If you read Larry Brook's in this morning's New York Post on last night's game he opens with this paragraph. "It may or may not be true that the meek shall inherit the world, but it is an absolute certainty that the meek will never win the Stanley Cup."
If you read the Ranger Pundit on Wednesday, after the Islander loss you would have seen this opening paragraph. "The good book says that the meek will inherit the earth. The Rangers must stop reading that book, it does not include the hockey world."
We here at the Pundit have always prided ourselves on our originality and our point of view has always been from an old (don't ask) Ranger fan with his own opinions after many frustrating years of watching our blueshirt wizards. So we appreciate Brooks and the Post copying our main themes. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Now for the game. The Rangers played this game the way they have to play every game if they hope to make the playoffs and more important challenge for the Cup. They scored the first goal on Prucha's backhand, his seventh. Their defense was tough and disciplined. Thomas Pock was exceptional in 20:20 of ice time, with two hits, and outstanding work when the Rangers had to kill off a five on three for over a minute. They played tough. Did I use the word tough? Yes I did. The Rangers outhit the Caps 32-21 with Hollweg, who else, leading the team with five hits. Tyutin, Rachunek and Aaron Ward chipping in with four hits each. Tough? The Rangers fought designated goon, Donald Brashear twice, and held their own. Orr fought with Brashear and also with Morrisonn. The big fight, the main event as they used to say in the old Garden was Brendan Shanahan challenging Brashear and holding his own. The young Shanahan would have probably cleaned Brashear's clock.
Ah Shanahan! He decided he had enough of Brashear mugging Jagr. He decided to challenge the big goon. I don't mine goons. I've seen them all. But there were class goons like Fotiu and Sandy McCarthy who skated away from their opponent when they fell to the ice. Not Brashear. He keeps throwing punches while his opponent is on the ice. Caps coach Hanlon put Brashear opposite Jagr and he proceeded to jab, poke, punch and whatever else he could pull off. Then Glen looks pained and feigns innocence when Brashear is penalized. Shanny had enough and went after the goon. But is this the man we want to be the Ranger's policeman, the enforcer?
Can the Rangers continue this type of play? Lundqvist looks like he is at all star form. The defense has added speed and mobility with the adition of Pock. The offense may be ready to break out with Jagr and Prucha getting back to form. The toughness! Ah, that is the question? Was this a one game wonder? The test will be against the Devils on Tuesday.
However, I would like to wish each of you, you too Brooks, including your families and loved ones a wonderful, happy, healthy and succesful 2007.
HAPPY NEW YEARS FROM THE RANGER PUNDIT ORGANIZATION.
December 31, 2006
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