap game. I was right, The Rangers, if not for three more magical goals, would have lost this game.

First it was Jaromir Jagr, in the circle to the left of Lalime, who put one in off of Lalime's right shoulder to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead, Then Petr Prucha, on a PP, to the extreme right of Lalime, put one in off of a Blue's defenseman's skate to give the Rangers a 4-3 lead. Mike Sillenger tied the game for the Blues with 7.8 seconds remaining to send the game into OT. Then came the piece de resistance. In a season of crazy, wacky goals for the Rangers this one rivaled Dominic Moore's tying goal in Florida. Crossing the blue line Rucinsky shot a rocket that hit the glass behind the goalie and then came back and bounced in off Lalime's back for the game winning goal. I guess you can say that Lalime had a trifecta.

The Rangers thus picked up five points out of a possible six and now have 44 points. They have won 9 of 11 games. Isn't it amazing that they struggled with the two weakest teams in the NHL and dispatched a top team, Nashville, with ease. Thank goodness most of our remaining games are against plus .500 teams. Seven against the Flyers, four against the Ottawa Senators, three against the Maple Leafs, five against the Islanders and four against the Devils. It's that kind of year folks. However, if we don't fix the power play, this house of cards could collapse. But let's stay positive. With the win and Ottawa's OT loss last night the Rangers are tied with the Senators for the most points in the NHL with the Red Wings two points behind. And as that famous Yankee radio announcer, the late Mel Allen would say, "How about that!"

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