On second thought


I already booked a flight and a hotel for Game 5 Friday night. Dare I ask if I’m even going to need it?

OK, maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, but the psychological factor alone of that late goal is huge. I am very interested to see what happens on Tuesday. In fact, I’m very interested, period. I don’t know how many times I turned to a colleague and said how good a game this was today, although I’m fairly certain I was somewhat annoying in that regard. But what can I tell you, I’m new at this.

Among the post-game tidbits:

  • This probably didn’t come across on TV, but it may have been the most compelling part of the game: at one point during a break late in the third period, Sean Avery was standing at the face-off circle and a bunch of Atlanta fans were taunting him from behind the glass. One guy chugged a beer, then ran down to the glass and started banging on it. Several people flipped Avery the bird.

    This all would have probably been only a small note if not for the fact that after the ensuing face-off, Avery and Brendan Shanahan connected on the game-winning goal.

    “I was just counting to see how many people could give me the finger all at once. I stopped counting at 20,” Avery said when I asked him about it. “If anything that sort of stuff gets me pumped up more than anything. I was having fun with it. I said to (Thrashers center Eric) Belanger, who I played with for five years, ‘This is what we’ve been waiting for.’ It’s fun. This is what we’ve got to do.â€?

  • Looking for a reason this game had less offense than Game 1? Look no further than the Hawks game played at Philips Arena last night, which chewed up the ice.

    “The puck wasn’t sitting still,” Matt Cullen said. “There wasn’t a lot of completed passes.”

  • Following up on the stat I mentioned earlier: The Thrashers outhit the Rangers 22-10, but they also had 12 giveaways while the Rangers — at least according to the official score sheet — had 0. As a number of players said when I asked about it, the last six weeks have taught them how to withstand hits without coughing up the puck. They also said they’re unwillingess at times to retaliate is part of their game plan since it might lure the Thrashers into stupid penalties.

    “I think everyone knows that’s the way it’s got to be,� said Avery, who was run at by Kovalchuk but did not respond. “You’ve got to take it for the team. The team’s always first, even more so than in the regular season. It’s tough at times, but I think the team that does that more usually succeeds.�

  • As if lording over us schlubs who are likely stuck in Atlanta for another day, Tom Renney paraded through the dressing room after the game and yelled to his players, “Let’s beat this storm boys! Let’s go!”

    Oh, to have my own private plane. I’ll be sure to check in tomorrow during my 15-hour delay at the airport.

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    1. nylanderforpresident on


      Thanks for doing such a great job this season.

      I’m wondering if you could tell us more about the mood of the team following the win.

      Also, is there any chance we’ll get to see Hollweg do his thing this series?


    2. Fruity Cupcake on

      Sam, maybe the press corps ought to petition Dolan for use of the Knicks’ jet. After all, they’re not going anywhere :-)

      Do reporters go through rookie hazing? Have you bought steak and asparagus for the same men who mock you?

      Seriously, holy COW! I spent the second period monitoring the boards to Henrik’s right, hoping no weird bounces would victimize HIM. What a game, thanks for all your insight. And have a safe trip home. Honestly, have Dellapina talk to Dolan….

    3. brAvery beyond the call on

      Avery is giving the Thrasher fans the double-bird. he has them down 2 games to zip.

    4. Hey brAvery beyond the call,

      Just so you know the way you used “brAvery” is awesome!

    5. note to out-of-towners – re the beer chugging – That’s Rabid Fan – it’s part of the show. That’s the 44th time he’s done that this year. It’s scheduled at the last TV break of the 3rd period.

      If he thought they were doing it for him, that’s pretty funny.

    6. Sam,

      I got a bad feeling about the team traveling back home in bad weather. I’m glad they will beat the storm. I hope you can get back before it gets really bad.

      If the storm is tracking North of NYC, you might want to change your flight to DC, BWI or Philly and take Amtrak the rest of the way.

      Thanks for the great reports and get home safely.

    7. Why did Renny not put ORR out there with 3 second left? Hartly has pulled crap before and Renny being his usual pacifist ghandi routine? Wonder where we would be without Jimmy Dolan going ballistic after that Philly game

    8. GO NYR- Your right, He is not going to be a target for us, especially the money He wants. He wants 5 million for putting his behind in the goaltender’s face….No thanks.
      Rafalski,Briere,Drury, or Gomez, should be targets, but that is about it, Ryan Smyth does not make sense. After seeing Smyth I don’t think He is that good.

      Good luck Sam, get home safe, good to see you stepped your game up in the playoffs as well. lol

    9. True BLueClue, but we have good D-men in our system snd Souray is going to want more money than He deserves, like Chara.

    10. True..All this assuming we get these guys at a decent price.
      Maybe a good post season here for us would entice some of these guys to sign, possibly for a few dollars less.

      But all in all, i’m not so crazy about Chara. Hasn’t looked as sharp this year and is slow to the puck.

      We still need that 1 great defenseman and that should be addressed next season. Rafalski or Souray would do fine-

    11. First off, this series. I think that late goal by Shanny was demoralizing. Atlanta now has to win 2 of 3 at MSG against The King. Then again, teams have come back from 2-0 before, so the Rangers can’t get too confident just yet.

