Perhaps the most poignant scene of the season came in the Rangers’ dressing room post-game tonight, when Brendan Shanahan walked in after doing an MSG interview, and he was met with a string of hugs and hand shakes from players and coaches.
There were Perry Pearn and Mike Pelino both embracing Shanahan and saying, “Thank you.” There was Colton Orr seating himself down next to the veteran’s locker, hugging Shanahan and whispering in his ear.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â
“You see an Hall ofÃ‚Â Famer step up and protect one of our leaders andÃ‚Â it shows how big of a leader heÃ‚Â is. It makes you play evenÃ‚Â harder when you see a guy like that send a message,” Darius Kasparaitis said. “It makes us really proud toÃ‚Â be his teammate.”
It’s certainly premature to call Shanahan’s fight with Donald Brashear a turning point in the season. ButÃ‚Â it certainly has the potential to be just that.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I thought this was just a game when our team needed a little extra in different areas and I think the opportunity presented itself with some of the things he did to Jaromir throughout the game,Ã¢â‚¬? Shanahan said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know if it means an awful lot. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t put too much thought into it.Ã¢â‚¬?Ã‚Â
Meanwhile,Ã‚Â a few other quick hits on the night the Rangers returned from the world of the clueless:
<li>What did AaronÃ‚Â Ward say to Brashear to elicit the punch from the Capitals forward? “Just a question,” Ward said. “It was grammatically correct.” I wish we could get more out of the defenseman than that. But seeing how it had to do with Brashear dusting off his hands after the fight with Shanahan, I’m assuming it was something along the lines of, “What are you, a bleepin’ idiot?”
<li>And speaking of bleeps, Brashear apparently took exception to questions from Washington reporters about what happened, and told them to….well, I’m sure you can guess the rest.
<li>No, Washington isn’t very good to begin with. And yes, the CapitalsÃ‚Â were playing their fourth game in fiveÃ‚Â nights. But look at records of the teams the Rangers had lost to in that seven game losing streak — specifically in Florida — and the Rangers should be happy to have anything that goes down as a win.
<li>Henrik Lundqvist said his right ankle was tender after being run by Alexander Ovechkin in the third period, but otherwise saidÃ‚Â he was fine.
OK, that’s all for now. I’m sure there’ll be tomorrow, but just in case, Happy New Year.