Good morning and Merry, Merry, Merry to everyone. Hope you all got what you wanted under your tree (sorry, Orr. I know you didn’t). More importantly, I hope you all are happy and in good health and able to spend today with family or friends.
No hockey today as the NHL does what the NBA and the NFL can’t do: The right thing. Players and fans should not be taken away from loved ones on this day.
But … I know you still crave hockey, and MSG Network is taking care of some of that craving with five special episodes of Rangers in 60 tonight starting at 5:30.
Now here comes the skeptical Carp (even on Christmas). They are selling this programming as Brian Leetch’s favorites. Well, I love Leetch as much as anybody, as a person and a player, but I’m not buying for one second that these are his five favorite moments or games or anything else … certainly not the last two. I mean, if Leetch could have actually picked his top five, they would all have come from his playing career, and probably all from the ’93-94 season. But even if he went outside that season, they wouldn’t include a 2-1 first-round playoff victory in a series the Rangers lost last spring, and they absolutely would not include a regular-season game this year, against Columbus for Byfuglien’s sake.
And how about one of those episodes being about him: Maybe his Game 7 against the Devils, with that unbelievable first goal? Or the game in Vancouver when he set up the winner (and pulled down Pavel Bure for the penalty shot)? Or something from his rookie year or anything from one of his Norris years, or his Conn Smythe Trophy? Or one of his postseason hat tricks? How about Gretzky’s last game?
Be that as it may, I know Brian wasn’t involved in the choosing of the episodes, but he will help narrate them, so that should be interesting. Here’s the schedule.
5:30 p.m.: Rangers at Edmonton — Graves Scores #50 and #51 (3/23/94).
6:30 p.m.: ’94 Eastern Conference Finals Game 6 Rangers at Devils — Messier’s “Guarantee” (5/25/94).
7:30 p.m.: Toronto at Rangers — Richter passes Giacomin for all-time Rangers wins (1/18/01).
8:30 p.m.: 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game 4 — Rangers at Washington: Lundqvist 2-1 victory (4/22/09).
9:30 p.m.: Columbus at Rangers – Gaborik 4-point game (11/23/09).
Have a great, great holiday.