Friday, March 26, 2010
Just when you think it’s over for the Rangers, the boys in blue turn around and defy the odds to come back into the NHL’s Eastern Conference playoff race. How? First, they dismantled a New York Islander team at MSG Wednesday by a score of 5-0. I know people will say that they beat a team that has “packed it in” and all that. However, it was a dominant performance in a game where the Rangers really needed the victory. Gaborik was big in this game with 2 goals and 1 assist. Artem Anisimov, Michael Del Zotto, and Dan Girardi all figured in the other tallies for the Rangers. Lundqvist was sharp when needed- stopping 27 shots for his 3rd shutout of the season. If that outcome had any meaning, it would have to show the next night as the Rangers headed over the river to take on their hated rivals, the New Jersey Devils.
The Rangers showed great will and determination by fighting their way through a tough game. With their playoff aspirations on the line, the Rangers pulled through with a dramatic 4-3 shootout victory at “The Rock”. Chris Drury (yes, the Captain!), scored what would turn out to be the goal of the season (if the Rangers were to make the playoffs). With 16.8 seconds left in regulation, Erik Christensen found Drury in front of the net with a feed and Drury buried it to send the game to OT. Wow! That was all I could think as Drury slammed home the “playoff hopes” for the Rangers. From there, both teams had decent chances in OT, but couldn’t capitalize. Onto the shootout we went! Erik Christensen, who played a great game, started the shootout with a fantastic goal. The goal took replay to confirm, but the move he made on Brodeur was beautiful. That, my friends, turned out to be the game winner as King Henrik stopped all 3 attempts by the Devils. The Rangers left the Rock with what could be the most pivotal win of the season. I know it won’t be easy, but the Rangers have a chance (and a good one at that) to make the playoffs. 6 games on the road, 2 at home- with all the teams being played being very beatable. While on the flipside, Boston, Philly, and Atlanta all have much tougher schedules to contend with! There’s a song that I used to listen to when I was a teenager and still do… it’s by guitarist Johnny Winter, “Still Alive and Well”. The Rangers are still alive, the well part is yet to be determined… stay tuned!
I did attend both of the past two games and I met some really good people on both nights (Thanks to our good friend, Larry “Ratso” Sloman)! My wife Lisa and I had the great fortune to meet and hang out with Peter Criss of the Kiss fame. That’s right! Kiss! We also met Rob Echeverria (Helmut and Biohazard), a guitarist who is a die-hard Rangers fan. Peter was at his 1st ever NHL game at MSG according to Rob. I think we have a new hockey fan! Fantastic time in meeting them! We shall meet up again.
In New Jersey, the wife and I were privileged to attend the game as guests of two good friends: Jeremy and Lori Lont. They invited us to witness the Devils/Rangers game in a luxury suite. We had a fun time, of course. We also had fun talking hockey with Jeremy’s brother, Josh. Although on this night we were surrounded by Devils fans, it was a great night all around! Over and out!