Saturday, February 10, 2007

First Nighters

Martin St. Louis - Sean Avery(16) & Karl Rachunek(23)
It was a night of firsts for the Rangers as they thumped the Lightning and drove redhot goalie, Johan Holmqvist, (9-1), from the nets in a 5-0 rout at the Garden tonight. Colton Orr scored the first goal of his NHL career. Ryan Hollweg scored his first goal of the year and Sean Avery scored his first goal as a Ranger. Each goal brought roars from the crowd when they were announced. Hollweg's goal, set up by a beautiful pass from Jagr on a two on none breakaway, brought down the house with chants of RY-AN HOLL- WEG ringing through the Garden's rafters. He was voted the third star of the game to more cheers and chants. Besides the goal he also contributed eight hits.

Marcel Hossa, who is starting to make guys like me eat my words, scored his fourth goal of the year. Jagr playing another spirited game scored his 21st goal to compliment his great feed to Hollweg. Colton Orr mixed it up with Andre Roy and also played a fiesty game and was named the second star of the game and proceeded to take the longest skate around the Garden that I have ever seen. As far as I know he may have returned after we all left and started skating again.

Henrik Lundqvist was my Prince again, in spades. He stopped 29 shots in recording his second shutout this year and his fourth in two years. The defense played well and aggressive. What I liked was watching the forwards coming back to help out on defense keeping the Lightning at bay. The loss snapped a Tampa Bay four game winning streak that now has them in eight place, five points ahead of the eleventh place Rangers.

To me it's too early to tell if this game is going to be the one to turn around the season. Certainly the Rangers beat a top flight hot team and did it convincingly and rather easy. Can they do it with regularity? So far they have been a .500 team. Can they break that habit? Is this the start of something big or is this the same old one game wonder? Is this the real deal or is it fools gold? They have disappointed and fooled us before, maybe this time they will fool us in a positive way. I hope so. If not we will always have last night to remember as a classic game that came along in the middle of a dreadful season. Hope springs eternal.

ICINGS:

February 10, 2007
Daily News
Rangers Rockin' With Role Players
NY Post
Light's Out
Newsday
Orr, Hollweg Supply Power In Stunning Win
Journal News
Unlikely Scorers Give Rangers A Lift
Perlmutter Captures Rangers Passion In Pictures



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