Friday, November 03, 2006

Road Warriors

Would you believe we are tied for first, in the Atlantic Division, with the Pens and Isles? Why not. It looks like another crazy year in the NHL. The Rangers put together a gem, for the second night in a row. The Rangers are now 5-2 on the road. Maybe we should cancel the home schedule and truly become road warriors. Kevin Weekes played another outstanding game in goal and would have had a shutout had he not drifted off into space on Kyle Mclaren shot at the 17:36 mark of the third period. Weekes made 29 of 30 saves in improving to 2-1. You all know that I am a big Lundqvist booster, The Prince, but I would keep playing Weekes while he is hot. At least play him against Buffalo at the Garden Sunday night. Who knows, he might just win the fans back, if he plays like he did in California.

The anticipated duel between Jagr/Shanahan and Thornton/Cheechoo never materialized. Jagr and Shanny combined for seven shots with Shanny getting the empty netter with 4 seconds left. Thornton/Cheechoo had four shots and Cheechoo's was in the first period. The Rangers did a job on Cheechoo, who became so frustrated with being so closely checked, that he was whistled off in the second period for elbowing Hollweg. Hollweg got 20 shifts, of 11:55 of ice time, and while he was only credited with two hits, strange California statisticians, he harassed the Sharks all night. He was a big part of the 18 giveaways compiled by the Sharks, four by Joe Thornton.

The Rangers, for their part, played as disciplined a game as they have played all year. They cut down on their giveaways, blocked 17 shots and shut down the number one power play unit in the NHL, killing five chances in five opportunities. They must play the same type of game if they are to beat Buffalo. But hey, Anaheim and San Jose are considered to be in the upper strata of the NHL. No chopped liver here. Its time for the Rangers to move into that Strata.

I'm still not happy with Pock and Dawes sitting or with Malik and Hossa playing. The Rangers are still too soft, Rozsival gets too much ice time and The Prince must return to form. However, these are topics for another day. Lets enjoy the moment. The Rangers have won three out of four on the road and for the first time this year look like a solid hockey team that is ready to move up on the list to the elite strata.

ICINGS: Kasparaitis made an impressive debut with Hartford. Rumors abound that the Rangers want him back in peak performance so that can trade him. Bad rumor, bad idea. If Kaspy gets back in top form, hitting and annoying, bring him back and trade Malik. But who would want Malik? Still think Brian Leetch is too old for this team?

Associated Press
Jagr's OT goal lifts Rangers past Ducks
Newsday
Jagr's OT Goal Wins It
Crossroads For Kaspar
Daily News
Jagr Sinks Ducks In OT
NY Post
Blueshirts, Jagr Pluck Ducks In OT
Journal News
Rangers' Kasparaitis Uncertain About Future
Hartford Courant
Kasparaitis A Big Hit
Breakthrough For Wolf Pack



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