Thursday, December 11, 2008
Scott Gomez scored just 18 seconds into the OT period and bailed out the New York Rangers with a 3-2 win over the Atlanta Thrashers. Gomez, who's been quite feisty lately, slammed home a rebound off a Markus Naslund dump in on goal. The Rangers once again relied heavily on the goaltending, however this time it was not Henrik Lundqvist's... it was Steve Valiquette's outstanding performance that gave the Rangers the much needed victory.
Colton Orr (you gotta love this guy) started the Rangers off with his 1st goal in 83 games. Now I know there are some who shake their heads at the fact that it's his 1st goal in that many games, however Orr is a valued player who does a great service for the Rangers - night after night. It's hard being a tough-guy in the NHL. You have no idea how much ice time you'll get each night, but you have to answer the bell when called upon (Nobody does it better than Orr). I like him and that's all there is to it. Now, back to the game...
Atlanta tied it up on a terrible line change by the Rangers (Where's the hockey IQ?) resulting in the 1st career NHL goal for Joseph Crabb, a former Rangers draft pick. Not only was it his 1st goal, but it was a great shot! Ryan Callahan then crashed the net and the puck bounced off of his upper body to give the Blueshirts a 2-1 lead. I was thinking, maybe... just maybe the Rangers would win this one in regulation time. But, no way! Why do it the easy way? Ilya Kovalchuk snuck by a few Rangers, who were caught looking at the puck, and Kovalchuk made no mistake with it and pounded it by Valiquette (Wouldn't he look good in a Rangers jersey).
From there, both teams looked to play a safe period of hockey and get to the OT session or the shootout. My take is much of the same for the Rangers: low scoring, or no scoring - which ever you like better. And, of course, good goaltending kept them in long enough for Scott Gomez to win it in OT. Wow, It's hard to believe it wasn't a shootout this time!
A decent win considering the past few games, but let's not do cartwheels over this one. There is much work still to be done in Ranger land. Over and out!