Sunday, February 11, 2007

Stepping Up Big

Who are these masked men posing as gunslinging goal scorers? Has Marcel Hossa, with three goals in four games, morphed into his brother Marian? Is Michal Rozsival the second coming of Rob Blake? Rozsival got the first two goal game of his career last night as the Rangers pasted the Capitals, 5-2, with a three goal third period as they try to climb back into the playoff picture. Last night was a good night for the Rangers as they gained on every team above them from sixth place Montreal to tenth place Islanders.

Rozsival's two goals were both scored on the power play. His first was the game's opening goal and his second was the game winner. Jagr assisted on both goals, wound up with three assists and pushed his all time total points to 1501, 12th on the all time list, only thirty points behind Paul Coffey. All this and he wasn't even voted one of the stars of the game. Rozsival was number one and Straka, who also had two goals, number two. Milan Jurcina, a defenseman who had no shots on goal, dished out five hits and was a minus two was star number three. I guess the hockey writers of Washington are not much better than the Caps fans who booed every time Jag had the puck.

Two key goalie incidents helped trigger the Ranger win. Brian Sutherby hit Lundqvist behind the net in the first period which precipitated a brawl between Sutherby and Ryan Hollweg who jumped in immediately. The Caps were shorthanded for two minutes on a charging call to Sutherby. It was right after that that Rozsival tallied his first goal on the PP. The other incident was 'Ollie the Goalie' Kolzig smashing chief pest Sean Avery in the puss getting a two minute roughing call. Rozsival then scored on a laser that would have made Rob Blake proud. But Avery giveth as Avery taketh. He took a slashing penalty early in the third period which led to the Caps tying goal by Chris Clark.

Truth be told, Lundqvist should have had a shutout. Both goals by the Caps were scored by crazy bounces off the boards behind the goal that left the puck in front of a helpless Lundqvist. Ovechkin was the recepient of the first lucky carom. Funny thing about those caroms. None happened during the second period when the Rangers were going that way. Strange things happen in Washington and not all of them are related to politics.

The Rangers win was obviously huge. In the past after winning a big one they usually collapsed. Not this time. In fact the Rangers have to play with the same desperation they have shown the past two games. It won't be easy. Eight place Tampa which is leading the Devils, 4-1, as I write this have only nine games against contending teams the rest of the way so the Rangers have to play not to lose a regulation game the rest of the way. They can't just play to make the eight spot, they have to go all out. But they are on a good start, five points in six games, and they have to keep it going. They must turn it around at home as a good starting point. If Sather is going to make a major move it should be now, not later.

ICINGS: Delay in writing this today due to a myriad of things. Lazy Sunday morning, church and a nice leisurely Italian dinner. Everyone has a different priority.

February 12, 2007
Daily News
Winning Combination
NY Post
Singin' Sean's Praises
Dupuis Wants To Get His Story Straight
Journal News
Rangers' Dupuis Clarifies Locker-room Issues

February 11, 2007
Daily News
Rangers' Play Adds Power
Deal Or No Deal
NY Post
'Fix' Doesn't Foil Rangers
Cap Overflow
No Falling Apart After A Big Victory

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  • kaspar fan said...

    I'm amazed by the so many needed and positive results this line change has had. I doubted Renney would be willing to even tender such a thought, let along stick with it. Avery is a much needed net crasher and will be a valued addition.

  • mike said...

    kaspar fan-Its amazing what a little vinegar can do.