Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Scoreless Wonders

Back in 1906 the Chicago White Sox won the American League pennant despite having a team batting average of .230 and hitting 7 home runs all year. Yes, that is correct seven home runs. They then went on to beat the Chicago Cubs, who had won 116 games that year, 4 games to 2 in the World Series, despite a team batting average of .196. Hence the moniker "The Hitless Wonder".

The Rangers are fast becoming the scoreless wonders. They have the fewest goals scored in the NHL, 23. The next lowest scoring team are the hapless Phoenix Coyotes with 29. Phoenix is tied with Edmonton for the 14th and 15th position in the Western Conference. The Rangers are tied for 8th with the Pittsburgh Penguins. How can that be? It is because the Rangers have one of the top goalies in the game. I say top because Lundqvist is ranked fourth in GAA behind Leclare of Columbus (1.25), Ellis of Nashvile (1.35) and Osgood of Detroit (1.43). Lundqvist is at a lofty 1.61. It is the same in save % as Lundqvist ranks fifth with a .939 and Leclare is the leader at .953.

Last night Gomez and Brylin exchanged goals, 33 seconds apart in the first period, and from then on the goalies took over. It remained for Petr Prucha to decide it in the shootout as the Rangers won their third straight game in which they have scored a grand total of five goals, plus one in a shootout. They lost three of the previous four in which they gave up five goals, plus one in a shootout. How long can this go on? Will the Rangers become the scoreless wonders of hockey? Will Lundqvist wilt under the pressure of having to protect and win one goal games? Stay tuned.

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