All told, a pretty good year for the kid, fromÃ‚Â covering theÃ‚Â ”2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=USOPEN, to this chance to re-immerse myself in the greatest game in the world. I know, I’m a journalist, I’m supposed to be impartial. But seeing how hockey has always been a significant part of my life, it’s still pretty cool to be around it on a daily basis.
AndÃ‚Â then there’s this from two days ago, when I took my 18-month old son to a nearby ice rink to watch my twin niece’s skate, and he wanted only to walk on the ice with me holding his hand. Right before the Zamboni came on, we plodded our way out, and he was ecstatic negotiating the ice below his feet. Eventually I told him we had to get off, and he resisted. When I picked him, he started to cry.Ã‚Â Needless to say,Ã‚Â inside, I was beaming.Ã‚Â
Ã‚Â Anyway, onto the Rangers. As I alluded to last night, there are a number of reasons to discount the signifiance of “last night’s win for the Rangers”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061231/SPORTS01/612310364/1046/SPORTS, beginning and ending with the quality of their opponent. But you still get the senseÃ‚Â that it can spur them to something better, and we might have a better gauge of that Tuesday in New Jersey.
Ã‚Â Are the Rangers a flawed team? No question. But are they as bad as they were during the seven-game losing streak? No way. And last night at least provided a foundation to build on, from the play of Henrik Lundqvist, to two goals from the struggling Petr Prucha; to the team’s willingness to finally stand up for one another.
And it’s not just about fighting. As even Brendan Shanahan saidÃ‚Â after hisÃ‚Â tussle with Donald Brashear, that part of the game simply doesn’t play the prominent role that it once did. But what it showed is the Rangers might be finally melding into a cohesive unit. And for them to have any hopes of making it past the first week of April, they desperately need to be that.
Ã‚Â In theÃ‚Â meantime, theÃ‚Â Rangers areÃ‚Â off today, and in a rare gift from Tom Renney, they aren’t on the ice tomorrow until 2 p.m. I’llÃ‚Â be sure to check in around then,Ã‚Â
Here’sÃ‚Â wishingÃ‚Â you all a Happy New Year. Be safe. Or as they say in hockey, keep your head up….