I told you the lines I had before were likely to be altered. More updates as the game goes on…
Update, 3:08, first period: Fireworks early. After Islanders defensemman Andy Sutton levels Ryan Callahan in the opening shift, Colton Orr challenges Sutton when he comes out of the box. Seconds later, Jason Strudwick challenges Kip Brennan. Then Ryan Hollweg has a minor scrap with…you guessed it, Chris Simon.
Update, 5:52 first period: It’s official: The new jerseys are awful. As reader Mark described them to me, they look like an unbuttoned onesie.
Update, 11:44 first period: Some guy just proposed to his girlfriend on the Jumbotron. And here’s the kicker: The girl said yes! Dude, it’s bad enough that you proposed to your girlfriend at Nassau Coliseum, but can’t you wait until the regular season?
Update, first intermission: We’re a long way from Game 5 in Buffalo. Let’s just say the hockey thus far is a few notches below sloppy. Of course, I’m not sure I could concentrate after seeing that guy’s marriage proposal, either.
Update, 3:36 second period: Another Hollweg-Simon run-in, this time with Orr jumping in. The Islanders get a power play out of the deal. The result is the first goal of the game, with Ruslan Fedotenko backhanding a rebound past Al Montoya.
Update, 4:20 second period: Raise your hand if you had Marcel Hossa, Thomas Pock and Brandon Dubinsky on your list of Rangers most likely to fight tonight. I’m pretty sure that leaves Bruce the Masseuse as the only guy left on the Rangers who has not had a scrap tonight. And remember, it’s still early.
Update, 6:13 second period: Keep your eye on this Drury guy. He’s pretty good. On a 5-on-3, he beats fellow BU alum Rick DiPietro high glove side to tie the game at 1-1.
Update, 12:11 second period:Things have officially reached Utter Bizarro proportions, and I’m not even sure where to start. But the rub of it is Al Montoya is out and the Miika Wiikman Era is offically upon us. And the Rangers lead 2-1 on a go-ahead goal by….Ryan Hollweg?
Update, second intermission: A runaway Rangers win is now a one-goal game. This is important only because I already sent in my story and I said the Rangers won. Welcome to the preseason. Meanwhile, you’d love to blame Miika Wiikman, but there wasn’t much he could do. By the way, how many times will I need to look at the name Miika Wiikman and not be convinced I’m misspelling it?
Update, 4:00 third period: There have been roughly seven seconds of this game played at even strength. The funny part about it is Sean Avery is sitting directly behind me in the press box so I’m privy to his running commentary on the officiating. Needless to say, very little of it is printable in a family blog.
Update, 9:00 third period: Stop the presses. Josef Vasicek ties it up at 4-4. I’m going to go ahead and say the Rangers backup goaltender this year will NOT be Miika Wiikman.
Update, end of regulation: It’s becoming clear that if the Rangers want to keep Marc Staal and Brandon Dubinsky up this year, they have to be able to live with each making the occasional goof. Both are tremendous players that I think should be on the NHL roster. But both are capable of coughing the puck up at inopportune times. This in contrast to a seasoned veteran like Marek Malik….OK, bad example.
Meanwhile, this interminable game goes on. We’re headed to overtime. Please. Someone. Make it stop.
Update, 3:02 OT: Game over. Islanders win on a game-winner by Mike Comrie.
Update, postgame: The final word from the Rangers? No big deal. Not Al Montoya’s fight with Rick DiPietro. Not even Ryan Hollweg’s three separate run-ins with Chris Simon.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Basically it came down to I really didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a choice,Ã¢â‚¬? Montoya said of his bizarre second period fight. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You have to stick up for your teammates. I definitely wanted to be in net and showcase my talent, but obviously he was trying to get something going. I felt like my teammates would have done the same for me.Ã¢â‚¬?
Meanwhile, a strange scene in the hallway after the game, with the Islanders all venturing over to the Rangers side, for no other reason than they were ignoring the curtain separating the two teams. At one point Comrie walked by with girlfriend Hillary Duff, who is roughly 3 feet tall.
That’s it for me. Until tomorrow.