(UPDATE 7:48 p.m.) OK, so I said I hadn’t covered a game yet this season in person. Now that I’ve seen 20 minutes, I offer something you know already: This offense is just not the same.
I swear the scoreboard says 13-5 Rangers in SOG, but how many were legit scoring chances? Prucha’s two tries on the doorstep, Dubinsky’s shot off the sweet pass from Callahan, and Shanny’s shot off the bar. Not much else there, particularly on the PP, which took the collar in the first period (o for 3).This team just doesn’t apply the same pressure it did in March and April.
The other item of note from the first period were Staal’s two horrendous turnovers. Doesn’t seem like much now, but either could’ve easily led to a goal.
More later…provided my fingers thaw. It is freezing in the Garden tonight.
(UPDATE: 8:20 p.m.) Lindsay Lohan in the house. Question is: Who’s she watching? The odds for Avery are currently opening at 2-5.
Props to Renney-gade for calling the Jagr goal. The big guy was wide open on the doorstep, although I don’t know if Whitney was on the ice or not. The excitement was quickly diminished at the Garden by a nice goal created by Cullen.
That was a vicious open-ice hit by Orr on Cullen, who I thought was out of it for a bit. He was motionless and – as you can see on TV – he couldn’t protect himself. His face hit the ice and left blood splattered below his face.
We were just talking here in the press box and the consensus is that it shouldn’t have been interference on Orr. Yeah it was ugly, but Cullen had the puck, plain and simple. Maybe elbowing, but not interference.
*(UPDATE 10:20 p.m.)* Just got back from downstairs so I’ll give a quick synopsis.
No one on the Rangers seemed to think it should’ve been a penalty, at least not interference. Shanahan said he went into the dressing room and watched the replay on TV. He didn’t think Orr had any malice, and that interference was the wrong call.
Interestingly, Shanahan said he spoke to an official and was under the impression there was no penalty. He left the discussion and minutes later it was a major. Odd.
Renney didn’t think it was an interference either. He also felt Avery was held during the final fracas and that Andrew Ladd wasn’t, leading Avery to feel the need to defend himself. Is that true? Hmmm. Avery looked pretty determined to me…
We didn’t see either Jagr or Orr or Avery afterward. Shanahan said Orr had three cuts on his face from the face-to-face collision with Cullen. A Carolina player told me Cullen was in good spirits after the game and that he seemed to be fine.
The consensus was that this was a big game for Jagr. All across the ice, the Rangers said, players were giving extra effort. But in Jagr’s first multi-goal game of the season they saw a good sign for the future.
“As he goes,” Renney said, “so go we.”