The Rangers Game Log

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Game 13 - Montreal 4 Rangers 1

Record: 6-4-3, 13 pts
Last Year: 0-0-0, 0 pts
Seen From: Sec 422/D/7
Islanders: For Halloween. Islander fans generally dress up as Islander fans. Pretty scary, I say.

- A very, very long time ago, when I used to bet on creatures with less than four legs, one of my favorite angles was betting the visiting team in the second half of a home and home series when that team had dropped the first game at home. I think the road team has a big psychological advantage in those cases - pissed off after losing at home, while the home team has to have something in their subconscious telling them 'well, if we beat them on the road...' So, I was expecting the worst when I entered the Garden last night, especially with the Canadiens having lost at home on a Saturday night, a defeat which drew howls of despair from the press, fans, and coaching staff alike.

And for the most part, my fears were well-founded. The Canadiens were a determined bunch, playing with intensity and determination that were noticeably lacking from the home team. As if Montreal needed any further inspiration, I cringed during an early time out when, instead of the usual blaring music – heaven forbid we should ever have a couple of moments of silence to gather our thoughts! – they showed highlights of Saturday’s game, with the narrator loudly pointing out that it was a “shaky Jose Theodore” in the nets. Oh man. Did they really need to rub it in like that? Theodore was not shaky at all last night, repelling every Ranger shot in the first two periods, when they actually had some good scoring chances.

Yet, with nine minutes left, there we were, on our feet celebrating a tying goal. How did that happen? Henryk Lundqvist was outstanding once again keeping the game scoreless through two, frustrating Les Habs late in the second when they were two men up, showing his uncanny anticipation to thwart Richard Zednik and Pierre Daganais with quick skate saves and drawing two standing ovations from the adoring crowd. But after Koivu tipped in a Craig Rivet point shot as the power play continued early in the third (thanks to Kasparaitus’ double high-sticking minor), the Rangers evaporated and the Canadiens picked up their play. They thwarted every attempted Rangers rush with a tenacious neutral zone……dare I say, trap? It sure looked like “old hockey” – not to be confused with “old-time hockey,” when there were things like hitting and retaliating for dirty hits that leave key players injured.

Finally, it was Ville Niemenen who gave the Blueshirts a shot with some hard work in deep that led to a penalty, and Theodore who gave them some life with a touch of the puck outside the trapezoid. It was apparent that the Rangers would need to have a five-on-three to score, and Jagr did on his usual one-timer. But when play reverted back to mere five-on-four, the Canadiens quickly took charge as Niklas Sundstrom stripped the puck from a sub-par Michael Nylander and fed Steve Begin for a short-handed goal that you could see coming from a mile away.

- Rucinsky’s absence was apparent from the first shift, on which Dominic Moore, who led the team with 23 minutes on ice, replaced Straka on the top line. The latter was shifted down to Rucchin’s line to try and spread the offense a bit. Moore also replaced Rucinsky on the top power play unit; as much as we love Moore, the fluid Czech connection on that unit is a dangerous asset and will be missed. Fedor Fedorov again showed flashes of strength and skill, but sat for most of the third.

- While Lundqvist can’t be blamed on any of the goals, the loss opens the way for Renney to give Kevin Weekes a start in New Jersey in Thursday night.

2 Comments:

  • At 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Did anyone watch this game on OLN on Cablevision? it seemed as though the first period was not on, then there was no sound during the broadcast, any body else see this?

     
  • At 9:08 AM, Blogger alan said…

    Yup. I mean, I have Dish Network, so I'm blacked out, but this article has the whole sad story.

     

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