As a sportswriter who works on deadline, you find yourself writing thousands of words that never see the light of day because of events turning in unexpected directions. That was tonight, when the bulk of a 700-word story was suddenly swept away over the course of a frenetic third period.
Long story short: I, like pretty much everyone else, was prepared to hammer the Rangers for such a listless effort over the first two periods. Granted, there was still plenty to find fault with. But the tenor of the story changed by virtue of how the game ended.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“You learn something from every loss, and this is something we have to keep in the back of our minds that we can come back when weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re in that situation,Ã¢â‚¬? said forward Jed Ortmeyer. “But we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to be in that situation to begin with, either.Ã¢â‚¬?
Some more thoughts:
Much of what the Rangers mustered at the end could be attributed to the different line combinations that included Michael Nylander between Brendan Shanahan and Marcel Hossa, and Marty Straka between Jaromir Jagr and Petr Prucha. Also, in what almost everyone thinks should be his role anyway, Matt Cullen centered a third line of him, Adam Hall, and Ryan Hollweg.
All of those combinations revealed some semblance of chemistry, but it remains to be seen whether any of them will be together beyond tonight.
Lots of frustration with the missed delay of game penalty that would have been assessed to Chris Phillips for firing a puck over the glass from the defensive zone with 2:55 remaining. “We saw the play develop and where he shot it from,Ã¢â‚¬? Shanahan said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The replay showed that it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really a close call. They made a mistake. They know it.Ã¢â‚¬?
Unpopular opinion of the night: say what you want, but if you don’t think Marcel Hossa has been effective of late, then you’re watching a different game. Without fault? Hardly. But the forward’s gone from invisible earlier in the season to one of the few Rangers who can generate offense completely on his own. And yes, based on the way he played in the third period, he deserved to be one of the six players on the ice to end the game.
Where have you gone, Tommy Pock? Wherever you are, expect to be in the lineup on Saturday.
That’s all for me. More tomorrow….