Monday, April 30, 2007

Rozsival Shoots-He Scores!

Must apologize for the late post but we had a bit of a festive weekend which included the Rangers big win. After the game my son, Chris, his friend and my wife Maryann went to John's Pizzeria for dinner so we had a long, late and enjoyable day. Saturday we went to a wedding in Brooklyn, at El Caribe, that was fantastic. My cousin's son, Michael, got married to a beautiful young lady; and with all the relatives talking we figured that Michael was the thirty first or thirty second Michael in the family. My son Michael was the fourteenth. Both of my Grandfathers were Michael's so you go figure. By the way, Maryann is now on a seven game winning streak at Ranger games she attends. Unfortunately she cannot attend Tuesday's game.

Which leads me into my post on last night's game. It was a Michal who won it for us with a fifty footer that had eyes and got past Ryan Miller, off the post into the net, and sent the Garden crowd into a frenzy. On the exact anniversary date of Peter Stemkowski's OT winner against the Black Hawks, Rozsival celebrated it in style. It was perhaps one of the most exciting and excruciating games I have ever seen and it was marred by the most incompetent officiating I have ever seen. Paul Devorski and Dennis LaRue should return to the Garden when the circus is in town and they would be perfect as the center ring clowns. Enough said.

Ryan Miller and Henrik Lundqvist put on a clinic and were voted the number three and one stars respectively. Miller made forty four saves and Lundqvist made 38. It looked like the game would go on forever. When talking about this very good Buffalo team the talk is usually about Drury, Briere, Vanek and Pominville but from what I've seen in these three games the Man is Ryan Miller. Kudos! And of course, kudos to The Prince, Henrik Lundqvist, without whom this playoff would never have been possible, or as that great philosopher Yogi once said, necessary.

Rozsival was the number two star and why not. Besides the winning goal he logged 38:16 of ice time, the most of any player, with three shots, three hits and eight blocked shots. The Rangers blocked 34 shots while the Sabres blocked 36 shots plus the Rangers took 19 shots that found no net and the Sabres took 16 with the same result. The Rangers took a total of 101, yes count them, 101 shots while the Sabres had 89. So the game had a total of 190 shots and only three goals were scored. Amazing!

Jaromir Jagr scored his third playoff goal and had ten shots on goal in 30:01 of ice time. He was outstanding and never stopped skating. His line controlled the puck well and what I found interesting in the OT's was that it was the Sabres who were slowing down, especially the D-Men, and not the Rangers. I will now get jabs from the Sabres fans that the Garden ice was soft and choppy. Wasn't it soft and choppy for both teams?

The Rangers were 0-5 on the power play and the Sabres were 1-9. Shanahan's cross checking penalty was a terrible call and led to the Sabres tying goal by Daniel Briere, his second of the playoffs. The Ranger penalty killing led by Betts, Straka, Ortmeyer, Avery, Shanahan and Cullen and the entire defense was almost perfect. It was a huge part of the game in shutting down the Sabres. Marek Malik played a good game with almost 30 minutes, with a big 9:06 on the penalty kill. Needless to say he was booed throughout. The booing should have stopped early but it didn't and neither did the stupid Potvin chants which unbelievably continued into the OT when the crowd was sometimes quite and always tense. What goes on in the idiot's mind, who starts that chant?

ICINGS: I never have a problem with fans of the visiting teams coming to the Garden and cheering for their team but some of the Buffalo fans last night night were overly obnoxious and at least one was escorted out of the arena. I have been to other arenas to watch the Rangers play. I root for them and clap when they score but you don't taunt the home team's fans and expect to be treated with respect. However, I will say the last time we played Buffalo, on November 26th, I had a running conversation with a Buffalo fan who sat across the aisle from me and he and his cohorts were loud, noisy but respectful. I'm sure the idiot who was tossed was an exception. There are some Ranger fans who should be tossed, too much of that cheap beer.

April 30, 2007
Rangers 2, Sabres 1
No Bypassing Girardi Now
Hey, You've Just Gotta 'C' This Guy
This Time, Lundqvist Matches Miller Save-For-Save
Daily News
Rozsival Slaps 'Em Silly In 2 OT
As Blueshirts Play On, NHL Exhales
Michal An Unlikely Hero
NY Post
Jagr Gives Rangers Hope
Coming Up Rozs!
Henrik Stymies Sabres
Journal News
Rangers Win In Double Overtime Over Sabres 2-1
Rozsival Comes Through For Rangers When It Counts

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  • doc g said...

