OK, so the Rangers beat a lousy team and a lousy goalie in a game they kind of needed. Next up: You know who.
The question is this: Are the two points too valuable for anybody to be running around trying to pick a fight that Daniel Carcillo won’t want to fight? I mean, do you think he’s going to fight Jody Shelley if he doesn’t have to? And does Shelley risk an instigator, or any sort of penalty that puts the Rangers short-handed just to mete out deserved justice (for an incident for which Shelley wasn’t even around)?
So maybe the Rangers will have to forget about Carcillo unless the game gets one-sided. Or unless Marian Gaborik challenges him, then he’ll be licking his chops again (that’s what he said last time). It’s possible that Carcillo will welcome it, but if he is inclined to decline, the Rangers might have to forget about him. And forget about running the Flyers’ better players.
And this is exactly why the Rangers needed to take care of this the moment it happened.
Some thoughts on last night:
1) I didn’t see the whole game, but from what I saw, I agree with John Tortorella. I didn’t think they were particularly great 5-on-5. Plus Moose Hedberg gave up a dreadful goal (Prospal’s slapper), then a fluke goal (the deflection on Del Zotto’s shot—the kind of deflection that usually ends up in the Rangers net).
2) Mike Keenan must be reading this blog. He talked about how defensemen “can’t leave their feet” in an odd-man situation. Thank you. And you’re welcome.
3) It’s a joke that a big-league team in Manhattan has that kind of radio deal. The Rangers were bumped from 1050, which is bad enough, to a station that’s impossible to hear. I was in middle-lower Westchester and couldn’t hear a single word. Yet I heard the Bulls game and a Western junior league playoff game, and some far-away college hoops games on my car radio. If the Rangers’ owners could be embarrassed, this would be embarrassing.
4) Did you see how Jamie Langenbrunner reacted when one of the Penguins slashed Kovalchuk last night? He went right after the guy, tackled him through the bench door, and fought him on the Penguins bench. Is that what a captain is supposed to look like?
5) Tomorrow’s game is 3 p.m., and on MSG. Don’t forget to move your clocks tonight.
I’m at another basketball double-header today with Josh, 26. This time it’s at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Very cool place. I haven’t been here since Coach K (yes, the Duke coach, and I’m not about to attempt to spell it) coached at Army. He was no celebrity back then. I remember sitting in his office after a game, just me and him. I’m sure he doesn’t remember that.
I am going to the game at MSG tomorrow. Unless something happens. And why have I come to expect something to happen?