Friday, May 2, 2008
Henrik Lundqvist and Jaromir Jagr led the New York Rangers to a 3-0 victory last night over the Pittsburgh Penguins. "King" Henrik was outstanding - showing the true form which we all (Ranger fans) have witnessed in his short, but brilliant career. His performance is just what the Rangers needed, and will to continue to need if they really want to make a series out of this! As for Jagr, when he wants to he is still one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the NHL.
In the first period, the Penguins had the better scoring chances, but Lundqvist shut them down. The Rangers seemed to be determined last night and it payed off in the 2nd period with Jagr's hard wrist shot that beat Marc Andre Fleury. I felt that if the Rangers scored first it was gonna be their night. Even when Malkin was awarded a penalty shot, (seemed to be kind of a weird call, was it a trip? was it a goal?) you just had the feeling Lundqvist was gonna shut Malkin down and he did, with ease. In the 3rd period, Dubinsky's PP goal (yes, that's right... A POWERPLAY GOAL!) and Jagr's empty net PP goal put the game away!
It was a great effort by the Rangers after losing Avery (spleen), Betts (cheekbone), and Backman (benching). They could of easily rolled over and layed down like a dog, but they didn't and proved they are a team with some fight still left in them. It's going to be tough in Pittsburgh, but you never know what'll happen. That's why hockey is a great sport, you just never know!
Some other thoughts on the game last night... Brooks Orpik's hit on Jagr was a clean hit. Sidney Crosby's attack on Dan Girardi had good intentions (sticking up for Hossa when he was sent flying by Girardi). I give Sidney an "A" for effort but an "F" for not taking the helmet & shield off if he really did want to fight. Oh, and the Russian "Cosmonaut" Evgeni Malkin, who speaks little English, but sure knows how to kick the skates out from underneath players... that was an absolute "no-no" what he did to Paul Mara last night (it's dangerous) no matter what era you play in. It's dirty, cheap, and gutless. I only wished Paul Mara would of exacted his "pound of flesh". I don't blame Mara at all for going after him at the end of the game for that cheap move.