    Great game Mike, riveting to the very end. it was good to see the Rangers prevail despite the shoddy officiating. I saw something in an AP report about the game that said it was the 4th goal reviewed this playoffs that has went Buffaloes way. I didn't wnat to hear it from the cry baby Isle fans but after seeing game 1 and almost game 3 slip away due bad officiating- it's an embarassment to the league. It really is. A Sunday afternoon and national television you had a great match-up and a great game for the ages and it is games and exposure like this that the NHL needs to get back on the ffet and you are gonna have bad calls. Like I said, I am glad the Rangers prevailed despite the calls. We'll see what game 4 brings.

  • mike said...

    doc g-I never thought thatI would miss Kerry Fraser.

  • jfl1066 said...

    It was a great win and the refs did everything but kick the puck in the net for the Sabres. The Garden was rockin yesterday and I thought the roof was going to cave in when Rozival scored. Nice defensive effort by the team...

  • mike said...

    jfl1066-Well Dolan says he needs a new arena.

  • kaspar fan said...

    Congrats to your cousin's son and his new bride.

    Regarding the officiating? Are they on the take? That's all I can think of for the lousy, inconsistent calls and non calls.

    And, with all due respect to Malik: Much better game.

    Here's hoping for another strong, but better officiated game on Tuesday. And better ice conditions.

  • mike said...

    kaspar fan-Thank you. Don't count on any improvement in the officiating they are just incompetent. This time of the year the ice is always rough.

  • jb said...

    This booing of Marek Malik during a critical playoff game is bush league. I can understand a few boo birds during the regular season, but this is minor league stuff now.

    I heard Chris "Mad Dog" Russo and Mike Francesa talking about the game on their afternoon radio show and Russo like me had watched some of the game, but didn't hear the Malik booing. A caller informed him of the booing and he was shocked. Couldn't believe Ranger fans were doing it.

    Russo and Francesa also pointed out the Rangers game had only a 1.8 TV rating in New York. (A CSPAN type number) The Byron Nelson golf tourney had almost twice as many viewers in New York and of course the Yankees dominated. They said this is the last year you might see the NHL on NBC. From now on it's "versus." The game had a 40 share in Buffalo by the way.

    One Rangers fan got in a shouting match with Russo over the poor ratings. Russo was just passing along a sad truth that the NHL ratings stink. If the Ranagers can't even draw viewers in NYC, forget LA and California, the league is sinking into main stream media oblivion.

    Forget any thoughts of the NHL office being against Buffalo advancing in the playoffs. It's proabably better for the league to do extremely well in small markets like Canada, Buffalo, Detroit, etc. and forget major markets where hockey is just an after thought.

  • THM said...

    Hello all,

    I'm writing to tell you about a new Stanley Cup blog for fans of teams who have qualified for the playoffs (Suk it, Leafs!).

    Battle for the Cup

    The aim is, from this year forth, to provide the fans of teams a neutral setting to verbally battle fans of new rival teams as the playoffs progress. Your site came up near the top of a search for blogs about your team. We'd appreciate if you linked to our site and promoted liveblogging here. We'll link back to yours so long as your team remains in the playoffs - when your team gets eliminated, so does your link =)

    We're also looking for persons willing to provide game-day postings to serve as the seed for game-time commenting. If you have quality writing capabilities, we'd appreciate hearing from you at mork.from.ork.78(chez) Essentially, you just need to write a brief pre-game synopsis that stirs up fans of both teams (strong bias is more than welcome!).

    This may take a few days to get some real activity going as it's late in the playoffs, but this year will serve as a good foundation for next year.

    Thanks, and please enjoy tormenting your rival fans.


  • az-j said...

    Hey Mike,

    Haven't been in touch all season, but I've been reading -- moved to the midwest this past summer and your blog (among others) has kept me into ranger circles... needless to say, thanks for your continued efforts here.

    Anyways, about yesterday's game, just wanted to say that though the officiating was bad, Shanny's penalty was deserved. Maybe it wasn't cross checking as his lower hand was off his stick, but he shoved a guy on his knees, with no means to protect himself, towards the boards. It was a dangerous cheap shot and unnecessary at that. Frankly, I was disappointed in Shanahan for doing it.

    That said, the officiating has been pretty strange huh? It's not that their calls on the rangers are especially soft, it's just that they refuse to call anything on buffalo -- it's pretty hard to make a big story out of that, I guess. Seems the NHL dodged a bullet with the ranger win, as the media are focused on the rangers' determination and grit instead of on the bad officiating...

    Let's see if the boys can keep it up tomorrow night!

  • mike said...

    jb-Booing a guy after the first shift is bush league. Buffalo fans boo Jagr the entire game. Why? Does a 1.8 rating in NY have more fans than a 40 in Buffalo?

  • mike said...

    thm-Thanks for the invite but I'll stay only with the Pundit.

  • mike said...

    az-j-Seems that mayhem is ok but hooks and holds have got to go. Thanks for staying in touch.