Friday, October 06, 2006

Sweet Caroline-A Night To Remember

What a night! The Rangers won their first home opener since October 10, 1985. Jaromir Jagr brought the house down when he skated out in the pregame announcement as the 24th Ranger Captain. He then bought the house by scoring a goal 29 seconds into the game. In the most auspices debut of a hired gunslinger Brendan Shanahan scored two goals reaching the exalted 600 goals for his career, placing him 15th on the all time goal scoring list. Jagr is breathing hard right on Shanny's back with 592 goals. But there is more.

After Shanahan scored his 600th career goal Jagr retrieved the puck and held it for Shanahan. Shanahan was the number one star and Jagr number two and Lundqvist was number three. However there is no doubt whose team this is. Its Jaromir Jagr's team and the goal he scored electrified the crowd and it was all Rangers after that. Look for another MVP type year from Jagr if he stays healthy. The Rangers struggled against the Caps last year winning 5-4 and in the famous shootout 3-2, at the Garden. At the Verizon Center in Washington the Rangers lost 3-2 and were blown out 5-1.

Blair Betts scored the second and go ahead goal ably assisted on a beautiful pass from Adam Hall. Nigel Dawes in 8:30 of ice time did not embarrass himself. He took two shots which missed the net but otherwise played a strong two way game. Dawes is built like a fireplug at 5'8" and 192 pounds. Thomas Pock, replaced the not quite ready Darius Kasparaitis and played very well. He logged 14:43 of ice time, moved the puck well and blocked three shots.

Henrik Lundqvist was The Prince again. He made 25 saves and gave a mini clinic in the third period. Alex Ovechkin was held scoreless and got no shots on goal in the third period. Prucha and Shanahan also played tough with Prucha standing up Ovechkin at the blue line with a solid check and Shanahan nailed Dainius Zubris sending the winger off in pain. How about that!

What kind of a night was it? Well, Tom Renney got a standing ovation when he was announced. Maybe Glen Sather should have been announced. Maybe, but that would be pushing it. While the power play was 0-3, the penalty kill was 8-8. How good a night was it? Even Dancing Larry had a couple of new moves. Great!

ICINGS: This is the 80th year of Ranger hockey in the NHL. Contrary to rumors I was not there when they dropped the first puck. Jaromir Jagr holds his spot on the blue line after the National Anthem and then makes the sign of the cross. Marek Malik, who doesn't move too fast during the game, dons his helmet and skates toward his own goal before the Anthem is finished. C'mon Marek wait another 10 seconds before skating away and respect the Anthem.

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  • Anonymous said...

    I will be making the sign of the cross for Jagr also. He absolutely needs to stay in one piece for this season to come to fruition. I saw some pregame show about the team building exercises the Rangers did during preseason. Kayaking, rope climbing etc, maybe you saw it too. But what worried me was that Renney's group failed the "lego man" test. They weren't able to build a little lego man within the time limit. Seems Renney had a problem managing the task. It's a certainly a nit after a great game 1, but I'm worried about Renney's problem solving ability when the team hits a slump. Last year he couldn't pull them out at the end. He's great when the team is clicking, but what will he do when they have some injuries and or a losing streak?

  • mike said...

    anonymous-That has been my concern, which I have stated often, from the beginning. He is a locker room coach with a system and can't react to game situations. Fortunately Jagr and Shanahan are on ice 'coaches'. Lets keep making that sign of a cross.