Thursday, December 4, 2008

Les Habitants - Les Rangers - Round One. . . [UPDATED]

It's actually a shame that I was and will be so busy today and tomorrow at work, because there was so much more I could have written about the game yesterday and so much I could write about the constant chatter about Sean Avery, among other things. But, that's life. Perhaps sometime this weekend I'll do a quick catch-up and catch-all.

For the meantime.

8:09 pm - end of 1.

So I didn't see the ceremony before the game. I listened to it on XM radio. Thank goodness for that. It sounded really nice. Just a classy thing. And Montreal, as I've said, knows how to do ceremonies with class. It's their 100th season. And yet they want to, in some small way, include the other teams that have been there along the way with them. Kudos. A really nice show. I read once years ago that "Montreal was hockey." I have seen or heard nothing that would ever prove that statement wrong.

As for the game. I am usually on Hank if I think he's not playing well. But it can be argued none of those goals, and especially the first two, were his fault. The team stopped playing D in front of him. Dmitri Kalinin, both on the goal allowed when he was caught pinching and on the other goal when he and someone else both went to cover the same side of the net as Hank, has not looked good recently. And I've noticed Marc Staal, for all his greatest (and the kid will be great), has looked less confident in playing with Rozsival, than he has with Paul Mara. I wonder why.

Just overall, not a great start. And while we all have no doubt that Montreal can come back and score 4 or more goals, I am not sure the Rangers can. I'd love to see it. I really would.

8:57 - end of 2.

Halfway there. {oh oh, livin' on a prayer.} Again where does that come from?

So yeah, very interesting. I didn't think the Montreal fourth goal was as blatant goalie interference as some, but I can see an argument for it. Regardless, they were the only team really skating, until...

Petr Prucha and Maxime Lapierre.

You heard me. It honestly just looked like Maxime took offense to Prucha hitting him. There was nothing else I saw. And big kudos to Prucha for taking him. I mean you are not a fighter, a guy comes at you with his gloves off, you can skate away. But he didn't. Kid has guts. One of my favorite Renney phrases from years and years ago, "more guts than a slaughterhouse." And you know. He didn't win the fight or really "fight" him at all, but Prucha got quite a hold on Lapierre, no joke. He's strong as anything, that kid. And the biggest heart of them all. At least someone came to play.

And then the Rangers scored, on the power play, to which my father said,

"Well that's a unique [expletive deleted] experience."

First PP goal in four games. Naslund gets it. Rangers show life and build on that life when...

Scott Gomez and Saku Koivu.

You heard me. Although not technically a fight, gloves were dropping and a few punches were thrown. Go figure. I didn't think Gomez had it in him, but perhaps, he's like, if Prucha can act bigger than he is, so can I. And not many people I respect more than Saku Koivu. [HNIC's interview with him and his family a few weeks back was a real treat]. Just not what I'd expect to see.

But I guess with Mike Komisarek unable to play - and dressed so dapper behind the bench - someone else has to take the role.

I just figured it'd be Georges Laraques.

Anyway - the "fights" served a purpose, as the Rangers somehow gain some momentum back. They score again when Dawes pots a nice feed from Zherdev. To which I said, fine, Dawes, you can stay in the lineup.

I did say if the Rangers scored before the end of the period (in the net behind Carey Price, that is) that I'd feel pretty good about the 3rd being a good ending.

Meanwhile, Wade Redden was in the locker room most of the 2nd. Why?

My father: "he's probably crying."

Not exactly. Apparently a lower body injury. I hate those.

Rangers will play with five defensemen the rest of the way. Does someone from Hartford get the callup for the Calgary game on Sunday?

Hoping for a good third.

9:38 - end of game.

Well proof positive you don't always get what you hope for. [Truer in more ways than one tonight.]

Rangers fall 6-2 to the Canadiens. Even before Matt D'Agostini ripped that shot past Lundqvist, I was going to say to the fans of Guillaume Latendresse that they should not expect D'Agostini to come out any time soon. He's played very well in these last two games.

Now I thought, perhaps, the Rangers had a chance, because Montreal was up 3-0 on Atlanta (who PJ Stock called an AHL team + Kovalchuk) and gave up three quick ones and ended up having a sticky ending before coming away with the win on Tuesday.

The Rangers, however, could not do the same. It had moments. And I'm not going to really complain because at least it had speed. But it was not a good game for NY. Credit Montreal though. All over them.

I am not sure if the Rangers will practice both days, or just one, but the power play is still an issue and needs to be addressed. Perhaps the Rangers were tired after last night, but there can't be excuses like that. The speed was there - the consistency and the mental thoughts were not.

Perhaps more thoughts tomorrow. I'm turning in early tonight.

I just am left with one thought. I hope Renney doesn't somehow find a way to blame Prucha for this loss.

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