There is something going on on the ice right now involving a golf cart and a girl with a microphone. Hey, I just report what I see.
Anyway, we’re at 1-1 after an eventful second. Including:
* Remember what I said about Karel Rachunek? Maybe I should say the same about Marc Staal. I know that might sting some of you since there were plenty of high hopes for Staal this year. But the kid looks a little bit out of his depth playing against a more experienced NHL lineup. Then again, it doesn’t help that he’s playing alongside Darius Kasparaitis, whose having his own problems out there. Either way, it’s becoming more apparent that Staal needs some time before he plays regularly in the NHL.
* The second period brought more of the same from Jagr, who has had his moments, but has also appeared out of shape. The clear highlight was a 5-on-3 midway through the period when Tom Renney had the good sense to put Jagr and Shanahan on each point, with the two players teeing off on Rick DiPietro as if it was the 18th hole at Pebble Beach. Another highlight: a 100-foot pass from Jagr to Shanahan that Shanny knocked out of mid-air with one hand, then knicked the cross-bar with a backhand. No goals between them, plenty of chemistry.
* The irony is I was just preparing to write how Brandon Dubinsky has been invisible on the fourth line, when what happens? Dubinsky scores, sending a shot caroming off an Islander skate and past DiPietro to tie the score. The same concerns apply — that if you put a kid like that on the fourth line, he’s going to be obscured. But if he can still provide the occasional spark as he did just now, maybe you can’t complain.