I rarely miss a game at the Garden. And tonight is the one I miss.
Is the cosmic universe trying to tell me something.
I choose to think not. After all, I was there when Petr Prucha scored his game tying goal 26 days ago versus Pitt at MSG. So I can't be all bad luck for him.
When I heard he'd get into the lineup, I was thrilled. Sad that I'd not be there, but thrilled.
Ira Podell wrote up a nice piece for the AP post game.
Gomez's words on Prucha's character make me want to cry. Not only have the Rangers been under-utilizing and mis-handling a good player. They've been doing this to a guy with unparallelled character. I may be biased, but the guy is something else.
Gomez on his teammate:
“I have played with a lot of guys, and that guy is one of the best teammates I’ve ever had. For whatever reason he hasn’t been in the lineup, but he never says a word. He is one of the guys that always has a smile on his face and works the hardest in practice. Not only was it a huge goal, but to see him get it even means more."
I do not mean to get over dramatic, but that's a testament to the people that raised him and to he himself.
I don't know many people that would not crumble under such circumstances. But he keeps coming back, - harder, better, faster, stronger.
Pete hopes that's enough to keep him in the lineup another game. Me, I personally hope he's in for well, forever, but at least through Monday and Wednesday's games at MSG. He deserves it.
But as Ira Podell asks, what exactly does he have to do?
Tom Renney, with what might be the his moronic statement of the millennium, said:
“If he would get three or four goals a night he’ll be fine,” Rangers coach Tom Renney said with a laugh. “Pete’s a battler. That’s exactly what you have to do when you get those opportunities.”
If I wasn't so far away, I'd punch him. Kidding or not, he's half the reason (Slats might be the other half) why Pete has not played consistently this season. He's also the guy that - BS - said he'd be given a real role and real time this year.
So he doesn't have the right to kid.
I have the right to smile though, even if I wasn't there.
And so does the one that always does. Even when things get tough. His smile never fades.
Happy New Year, Petr Prucha. May this be the 2nd of many more goals for New York this season.
Author's note: I only saw "game clips" so I am not sure about how the game rolled. The Orr/Fritz fight looked nasty. But the Isles got a whopping 20 shots and the Rangers still allowed 4 goals. Defensive effectiveness my butt. The Isles lost, what, 10 or 11 straight. And still the Rangers just scraped by? Something has got to give.
In other news:
*3000 wins in Montreal history tonight.
*News comes out that Alexei Cherepanov was using performance enhancing drugs in the months before his death.
To me, at this point, after two and a half months, it only means the situation was even sadder than I thought it was. A young man died, for what seems to be many unexplainable reasons. Now add an explainable one to the list.
It's sad he felt he had to take anything to improve his game. He was already amazing.
Regardless. It was sad, it remains sad. Rest in Peace, Alexei. We all wish it ended much differently.