As a reporter, I don’t have a vested interest one way or another in “whether Sandis Ozolinsh succeeds in his second go-round with the Rangers”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061021/SPORTS01/610210363/1034/SPORTS. From a purely cynical perspective, you might say some of his missteps last year made for a better story.
But personally, I’m a sucker for seeing people dig themselves out of precarious spots, and I’d like to see Ozolinsh win over the same fans who were booing him at length last season.
At separate points yesterday, the question was posed to both Ozolinsh and Rangers coach Tom Renney if they ever thought Ozolinsh would be unable to play in New York. In Ozolinsh’s case, he said he wasn’t sure if he could play anywhere again. Then he decided he couldn’t afford to feel sorry for himself any longer.
Who knows? Maybe tonight is just a continuation of where Ozolinsh left off last season. Given that he’s only four months removed from reconstructives surgery it’s not out of the question. Or maybe Ozolinsh surprises some people this time, both on the ice and off.
That wouldn’t be such a bad story, either.
The lines that Renney experimented with yesterday were intact today at the morning skate. Apparently the coach doesn’t want to risk dropping another game, because he’s opting for Henrik Lundqvist in net instead of a potentially shaky Kevin Weekes.