Webster describes grit as, firmness, unyielding, stamina, etc. This is what the Rangers needed last night against a team, the Boston Bruins, who were bigger, faster, tougher and younger than the Rangers. But the Rangers were grittier and hung on til they pulled even and eventually won in the shootout. The Rangers were down 2-0 with about six minutes to play, thanks to the continued ineptness of Michal Rozsival, who handled the puck like a hot potato. One of the giveaways resulted in another shorthanded goal scored by the opposition.
Billed as a battle between two top teams in the Eastern Conference the game became a duel between two top goalies. Tim Thomas of Boston with a league leading .945 save % and a 1.76 GAA was up against The Prince, Henrik Lundqvist with a .929 save % and a GAA of 1.99. The game lived up to the billing and the goalies lived up to their stats. Twenty three saves for Lundqvist, including four in the shootout, and 29 saves for Thomas including three out of four in the shootout. The one miss was the game winner by Chris Drury.
The Bruins thought they had tied the shootout when Patrice Bergeron slid one under Lundqvist and Dan Marouelli signalled goal. Lundqvist protested and the replay showed that yes the puck slid under Lundqvist but it hit the post. No goal. Ranger win. What is amazing to me and I'm sure others is that Marouelli was standing right there and signalled goal. How could he not possibly see the puck hit the post and not cross the line?
The unlikely trio of Dan Fritsche, Lauri Korpikoski and Nigel Dawes started to bring the Rangers back with Dawes second of the season on a beautiful feed from Korpikoski, whose parents were in attendance, and tough work by Fritsche along the boards. The tying goal with 53 seconds left by Nashlund, his sixth, on passes from Dubinsky and Mara brought the crowd to their feet. In overtime Lundqvist stopped Wheeler, Kessel, Axelsson and Bergeron. Thomas had stopped Dawes, Zherdev and Sjostrom before Drury won it.
So it was over and another beautiful old style hockey game had to be marred by a shootout. Yes marred because the shootout has nothing to do with hockey. But it was a great game for 65 minutes and old Rooster Cogburn would have been proud of the Rangers. They showed True Grit in a great win.
Canadians are stuffing the NHL All-Star ballot box. Are we going to let the minyans of Jim Carrey and John Candy decide the fate of our hockey Prince?
Vote for Henrik --
My fellow Rangers fans, I have some bad news. We’re being embarrassed.
How you say? Have you seen the All-Star Game voting results thus far?
Carey Price 206,773
Marc-Andre Fleury 41,529
Henrik Lundqvist 34,793
It’s like an old school Chicago election out there. Maybe the Habs fans hired ACORN?
Carey Price? Rangers fans, we must do better than this, for the good of the NHL. We must come together and make change. We must vote for Henrik Lundqvist...