Friday, October 05, 2007

Sleeping Giant Wakens

Sleepwalking through the first two periods and booed off the ice after the second period, the Rangers exploded for four third period goals in a span of seven minutes to stun the Florida Panthers, 5-2, in the Rangers home opener. There were five different goal scorers for the Rangers.

Michal Rozsival gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead 37 seconds into the game on a beautiful feed from Chris Drury , who was voted the number one star with the game winning goal and two assists. However, the Rangers were down 2-1 going into the third period on goals by Brett McLean and Nathan Horton.

The Rangers electrified The Faithful in the third period when Prucha tied it on a nice feed from Malik; Drury with the go ahead from Malik; Callahan stealing the puck and roofing it past Vokoun and finally Straka putting in the rebound of Malik's shot. My God, who was that masked man impersonating Brian Leetch? Malik with his three assists was voted number three star but early in the game he was saved from embarassment by Lundqvist who made two great saves on Malik's miscues. Hey, there is nothing new there but we'll take the three assists. At this rate he will wind up with a plus 60 while giving up an equal amount of pucks. Thank God for Lundqvist who got the biggest ovation of the night.

A sign of how good Lundqvist is and how blase we are about his performance is that with 27 saves on 29 shots he was not voted one of the stars. But this is what we expect from our Prince. Jagr with two assists , was the number two star. There are two givens on this Ranger team and they are Lundqvist and Jagr. If the new additions come along this should be one exciting and interesting year.

While the second line of Gomez-Shanahan-Avery did not score, they were quite active. Gomez who looked over-pumped showed some of his skating form on a couple of end-to-end rushes. I haven't seen moves like that since Max Bentley. Sean Avery is still the darling of the team and his name was chanted the most during the night for his feisty play. He received the loudest ovation after Lundqvist, Jagr and Shanahan.

The young third line of Dubinsky-Prucha-Callahan is scary. This line is going to be a problem for most teams to defend against. How many checking lines can an opposing team have? Renney tinkered with this line in the third period switching Bettes for Dubinsky.

The fourth line of Bettes-Hollweg-Orr were active, aggressive and created chances. The defense on a whole was good though Girardi and Malik had their moments and Staal started out tentative but improved as the game progressed. It was a good night with reservations. The third period showed how explosive this team can be. The first two periods, who knows. Getting the kinks out? Over pumped? First goal came too easy? Must question why this team could only get nine shots on goal in the first two periods? However, we did get two points. Questions will come later. God bless Henrik Lundqvist.

ICINGS: With his two points Jagr moved to within one of Paul Coffey for tenth place on all time point scorers. Jagr will pass legends Ray Bourque and Phil Esposito and sit in eight place at years end about 100 points behind ex teammate Mario Lemieux. Brian Leetch almost stole the night with his surprise appearance and dropped the ceremonial first puck to a thundering ovation. Marcel Hossa was a surprise scratch along with Thomas Pock and Jason Strudwick.

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  • Section 335 said...

    I like the message to Hossa. You have not shown you deserve to play. We have a kid at Hartford who is ready to replace you. Now watch the game and wait for your chance, it may be your last on this team.

    Hossa is worth a couple of draft picks to someone. It is up to him to show he is worth more.

    Nice message.

  • gibbs said...

    Right-on, Lundqvist is taken for granted.

    Lundqvist is coming into his prime. I hope the Rangers get him locked up for the future. Baring injury he will lead this team to the cup, heh?

  • Anonymous said...

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  • ramblin pete said...

    I'm thinking we need Pock in the lineup -
    if for no other reason than to chant "Shoot the Puck, Pock, Shoot the Pock" during powerplays.

  • Tkachuk18 said...

    Glad to see Renny move Betts up to third line as I feel he's the best defensive forward the Rangers have. Also agree on Hanks play supurb and overlooked

  • jb said...

    You get the feeling that Malik is going to shoot himself in the foot sooner or later. The fans will get on him and that might result in a downward spiral opening the door to "More Pock."

    Ramblin Pete, you could also say: "I got a fever and the perscription is 'More Pock'."

    Sort of like "More cow bell," if you catch the SNL reference.

  • kaspar fan said...

    Lundqvist was superior, as always. He really saved the game. I'd hate to see such amazing talent hightail it for another team. Don't even get me started on Malik. I swear he was looking to score in his own net. Staal looked like was about to vomit when he first set foot on the ice. I hope he settles down and comes into his own. And Betts? Always willing to put his body in the way, always willing to complete a nice, hard check, I think he should end up 3rd line.

    Nearly fell of my chair when Leetch stepped on the ice! Wonderful to see him.

    I'm looking forward to what our new additions can bring in terms of skill, scoring and positive energy. I'm also looking forward to standing on Broadway when they bring the cup home.

  • jb said...

    I just checked Stubhub to see what the prices were for the Jan 24th game vs. Atlanta when Leetch's number is retired. Prices are listed at $369 - $16,000.

    The $16,000 is for Club Gold Center 83, 2 available. Four other Club Gold Center available for $11,765 each.

    And that's over three months away. That will be a monster night.

  • mike said...

    section 335-He will get his chance now that Avery is hurt. I'd rather they bring up Dawes.

  • mike said...

    gibbs-If they don't lock him up for the future we should lock up the Stealth GM.

  • mike said...

    anonymous-Is Christmas coming early, or what?

  • mike said...

    ramblin pete-It sure beats the other chant.

  • mike said...

    tkachuk18-Not as good as you. But Betts belongs on the 4th line. We have to develop Dubinsky as a playmaker.

  • mike said...

    jb-I'm afraid he might shoot Lundqvist. You guys are loaded with chants.

  • mike said...

    kaspar fan-Get there early and bring a chair.

  • mike said...

    jb-I think Sather has those seats.