Momentum is what you make of it


Update, 9:37 p.m.: Rangers 5, Devils 3: Tremendous game. Marc Staal goes from quasi-goat in Game 3 to hero of Game 4.

Update, 8:50 p.m.: Rangers 3, Devils 2: At the risk of stating the obvious, this is a huge period. I’m still trying to make sense of everything that happened in the last one.

Update, 8:26 p.m.: Rangers 3, Devils 2: Too…much…happening… Can’t…keep….up….

Update, 8:08 p.m.: Rangers 2, Devils 1: I’m very uncomfortable giving too much credit to defensemen. But the poke check by Marc Staal on Zach Parise is huge, and it ends up setting up the goal by Martin Straka.

Update, 8:03 p.m.: Rangers 1, Devils 1: This is kind of what I was getting at with that last post. The Rangers’ season-long second period problems continue. Patrik Elias gets the rebound goal.

Update, 7:45 p.m.: A dominant first period, yes, but still only a 1-0 lead. I wouldn’t count on that holding up, so the Rangers need more.

Update, 7:30 p.m.: Rangers 1, Devils 0. Dan Girardi should get two assists for that shift, when he dove to keep the puck in the zone, set up Scott Gomez once all alone in front, then set him up again. The goal is Gomez’s first of the playoffs.

Update, 7:25 p.m.: A relentless start by the Rangers results in…a Devils power play.

Update, 7:18 p.m.: Strong start by the Rangers. And another rock solid performance by John Amirante (I had a sense he’d bring it tonight after hearing him warm-up in the bathroom). Here’s the picture I took from my seat in the lower press box.


Update, 6:59 p.m.: We’ll chime in with occasional updates before things get really crazy. First order of business: I mistakenly had two helpings of the mysterious chicken cordon bleu in the media dining room, so if I keel over midway through the game, you’ll know why.

Pregame: The question earlier today was about momentum, and whether it means anything from one game to the next. Tom Renney said that no one has it now despite the Devils’ win in Game 3. Jaromir Jagr said if the Devils have it, it doesn’t mean much.

“Momentum can change in any minute of a hockey game,” Jagr said. “Of course it can change the other way, too. If you watch the other series, one goal can change everything. But I think if you play good and you’re lucky, that’s more important.”

Ah yes, luck. It’s funny how we have all gone to great lengths in trying to break down this series and then it’s a puck caroming off someone’s skate that’s the difference between 2-0 and 3-1. Obviously a lot more goes into these games than mere bounces. But sometimes, that’s what it comes down to.

Some updates:

<li>Big crowd around Tom Renney just now, but not a whole lot to report other than Stephen Valiquette making his playoff debut in goal.

Actually, I was just making sure you were all paying attention.

<li>As Jagr was working on his sticks in the hallway, I noted the curve on his stick looked a bit extreme. Jagr then went into a whole explanation about how, since they changed the rules last year, it’s almost impossible to have an illegal curve. Then he said if he had this sort of curve earlier in his career, there’d have been no stopping him.

“They didn’t change it when I was good,” Jagr said. “Do you know how many points I’d have?”

Again, Jagr seemed very uptight before the game…

<li>Word is Perry Pearn’s name has emerged as a candidate for the Florida Panthers job vacated by Jacques Martin (who has stayed on as GM). Pearn was an assistant coach under Martin in Ottawa from 1996-2003.

More in a bit…

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  1. “when I was good”? I am pretending he didn’t mean that.

    As an outsider I don’t know what Perry really means to the team, do you, Sam? (I think my six year old can handle the in-between-period interviews just as well).

  2. onecupin67years on

    Sam its a little late for April fool’s jokes. And there is two types of momentum,in a game,which has peaks and valley’s ,first you get it then lose it,then there the playoff momentum which is when you win 2 or more series and begin to charge,like the ’79 Rangers.

  3. There’s something odd that Perry Pearn coaches are PP and that Petr Prucha should e playing on our PP.

    Either way, the PP sucks and we need it to get better. And, if that means allowing P. Pearn to go to Florida, so be it.

  4. I think I’ll put up with whatever announcers Versus throws at us tonight for the sake of a clear picture rather than watching through my Slingbox. Let’s go Rangers! 15 minutes to go!

