Sorry I didn’t give you a final. I was in a rush to finish my epic on Henrik Lundqvist, the ‘07 version.
I was only briefly in the dressing room, but I heard the comments of Lundqvist, Brendan Shanahan and Bobby Holik, who had many of the same things to say as last night (even though Atlanta played much better).
No one seemed like they wanted to hear too much about the fact that Kovalchuk and Hossa finished the series with just one goal Ã¢â‚¬â€ that takes away from team, team, team Ã¢â‚¬â€ but it’s definitely worth noting. Atlanta was never going to win this series with its two starts doing so little.
As Sam would say, more later…
Sweep is on. Time for Thrashers to call Augusta National.
Jaromir Jagr just scored his 69th career playoff goal, moving him past the great Gordie Howe on the all-time list.
It came off another mistake by Marian Hossa, and Jagr cashed it.
Rangers killed the penalty, using six different forwards. I think Cullen and Ortmeyer were even out there twice.
About 10 minutes to go…
Terrible power play by the Rangers, who looked like they were playing at even strength. Now Tyutin is in the box for interference and it’s the Rangers who need to sustain the opposing team’s power play.
I think you need to get Ortmeyer and Betts involved here just to get some fresher legs out there.
Penalty on Exelby, who just dumped Shanny in the goal after Shanny missed a fairly easy attempt off an Avery rebound.
The Rangers now have a 5 on 3 advantage for 54 seconds. It could be time for the Thrashers to set their Friday tee times.
Obviously that went in. Tough call for the refs at regular speed, but the replay shows the puck hit the ice behind the goal line.
For anyone not watching, the shot in question is a slapper from the top by Matt Cullen. The puck hit off the bar and bounced down and out and the teams kept playing until the next whistle.
Long delay as they discussed it up in Toronto – longer than it needed to be perhaps – but they got the call right.
Sam said something to me earlier tonight when we were discussing the virtues of Ryan Callahan that I think is appropriate – and it’s a point many of you mention here on a daily basis.
In hockey, you just cannot substitute for a scoring touch. And though he may be an old man, Brendan Shanahan can still bury the puck, as he did just now to knot the score at 2 apiece.
Heck, emboldened, he even just almost mixed it up after the second period ended.
The Rangers have 1:02 left on their current power play. A go-ahead goal here would be next to impossible for the Thrashers to overcome considering the way they’ve backed down all series.
You have to give Dupuis credit on the feed to DeVries for Atlanta’s second goal, but the officiating looks a little spotty so far.
I’m sure some of you were spared from throwing your TVs out the window by the penalty called on Sutton, who slid into Prucha’s legs like they were second base.
The Rangers are down one now…trailing, I believe, for the first time all series. Let’s see how they respond.
Bad giveaway by Rosy (steal by Dupuis) leads to a penalty by Petr Prucha, who – I hate to say it for fear of inciting a riot here on cyberspace – has been awfully quiet the last two nights.
Rangers don’t want to fall behind here. They don’t look very sharp.
For better or worse, this really has become Renney’s team. The players appear to have totally adopted his more passive, more deliberate, more thoughtful personality. They do not respond when the refs don’t call penalties against Atlanta by hitting back at the guy who decked them. There’s been lots of examples of that tonight…Cullen and Callahan before, Shanahan just now.
I just paid a visit to a couple friends in Section 116, who alerted me to the fact that Dan Girardi’s girlfriend and Henrik Lundqvist’s fiancee were seated nearby. I figured these are the things Ã¢â‚¬â€ in addition to a little hockey Ã¢â‚¬â€ that you people want to know.
So it’s tied after one here at the Garden, in what has been an OK game so far. You can tell the crowd is waiting, but it hasn’t had a ton to cheer for so far…especially when you compare it to last night.
For whatever reason, Bob Hartley hasn’t made a point of getting Holik on the ice with Jagr and Nylander, which is just a questionable decision. Jagr admitted to the Post last night that it makes it easier on him with Holik on the bench, yet Hartley didn’t match them often…even at point when he had the opportunity to. (Not that you guys and girls should complain about it of course…)
In a back to back scenario, you have to think the Rangers could be better served having a fresh pair of legs on the ice. But at the same time I understand the philosophy of going with what got you here. That was a tough call for Renney, but it appears the Rangers legs are a bit tired.
OK, more later….
Lundqvist may’ve just plucked a Marian Hossa goal out of the sky. Great save.
Also of note tonight is that Atlanta appears interested in competing, rather than mixing it up. That’s a good sign for the Thrashers, but also a good sign for the Rangers, who don’t need to play a rough game ahead 3-0 in the series.
Sure enough, Rangers tie it on a hard one-timer by Rosy. I think the puck deflected off an Atlanta stick but I couldn’t quite tell.
Malik took an interference penalty like five seconds after the goal, so Atlanta is on a PP.
So after 66:38, Atlanta finally breaks through at the Garden on a Tkachuk goal. Not easy to swallow for Ranger fans, but that was a sweet feed from Kovalchuk, who skated to the goal line and fed a driving Tkachuk in front of the net.
Rangers just drew a penalty, and it looks like Nylander-Jagr-Prucha with Straka and Rosy. We’ll see if they can tie it.
Standing O for Jagr and co., who simply dominant Atlanta every time they take the ice.
I’m back with you all game long. First thought: Renney opted to start the Straka line, no doubt countering Atlanta’s likely decision to go with Holik on the first shift.
Yes, it may only work for a shift, but it’s still a good move…