Thursday, April 05, 2007

We Want The Cup

Leave it to the Ranger fans to raise the bar. With the Rangers clinching a playoff spot on next to the last game of the season there were the fans standing and chanting, "We want the Cup." They were chanting all kinds of things last night mostly, Hen-Reek!, Hen-Reek! He was his usual strong reliable self. He made 25 saves and is now the hottest goalie in the league going into the playoffs. In the last seventeen games the Rangers, and Lundqvist, have only given up more than two goals in a game twice. They are 8-1-1 in their last ten and beat a Montreal team that had won six of its last seven. Lundqvist was voted the number one star.

Petr Prucha(21) got the Rangers on the scoreboard at 2:53 of the first period by rifling a bullet past Jaroslav Halak. No truth to the rumor that he yelled out to Renney as he past him, "Hey Tom watch this." Prucha was voted the number three star. No way should this kid be benched at any time. Jagr got the eventual game winner (30) which extended his consecutive 30+ goal seasons to fifteen, two behind Mike Gartner's seventeen consecutive years. The game winning goal was Jagr's 107th, fourteen behind all time leader Gordie Howe, who has 121. Jagr was the number two star. Marek Malik ended the Ranger scoring with his second of the year and gave the Rangers a 3-0 cushion. He also gave the fans agita by carelessly flipping the puck into the stands and drawing a delay of game with 1:19 left in the game.

Montreal was 1-6 on the PP and the Rangers were 0-3. The Ranger win over the Canadiens kept the Islanders playoff hopes alive, believe it or not. The Rangers are back in sixth place with 94 points, two more than Tampa Bay which has a game in hand. The Rangers will finish either sixth or seventh. Sixth, they get either Atlanta, 93 points, or Tampa Bay, 92 points. Seventh they will get the Devils and I do believe that we owe the Jersey boys one big payback. Lou Lamoriello should be happy though. Playing the Rangers just might fill up the Continental Arena. The Devils last game against the Ottawa Senators brought in less than 10,000 fans. Tonight the Islanders drew a little over 14,000 and didn't even sell out against the Rangers on Tuesday. In fact, the Islanders have had only six sellouts all year and three were against the Rangers. The Devils have not had one sellout all year even with the Rangers visiting four times. However, he says with his tongue firmly in cheek, this will all change when the Devils move to Newark, NJ. The Rangers are the team that Islander and Devil management love to hate.

The shutout lasted until 15:17 of the third period and was a present from the refs to the Canadiens. Rozsival and Jagr were whistled off on the same play which gave Montreal the opportunity they could not get playing five on five or five on four. Sheldon Souray scored his 26th of the year, his 19th on the power play, which set a record for NHL defensemen which was held by Denis Potvan, who is well known to Garden fans.

The Rangers are on a 13-2-4 roll which started with a 4-0 win over Montreal at the Garden back on February 27th.


Here is a round-up of stories about the great Ice Girl Squeegee-gate game.
April 6, 2007
NHL: Ice Girls Flap Done
Goal Accomplished: Rangers Win And In
Daily News
Rangers Roll In
Squeegee-gate Shut
NY Post
Babes 'Goal' To Distract
It's A Clinch!
Confident Henrik
Journal News
Lundqvist Not Punished For Ice Girls Incident
Rangers Finally Clinch Playoff Berth
Henrik Lundqvist refuses to move for Islander 'Ice Girl' hottie helper Kelli Higgins Ice Girl flap as reported by Larry Brooks, Dan Martin and Lorena Mongelli of the NY Post (they need 3 reporters for this story?) :

One of the girls, Kelli Higgins, 23, said Lundqvist, 24, slapped at her squeegee while she was cleaning up around his net during the first period of the game.
Another Ice Girl, Chanel Benson, 19, said something wet hit her back while she was cleaning ice near the Rangers' bench - and thinks it was spit. She left the ice crying.

"The girls come out and try to do their job. It's not right," Islander coach Ted Nolan said.

Fans at the Islanders game last night defended the Ice Girls.

"Those are the Rangers - to me, they are a bunch of fighters, they are antagonizers," said Mary Lober, 56, of Brooklyn. "At every game they play, they are agitators. Even their fans are like that."

Observers in the Rangers' camp noted that the girls were being particularly aggressive when they were cleaning around Lundqvist, perhaps trying to throw him off his game.

The stoical Swede is known for standing in a stone-like trance during breaks in the action and rarely moving.

"For 65 games, I didn't have to move, and now I have to?" he asked. "I guess they changed the rules on Long Island."
Ice Girls: Punish Rangers for slashing, spitting
NY Daily News
Isles: Henrik hacked Ice Girl
Fox News
Report: Rangers accused of Ice Girl abuse
BlueShirt Bulletin
Lundqvist talks with the referee after he refused to let the ice girls clean the goal crease

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