  5. Who made that great keep-in at the point on the power play? Stupid Versus won’t tell me. It looked like Rozsival, but I think it would be Tyutin since Girardi was on the ice. Good job by whoever, and too bad he doesn’t get an assist. A beauty!

  6. Wow, then Versus shows the keep-in by Girardi earlier in the shift, not the one that directly led to the goal. They’re so dumb. I guess it was Tyutin, since he was on the ice according to the shift chart. Mad props!!

  7. Versus is the worst.

    Sounds like Dan Girardi is having a better night that Joe Girardi, who had two out and a base open when Manny Ramirez knocked in the first run at the Stadium with a double.

  8. Carp – Sounds like Girardi didn’t learn from last week when Ramirez hit a second home run off of Mussina, so I heard ad nauseum on _Mike and the Mad Dog_. At least Ed Olczyk is on Versus tonight; he’s semi-competent. I haven’t seen Vanbeisbrouck this year in the playoffs, and I liked him last season. Is he doing local announcing somewhere?

  9. PS, Yanks are up 3-2 as you probably know. A-Rod hit one into the visitors’ bullpen. I mean all the way over screen behind Monument Park. Somebody in the Sox’ bullpen caught it barehanded and tossed it to the fans in the left-center field bleachers. I’m guessing they don’t get a lot of balls, ever.

    And there are several, if not many, Rangers sweaters in the crowd.

  10. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, you did a great job in Sam’s absence. But as a Ranger fan, you’re getting an F today. How could any self-respecting Rangers fan give a flying “fudge” about the 13th or 14th game of the baseball season when the Rangers are playing in their playoff series against the Devils (or any team for that matter)!

    Tisk tisk.

  11. Ugh. The PP can look so bad.

    Without mental mistakes the Rangers would kick these guys asses every day.

  12. Thanks for the F, Doodie.

    I’m not really a fan, you know?

    I just go where I’m told to go.

    But I’ll be happy to be back for Game 5 at the Rock and Game 6, if necessary. And part of me really wishes I was there tonight.

  13. Somebody enlighten me as to how that goaltender interference on Sjostrom. If anything, it should have just been one penalty against the Devils for interference. Meanwhile, Sjostrom has blood on his face after the play and gets no penalty drawn for it.

  14. And how was that not *too many men on the ice* for the Devils. That guy came flying from the defensive zone way after the Devils had another guy on the ice. This is horrendous officiating.

  15. No,somebody on the devils should have gotten a 4 minute high stick penalty, once again the refs are brutal and most of the times they screw the rangers. I just don’t get it.

  16. Broadway Roe on

    Spiderpig, you forgot about the shot to Cally after the whistle. Are they kidding me tonight?

  17. Broduer is the biggest acter I’ve ever seen with goalie pads. Jagr hardly touch him, give me a break, what a wanker.

  18. The refs truly suck. If I see Bettman one more time say the refs are doing a great job, I will puke.

  19. Doodie Machetto on

    Glad I could help Carp!

    The refs have no control of this game. They are letting the Devils hit the Rangers after the play and then giving out coincidental minors, instead of penalizing the Devils. This will only encourage more fighting after the whistle. If the Devs know they can send someone like Clarkson or Oduya after Jagr or Dubinsky, you think they wouldn’t make that swap in a heartbeat?

  20. If articles aren’t written tomorrow about the embarrassing display of broduer then there is an obvious bias.

    It got the wife riled though…she was standing up calling broduer an f’ing bitch…hahah

  21. tomg – Every time I see Bettman at all I want to puke. He’s like a tall midget (as the Giants players call Justin Tuck) who is just going through puberty, based on his high to cracking voice. BARF!

    Onh the other hand, *the referees are probably doing us a favor* because the only thing worse than their officiating is most of our power play attack.

  22. I just wish the rangers would finish there checks more than they are, they need to start punishing the devils players like elias, gionta, etc. The rangers defense is way to soft.

  23. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    This is a embarassment to the league. Shameful. Why is it that when Shanny complains about terrible reffing we don’t get a call for 10 games but Lou does it and the refs are tripping over themselves to keep the Devils in it?

