The Rangers Game Log

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Rangers Win the Damn Thing

- It’s a happy recap, but only because of the Rube Goldbergesque goal by Martin Rucinsky for the team’s first OT (non-shootout) win of the year. It’s being reported that the shot was deflected by Blues’ defenseman Bryce Salvador (no relation to Bryce Lampman) before hitting the glass, and floating off Patrick Lalime’s butt into the net. But Rangers Game Log has analyzed the super-slo motion, which revealed that after hitting Salvador, it hit the back of Marek Malik’s helmet, went into the stands, struck an unsuspecting electrician sitting in the 5th row, and was then batted away by a crazed peanut vendor back into play, off the glass and into the unfortunate Blues’ goalie.

It’s an illustration of how poorly the Rangers played that Weekes was stellar in the net despite giving up four goals. Being shorthanded 12 times didn’t help. But the Blueshirts seemed to finally have this one under control after scoring their first power play goal of the road trip with just 3:15 to go on another tough break for Lalime. He’d just made a good save on a point blank Poti shot, but Prucha’s shot went off Salvador’s skate into the net.

With the teams playing four aside in the final two minutes, this one seemed to be in the bag, as we saw glimpses of the Broadway Blueshirts we’ve come to love. The visitors smelled victory and had the Blues pinned in their own zone as the fans started to boo. Kasparaitus delivered one of his five credited hits at center ice and cleared the puck back down; Jason Ward stole the puck and was denied on a wraparound; Moore stole a clearing attempt and was foiled on a breakaway; Kasparaitus nailed Tkachuk in the defensive zone and allowed Malik to clear. But then Malik made a critical mistake; with just one second to go until the Blues would have a brief power play, he iced the puck. Don’t know if he thought that the power play had started, or if he felt he had a shot at the empty net, but the Rangers wouldn’t recover from that mistake. Despite Moore cleanly winning the faceoff, Tkachuk had cheated a bit and got a jump to the end boards and controlled, leading to the wacky tying goal. It's very possible that the puck was hit with a high stick before Sillinger legally batted it in, but the replay was not conclusive. Malik actually redeemed himself for his error just beforehand by blocking an empty net attempt by Tkachuk (deservedly named the first star).

- It was the Rangers’ first overtime goal since the final game of the 2003-04 season, when Bobby Holik scored in Washington to put the Blueshirts out of their misery for another year. Or two in this case. The assists went to Thomas Pock and Karel Rachunek, and what ever happened to that guy? He doesn’t seem to be in the league anymore. It was Holik’s second goal of the game; the other was scored by Mike Green, on an assist from Josh Green. The only Green in the league this year is Travis. In fact, the only players on the ice for New York that day that I found to still be in the league are Garth Murray, just called up Friday by Montreal, Dan Lacouture, who’s played five games in Boston, Jamie Lundmark, Jamie McLennan, the goalie that day, now a backup for the Panthers, Holik and Tyutin.

- A tough six game stretch now awaits the Blueshirts, led off by what could be a fascinating four game homestand. It's an interesting mix of tough visiting squads, and with full, lively crowds assured as the holiday approaches, and with a 20-8-4 record that seems just surreal, the atmosphere should be electric. The Canucks are in Tuesday night, and then after a five day rest, the homestead continues with the Avs, Devils, and Lightning. That is followed by road games in Ottawa and Long Island. Yes fans, the year 2005 shall not conclude without another encounter with the putrid Fish Sticks in front of their cretinous fans with their tedious chants and general lack of civility.


  • At 9:37 AM, Anonymous throwaway said…

    Brilliant title and intro! If I'm not mistaken, you're referring to a classic Bob Murphy call at the end of a whacky Met win where I think the winning run scored on a dropped infield pop-up? Perfect fit with last night's bizarre game.

    Good call on Moore's faceoff "win." I've noticed some improvement with him on draws, and, though i may be in the minority here, I'd really like to see him back between Hollweg and Ortmeyer -- the team just doesn't seem right to me w/o this unit. Of course, Hollweg would actually have to play for that to happen!

    Looking forward to this homestand with a mix of excitement and trepidation. Fear and arrogance -- or is it fear and ignorance?



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