Postgame: “Coolest kid in school” scores a winner


Not a terrible way to spend a Sunday night, huh? All you guys and girls who jumped down my throat about NHL vs. NFL were rewarded for your faith in the game tonight. That was some night. (Not that I told you to forgo hockey for a day, but whatever.)

Here’s a few things from the locker room:

— Renney wasn’t happy with the way the game had unfolded. Because of the penalties and because he matched Betts and co. with Kovalev’s line, the top skill guys hadn’t logged much ice time. He decided to change it late, rolling two lines for most of the third period. “They said, ‘OK, coach is putting this directly on our shoulders.’ They love that,” he said.

— *Chris Drury* said this felt like a playoff game right from the anthems. “It kind of felt like a playoff game, how intense the crowd was right from the anthems,” he said.  “Our bench was pretty excited right throughout the third.” No wonder he played so well, scoring the tying goal with five minutes left and assisting on the winner.

Sam noted to me via text message during the third period that Drury was destroying Montreal on faceoffs.  He was 15 of 21…but that was nothing. Betts was 9 of 11. For the game, the team was 41 of 60 (68%). Not bad.

— *Brendan Shanahan* had the quote of the night, that you feel like “the coolest kid in school for a day” after scoring a game-winner.

Safe to say he’d be a senior.

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  1. I’m really liking this 1st-line more and more each game. We now have a legitimate threat from the 1st and 2nd lines.

    Scott Gomez is absolutely on fire, Jags is looking like the Jaromir of old, and it’s good to finally see Drury coming around as well, maybe tonight’s performance will give him some confidence.

    There were a bunch of defensive lapses, Malik should be castrated, but it was great to see them battle back and get the win, so for now, I for one will put aside the bad and focus on the good.

    Great win!

  2. def a great OT win.. Avery needs to get a lot more credit it causes so much traffic in front of the net there are a lot of goals that he doesn’t get an assist on but they would never have gone in if he wasn’t in front pushing and shoving

    im kind of suprised about Drurys comment about the crowd. there were alot of montreal fans there and also my section actually made me feel like i was at the circus. people got up during every play i i only seen about 4 familiar faces in the section.

  3. Real great win! Things are starting to mesh with first two lines. Started with supprising energy until the Malik lapse. Great game to win particularly after the late arrival from Toronto. Can’t quite understand why Montreal went into a total defensive shell in the 3rd period. Can’t turn over the puck if they don’t pressure us. Re-structuring the 4th line might be a good idea.

  4. Re: Drury. Although not flashy, He does alot of defensive things that go unnoticed. He certainly made a difference tonite. It’s taken more time then we realized for both these players (Gomez & Drury) to mesh. It can only get better. It’s interesting how Jagr is slowing adapting to North-South hockey. Hat’s off to Gomez.

  5. Gomez and Drury are both contributing big, Jags is looking like he’s enjoying it, Straks is busting ass as usual, the young d corps is getting better and better, Malik is still sucking, Hank is not so bad — this team is looking alright.

    Let’s Go Rangers! Thanks, Josh. Hope all is well, Sam.

    Cheers to the rest of you in 2008. Especially you, Dr. Ogrodnick.

  6. Getting very tiresome to read a reference to Shanahan’s age every time he’s mentioned. Do I refer to the fact that you’re barely out of your frat-boy years every time I read your stuff? And it wasn’t NHL vs NFL; we were pointing out to you that hockey fans who are obsessive enough to contribute to boards such as these are rarely all that interested in other sports. Sheesh.

  7. why would they want to restructure the fourth line? They are playing great and have shut down the top lines of many teams for a couple weeks now. Just because they aren’t scoring doesn’t mean they aren’t contributing greatly in other ways…

  8. Drury was dominant last night. I think one of the big reasons for the apparent turnaround of the power play is Drury camping out in front of the net. If Jagr, Gomez and Staka keep heating up that should open up some space for Drury, Shanny and Avery to really do some damage.

    I hear Malik is opening up a free puck stand in front of the Ranger’s net. It seems to be very popular amongst visiting teams.

    Hope everything is well Sam and Happy newyears to Chris F and everybody else here…..that I like.

  9. NYCEditor,
    Calm down, I love the fact that Shanny “seasoned” (don’t want to mention age). He’s a dinosaur, the Craig MacTavish with a helmet on the 93-94 team.
    The fact that Josh mentioned NFL was “worthwhile”. I actually tuned into the Jet game for… well only for a quarter and a half, but still with the Jets sucking beyond belief I have literally erased that section of my brain and moved on.

    As far as the team goes, good win. The win against the Leafs was great but there is something really special
    about a come from behind win.
    The lines look like they are finally starting to just relax and play hockey.
    I never liked Gomez when he played for the Devs, and I still didn’t like him when he came here… He has changed me. He’s fast, and smart and on his way to more offensive numbers than with the Debbies.
    Drury is clutch and last night he showed it. He is starting to settle in. I think playing in NY was difficult for him at first. The spotlight is on all the time. His interviews are…lets just say he looks like a fish out of water.
    Maybe he’s finally getting over it and is finding his game. Road Trip! LGR!

    Brian Leetch is my favorite Ranger ever, I played defense, and I love watching Staal grow and become a solid D man.

    Why does it bother me so much though that we absolutely need Avery in the line-up? I hate thinking about next season if he leaves. I would like to think he’d still be here but something tells me otherwise.

