I was thinking that I could probably tell a story about every player from, say, the mid-1980s through 2001.
And since the Rangers got the day off today (no practice), and don’t play again until Festivus, why not keep telling them?
Well, this one I thought of last week, when the Islanders’ Rick DiPietro gave up a goal off the faceoff, for which he was apparently asleep. DiPietro was looking down at his pads when an opponent fired one over his left shoulder right off a draw from the right dot. The goalie never moved.
DiPietro took no responsibility, hemming and hawing about how he always has time to get set, and that’s what he was doing — as if the linesman dropped the puck too early or something. Very weak stuff (not to mention the jackwagon Mohawk haircut he was wearing).
Anyway, it reminded me of another goalie in another game at Nassau Coliseum.
Mike Richter was looking down during a faceoff, his skates moving back and forth, as a puck was launched past him. Like DiPietro, he obviously was not ready or set for the puck to be dropped and never saw the shot, never reacted to it.
After the game, Richter was more forthcoming that DiPietro, though. That’s the way Richter was. Always took full responsibility for every goal, always believed in accountability. That’s what makes him the credible, admirable person he is.
Anyway, asked what happened on the goal, Richter said he was dancing.
Dancing? Dancing to what?
“I think it was the Chicken Dance,” Richter said.
Everybody laughed, most thinking he was joking.
Sure enough, I went back and watched a tape of the game. Just before the puck was dropped, the P.A. system was playing the Chicken Dance. Richter was actually shuffling his feet to the Chicken Dance. And he admitted it.