Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Patrick's Day Party

Happy St. Patty'sThe St. Patrick's Day Parade and its various parties spilled over to MSG last night and a fine Irish lad by the name of Ryan Callahan led the Rangers to its most impressive victory of the year, a 7-0 rout of the Boston Bruins. Callahan, who will turn all of twenty two years old this Wednesday, scored two goals, had seven shots on goal, dished out three hits and even participated in one of the three barroom brawls the Rangers had with the Bruins. Yes it was a fiesty, festive, rollicking St. Patricks Day at the Garden.

Henrik Lundqvist put up his fourth shutout of the year making thirty saves and now has a GAA of 2.42 and a save % of .914. Hasek leads in GAA with a 2.14 and Mason has a .926 to lead the save % group. Also Lundqvist hit the thirty win mark for the second consecutive season. He is only the second Ranger goalie to accomplish that feat. Eddie Giacomin leads all Ranger goalies with four consecutive seasons of thirty plus wins. Lundqvist will break that record providing he stays healthy. He was voted the number one star and tossed his stick into the stands which set off a mild tug of war between some fans.

With the win the Rangers took over sole possession of eighth place one point ahead of Montreal, the Islanders and Toronto. The Islanders have a game in hand on the Rangers and the Rangers have a game in hand on Montreal and Carolina. Carolina is a point ahead of the Rangers in seventh place. The Rangers are only three points behind sixth place Tampa Bay. Every night there are different teams in different positions. Think of the game , musical chairs, and you get the idea. This one looks like it will go down to the last game with five, maybe six teams, fighting for the last three playoff spots.

The Ranger power play exploded with four goals in the first four chances. It was Rozsival (9), Prucha (18) and Cullen (14, 15) twice. Callahan, 12:05 of ice time, scored both his goals at even strength, going to the net both times. He was voted the number three star. The other goal was scored by Sean Avery (14), who also got three assists and was voted the number two star. The youngsters besides Callahan, all shone. Pock's ice time increased to 19:25, 2:48 of PP and 2:02 of PK, and he responded with an assist, two shots on goal and a hit. Girardi, with 19:19 of ice time, 2:45 of PK, continued his solid play with four shots on goal and two hits. David Liffiton was rock solid. The twenty two year old is an imposing figure at 6' 2" and 210 pounds. He played 15:36, 4:04 of PK, two hits and mixed it up with Jeremy Reich, who also got into it with Ryan Hollweg. Like I said before, a festive St. Patrick's Day.

ICINGS: The one sour note was that Dubinsky was benched with the return of Hollweg. Why not sit Isbister? Straka got injured in the first period and it doesn't seem serious. If he is out Monday maybe Dubinsky will get another chance. Lets hope.

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