As a Ranger fan, it pains me to see any starting goalie get pulled early in a game. I'm sure I'm not alone in this, but you have to admit, yesterday's game was an extremely entertaining game. Derek has a great wrap up below, so I won't go into too much detail. I'll just throw out some quick hits:
- Freddie Sjorstrum has looked great in his first two games as a Ranger. It pains me that Ryan Hollweg is the odd man out, but he certainly brings a hardworking, productive element to the fourth line.
- Christain Backman earned himself some boo-birds in yesterday's game after taking two more penalties, but then got a reprieve when he scored later on. I agree that the first penalty was a bit of nonsense, and the second one was also a little questionable, but he has not impressed so far. He's not a physical player, so maybe he's trying too hard to impress his new team. He has shown brief glipses of being able to step up an make good offensive plays, so maybe he builds on the second half of last game and starts to win over the New York crowd and critics.
- Sean Avery broke off contract talks with the Rangers today, citing that they were too far apart monetarily. In the beginning of the season, Avery was asking for $3 million a year, which was steep. With his resurgent play of late, and his newfound chemistry with Jaromir Jagr and Brandon Dubinsky, along with the edge and aggitation that he brings to the table for the Rangers, I don't see a deal not getting done. Glen Sather would be stupid to let him walk and join another team, especially one in the Eastern Conference. $2.5-$3 million seems reasonable to me to resign him for three or four years. With Marek Malik, Paul Mara, Jaromir Jagr, Martin Straka, Michal Rozsival and Brendan Shanahan coming off the books after this season, there's money to spend.
The Rangers are back in action tomorrow in the first half of a home and home series against the Islanders. Should be fun, and I might step in for some live blogging for one or both of the games as well. I'll update again before tomorrow's game.