NJD - 1
NYR - 0
NEW YORK RANGERS: The Powerless Rangers are Fighting Themselves.
The Rangers dominated the the first two seconds of last night's game. It was all Devils from then on. Before Cam Janssen dropped gloves with Mike Rupp, he asked him if was hand was feeling OK enough for a fight. That only happens in Hockey by the way. And that's one of the things that makes this such a great sport. Rupp said it was good enough. Gloves got dropped and they started to rumble while at the same time Brandon Prust and Eric Boulton threw down on the other side of the ice.
It sure was an intense way to start the game. But the night I was very much looking forward to never materialized. Instead, after dropping the puck to restart the game a second time, the Rangers had problems possessing and passing a puck that was bouncing on them all night. The Devils however had no such problems. Their passing was crisp. They had no uncooperative puck issues. In all, they pretty much dominated the Blueshirts the rest of the night until the Rangers finally put together one last burst of effort in the third.
Like I said many times before, you can't really appreciate how bad the Rangers' PP is unless you see it in person. And at one point I just sat back in my chair and said - Wow! The Rangers' Power Play continued to be down right deplorable and perhaps turned out to be this difference in the game. In my last post I shared some thoughts as to how I thought they could get better. Then last night, the Devils demonstrated exactly what I meant. The only goal of the game that counted came on a Devils power play. Dave Clarkson received a pass from behind the Rangers' net as he came down the slot. Derek Stepan got caught facing the boards when Clarkson recieved the pass. By the time Stepan could turn around, Clarkson's shot was off. Done; exactly like I thought the Blueshirts needed to.
The Rangers woke up from their slumber somewhat in the third period. They kept peppering shots on goal. But by then, Martin Brodeur's juices were flowing and the old man's joints were limbered up enough to record the 117th shutout of his HOF career. He looked good last night. The Rangers were denied on some very good opportunities.
Then with 3.5 seconds left in the game, my son and I couldn't believe our fortune when Artem Anisimov and Marion Gaborik apparently scored the game tying goal. What an exclamation point that would have been to end an otherwise magical week in NYC sports. But it wasn't meant to be this time.
As they reviewed Anisimov's goal in Toronto, a Ranger crowd fed up with the guys in stripes started littering the ice with bottles and other stuff. It reminded me of all the paper and debris littering Broadway from the NY Giants parade we attended earlier in the day. Only, unlike my morning, this occasion was terribly inglorious.
No cherry on top for you New York.
NJD General Manager Lou Lamoriello yucks it up with hockey scribe Larry Brooks.
Lou Lamoriello spent the night in the press section right below my seats and I'm sure he enjoyed watching his team play a very disciplined game. He seemed to be in a good mood all night. And why not? His team has sixty-five points now.