Game 17 belongs to Valiquette


Stephen Valiquette, meet the goal posts. Goal posts, this is Steve. “So says Zip”:

You remember I said yesterday I didn’t see a break for Henrik Lundqvist coming tonight, but I also said I couldn’t see Tom Renney wanting to start Valiquette in crucial division games at Jersey and Philly. So I was half-right, which truth be told, is better than I did in high school.

Meanwhile, a retrospective on Valiquette’s career with the Rangers begins and ends with what he did against St. Louis last March. I’d expect more of the same, which is to say he may well look shaky to start, and then settle in. Whether that’s enough for the Rangers remains to be seen. The good news is the Maple Leafs have slowed down a bit in recent weeks, and are mediocre at the Air Canada Center.

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  1. ON RECORD, DAVID C FULLY SUPPORTS VALLY AND THINKS WE CAN PULL IT OFF. it might be the few jack and cokes i had just now at my cousins bar mitsvah thing but then again i really respet him and think we should be good. plus the teams feeling good after stopping the Pitt Crosby’s so were awesome. GO TEAM

  2. Classy move by Renney to get Valiquette a game near his hometown. And considering the way the team is playing defense, and coming off a solid win against Pit, it’s as good a time as any to put him in net. As Sam mentioned, I rather have a fresh Hank for games against NJ & Philthymedelphia.
    The Hockey Hall of Fame is phenomenal, and anyone considering a trip there should by all means do it.
    Here’s to Mess! **clink**

  3. Eh, now were gonna see how good our D is. This is the time were NYR is gonna have to put up the goals. Raycroft should be in tonight, since he shut out Buffalo last night. We didnt have a problem scoring 6 goals on him last season, in that final game. So we shouldnt have a problem doing it again.

    Aves vs Tucker & Orr vs Belak Tonights the night !!!

  4. Fruity Cupcake on

    Yeah jeez, I’ve been so caught up in an O6 match-up, the Messier induction and a goalie “controversy,” that I forgot about the Avery/Tucker match-up tonight. Both guys coming off rests—no doubt from carrying those chips on their shoulders—both with Rushmore-sized egos, this is gonna be fun. Better get some popcorn, beer and a bell to ding after each round :-)

  5. a win tonight and a lose by the flyers and the rangers are back on top of the atlantic, though we have played 4 more games than the islanders, it is something to be positive about after the slow start

  6. Toskala is starting for the Leafs… I dunno what to say, obviously Hank can’t play every game, but at the same time, he should be playing against the leafs who basically try to score as many goals as possible and not really worry about defense. Oh wellllll… I’m also on the Vally bandwagon for the night.

  7. Tucker is back, so i hope Avery fights him, it’s only natural. McCabe is back to, that could be very good or very bad news.

  8. Avery and tucker are so much a like in there game that it is like to positive ions coming together.

  9. terrible call on Gomez’s penalty that led to a goal, the second goal was a soft goal. When avery came out of the penalty box tucker trip him which should have been a penalty but they both got five for fighting and the gomez penalty was past a joke. mccabe interferes with gomez by body checking him when gomez doesn’t have the puck and than when he is retrieving his stick he gets a facial from the Toronto goaltender and so gomez defends himself by pushing and Gomez gets a penalty which led to a goal and change the momentum of the game. These refs must be from canada.

  10. Obivously the Refs wanted to make sure the Leafs make a game of it. The call on Gomez was terrible!!!!!

    The Rangers need to turn on the speed and skate circles around the Leafs. They have a lot more speed than the Leafs do.

  11. I was hoping Vali would hold that shutout into the third so the haters would shut up, but he has looked decent. Bad turnover by Shanny led to the first goal, but it wasn’t so much that the Rangers couldn’t recover from it, then a little scrum and chaos for the second.

    Good to see Avery with the Gordie Howe hat trick complete in the early second period. I’m surprised he and Tucker didn’t fight a second time yet, especially since they were yapping so much in the boxes. I wonder what Staal was thinking when he was in there. Speaking of Marc, he’s been doing such a great job, now really getting in on the offense, just a matter of time until he scores.

    I’m not even sure I want our current fourth line broken up when everyone is healthy. They have been doing a great job, sort of not being noticed for any liabilities, but of course not scoring. Maybe put scorers on that line when we’re playing a high-scoring team like Toronto, but right now, I see Hossa being a healthy scratch, probably along with Prucha, who hasn’t been showing up much in the past few games (and I’m a big fan of his), and we know he can’t play defense like this team needs.

  12. Gomez penalty was definitely justified as he punched the goalie; I just think there should have been at least a matching one for Toronto. I can’t argue with not giving one to Tucker earlier because the refs probably know that he is just doign his thing to get Avery to fight. Maybe if Avery didn’t want to fight and Tucker did it again, there wuold be a call, but that was a pretty good fight. I would like to see Orr knock somone out one of these days, but I understand that he is trying to work on being a player first. I think Avery has two fights to ORr’s one on the year, which would be very surprising considering how much time Avery missed, but I definitely could be wrong on this.

