The Rangers Game Log

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Game 1 - Rangers 5 At Flyers 3

2005 Record: 1-0
Last Year: 0-0
Seen: On OLN
Points out of 8th: N/A
Islanders: Lost

- So, 18 months after Bobby Holik scored in OT to defeat the Caps to end the 2003-04 season, what was another 20 agonizing minutes of the OLN pregame show? It was ironic that Neil Smith, who would always tell us that you can't rebuild in New York, was on hand in the studio to see the first game of the process he refused to initiate. About the time that Donald Trump was telling us how much he loves the rules changes, dinner was served, and I put the game on pause. How did I ever live without a DVR?

Back to the action, and Sam and J.D. were trying so hard to pretend to be objective for the national TV audience that they were talking only about the Flyers and not identifying the unidentifiable Ranger players. So I went to the Rangers website to pull up the roster. But, I forgot that I watching the game on a half hour delay, and the main page flashed the score - Flyers 2, Rangers 1. So, since the worst scenario of that score would be the Rangers scoring first, this is how, after an entire season of no hockey, the new season started for me: rooting for the other team to score first. When Jason Strudwick scored the first goal of the season, I pretended to cheer because I was embarrassed to admit what I had done.

- Big Play: Did that second period remind you of something? It was noted that for the first time since they won the Cup, there were no members of the '94 team on the roster. Yet, second period, down two goals in a game you thought they were going to lose from the start, being peppered in their own zone, one goal away from the game being effectively over, goalie standing on his head.... Well, no, the team captain Jaomir Jagr Darius Kasparaitus Steve Rucchin..... er, no one guaranteed a win in this case and Alexei Kovalev is gone, but it seemed vaguely familiar nonetheless.

I had just uttered "you suck, Lundmark" (how's that for patience?) after a cross-ice pass to no one, and then a fumble in the Flyers zone which led to a clear as a rare power play ticked down with the score still 3-1 after Nylander's penalty shot hit the crossbar. Martin Straka made a nice back checking play and Fedor Tyutin, who looks like he's grown about a foot since last we saw him, made a nifty move to evade a checker and a nice two-line headman pass to Rucchin, who dumped it in. Lundmark was backing up when the puck came bouncing out and did a good job setting himself and getting much of his small frame into the shot.

- Violent hockey clips interspersed with Survivor and Ted Nugent; musical accompaniment for every instant replay; welcome to the NHL on OLN. I found myself longing for the days of glowing pucks.

- Not only did the Islanders lose, but I was pleased to see them relegated to a small AP box in the Times this morning. The only thing better than seeing them suck is to see them be irrelevant.

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