    Although, I gotta say, watching Renney giggle while giving his lamebrain excuse for the too many men penalty really pissed me off.

  24. DB Cooper – That is great about your wife. You and Beer Me! must be part of the lucky few. It’s too bad Brodeur -is- was so good because I have to restrain a bit.

  25. So….up 2-1 in the series, up a goal heading into the third period of Game 4 at home. I don’t care how bad the officiating has been or will be. If the Rangers don’t play their best 20 minutes now and out-will and out-hunger this team, something is majorly wrong with this bunch and the people leading them.

    It is all about want now.

  26. I hope jagr scores a few goals in the third. I also hope somebody takes a slap shot and it deflects in to one, hopefully both ref’s faces and knocks them out.

  27. Yeah when we got married she was a duke basketball fan…i know i know. We went to 3 games in NY our first yr of marriage and she is hooked. (we live in OKC so it isnt like we can just stroll down to msg for an afternoon weekend game)

  28. Doodie Machetto on

    Bettman has nothing to do with the refs. Hate Colin Campbell.

    Bettman is just the owners’ representative. He can be fired by the owners at any point. Colin Campbell handles the officials.

  29. tomg

    You are right about the Rangers D being way too soft. There is no price the NJ forwards pay to enter the zone, to freewheel when inside it, or to pack the crease around Hank.

  30. Well boys this has been a spirited one so far. The refs are awful. But I would like to pat myself on the back so far. Earlier today I said girardi would either score or make a great play that would lead to a goal. Check. I said drury would get a goal. Check. And I said to be aware of Elias. Double check. Let’s go get them boys. Big 3rd period here. Let’s go rangers. I want motivated passionate hockey to put the strangle hold on the piece of shit Mickey mouse club called the new jersey devils. Go win this game for your home fans who bleed for you and spend countless hours blogging about what could have been done better or what was great. Win this game because you are better than the devils even though the league is trying to give this series to them. Let’s go rangers!

  31. Doodie – That doesn’t mean I won’t feel nausea every time I see Bettman though.

    Looks like they missed a hook on Drury that could have put us down for a long 5 on 3; just trying to point it out for both sides, in that it probably evens out, but still *horrendous*!

  32. Doodie Machetto on

    I think they would’ve called something on Montador if Avery had made a legit atempt to get up. Instead he stayed on the ice looking at the refs for a call.

  33. Just when I thought I’ve seen it all, avery getting attacked, no call, than parise slashes the stick out of lundqvist’s hand, that definitely should have been a penalty and leads to a goal. This is highway robbery.

  34. the officials are doing a horrible job calling this game – we’re getting hosed.

    i’d be embarrassed if i was a devils fan with the amount of diving they do. i hear they’re focusing on Greg Louganis this summer for a free agent signing.

  35. This has been by far the most one sided game by the refs for one team than I’ve ever seen, this is truly a travesty.

  36. Doodie – That’s Salvador. Also, Salvador had his stick down on Avery’s chest keeping him down, in case you didn’t notice.

  37. Doodie Machetto on

    Give Mottau some credit though. He made a sweet move around two rangers and fire a BULLET into the top corner.

    Also, give some blame to Hank, he was far too lax in playing the puck, opening him up to getting the stick knocked out of his hand. Not that it wasn’t a penalty, but there wouldn’t have been an issue whatsoever if he took playing the puck more seriously.

  38. I think Montador is on Florida…But Salvador in those cheating fucks in white…..Man, I am gonna break something I swear….these refs are blowing the Devils every which way but loose

  39. Doodie Machetto on

    Right, Salvador, that’s what I meant. Did I say Montador?

    Like I said on that play, Avery didn’t struggle to get up. He isn’t holding him down if Avery isn’t trying to get up. Avery didn’t try to get up, and therefore was just lying down.

  40. Doodie Machetto on

    Well, I hope the Rangers forget about the refs and just get to work. Heave Ho.

  41. Broadway Roe on

    Oh Marty doesn’t know where the puck is. So lets blow the whistle to help him out.

