Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Step Forward

In playing an almost perfect game, the Rangers pulled out an OT thriller win over unbeaten, in regulation, Anaheim last night at the Honda Center. Jaromir Jagr scored the game winner at 3:09 of OT to even the Rangers record at 6-6. The Rangers are 3-0 in OT and shootouts. Jagr's game winning goal was the 104th of his career, tying him with Brendan Shanahan for fourth place on the NHL all time winning game goals. Gordie Howe is first with 121 game winners, followed by Phil Esposito with 118 and Brett Hull with 110.

I said almost perfect and there is a reason why I said that. While Renney made some good moves like benching Marcel Hossa and sending Kasparaitis to Hartford for conditioning he gave Marek Malik 18:10 of ice time in which he ably 'assisted' on goals by Anaheim's Chris Pronger and Ryan Getzlaf. But there was a variety in his assists. One was with the stick and the other was with his skate. Is there no end to the magic of Marek Malik?

However most of the night was good news. Kevin Weekes was great. He should have been a 3-1 winner in regulation. He made 30 saves and was as solid as a rock. In the third period he stopped all 13 shots plus 3 in OT. He should have been the star of the game. Jagr was the third star and the Ducks captured the first two spots.

Colton Orr dressed, and got all of 2:07 of ice time. Nigel Dawes got 3:45. Why is this charade continuing? How is Dawes, who has the potential for scoring goals, going to develop with so little ice time? Fortunately Petr Prucha received more ice time and delivered with the game tying goal in the third period.

Jagr, despite his denials, seems to be rounding into form. He skated well and put five shots on goal, plus he got the game winner. He is the leader and played like it last night. Along with Brendan Shanahan they form as deadly a duo that exists in the NHL today.

But tonight is another test against a strong San Jose Sharks who have their own dynamic duo in Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo. Jagr and Shanny have 36 points and Thornton and Cheechoo have 27 points so it should be a fun game tonight. Kevin Weekes should be in goal against the Sharks. He earned it with his performance against the Ducks. Marek Malik should be benched in favor of Thomas Pock. The Sharks have more fire power than the Ducks and we don't need to give them the advantage of a slow footed defenseman who can't tell the difference in the colors of the Jerseys.

ICINGS: The stat sheet is becoming irrelevant. According to the sheet Malik had zero giveaways and two hits, They probably have those two stats reversed. They also had Hollweg logging 7:29 of ice time and no hits. Hollweg, playing over seven minutes and not getting any hits is like John Kerry and the rest of the elitist snobs saying something good about our Armed Forces.

Associated Press
Jagr's OT goal lifts Rangers past Ducks
Daily News
Jagr Sinks Ducks In OT
Jagr's OT Goal Wins It
Crossroads For Kaspar
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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  • Wes Putnam said...

    Hollweg got really got after them, and Nylander with 17 points (3g, 14a) and a +7 is surprising. Is this the secret sauce for the Jagr/Shanahan Big Mac?

  • mike said...

    wes putnam-Hollweg has to get over 10 minutes of ice time per game. Nylander is the 'tac' in the tic, tac, toe.