A good opening period for the Rangers, although maybe not for Aaron Ward and Jaromir Jagr, both of whom came within inches of injuries to vital organs and yet who both stayed in the game. I know how they feel. I stubbed my toe on the way to the bathroom last night, but you don’t hear me complaining.
A few quick hits:
It’s not much of a mystery when it comes to a successful power play: motion creates confusion, confusion leads to quality shots. And look what happens when you actually shoot the puck, Martin Straka. On the downside, there were at least seven or eight passes Straka wishes he could have made there, but didn’t.
I’m not trying to pick on Marek Malik because he’s actually been decent so far tonight. But it’s now reached a point where the defenseman makes even routine plays and you’re suddenly impressed. “Wow, a breakout pass!” “The Panthers didn’t score!” “He tied his own skates!” OK, now I’m just being a wiseacre.
Granted, 1-0 isn’t bad, but it could have been a lot better for the Rangers. But that’s what you get when you face a crafty veteran like Ed Belfour, who played his best period since the 1975 playoffs. What, he’s not that old? I guess it just seems that way…