After seeing endless clips of the same speech by recently inaugurated President Barack Obama, its finally time to watch some hockey. Due to prior committments, Dave and myself will be splitting this game-thread.
Maybe President Obama can issue an executive order to make Sidney Crosby shut his yapper…thoughts?
Update 7:15pm: First few minutes were pretty vanilla until both teams finally woke up and exchanged some good chances with both goalies looking pretty sharp; an early sign that this game could end 1-0 or 2-1. If that’s the case I would give a slight advantage to the Blueshirts, given King Henrik’s track record at MSG. Then again, the Cardinals are in the Super Bowl so track records don’t mean a whole lot
Update 7:27pm (Goal): Rangers 1, Ducks 0. An absolute blast by Markus Naslund after the puck trickled out to the slot. The unit continuously got shots to the net and were hard to the puck wherever it went, leading to the turnover that led to the open shot. You have to wonder where this has been all season, as the Ducks looked completely flustered by the Rangers attack.
Update 7:31 (Goal): Rangers 1, Ducks 1. Ducks get a power-play goal after Aaron Voros took a tripping penalty just seconds after the Naslund goal. Both power-plays were very opportunistic, with the Ducks eventually scoring off after several rebounds. Its obvious that both teams have to play more disciplined. This game will ultimately be decided by which All-Star netminder is going to play better
Update 7:43: End of period, Rangers 1 Ducks 1. Overall, a real nice pace to the game, with plenty of hitting and opportunities on both sides. Rangers are going to have to continue their solid forecheck and create turnovers by pressuring the Anaheim D. It could be one of those games where a bounce this way or that way could determine the outcome.
Update 8:02: Rangers called for yet another too-many-men penalty. I can’t remember a team getting so many of these penalties in a single season. Either the Rangers have been really trying to push their line-changes and get a jump on the other team, or this is just a consistent lack of concentration. Whichever it may be, it really is a silly penalty to commit.
Update 8:04 (Goal): Rangers 2, Ducks 1. So obviously the Rangers were just looking to go down a man so they can bury a short-handed goal. A heads-up play by Roszival to dump it off the far boards and an even more heads-up play by Frederik Sjostrom to keep working and get to the loose puck and put a shot through.
Here’s where I hand the rest of the game thread off to Dave. Apologies for any holes in the game. I know some of you are waiting with bated breathe for the next update…
Update 8:53: And here I am. Sorry for the break in the coverage, but when dinner with Pops calls, you don’t turn down free italian. And as I write this, Cally breaks out into a fight with Moen. Gotta give Cally credit, he doesn’t back down from anyone.
Update 9:00: Wow. Nice punch to the back of the head by Getzlaf. They really are undisciplined. Big PP right now. And Hiller just robbed Dawes.
Update 9:03: Voros in front of the net is good for the PP. I’m surprised Renney doesn’t do that more often (when Voros is in the lineup). That penalty was just incidental contact, really nothing to complain about there.
Update 9:08: Blair Betts is probably the single most under appreciated Ranger. His contract expires and he will be a UFA at the end of the season. It would be a very big mistake to not resign him.
Update 9:11: I don’t know if I agree with that call. But that’s Voros’ 3rd penalty this game. That’s just not good hockey. As effective as he is in front, that’s too much of a liability.
Update 9:17: Another PP goal for the Rangers! I think hell just froze over! Gomez gets the goal from Naslund and Zherdev. This PP has been great this game. 3-2 Rangers.
Update 9:26: Has Sam even mentioned Fritsche during the game?
Update 9:30: And Betts really deserved that goal. He played a fantastic game, and he gets the shortie. He is a one man penalty killing crew. 4-2 Rangers, all coming with special teams. The Rangers will win this game. What a way to come back after a poor showing in Pittsburgh. What a way to head into the All-Star Break.