Brian Leetch looked fit, calm, and capable of stepping back on the ice last night as he received the accolades of his ex-teammates, his family and his fans, the Faithful. Too bad he didn't lace them up, as I'm sure he would have helped the Rangers power (less) play which went 0-5 and is now something like 0 for twenty something. The guy has class and it showed last night in as classy a performance any honoree has ever put on.
The Rangers? They struggled against another .500 team, but you know what? We are a .500 team. Their old nemesis Johan Hedberg played another strong game against the Rangers and almost stole the game. He would have too if it weren't for the young energetic legs of Brandon Dubinsky and Nigel Dawes who got the puck to Michal Rozsival who tied the game in the third period. The Thrashers scored their goal when Marian Hossa got behind Lundqvist to put in the puck that had squirted between Lundqvist's legs. Marc Staal had a chance to win it but shot too quickly on Jaromir Jagr's beautiful feed.
The Rangers pressed hard in the OT, but Hedberg stood tall and then the shootout. Shanahan scored on the first shot and then it was over as Lundqvist made two saves and Marian Hossa shot wide to end the boredom. How bad is the power play? So bad that Joe Micheletti was criticizing the five on three PP while it was being executed. There was coach clueless in the press conference expounding on the great win. Give me a break.
The Rangers now have four full days off before starting a make or break road trip against Carolina, Philadelphia, the Devils and Montreal. The four days off scares me as it gives the clueless coaches more time to tinker with the team. Check it out. Every time the Rangers have more than a day of rest they usually come out flat. But hey. This was about a great Ranger, Brian Leetch, having his number raised to the rafters and the class in which he carried it out.
God speed Brian.
Forever A Ranger - Brian Leetch Night [video highlights of ceremony]
The History of Rangers No. 2