Sunday, November 11, 2007

Who Was That Masked Man?

I know I mentioned in my last article that it was time for Steve Valiquette to make his season debut for the Rangers, but I did not know that he was Lundqvist's clone. In front of a packed Air Canada Centre crowd that introduced old and new Hall Of Famers, Valiquette put on a princely performance making 32 saves in regulation and OT and then coming up big in the shootout stopping Antropov and Sundin while Shanahan and Hossa were scoring to give the Rangers there first road win of the season.

It was Hockey Night in Canada and for at least one night only Valiquette outshone Messier, Stevens, Francis, Macinnis and Gregory not to mention Gilbert and Bathgate. All the stars were out in Toronto plus there was a tribute to the Canadien troops past and present as today is Remberance Day in Canada, commemorating World War II. In addition Valiquette's mother and father were there to see their son as they live in nearby Etobicoke, Ontario. At least the mother was there the entire time as the father seemed to disappear from time to time. Imagine your son playing the biggest game of his life and you can't bear to watch? I can't imagine that.

The win evened Valiquette's record with the Rangers at 3-3 and lowered his GAA to 2.33 for those six games. Not bad for an infrequently used backup goalie. More importantly it gave Valiquette and the team confidence that he could step in during an emergency and do a fairly decent job. Heck, he even put in a sequence of two acrobatic saves on Antropov when he tried to make like Marty Brodeur and put the puck on Antropov's stick. I'm sure that's when his father left.

My friend,The Dark Ranger, should be pleased as Sean Avery and Darcy Tucker reintroduced themselves during the warm ups as a prelude for them getting together in the game exchanging a few unpleasantries. I don't know why Tucker gets into so many fights, he is not too good at them. Avery played a whale of a game getting the 'Gordie Howe Hat Trick', a goal, an assist and a fight. Shanahan got a goal and an assist. Gomez got an assist as this line clicked all night.

The Rangers are still having trouble scoring goals but for one night a star was born and it remains to be seen if he plays again before Christmas. Stay tuned.

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  • The Dark Ranger said...

    Pundit...that masked man WAS The Dark Ranger. That fan-friggin-tastic goalie was a "Valley" high moment of this season thus far. I was thrilled watching Valiquette's game and equally thrilled that we have someone we didn't know we have. Backup!

    My boy Avery probably had many things to tell Tucker about his Mom, and it led to what everyone expected. But...these libel charges and recent fines is the league attempting to position themselves as some puritanical ethical watchdog. Junk. Maybe they should protect the players better, rather than take issue over what some bullshit blogger said.

    Great post Pundit...more coming on the Avery Tucker, Part III. I'll be at the game in Toronto on the Dark Ranger's birthday - December 29. What better a present than this?


  • mike said...

    the dark ranger-Avery comes right after Lundqvist with this team. No surprise we have only lost once since his return.
    Political Correctness is sneaking into the NHL.
    What a blast,Toronto on your birthday. maybe Avery and Tucker will get in on in your honor. Enjoy!