The Rangers Game Log

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Game 3: Rangers 2 at Devils 3 (OT)

Seen: On MSG, Mike Crispino sitting in for Sam Rosen
Record: 1-0-2
Last Year: 0-0-0
Points out of 8th: N/A
Islanders: Won, luckily, in their puerile third jerseys. Pelted with 44 shots by a Carolina squad that played the night before. Islander fans, many of whom were out of their homes or office for the first time in 18 months, are delirious but distracted throughout by the Rangers score, their smug assurance as to their rivals' ineptitude starting to waiver ever so slightly.

- I’m trying to get used to this idea that you can no longer settle for a tie. What’s wrong with settling once in a while? It always seemed rather comforting to think that you could just hang on after playing 60 or 65 tough minutes in a hostile building, get the point on the road and go home. Yes, they did get the point, but had to suffer the indignity of watching the home team and fans celebrate, as well as seeing a division rival earning an extra point. This one seemed less tolerable than the one on Thursday, both because of the opponent and the fact that the Rangers were arguably the better team.

The Head Chef and I were invited to go to the game with a couple of dear friends, but she was busy feeding clients and I was stuck home with kids. I’ve only been to one Rangers game at the Meadowlands since Game 4 in ’94, the loss in which Keenan benched Leetch and pulled Richter. I was also at Game 3, Matteau’s first double overtime winner, which to me is the real overlooked great game of the championship season. Of course games 6 and 7 are the ones that will always be remembered, but game 3 was a classic in its own right. The winner was such a quick shot by Matteau that I still really have to concentrate to see it unfold. A guy with his size and those flashes of quick’d think he would have had a more productive career

I could have gone to Game 6 too, but I plain chickened out, I admit it. I was a wuss. I just couldn’t bear the thought of seeing the dream end in that wretched building and in front of those fans. So I didn’t go and missed personally witnessing perhaps the most dramatic Rangers moment of my lifetime. Until Game 7, that is.

- Big plays: Peter Prucha and Maxim Kondratiev dressed in place of Lundmark and Poti. The latter may be the most unpopular defenseman at the Garden since Rod Seiling. The Devils had tied the game on a fluky goal early in the third, and it was uh-oh time. When you outshoot a team by 13-1 and then 26-8 after two but only have a one goal lead, it’s never a good sign. With about 15 minutes left, the Devils were surging and they were getting physical too. Within seconds, Kasparaitus got nailed by Grant Marshall, and then Prucha got absolutely hammered by Eric Rasmussen at center ice. The usually catatonic crowd was into it and I started to fear the worst.

But Prucha got himself up, shook out the cobwebs and pursued the puck in the Devils zone. He swooped in and picked up the puck behind the net, outbattled Paul Martin along the boards and was able to kick the puck to a teammate, allowing the Rangers to retain possession, which then led to a cross-checking penalty on Dan McGillis. Though they didn’t score on the power play, they had chances and put the crowd back into their usual stupor. The Devils never got any physical play flowing again and in fact, Ryan Hollweg made a statement when he rocked Martin later in the period. He drew a questionable penalty, but it became one of those good bad penalties when the Rangers, led by the energetic Blair Betts, killed it off.

Brodeur was really, really good; he stole two points for his team and one from mine. He made great glove stops on Malek and Jagr late in regulation, the latter on a power play. The Rangers can’t ask for anything more than being tied late in a game and getting that first power-play unit on the ice. They need to cash in when they get those opportunities, and their failure to do so led to the OT and the "loss." Lundqvist shows confidence handling the puck; he wanted to play it on the winning losing goal but pulled back because it was outside the trapezoid, then didn’t seem to be in position when Rafalski’s shot whizzed by, damn these new rules. Ironically, it was in large part because of Brodeur that the trapezoid was instituted.

- If Zach Parise is so great, why did 16 teams including the Rangers pass on him in the draft?

- What does it say about the Devils defense that Vladimir Malakhov played thirty minutes? Rozsival led all Blueshirts D at 25:33.


  • At 12:06 PM, Anonymous throwaway said…

    You nailed a couple of the points I would have made: i loved the way the Rangers fought on after the Devils tied it -- a time when they've often packed it in; i, too, was impressed by Betts' play. Let me add one more highlite: the play of Marcel Hossa, who powered through guys on more than one occasion to create scoring opportunities -- let's hope he stays focused.
    Gotta disagree with you on Zach Parise. I saw Parise play in college a few times -- he's one of those guys that repeatedly finds himself in the middle of things, and involved in scoring chances. I think the Rangers were scared off by his size, opting instead for the "Huge Specimen" -- a decision I disliked when it happened, and I dislike it even more today.

  • At 8:26 PM, Blogger alan said…

    I wasn't trying to say that he's not so great, just that from the moment he was picked, he was spoken of as if he was one of the top jewels of the draft, and I've never understood why so many teams passed on him if that's the case. Huge Specimen, lol.


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