      The offseason: I don’t see the Rangers going after any big names like Smyth, Souray, etc. because they have their own FAs to take care of. Shanny and Nylander are unrestricted, and Henrik, Avery, Prucha, and Hossa are restricted. All 6 will most certainly get pay raises. And I’m not even mentioning all of their free agents.

      C’mon fans, for once, we don’t need to talk about next year in April. Lets do that in June after we win 14 more :)

    12. Screw it…we shouldn’t have any targets. We have a pretty good team as is. Leave things alone and don’t screw with good chemestry. Make sure Avery and Shanny get resigned. I think Weeks likes it here and will resign for less $$$. Maybe ONE upgrade on the blueline to replace Malik, don’t resign Rachunek, we have lots of depth with Stall, Sanguinetti, Liffiton and Baranka. If guys play to their strengths and expectations we have 4 strong lines, why mess with it?

    13. Ryan Callahands on

      I am trying to understand why Hollweg isn’t getting in the line-up. There were times during the first two games that I was dying for a hit that only he could provide. Maybe Renney likes having Orr in case of a cheap shot. Love Orr, but he isn’t showing enough speed.


    14. Hmmm. All road teams won today, all by one goal, all in regulation.

      Regarding the Devils: Mark my words, Brodeur is not what he was. I picked the Lightning in 5, and I’m sticking with it.

    15. vogs
      April 15th, 2007 at 12:09 am
      I love these half-drunk, third row, sheet-of-glass-in-front-of-me fans in Atlanta… take the glass away and you got a half-drunk fan who’s mouth will stay shut and his hands in his pockets so not to give any of the players on the other team the “bird�.

      These fans have no idea who they’re messing with, not one clue about how tough these SOB’s are who play in the NHL. These $100 a seat pansies who would be running for their lives if one of these guys went ino the stands.

    16. Atlanta has one good push left in its team.
      If the Rangers can hold off or even out play them thru that first push of emotion and energy-the series will be a short one.

    17. DanTheRangerFan on

      Im going to be sick…stop with the next year talk!!! WHAT ABOUT THIS YEAR. Are we not in the playoffs? why not talk about now? Us Ranger fans on here start complaing and crying when we are not playing well or are not in contention for the playofs. Well here you go we are in// and up 2-0 on the Alanta Thrashers, and all you can talk about is next year…God damn cut my throat and shove crap in my ears.Because that would be better then hearing about Next Year. Lets Go Rangers 07!!!

    18. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

      I agree with DAN and everyone else

      If your talking about next year then it means you have no faith that NYR can go all the way to the top and win it all

      If thats the case…Then be a devil fan..or a sabre fan..Cause NYR is not your team.

      I mean we got 2 in a row..Be happy..were not what we were last year..were stronger…mentally tough…this team can be a stanley cup winning team…

      But nonetheless i will throw my 2 cents in here…I dont want Souray…We have D men in our system that we want…I like the guys now except malik…I prefer Rozie..Giardi..Racku..Pock..Tyuts..and Mara…enough said…or until we can get Staal..or another d man up..then i say dump racku..but who cares…worry about that after the playoffs are over….

      Jeez…LETS GO NYR ah

    19. HOW THE HELL CAN RENNEY CALL A TIMEOUT WITH 29 SECONDS LEFT????????? Atlanta had already used their timeout and kovalchuk and kozlov were both on the ice when the penalty was called. Renney did it to rest malik and rosival, because he has no faith in anyone else. That was awful.

      Also with 3 second left and the thrashers running people left and right, how is orr not on the ice. Another horrible blunder by terrible tom.

      I was checking the box score on espn.com and it said nylander was 1 and 17 on draws. Wow that is pretty terrible and the funny thing is he is usually ok on draws.

      And the best part is with all this goin on…. we are still goin home up 2-0

    20. Sam you is one of the few who had some perspective on Malik this season. Just thought id pass something along.

      The expert for Swedish TV who doesn’t see Malik all that much called him a monster several times tonight, said that Mara should take a few pages out of Maliks book ect. Especially on the PK.

      His first star of the game would have gone to Marek.

      Malik had a great game tonight no doubt.

      I am not saying that Malik is a great D, he really struggled early in the season and for a few weeks right before the end. Though, when he plays like he did tonight he contributes to this team, no doubt. He deserves allot of credit! He should be a story tomorrow, its SICK if MSG booes him in the next game.

    21. onecupin67years on

      its the first time since the 90’s that my palms were getting a bit sweaty..Good job boys…Lets fire renney and sather now.

    22. sam

      “The Thrashers outhit the Rangers 22-10, but they also had 12 giveaways while the Rangers—at least according to the official score sheet—had 0.”

      thats a great stat and imo should shutup all talks about whether or not the thrasher’s physical play is too much for the rangers

    23. zero giveaways is b.s. Jagr had at least three careless, unpressured that I saw. The hits don’t seem to be affecting the Rangers’ concentration, but if it continues it will take a toll via an injury. Hollweg’s gotta be inserted just to get Thrashers thinking about keeping their heads up. If the biased refs don’t plant their radar on him and look to give him penalties, he alone will probably answer most of the Atl. hitting.

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