The Rangers Game Log

Friday, October 21, 2005

Game 9 - Rangers 4 at Islanders 5

Record: 4-2-3, 11 pts
Last Year: 0-0-0, 0 pts
Seen: Not
Points out of 8th: You may not want to hear this, but if every team in the conference were to win all their games in hand, the Rangers would be in 11th, ugh.
Islanders: It’s humbling indeed to be (kind of) swept by the Fish Sticks. The consolation is that I seem to recall, way, way back when the Rangers last lost to them, that they generally go into a tailspin after beating us. So we’ll have that to look forward to, hopefully.

- I went to see Death Cab for Cutie at Hammerstein Ballroom last night. The opening act, the excellent Canadian band Stars, was scheduled to come on at eight, so the plan was to catch the first period at one of the bars around the Garden before heading into the nearby concert venue. So I walked over to 8th Avenue, where the venerable Charley O’s has been relocated, and headed in. But much to my surprise, the TVs were all tuned to college football on ESPN. Huh? Where’s the Rangers game? I mean, this is Charley O’s, where I used to hang after games and see some of the players come in as well. Why, I once had a face-to-face encounter right there with a young player in his first NHL season named Wayne Gretzky. Yes, there I was, with a chance to speak to the future greatest player of all time, whose Oilers had tied the Rangers after beating the Isles the night before, and all I could come up with was: “So who’s better, the Rangers or the Islanders?” It’s obvious that I should have been getting out more often to stuff like concerts over the last quarter century or so.

So I headed into Penn Station, where the cleverly named bar Cabooz had a big sign outside - “Welcome Back Ranger Fans!” OK, this should do it. But no, they were watching college football too! I tried Houlihans’ – “Welcome Back Hockey Fans!” – but they were watching freaking CNN! What’s going on here? The whole city wasn’t consumed by the rematch of the two bitter rivals that had staged such a gripping battle just the night before? You mean, people DON’T CARE ABOUT HOCKEY?? It was a bit of an eye-opener to be sure, a harsh reminder about the state of our favorite team sport. Here I was, practically in the Garden itself, and I couldn’t find anywhere to watch the home team play.

And when I did, I wished I hadn’t. When I finally found a TV in the back of TGIF’s, it was 3-0 only three minutes in. What the fuck! I was honestly shocked – I expected the Blueshirts to win, possibly in dominant fashion. I was in an optimistic state I guess, but who wouldn’t be after watching Wednesday’s game. I later saw a stat showing that besides the 35 shots on the Fish Stick goal that night, they had around 25 wide and the same number blocked! And now again I watched as Poti fed a perfect feed to Rucinsky, who was stopped by DiPietro, who’s starting to really annoy me. Then Dominic Moore made a terrific play to get a shot right off the faceoff, kicked out by DiPietro. Ortmeyer had a wide open net on the rebound but couldn’t convert. It was like déjà vu all over again and too much for me to bear. I left to grab a bite.

When I checked again before leaving for the show, I saw it was 3-2 after one, that’s what I’m talking about, a team that won’t quit! I would have been clueless about the rest of the game if not for the fact that my new Sprint cell phone has one month of free internet access (which I’ll DEFINITELY be canceling before I start getting charged for it!) and I just could not resist checking the score periodically, at least until Death Cab for Cutie made me (almost) forget about it. They must be a really good band.

Big Plays - I dunno, can you even blame Weekes on those goals? But if you go on the road, hold the home team to 21 shots, score four goals, including three from your best player, you should come out with a win. I’m depressed, and that’s all I have to say. It’s so early, yet that break after Saturday’s game can’t come soon enough.


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