Thursday, May 19, 2011

Boogaard's Signature Ranger Moment




The Boogeyman might be gone but his spirit is still carried on in the hockey community. When you lose a player to such an awful tragedy, it's like losing part of your extended family. As a passionate diehard Ranger fan for nearly 25 years, Derek Boogaard's death still numbs and makes us ponder life itself, which is so precious. In two days, I'll pay tribute along with a strong group of friends who will honor the One Year Anniversary of Lyndzay's death. Considering that his grandma also passed recently and someone else we knew did as well, it seems like there's been too many of these lately. Unfortunately, life goes on. And so, we must try to deal with death the best we can. By remembering them.

In this third entry devoted to Boogey coupled with our tribute page on the right sidebar and our last brief piece, we flashback to one of the most exciting moments against the Caps on November 9, 2010 this past season. The big man out to protect teammates, surprised everyone in the house when he was the recipient of a breakaway up the left wing. On a two-on-one, there was no doubt what No.94 intended to do, winding up with a classic slapshot from the top left circle that hit twine, popping the Gatorade bottle for his first and only goal of 2010-11. Few players wind up like that these days. So, when Tampa's Ryan Malone did it with similar success earlier this postseason, it was pretty cool. But it simply doesn't compare to one of the toughest SOB's ending a long 234-game goalless span with a moment that had fans in our section chuckling. It reminded of that Marek Malik shootout winner in '05-06 going between his legs versus ironically enough the same opponent.

There are things that make sports special. These classic moments are what make it fun. The joy of a player doing the unexpected a la Aaron Boone, Bucky Dent, Stephane Matteau, Grant Marshall, Dave Hannan, Dave Volek, etc. Maybe it was supposed to be this way for Boogaard, whose signature breakaway slapper won't soon be forgotten. The reaction still is priceless. Just replaying it over and over allows us to smile and laugh, seeing the sheer excitement on Boogey's face with teammates mobbing him as his hands are raised to the roof in jubilation. It makes me want to cry but at least tears of joy. Who doesn't love seeing Bruce Boudreau's stunned disbelief as if to say 'Are you ******* kidding me,' at 24 seconds? I don't think there was enough Haagen Dazs for our favorite coach, who stole the show at last year's HBO 24/7 leading up to the Winter Classic. Speaking of which, it'll be nice to see the Blueshirts represent the city when they take on the Flyers at Lincoln Financial Field on January 2nd.

Today's not about that but still focusing on a larger than life athlete who gave his heart to everyone, putting grins on kids faces. I only wish I could've met the man and shook his hand. I can't imagine how hard it's been on his family as they get ready to bury Derek this weekend. It isn't fair. Sometimes, life isn't. I learned it last year and thank my lucky stars for every day I get. You just never know. We cannot forget Derek Boogaard! It simply isn't an option. That #94 patch should be part of the 86th New York Rangers season. One they don't start up for quite some time. A new Cup champ hasn't even been crowned yet and already, all I can think of is 2011-12, which will also be the Third Year Anniversary of Alexei Cherepanov's death. Counting Roman Lyashenko ('03), our team has lost three players to tragedy. Crazy.

Here's to you Boogey! Cheers.

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