  10. Great win! The top 2 lines are exactly the way they should look, and performing the last few games exactly the way they should. As for the 3rd line…uh…well, Dubinsky looked ok considering he’s overcoming the flu. The other two must have friggin Ebola or something, cause they haven’t looked so hot. (aware of hossa not playing, and perhaps prucha may have found his touch). But I don’t see him playing anywhere other than the 3rd line this season. At least not in NY. 4th line…those guys keep pluggin away and doing there job. Orr, though hardly any offensive ability to speak of, is at least finding a decent forechecking game. Something every team needs.

    Off to the Winter Classic this afternoon. If anyone is interested, I can give a short debreifing when I return in a few days.


  11. Doodie Machetto on

    Hat tip to Guy Carbonneau for gifting us that win last night. What an error in judgment to play defense the entire third period. They should’ve kept pressing and forcing us to take penalties (man, their PP is good). Going into that shell is just begging us to score. And by the time we tied it, our engines were in 5th gear, theirs were in 1st. I knew as soon as Toots almost tied it, that we were going to win that game. I mean, Avery almost scored on the ensuing faceoff. It was obvious we would tie it, and I knew that once tied, we would take it over. So thank you Guy.

    Kovalev looked good last night. Too bad he never had a season for us like he is having right now or had in Pittsburgh.

  12. Have to agree with Doodie…

    I’m not taking anything away from a much needed come from behind… show some heart… Drury is still clutch even in a Rangers sweater… hard working (1st and 3rd periods) win…

    But, Montreal did curl up in a little ball and wait for it.

    Hank played solid though and made some key saves… I thought Dubinsky played and is playing rather well. He’s got some speed AND uses his size well in the offensive zone. If he starts passing a bit better or finishing plays off himself… look out!

    Kovalev did help us win Lord Stanley’s prize so I don’t fault him for how he played in a Rangers uni… I just wish he wouldn’t shove the puck up our arses everytime he plays agaist us. But he’s been doing it for so many years now that I expect it, unfortunately.

  13. BTW…

    I hope everyone has a Happy and Safe New Year!!!

    Here’s to the Rangers playing even better in ’08!!!

  14. Staal wart,
    You rather missed my point. Of course Shanny’s a veteran, in the last year or two of his career. It’s just that his age is mentioned almost every time his name comes up. For example, Jagr is Czech. Is that mentioned every time he’s discussed? Of course not.

  15. NYCEditor
    yeah and Gomez is Alaskan.
    I understand I just thought you were knocking our substitute.
    I think Josh has been doing a fine job.
    Thanks Josh

  16. “hey man, order the rings” !!
    LOL – that’s a classic from Shanny ( the coolest kid in school)

  17. Doodie – we would not have won the cup in 94′ without kovalev. for example in game 6 vs the Devs he had a huge impact on that game. Yes so did Messier and Richter.

  18. love to see the “coolest kid in school” knock you on your wisecracking “substitute” writer butt……

  19. NYCEditor…Not to sound too frat boyish but you may want to lighten up, dude. Shanahan and his teammates refer to his age more than any writer or broadcaster ever could.

    Doodie…The littlest and newest Weinman has yet to arrive.

  20. Doodie Machetto on

    Thanks to those who pointed out Kovalev’s role in the 94 Campaign. The only thing is, I was thinking more of how he was lousy here from about 96 on, especially in his brief 2nd stint.

    I think it just pisses me off for how he sticks it to us whenever we play against him, as Riche pointed out.

  21. Bring back Lohan on

    If there was any question about Michelleti’s MAN CRUSH, I think last night’s OT winner pretty much sealed it up. “A CLASSIC RELEASE” over and over again. He loves him!!!

  22. Gomez is so much better than I had ever thought. His passing is pinpoint accurate, right on the tape with just the right speed. He always finds the right guy and he has finally woken up Jagr and given him the space he needs. Most importantly, Jagr now believes in Gomez and with Straka, they are playing really well. Drury has to be seen every night to appreciate all the little things he does, like faceoffs and crashing the goal. Shanahan is a scary monster when he shoots that puck, and last night Huet didn’t have a prayer when Shanny was in front of him with all those spots to shoot at. WoW. what a game.

  23. must be a big thrill for the “substitute”…covering the NHL after his fall of bashing a few high school coaches…love to see if he handles himself like that around the pros or does he become a mouse??????????
    I would bet on the mouse….right JOSH????

  24. Great win! I was there and wow the canadiens fans are annoying. They wouldn’t shut up and the flags they carry block the view of the game. I’m actually surprised there weren’t many fights breaking out…on the other hand, it added to the intensity and like drury said, made it seem like a playoff game (which is probably why he played so well). did anyone else notice that huet didn’t even flinch, he didn’t move, until the puck was already behind him?? unbelievable

    Anyone know what prucha’s deal is? is this a day to day thing? i saw him out there during warmups so i’m assuming yes but who knows…

  25. Rod G – also saw Drury cover the point on 1 innocent play in the 2nd while dman ventured in a few feet. he should have gotten an assist on his game tying goal with the way he won the faceoff. yes I know that’s impossible.

  26. agree that Habs going into a defensive shell in the 3rd cost them the game, but that is good. because it ruins hockey when coaches try to trap and squeeze all the entertainment value out of the sport.

    so it serves them right when it backfires and they blow a game in the end. hurray for sticking it to the “keep-it-simple” simpleton coaches.

  27. And, as an editor, I abhor lazy writing, which is why I called you out on it. You’re a fine writer; you can do better than the obvious.

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