  13. Sam – You’ve been saying recently that Straka is “weeks away,” but I read on the Hockey’s Future boards that he has a special cast that could get him to return in the coming week. Any knowledge of such cast and what it will do to his already limited shooting ability (due to his shoulder)?

  14. By the way, I think Bob Wischusen is a very good play-by-play announcer for whatever he does. He is much better than Crispino, more even-keeled. And he actually surprisingly seems to know the game of hockey, as he is primarily a Jets radio announcer, along with doing WNBA for MSG. I miss the show he did with Bill Daughtry on MSG, _Talf of Our Town_, but they obviously put it on at the wrong time, since it was up against the ESPN talk shows ang Mike and the Mad Dog on radio, plus it was before people older than me would get home from work. I actually called into that show on what turned out to be its second to last day. Speaking of which, where is Bill Daughtry nowadays with no SportsDesk or Yankees to do on MSG?

    Unfortunately, Wischusen sounds like he is saying Tuskala when he says Toskala.

  15. According to his info on Wikipedia, Valiquette is the tallest goaltender, at 6′ 6″, to ever play in the NHL, or at least he was at his debut. I would imagine that he still is, however, as I can’t think of anybody taller.

  16. Well that was a hell of a play by Hossa at the end of regulation, but might we see another 3-2 shootout win by Vali? Less than 15 minutes will tell.

  17. what beautiful beautiful hands on marcel hossa!!!

    perhaps the leafs fans spoke to soon of the rangers suckage.

    great game by the big valley

  18. Cheers to Vali!!! Good game over all. Some bad calls, bad plays here and there but it is a win. Nice one.

  19. Deja – I’m glad you too picked up on that. I thought I heard “Rangers suck” during the third period, but I wasn’t sure.

    Maybe we need to keep Hossa on the roster just for his shootout skills. It’s too bad he wasn’t given the penalty shot he deserved at the end of regulation, so we could have denied the Leafs the point they received. It would probably be a new record, too, since I don’t think a game-winning goal, or any goal, has been scored with no time left in regulation, or any period, for that matter.

  20. yeah i think they started doing it with like 3 or 4 minutes left in regulation.

    i think if you are going to do that you better make damn sure your team is going to win cause then you just look like a bunch of maple asses

  21. Yes it was a nice win, I’m glad to see our team dictating the play for most of the games this season.


    1) The 5 on 3 against Pittsburgh should have put the game away and it didn’t

    2) The 4 on 3 in OT for a full two minutes should have won the game and it didn’t

    These things will come back to hurt us if we don’t get a power play formula that works. But I guess I can’t have it both ways, one of the best pk’s on the league and lowest goals against in the league.

    Isles won again. I can’t stand the Isles almost as much as I can’t stand Hillary Clinton.

  22. Shanny on the spot for a goal (all credit to Avery) and some kind of assist (again, great hands by Avery) but outside of those two plays, Shanny was downright awful. He is on the PK, but not once did he race to a loose puck. You can see it. On the PP, he is very nervous with the puck. He is panicking with his passes, and he is doing a poor job receiving the passes as well. You can see it. For 6 years, I traveled to Detroit for the Holidays, and always went to the Joe for game. Shanny was my favorite player. He was tough. He used his body. And he could fight and beat the daylights out of most (if not all) in the league. He was great. He comes to NY and he was still great, playing with confidence, strength and bravado that were his hallmark. Until Knuble. He is not the same. He is having some serious problems out there. These symptoms may have been masked by his 2 points last night, but the problem is still there. And it is a Ranger problem considering the inflated salary cap hit the Rangers are gonna take next year. I would be very concerned.

  23. czechthemout!!!!! on

    the team blew a two goal lead,nothing to be happy about that.Avery and the king are the two most vital players on the team.

  24. Greeeeat game !!! I love it how the refs tried to screw us out of the game and nearly did a good job of it. The calls that went in our favor were all obvious calls that they had no choice but to call. But half the ones that the Leafs got were softies and we barely got softies. Forget the Gomer penalty, and that idiot Toskala putting his hand on his head, where was the interference call, Gomer got hit, but i never seen him play the puck, someone tell me if im wrong, but from what it looked like, he didnt tough the puck. Then Jags, gets hooked and held, 20 more hooks later they finally call a penalty, that coulda been a 5 on 3. The point being, these refs continue to screw NYR, and this team is doing everything they can to not let it affect them, someone needs to step up and say something, Shanny did it last year, someone needs to do it again. Cause this game could have beeen an easy one, but the refs killed our energy. Never the less, great job by Vally, he realy did look phenominal, more so then i would hae imagined, that kick save were he gave up the puck, wow, that should have been game over right there, and he made 2 great saves among many others. He’s a great guy, and him and Hank are buddies from what i know. Thats the difference between Monty and Vally, would Monty really understand he’s the backup, Vally does, and he doesnt care.

    And all the Hoss haters. Fugg off. He drew 2 penalties for this team, and his teamates couldnt put the Leafs away so he did it himself.

    Hoss is NOT his bro, but he is worth having, and i want him on the team, and i want him back next year as well. I said it last year, Hoss is our trump card in the shootout, and now that Nyls is gone, he is probably our best. Go NYR

    The next 3 games are huge.

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