The Rangers Game Log

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Game 7 – Panthers 0 Rangers 4

Record: 4-1-2, 10 pts.
Last Year: 0-0-0, 0 pts.
Seen From: Sec 218, Row C, Seat 14
Points out of 8th: N/A. First Place.
Islanders: Licking wounds from latest lopsided loss

- Many Islander fans on LonGisland unfortunately were unable to watch the game and have their hopes for an imminent Rangers collapse deflated again, since OLN is withholding the games from Cablevision. Larry Brooks in the Post today reiterates something I’ve read several times about the situation – that the NHL has the contractual right to direct the Outdoor Life Network not to black out Cablevision subscribers on exclusive telecasts.

That's an interesting point considering that a spokesman for the NHL told me yesterday that that is not the case, and that the dispute is strictly between OLN owner Comcast, and the particular cable and satellite providers. As a Dish Network subscriber, I am being blacked out myself, and it took two letters and two phone calls (the second one of the angry/nasty/sarcastic variety) to get the league to return my call. So what then, is the truth about this? Can the league direct OLN to stop the blackouts? Call the NHL at 212-789-2000 and ask them what the real scoop is. I placed a return call about Brooks' article to the gentleman I spoke to before and I’ll let you know if he returns my call.

- We weren’t in our regular seats last night as my seatmate was entertaining a client and wanted “good” seats. So we moved down and sat in the old yellow section, where leg space is scarce compared to upstairs, and in a corner. You can’t see about a quarter of the face-off circle from there, and players who go into that corner disappear from sight faster than the Astros will after last night’s disaster. I’m old enough to remember flyers advertising the “unobstructed view from 19,000 seats” before what was referred to then as the “new “ Garden opened. Unfortunately, someone forgot to take the seats and peoples’ heads into account.

Big Plays: Welcome to the post-lockout NHL; there were thousands of empty seats with empty patches in all the levels – it looked like a snowstorm game, or a game on the night of a Yankees’ Game 7. Perhaps years from now 100,000 people will claim to have been at Lundqvist’s first NHL shutout, just like all of those who say they were at the weekday afternoon game that Tom Seaver struck out 19 Padres and the last ten in a row.

But it was a lively crowd who saw the unlikely juggernaut continue. I think Gilles Gratton could have earned the shutout last night; in fact, I’d have given Roberto Luongo a star before Lundqvist. Luongo signaled his sharpness in the first period, frustrating the first line on their first power play, and then robbing Marek Malik on what should have been a simple stuff-in. The home team led by just 1-0 despite outshooting the Panthers by 30-12 when they were given their first five-on-three power play of the year late in the second. Sensing that this was the big opportunity, Renney called time and sent out five forwards including the top guns. Luongo had no shot on Jagr’s bullet off Straka’s feed. And when the Panthers cooperated with another quick penalty, the same five-on-three configuration resulted in a nearly identical goal, Jagr from Straka. The latter hasn’t yet scored a goal, but is second in the league with nine assists. He was put back on the Jagr line, as Renney continues to shuffle the combos. Ville Neimenen moved to play with Betts and Ward; Prucha skated on the 4th line and scored the 4th goal on a two-on-one on which he had no intention whatsoever of passing the puck.

- 25 minutes plus each once again for what I guess is the #1 defense combo of Marek Malik and Michael Rozsival. Who woulda thunk?

- Jamie McLennan relieved Luongo and stopped all 11 Rangers shots in the third. McLennan was in goal for the Blueshirts in Washington on April 3, 2004, the last game before the lockout and of the Sather era. Oh. He's still around?

- One year Two years ago today, the Rangers tied the Carolina Hurricanes (with Kevin Weekes in goal) 2-2. On the ice for the Blueshirts were Matt Barnaby, Joel Bouchard, Anson Carter, Greg deVries, Jan Hlavac, Bobby Holik, Kasparaitis, Alexei Kovalev, Dan LaCouture, Eric Lindros, Vladamir Malakhov, some guy Messier, Boris Mironov, Petr Nedved, Tom Poti, Martin Rucinsky, Chris Simon, and Jamie Lundmark.

1 Comments:

  • At 7:07 PM, Anonymous throwaway said…

    Love the perspective you offer with the last paragraph!

    Wasn't able to see the game, but I have a comment anyway from what I read: apparently, during the timeout, one of the assistants diagrammed the play that the Rangers executed for Jagr's goal. From several things I've seen, and comments I've heard them make (ie. on the way to the lockerroom after a period), it seems these new assistants are difference-makers.

    I'm looking forward to heading back to the Garden tomorrow night.

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