They played pond hockey at the Garden tonight and when it was over the Rangers had a 5-4 win. The goalies were safer when their defensemen were no where near them. Petr Prucha getting his first start since God knows when, was the spark the Rangers needed in a game that the Ranger defensemen were ready to give away. He scored a goal and was given the number one star by the media. The crowd kept chanting his name throughout the third period. This was only his 12th game of the year and it was his second goal. Consider that Gomez scored his 7th, in this his 34th game. Also consider that on average when he does play Prucha gets about one third the ice time that Gomez gets. Tonight Prucha got 12 minutes, Gomez 19.
Prucha got 5 shots on goal, delivered 3 hits and probably had coach clueless nervous as he was trying to figure out how to keep this dormant dynamo glued to the bench every night. With the Islanders mired in 15th place in the East with only 26 points and the Rangers third with 47 points it was real tough to try to figure out which was the bottom feeder and which was the pretender. But the pretenders prevailed and ended a three game losing streak. They go into the new year with 49 points in their 39th team game.
The Rangers need to get their act together and fast. They have given up 13 goals in the last 3 games and Lundqvist has shown signs of being too human. The defense is a shambles and the fan's venom is now split among three defensemen: Kalinin, Rozsival and Redden. Prior to this game they were a collective -30 and it went up after tonight. The misplays are one thing, but the refusal to use their bodies is perhaps the most annoying.
2009 starts at Washington, comes back to NY for Pittsburgh and Montreal, and ends up in Buffalo. All this in seven days. Should be fun folks. Happy New Year!
Michael Obernauer / NY Daily News - Blueshirts blog:
Prucha's performance has Renney taking notice --
So what's it gonna take for Petr Prucha to land a regular job?
"If he could get three or four goals a night, he'll be fine," Tom Renney said.
Okay, the coach was only joking (right?), because he quickly added: "He did exactly what you have to do to win a job. He did a hell of a job tonight." ...
PRUCHA LEADS WAY OVER ISLES --
But, the most positive reinforcement for the Rangers was provided by the irrepressible Petr Prucha, who not only crashed the net to score the goal that tied things 2-2 early in the third, but who created havoc on essentially every shift. Prucha was back in the lineup after being unaccountably scratched from eight straight, and 18 of the prior 21 games.
"When you are out for such a long time, you start to ask yourself if there is something wrong with your hockey," said Prucha, whose name was chanted in Paul O'Neill style. "It's very tough to stay confident, but a game like this helps to get your confidence back...
Arthur Staple / Newsday:
Prucha sparks Rangers to 5-4 win over Isles --
The Islanders, as usual, made a mess of the third. The result was a 5-4 Rangers win last night at Madison Square Garden, fueled by the hard work of little-used Petr Prucha, who had a terrific game and scored 49 seconds into the third to begin a four-goal Rangers barrage and a wild third overall.
"You could tell he was like a caged animal out there," Chris Drury said of Prucha, who has been a healthy scratch in 27 of the Rangers' 39 games.
"We fed off him being in the lineup, which is a good thing," said Tom Renney, who put Prucha in and benched Aaron Voros...
Prucha: Take That, Boss! --
Our Queen phoned from MSG to confirm that those chants of "Proo-cha! Proo-cha!" heard across North America via
OLNVersus were coming from the 400s.
Why is he so popular despite a bubble gum card full of zeroes and hollow accolades by his boss who continues to slight the slight flanker? ...
Mitch Fritz vs Colton Orr - Fight earns a 7.7 rating. Who won?
Colton Orr -- 61.2%
Draw -- 22.4%
Mitch Fritz -- 16.4%