It wasn't pretty but it was a two pointer and that's what counts. I gave up pretty years ago. The Rangers played it right. They came out roaring against a team playing their first game and the Rangers struck with a vengeance. The Z Man, Nikolai Zherdev, starting to look like the hot shot we all told ourselves he would be, opened up the scoring with his second goal of the year and it was quickly followed by usual non-scorers: Blair Betts, Fredrick Sjostrom and Michal Rozsival, all scoring their first of the year. To me, Rozsival was the big goal, because he has the shot and with his passing buddy Jagr gone he might shoot more. He should shoot more, the question is, will he?
The Flyers came back strong in the last two periods and the Rangers almost gave them back the game when both Dubinsky and Gomez took lazy penalties that resulted in a 1:33 two-man advantage for the Flyers. The Rangers killed it with strong goal tending from Steve Valiquette who stood tall, literally. He made at least three big saves as the Flyers kept crashing the net and Valiquette. In fact one of the Flyer goals was scored off of a blatant goalie interference by Daniel Briere. Briere had taken a two minute goalie interference penalty in the first period when he elbowed Valiquette into the net. The Rangers tired badly in the third period but that was expected with their gruelling opening schedule. But they did hang on to win. The Dark Ranger can breathe a sigh of relief.
The Rangers continued their perfect penalty killing stopping 6 Flyer PP's and their own 1-6 on the PP proved to be the game winner. The opening four game winning streak is one shy of the team record of five straight, done twice, the last one being 1983-84. That team was 9-1-0 (ties) after ten games and finished 42-29-9 (ties) which was good for a fourth place finish in the year the Islanders finished first.
So tomorrow night its the Devils, undefeated in two, with the chief whiner Martin Brodeur coming in with the knowledge that his main tormentor Sean Avery will not be there. Maybe Voros or Sjostrom or Orr can take over the role of the A Man. Expect some fireworks as Orr will be facing off against Clarkson.
ICINGS: So there was Al Trautwig in a tizzy over the fact that Sarah Palin had dropped the puck at a hockey game. Livid was the word. What's a matter Al? Haven't you seen other politicians at sporting events. They throw out first pitches. They start NASCAR racers. They even kick off tennis matches. It took Ron Dugay to put it in perspective. It was good publicity for hockey which needs all the publicity it can get. It saluted hockey moms who are coming on strong. So we now have hockey moms to challenge soccer moms. Who knows. Some day we may have mom moms.
Terry Trippany / NewsBusters.org:
Don Surber: Just ask me — Question: Is everyone at the crazy at the New York Times? --
Embed Producers / Fox News:
Question: What is PMS?Answer: In this case Palin Madness Syndrome. It afflicts tens of millions of liberals each day...
Palin Drops Puck at Flyer’s Game Receives Mixed Reaction
Jim Treacher / Mother, May I Sleep with Treacher?: I'M GOING TO START CALLING THEM THE DEATHBED MEDIA
Palin hears plenty of boos
Mark Murray / MSNBC:
PALIN DROPS PUCK TO BOOS, CHEERS
via Hockey Dump