  42. *THESE REFS SUCK!* |clap|

    Since I didn’t know, I took the time to look it up; the losers we are dealing with tonight are: #33 Kevin Pollock and #14 -ChiChi- Dennis LaRue

  43. This is not good…not good at all…Debbies are basically waiting for the Rangers to get trapped in offensive zone and then have one of their players hang up by center ice to receive the home run pass to put this game away….need to play smart and balls out

  44. inhankwetrust on

    im seriously about the punch the wall. i’ve honestly NEVER EVER EVER seen worse refereeing than this. it’s unbelievable. even same and joe are saying it. gomez got tripped, parise took lundqvists stick away, early whistles. GET OFF YOUR KNEES REF YOURE BLOWING THE GAME!

  45. Sutter is basically telling his players to clutch, grab, hook, and hold….On the other bench, Renney is telling his players to not take a penalty…I have a very bad feeling since the Debs are experienced and know that they will get away with murder in the last 10 minutes of the 3rd period with a tied game.

  46. Amazing. Sutter and Sweet Lou go ballistic and they get an illegal rule change and a game of b.s. calls.

  47. The outcome of this game is on the stick of Cally, Dubi or Dawes…Young fresh legs…need to skate hard and create chances ….Please !!

  48. Doodie – Was it you who said that about Detroit looking bad directly after a goal? 32 seconds between goals for the Predators tonight.

  49. Young mutha fuckin’ legs baby!!! Woooooooo Hooooo….Staalsy with the shot, and Dubi setting the screen !!! Lets hold these cheating bastards and put there season to rest on the Sabbath !

  50. I guess Renney didn’t learn from last season against Buffalo, since he had Jagr, Straka, and Dubinsky out there for that lare offensive zone faceoff, with them not changing when the puck went towards our goal. Luckily, it didn’t cost us.

  51. Huge, huge win, against a lot of adversity. I have no respect for Brodeur. None. What a lowlife.

  52. SCOTT GOMEZ FOR POPE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    if the NHL can issue on-the-fly rule changes without any Board/Players Union votes, they could at least issue a public apology for the officiating tonight. i’m extremely proud that the Blueshirts won tonight despite playing against two teams (the ones in red and white jerseys and the ones in black and white jerseys).

    LET’S GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  53. onecupin67years on

    Great shots by Staal and Gomez, Refs and Brodeur walk hand in hand,and I thought 87 Crosby is a baby.

  54. The hockey gods are definitely ranger fans because any true hockey fan would admit that tonight’s game was probably the worst one sided game by the refs. It’s like Lou Lamerillo has these refs in his pockets.

  55. formerly formerlyjagrforgovernor on

    Holy cow. What a resilient team. F the refs. F Marty the Flopper. We’ll take this series in 6. Good night everyone.

  56. inhankwetrust on

    amen dr ogrodnick. A F-ing MEN.

    much love to staal who shows good things happen when u hit the net.

    nicely said ed lake. the NHL will never apologize but it’s so true, unbelievable. they just interviewed gomez on the postgame and asked him if refereeing should be a topic of discussion, he developed an astonishingly large stutter to try to get out of that one LOL

    can’t wait till fri night

    down with marty that dirtbag

  57. This game was the biggest cheat I have ever seen. The referees tried to screw over the Rangers time after time after time and luckily we were able to prevail.

  58. Broadway Roe on

    Sweet justice. Sweet sweet ending. I’m officially wasted energy-wise.


  59. Salty- The infamous Bobby Orr knows about Staalsy’s offense !! Heehe (calvin schiraldi does too now)

  60. WHOOOOO!!!!

    Way to go Staal!!!!

    Karma is a funny thing… bites him in the rear one night… then game winner the next.


  61. Anybody count how many times Callahan got slammed by Vishnevsky tonite and still kept going like the energizer bunny? Cally has a lot of heart.

  62. Wow…anyone watch Brent Sutter’s press conference after the game? Sammy W. were you present for that?? Sutter is a freakin’ wack job basically saying that the Rangers game plan is to crash Marty hard and that the refs are letting the Rangers get away with it. Furthermore, Sutter Pyscho goes on to say that in Game 5, in not so many words, the Rangers will pay for that alluding to sending his players to crash King Henrik…….With that being said, it may be time to put Hollywood on ice, and bring in KOlton Orr….Hopefully Orr is “putting the foil on right now” !!!! Rangers must be ready on Friday for BLUE SABBATH !

