First things first. Nobody won the contest. I mean, nobody had the right score, nobody had the GWG. I’ll have to chat with my official contest staff to decide whether to A) move onto the shots tiebreaker, B) scratch the whole thing and have another contest Thursday or C) give the tickets to Sally. I’m leaning toward B. Not sure if I want your opinions on this. But you might want to chime in.
1) The disallowed goal at the end of the game. Dave Maloney hit it exactly right on the radio, and then on TV. That goal is disallowed every day this season. Every time it happens, it’s disallowed. Yes, Gaborik was pushed, and to me he sure made an attempt to avoid the contact. But Martin Brodeur was not given a chance to make the save. So best-case call, with the way the rules are, and the way that is called in today’s game, is incidental contact, no goal, no penalty. The Rangers still lose the game they deserved to lose.
2) I want to apologize for being snippy last night (again). I really can’t stand the whole “everybody stinks” thing every time the Rangers lose … or worse, every time they play half a bad period, or fall behind in a game. I just don’t get it. What really got me was the idea that the Rangers didn’t care or weren’t trying, because it would seem to me that if you’ve seen the last 132 games, you couldn’t really think that about this team.
3) That said, even if the Rangers didn’t try, didn’t care, even if they came right out and said, “Well, we have enough of a cushion in the standings on the Devils, so we really didn’t see the point in working hard in this game” after the way they’ve played all this year and most of last year, you’d really have no right to complain.
4) But what really ticks me off are a couple of people who come on here just to try and tick me off. I usually ignore them, sometimes ban then. Once in a while they get to me.
5) Synchronized fights are so stupid, and the two at the drop of the puck last night were useless, if not counterproductive. In fact, the Devils were all crowing about how it set the tone for them and fired them up and was a big part of their win.
6) If Mike Rupp can fight Janssen for no reason, you’d have a right to ask why he couldn’t fight Tom Sestito Sunday. Because there was a reason to fight Sestito, and none to fight Cam Janssen. Rupp should not be fighting with a bad hand. And Brandon Prust should never fight somebody as useless as Officer Joe Boulton unless he has a good reason to do so, unless something happens that warrants him to fight. Because Boulton and Prust in the box is a terrible trade for the Rangers.
7) And I want to be very clear here. I respect the hell out of the guys who do that stuff for a living, and it’s probably even tougher to do it when there’s no anger, when it’s staged like that. Remarkable, really. You just don’t need anybody getting hurt fighting without a reason.
8) Looks like the refs started calling the pansification penalties again. They had kind of stopped that around Festivus.
9) I know a lot of you will disagree with this, but the PP did actually have a couple of chances — shots with traffic and players arriving at the net as the puck arrived — Artem Anisimov had a great chance on one PP, and the disallowed goal on what was essentially a power play; and Brad Richards had one really good PP shift — but again wasn’t nearly good enough. Not nearly.
10) Last night I wrote this paragraph: “Also, remember, if there’s a fight tonight, it is now perfectly legal to pull hair or gouge out somebody’s stitches, to go along with other new rules we’ve learned this season such as, it’s OK to come off the bench during an altercation and join that altercation, and it’s acceptable to attempt to maim somebody from behind. Just don’t celebrate a goal too much. That’s a misconduct.” … I apologize, I forgot to add that slew-footing was also legalized.
My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Brandon Prust.
2) Carl Hagelin.
3) Henrik Lundqvist.
AP photos, above.