Lost in the destruction of the Penguins by the Rangers today was a small incident in the third period that may have gone unnoticed and certainly, from a Ranger viewpoint, went unpunished. At 9:30 of the third period Henrik Lundqvist went behind the net to play the puck. Colby Armstrong of the Penguins sped in to get the puck and in the process tripped up the Prince and skated to the near boards where a few Rangers surrounded him, and did nothing. Lundqvist came out of the nets to challenge Armstrong and super hero Sidney Crosby came over to jaw with Lundqvist.
While Armstrong got a two minute penalty not one Ranger layed a glove on him. There was John Davidson yelling something about Lundqvist getting back in the nets before a penalty was called. Gimme a break JD. The score was 4-1 Rangers. The anchor of your team, the second MVP on the team (Jagr is #1) is put in jeopardy of a serious injury and no one did anything. I will be interested to see if Tom Renney has anything to say to his team about this. Let's understand one thing about this Ranger team. Jagr is the engine that drives this team, Lundqvist is the glue that holds them together. Either one goes down this year, this magical run is over.
The game was a laugher. Jaromir Jagr, sick as a dog, had two goals and an assist. He now has 75 points, 34 behind Jeanne Ratelle's Ranger record of 109 points. His power play goal, three on five, was scored from a point position. How about that! Right in the center he drove a slap shot past Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who played a strange game. Fleury made a great save on Jagr in the first period which was 1-1 on Fleury's 13-14 saves. The second period he saved 14 of 16 but let in a softie by Rucinsky. The third period was too much of an onslaught as the Rangers poured 21 shots on goal. The Rangers outshot the Pens 51-14.
There were some milestones today. Prucha scored his 25th goal and is the fourth rookie this year to get 25 goals. The Ranger record for rookie goals is
26 by Mike York in 1999-00 36 by Tony Granato in 1988-89. Lundqvist recorded his 21st victory putting him only eight behind Johnny Bower's and Jim Henry's 29 wins. It is clear that The Prince will hold the all time rookie goaltender winning record when this season is over. If you are like Beansy you will bet the house that the Prince's record will last a long long time. That is if the Rangers start protecting him with their bodies and fists, and not with their mouths. Remember though, this is the new NHL.
ICINGS: Hollweg was benched for Hossa. Why? Hollweg better be playing against the Flyers. Without Primeau and Forsberg the Flyers will be like a wounded Tiger fighting for his life. We will need toughness against the Flyers and on this Ranger team Hollweg is toughness. Forget the occasional goal we may get with Hossa. We need toughness and the HMO line, the Kamikaze Kids, need Hollweg.
Yes Virginia, NY Rangers fans are everywhere-
Broadway Blue: A New York Rangers Blog says:
The Rangers power play was anemic again, although Jagr's second goal was scored with the man-advantage. The annoying thing is, and the Garden crowd will back me up on this, the Rangers do not take every shooting opportunity given to them. It's pass, pass, pass, pass...
Crosby skates up and starts running his mouth to Lundqvist.....what right does he have doing that? The guy got tripped up and is responding to it, and Crosby comes over and talks smack? I hope to God that he gets flattened on Wednesday.