A few thoughts at the end of a long day:
Tom Renney hardly sounded optimistic when talking about Martin Straka’s availability for Monday against the Islanders. I take “we’ll see” to mean “no way,” but maybe we’ll be surprised.
In trying to capture everything that happened today, I failed to mention what may have been the most impressive sequence of all — Jaromir Jagr’s backcheck during the 4-on-4 that likely kept the Rangers’ hopes of two points alive. It turns out that was the reason Jagr went third in the shooutout as opposed to second: he needed more time to rest.
The question was posed to me about Marek Malik’s game today, as if I suddenly think No. 8 is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. In fact, even fellow members of the media in my presence have taken to referring to the defenseman as “your boy Malik,” because of what I wrote the other day. I stand by my argument that Malik doesn’t deserve the excessive booing he receives. That said, this wasn’t exactly a “Win over your detractors” performance by the big guy. Let’s be clear: Malik is a flawed defenseman, as we saw on the first two goals today. My point, and I still believe it, is that he shouldn’t necessarily be singled out when there’s plenty of blame to go around. Besides, if Michael Nylander buried that pass early in the second period, we’d all be talking about Malik as if he was the second coming of Brian Leetch.
OK, maybe not. But it’d be a start…