I’m reluctant to say hockey is in the air seeing how it’s about 90 degrees outside, but at least in the bowels of the Garden, where players have returned to the familiar sounds of preparing their sticks in the hallway, the sense of anticipation is palpable.
As you might expect, the Garden has an elaborate video presentation planned for pre-game, and I caught a little bit just now. Other than the three-minute montage of Marek Malik icings (which I thought was a bit over the top) everything else looks good.
Meanwhile, some notes:
Update, 7:04: Hossa is scratched. Damn you, Tom Renney!
Update, first intermission: A Brian Leetch appearance, an early Michal Rozsival, and then….actually a pretty mediocre first period. I suppose you’re allowed some latitude for the first game, especially when you’re still winning. But it was sloppy nonetheless.
By the way, the winner of the goal pool was Dubi Silverstein, editor and publisher of “Blueshirt Bulletin”:http://ordinaryleastsquare.typepad.com/blueshirtbulletin/. Word is he is planning on moving to his own private island with his winnings. I don’t have the heart to break it to him that it’s only $20.
Update, second intermission: Florida leads 2-1 and yes, the Rangers have already been booed. The only highlight was the antics of former SNL star Jimmy Fallon, who, when shown on the scoreboard, sheepishly held up a picture of MSG CEO Jim Dolan. Needless to say, the camera didn’t stay on him long.
Update, post-game: Just like you planned it: Score early, completely fall apart, get booed by your own fans, then have Marek Malik (and oh yeah, Chris Drury) bail you out and go on to win with ease. Just a typical opener.
Meanwhile, you have to admire Drury, who speaks in such a hushed tone you’d think he had just won a game of rock, paper, scissors instead of scoring the game-winner in his Rangers debut at MSG. His explanation: “Right place at the right time. And I’m out there with two of the best players in the league right now.”
OK, so that explains it. Here I was thinking he was pretty good, too.
As for Malik, what else is there to say? Was he feeling the magic of Brian Leetch? Had he finally had enough of the booing and just flipped a switch we never knew he had?
“I ask him what’s going on and he said, ‘I have to do it all by myself,'” Jagr cracked.
So there you have it, Marek Malik, Norris Trophy candidate. Cast your votes now..