I was holding my breath before tonight's game. I was very worried about the Devils.
Would our old Sean Avery lucky charm still work its magic and turn Satan's spawn back into Martha and the Debbies? Or would the adopted Sons of Lou show up as Marty, the winningest goalie in NHL history, and the traveling Zach Parise scoring show? Would our wheezing and gased Rangers team end their two game slide? And, would our Prince be princely, our Torts tortly, and our Wade stay on his blade?
I won't argue with that Versus viewer mail about this being the best 0-0 game after the first period, and the best 3-0 game after the second. Still, going into the third I wasn't ready to do a victory lap around the sofa yet. Shanny had that look. Would he find a way to smite us? Payback for some possible Slats slight? Maybe irony just wanted to toy with us.
Fortunately, the 3-0 score held up and the Blueshirters won a critical game that firmed up their playoff chances. The Devils mean time are looking very shaky and un-Devil like. They now have a five game losing streak.
Seeing Ryan Callahan get a shot off in the slot and score, at 15:06 in the 2nd, was like seeing the first Robin of spring. A sight that was missing all winter. Where did those shots from the slot migrate to? I hope they stay around awhile and have more offspring.
Lundqvist's 38 saves yielded his 20th shutout and earned the first star of the game. Gomez with an assist on Callahan's goal had the second star. Girardi scored is 4th goal and was the third star.
Finally, our spine, the Grate One, Sean Avery was splendidly spiney and grating. Although, he did a pretty good rag doll imitation as David Clarkson manhandled him. Hitting Avery with a two minute penalty for roughing the ice with his face must be some new version of the Avery Rule.
So with five games remaining and 90 points, one behind the sixth place Penguins, the Rangers are now being projected as playoff bound by the statistical geniuses. Let's hope the stats don't lie. And, that our heroes continue to thaw out the Renney freeze dried offense.
The Sean Avery article from the Sunday NY Times tells us that the Grate One has gone zen master. Pay attention grasshopper.
NY Times Fashion & Style:
The Demon on His Shoulder --
IN the first period of the New York Rangers game Tuesday, Sean Avery, a left wing, repeatedly punched an opponent in the skull. An hour later, Mr. Avery stood in a locker room at Madison Square Garden discussing men’s fashion.update:
“I admire well-dressed men no matter where they are — a guy in a police uniform that has it pulled together nicely or a doctor in his scrubs,” he said, a nasty scratch bleeding on his chin. “I like that identity of having a presence. I think that’s what it is. It states your presence.” ...
“He [Avery] has become a little more Zen in his thinking.” ...
Andrew Gross at Rangers Rants diligently provides Avery's take on the Clarkson altercation and the game, The Avery tape:
On not fighting with David Clarkson in the third period: "It's a 3-0 game at that point. I don't think that there's anything to gain by doing anything at that point."
On whether it took discipline for him not to fight: "It certainly takes discipline, for sure."
On why he didn't want to fight Clarkson: "You fight for your team and for your teammates. At that point, I didn't need to fight for either of them, so there's really no point."
On being angry he received a roughing call anyway: "I don't really know what happened there. There's a lot going on in a big scrum. We came out with a power play so that's a good thing." ...
Jeff Klein at the NY Times gives us a more in-depth look at Avery the puppet master.
A Fuller Portrait of Sean Avery vs. the Devils --
Sean Avery was not merely a Zen master in the Rangers’ 3-0 victory over the Devils on Monday night. He was a Machiavellian Zen master...
Petr Prucha tallied a power-play goal 53 seconds into overtime on Monday to lead the Coyotes to a 6-5 win over the Dallas Stars at Jobing.com Arena. He was the game's first star.
Recap: Coyotes 6, Stars 5, OT --
Petr Prucha scored 53 seconds into the extra session on a power play to lift the Coyotes to a 6-5 victory over the Dallas Stars in front of 13,381 at Jobing.com Arena.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Prucha, who scored his second goal with the Coyotes. “It would be even better if we won it before the overtime … we are happy to have two points tonight.”
Prucha, who already had two assists in the game, was sent out by Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky for the four-on-three power play after Stars defenseman Andrew Hutchinson was called for tripping. With a down low set up by Shane Doan, the captain fed a pass to Prucha, who one-timed the puck past Stars goalie Tobias Stephan for his sixth goal this season. It was the first four-on-three goal the Coyotes have scored this season...