A few thoughts over lukewarm coffee…
<li>Don’t forget, live chat during the Montreal game tonight, the first of an occasional series. I hope you can join me so we can call each other names in real time. No, seriously, I look forward to a serious, civil discussion.
Remember this will be the old-style typing chat, so you don’t have to worry about looking at me and a Dmitri Kalinin outlet pass at the same time. That’s a little too much to ask around dinner time.
<li>Reader Zach writers, “Just wondering if anyone in the press box stood up and cheered when Prucha scored his goal?”
C’mon Zach, no cheering in the press box. It’s one of the tenets of sports journalism, right up there with, “Thou shalt not eat a big meal before a catered event.”
No, there were no cheers, but there was a satisfied smile or two. I was happy for Prucha because he’s a well-liked, well-respected guy around the team and he was teetering toward irrelevance. But the other part is that sports writers always root for good stories, and Prucha scoring the tying goal in his first game back in the lineup was a story even “I couldn’t screw up. Or at least I think”:http://www.lohud.com/article/20081204/SPORTS01/812040494/-1/SPORTS.
<li>Meanwhile, worth asking: Once they make it to overtime, do the Rangers play for the shootout? It’s a fair question when the team is now 7-1 in the skills competition, and even fairer when you see Blair Betts hop over the boards to perform his unique brand of magic.
Tom Renney and his players all claimed they were going after the win, and I actually did think they had the better of the chances in overtime.
But the answer is probably somewhere in between. The Rangers certainly don’t mind making it into the shootout. But in overtime as well as in regulation, what’s clear is that the more the Rangers retreat into a defensive posture, the more vulnerable they are (conversely, the more they attack, the better they are at stifling the likes of Malkin and Crosby). So in other words, while Betts and Fred Sjostrom are unlikely to be the pair to lock down the win, it’s not like those two are holding up at the red line, either.
<li>How about that Wade Redden? Just yesterday, we were talking about how the defenseman “has hardly lived up to his $39 million contract”:http://www.lohud.com/article/20081203/SPORTS01/812030393/-1/SPORTS. Twenty-four hours later….we’re still saying that. But nonetheless, it was an impressive, proactive, two-assist game for Redden, arguably his best game in a Rangers uniform.
<li>Meanwhile, for your viewing pleasure, here’s Marc Staal’s hit on Sidney Crosby in overtime.
It’s the gift that keeps on giving (although I have to say, would Rangers not love at least one forward who attacks the middle of the ice the way Crosby does?)
<iframe width=”480″ height=”289″ frameborder=”0″ src=”http://rangers.nhl.tv/team/embed.jsp?hlg=20082009,2,362&event=NYR688″></iframe>
OK, more later…