Thursday, March 08, 2007

Rangers Beat Islanders 2-1: In Playoff Hunt

I usually don't write about games I don't attend, and in fact often do not watch them. Hockey is better at the arena. Having said that, I am exhilarated with the Ranger's performance against the Islander's tonight. Although the game was won in part because of a lucky call and a stupid penalty, it still gave me hope that the Rangers could keep their stuff together and stay in the playoff hunt. I am beginning to think about how I can rejigger some of my April plans for that first round.

Although I am sure sports does not teach you as much as people likes to think it teaches you, it does teach not to attempt a vicious and stupid retaliation in full sight of a referee. Fortunately for the Rangers, this is what Chris Simon of the Islanders tried to do when, after receiving a hard check from Ryan Hollweg, he slashed his stick across the stick of the hard hitting center. Hollweg went down, bleeding. Luckily, Hollweg was not seriously hurt and returned to the game. Simon did not, as he received a 5 minute "major" penalty and a ten minute game misconduct penalty. He will likely face suspension for a number of games from the leauge as well. The power play allowed Peter Prucha to score the game winning second goal. Paul Mara, recently traded from Phoenix, scored his first goal as a Ranger in the second period.

The most bizarre aspect of the game was when the Islander's Marc-Andre Bergeron fired off a shot with 20 seconds left in the game. This shot was tipped towards the goal by Ryan Smyth. Lundqvist manged to pull it back (I think, and the NHL seems to agree) before it crossed the goal line. This would have tied the game, and led to overtime. Lundqvist, who has been just getting better and better, saved the Rangers yet again.

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