In tribute to our old friend Marek Malik, who will be returning to the Garden tonight, a familiar topic:
If you felt the desire to boo Michal Rozsival after his role in the two Islanders shorthanded goals on Tuesday night, that’s certainly your right. The game was probably out of hand, Rozsival was admittedly at fault, and seeing how he’s not exactly making minimum wage, the defenseman leaves himself open for such treatment.Â That’s the reality of playing with the big boys.
But tonight is a new game, and in one sense, it’s a clean slate. Just about every NHL player will say that booing doesn’t affect him (Malik included), and yet I happen to think otherwise. With the power play in general and Rozsival in particular struggling, there’s a case to be made that booing only reinforces the self-doubt that this team is already contending with 15 games into the season.
Personally, I’ve never been much of a fan of booing, but if I was going to do it, it would be toward players and teams that display a clear lack of effort. In that case, they’re deserving. But if the intentions are there but the results aren’t, you then have to start wondering what it is you hope to accomplish.
Like I said, if you want to boo, have at it. It’s a free country, and most of you are paying a ridiculous amount for the privilege of watching a hockey game. Just don’t confuse voicing your frustration with trying to help a team win.
Some other notes:
Update, 11:13 a.m.: Same lineup for tonight, as well as the same lines. Patrick Rissmiller and Dan Fritsche will again be scratches.
Scott Gomez missed the skate for “maintenance” to an undisclosed injury, but will play.
Tom Renney expects the Lightning, losers of two straight to the Rangers in Prague, to come out with an edge.
“They’re going to come out hungry,” Renney said. “They’re going to try to certainly remind us that they are a better team than they were in Prague.”
Finally, the line of the morning goes to reader Richard responding to the above post:
“Maybe if we cheer for Malik tonight at MSG, it will throw his game off.”
More from the Garden later….