Sunday, March 11, 2007

Rangers Escape With Two Points

I am not even sure how they managed to get to overtime never mind the shootout which they prevailed in. Not that I saw it. Funny story. I was headed downstairs to a lower section figuring I would catch the Canes' power play in OT before leaving. I figured they'd win after that goof Michael Nylander took another dumb hooking penalty. You think the league mandate is out. Maybe it should be renamed The Crosby Effect. Nevermind.

So as I am about to go back in and watch the conclusion, I hear a loud chorus of boos. Me being naive and a Ranger fan waiting for the other shoe to drop, I figured that the Canes had already somehow scored off the draw after their timeout. So, instead of going back to see, I headed for the exits.

I got back to the car and waited for my Dad, bro and buddy figuring they'd be there eventually. But time just kept going as I stood on 27th between 7th and 8th by F.I.T. (Fashion Institute) pacing around. What could've happened to them? Did they somehow get to a shootout? Or was it just the usual Garden garbage of shutting down escalators and making it as difficult as humanly possible for people to file out, probably violating fire codes??? About 20 minutes later, I saw them walking back and nobody seemed excited. So I figured I had made the wise move and left early knowing they'd lose a game they should've lost much earlier if not for some miraculous goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist. The Canes so badly outplayed and outskated the Rangers the last two periods that it looked like New York was in quick sand. Yet somehow the game was tied at one.

So I heard that Matt Cullen, who btw has really stepped up lately scored another big shootout goal and that a less than 100 percent Jaromir Jagr iced it to somehow give the Rangers 76 points and again the eighth spot. Not bad considering they had no business winning. Maybe that's why I laughed when I was told they won. The funny aspect was I didn't know till we turned on the radio and heard the shocking conclusion.

So somehow this banged up team has gotten points in their last five (9 of 10) winning four. Not too bad. Let's just call it a day cause the road doesn't get any easier this week. They take on Ottawa Tuesday.

And finally, responding to my blogger comrade Rob regarding the Hollweg-Simon situation, you see it the way you do. I see it differently. I know you might not want to hear this but our NY SportsDay Isles' beat writer Brian Bohl termed it as "hard but legal check." That's how I saw it as well. Whatever side you're on, so be it.

As far as the officiating, I heard Fishstick fans complaining about the shootout loss at the Garden. A game in which Rick DiPietro stood on his head and saw the Rangers dominate for long stretches. That night, they had nothing to be upset about. Thursday, I only can recall one situation where you have a point and it involved Sean Avery on Sean Hill, which they missed before getting the retaliation. More examples would certainly help. The Islanders did play better and were superior the entire first half but only led by a goal because of Lundqvist. But once Paul Mara tied it, the Rangers woke up and raised their level.

I have had my own beefs with the officiating this season. They're calling those hooks all the time. But what about the other stuff such as the crosschecks, high sticks, etc? When does that get addressed? Ask Dr. Evil.

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