My apologies for not finishing with my updates late last night. After that baffling third period, I couldn't take rehashing it in my mind to write it up. Derek has summed it all up nicely, so I'll just add my opinions.
--Brendan Shanahan's penalty was as undisciplined as it gets. It was stupid and led to the first goal. He doesn't make a habit of it, and has never done so in his 18 season career. That should tell you how frustrated these Blueshirts are getting. His collision with Dustin Penner left him writhing on the ice and caused him to miss all of one shift through the remainder of the third and overtime. He also could not participate in the shootout because of his left leg. Let's hope it is nothing serious, because we need him on the ice for us.
-- Martin Straka was also a little shaken up last night after going hard into the boards. He looked dizzy skating back to the bench, but came back for a couple more shifts. Here's hoping he's alright as well.
-- While there were tons of penalties in that third period and overtime, I didn't think half of them were necessary. Ryan Hollweg undoubtedly deserved a penalty, but a game misconduct and five minute major may have been unnecessary. Maybe just the five minute would have been sufficient, but as someone who preaches that the hits from behind need to stop, I can see how the referees were inclined to throw him out. Straka's hold, Blair Betts' goaltender interference, Joni Pitkanen's roughing and Jared Stoll's interference penalties were all calls that didn't have to be made, especially late in the third period and in overtime. Betts' was the only one that you could really argue, especially coming off of Chris Drury and Sean Avery running into Mathieu Garon.
-- Speaking of Garon; how do the Blueshirts manage to make mediocre goaltenders look like hall of famers? Garon is a good netminder, but not as good as the saves he was making last night. Three posts also doomed the Rangers.
-- There were some things I did like about last night's game, however. While Drury, Avery and Betts all crashed into Garon, they were playing hard to and around the net. If we want to regain the winning ways, we need to be tough in and around the blue paint. Avery was being a pest in front of the net on the game-tying goal by Drury (which was amazing to see) and was on the ice for only that reason. Jason Strudwick stepped in and did a fine job in Marek Malik's absence. He made some silly plays, much like Malik, but at 2.5 million dollars less, I'll take the occasional boneheaded move from him. He never makes the boneheaded moves that end up in our net either. There's no reason why he cannot remain in the lineup.
That's all I have on the Rangers front for now. There may be some lineup changes in the coming weeks, although I hope they will be of the "oh that makes sense" variety, and not the "Rangers trade Dawes and Prucha for Martin Ruchinsky" variety.
Not sure how many people have noticed, but thanks to Derek for some new additions to the blog's page. The youtube clips along the left are great, links to new websites have been added and we now get full league roundups. He has really stepped up in since Steve left. Kudos go out to him.
Enjoy today's football games. Go Big Blue. Please Eli, do not suck.