  63. I sort of laughed when Sutter was talking about the Rangers apparent game plan. I couldn’t help it.

    But just watching and listening to him up there, he sounds like a defeated coach. Think he is getting into that mentality that this playoff run is a lost cause?

    I’m sure if it was, it would not last long, and the Devils are going to bring their all to MSG South on Friday to avoid elimination. But for the moment, he sounded utterly defeated.

  64. F Sutter – he’s delusional. If he objectively watches a replay of tonite’s game he’ll see he had 18 players and 4 refs wearing the Devils black and red.

  65. LIQUID – I have to admit that after Marty’s diving, there were at least three instances where the Rangers could have been called for goalie interference, so, like I said, it seemingly evened out, especially since we suck on the power play.

  66. holy crap I wanted to choke the hell out of those refs who were busy getting off their knees in front of Big Lou. HUGE win and they never quit…even with all the crap. We should get 2 wins for this one since we beat two teams at the same time (Devs and Refs).

    Slaughter them in front of their 27 fans in Jersey Friday PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  67. Wow, did anyone else see the blog just go all *kaflooey* for a minute? There was a lot of dark red and all the stuff from the right side was on the bottom. I was trippin’.

  68. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    Sutter has the gall to complain about the officiating. Believes there was too much contact with Marty, didn’t see how Marty got called for the dive. Unbelievable. Hopefully this backfires.

  69. Who Needs Lohan on

    Farty is the biggest little bitch I have ever seen. Madden took a dive on the early 3rd period penalty. i didnt realize that a stick near your skates causes a player to jump and dive across the ice. I hate the Devils!

    On the officiating. I always like to try and say to myself that I am biased and it works itself out/goes both ways. Im sorry, Im really starting to wonder if something is going on behind the scenes. You’d think they’d want one of the most marketable teams to go deep.

    Im confused…..

  70. blacks4 (steve trac) on

    LMAO!!!! Jagr [about the Devils]: “I’m just waiting for them to quit…I’m just…keep waiting… they just keep coming back. Maybe next game!” :) LOL

  71. If Sutter is going to try to pull stuff for game 5, CALL UP MITCH FRITZ! Fritz – Betts – Orr = PAIN!

  72. joejoe- I will Messier guarantee you that tix for Friday’s game will be available on ticketmaster either tomorrow or friday afternoon….and I will go further by saying that you will be able to purchase some really good seats too….

  73. I will agree with Sutter that the Rangers are running into Brodeur a lot…

    but if he watched the damn game he’d see its because his stupid defensemen are throwing them into him.

  74. the big difference is that Gomez left the debbies a big hole at C, and he gives the Rangers a big improvement at C.

    that alone makes the Rangers a better team.

  75. Colin Campbell on

    after careful review, I have decided that a new interpretation of the rule is necessary.

    from now on, any goal scored off the stick of a player wearing a Ranger jersey that unfairly puts Marty or his team at a disadvantage, will from now on be declared illegal, and the puck will be taken out of the net and faced off at the faceoff dot outside the zone, and any goal total higher than the Devils total will be considered null and void.


    Lou, er, I mean, Colin Campbell

  76. Was at the game last night, and the atmosphere was crazy to say the least. That’s the closest I’ve seen the MSG crowd get to staging a riot onto the ice once the Devils tied it at 3. Avery got pinned down to the ice for a good 10 seconds by Salvador – no call. Why? Probably because it’s Avery. Devils go to the other end and tie the game. When Staal scored, all pandemonium broke loose, and we never sat back down again.
    For what it’s worth, it would be nice to avoid booing during the playoffs. Sure, the 4-minute power play was not good at all midway through the 2nd, but c’mon, it’s the playoffs! I’ve stated this before on this blog – if you’re going to come to MSG, don’t f***in’ boo the home team. Just stay home if that’s your attitude.
    Great win – let’s wrap it up tomorrow night.

  77. joejoe315:

    Even if ticketmaster shows no tix available today, try going to the box office at the Crock. I was able to buy a block of six just 2 days before Game 2.

    Who knows? They might even have some available there right before face-off.

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