Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rangers win first on the road

The Rangers won last night at Toronto 3-2 in a shootout, marking the first time this season that they have won away from Madison Square Garden. Steven Valiquette was in net for the first time since March, when he beat the Blues.

The game was blacked out for me, so I don't have too much to go on, and all of the morning highlights belong to the NFL tonight. Sean Avery had a goal and an assist after starting pre-game warmups going after Darcy Tucker. Just an interesting thing that I noticed, Ryan Hollweg playing peacemaker. I laughed a little when I saw that. Brendan Shanahan had the other goal in regulation and then added the game winner in the shootout. Valiquette turned away 32 shots in the win. Scott Gomez added an assist on the night and Marcel Hossa also scored in the shootout.

I won't repeat myself over and over, but Avery stirring the pot early got the Rangers into the game early. His team had to pull together instantly, before the first puck even dropped. I don't condone picking fights before games or anything like that, and it's probably only a matter of time before someone up in the NHL office in Toronto says to calm down, but that's his game. I criticize Glen Sather and a lot of his decisions that he has made in his tenure as GM, but thinking about what Avery brings to the Rangers, this might be Sather's most impressive trade yet. Obviously he has brought in a lot of talent like Jagr, Gomez, Drury, Messier, Gretzky and Igor Ulanov, but this trade has had an immediate impact and the Rangers are a much better team for it.

The Rangers have until Wednesday off and then they play New Jersey on Wednesday and Philadelphia on Thursday. Until then.

(The Igor Ulanov comment was a joke. Just in case anyone was still scratching their heads.)

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