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
Rozsival Slaps 'Em Silly In 2 OT
As Blueshirts Play On, NHL Exhales
Michal An Unlikely Hero
Jagr Gives Rangers Hope
Coming Up Rozs!
Henrik Stymies Sabres
Rangers Win In Double Overtime Over Sabres 2-1
Rozsival Comes Through For Rangers When It Counts