Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The New York Rangers got what they needed - a win. In a quick turn around from the dud against the Ottawa Senators, the Rangers captured a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild and jumped up into 6th place in the Eastern Conference (tied with Pittsburgh in points).
A goal by Nikolai Zherdev with less than 5 seconds to go in the 1st period gave the Rangers the start that they needed. Minnesota, quite frankly, is a tough and boring team to play against. Did I say boring? Oh, nevermind! With both teams fighting desperately for points in a push for the playoffs, Marian Gaborik (the guy who scored 5 goals in a game against the Blueshirts), scored on a nice deflection to even up the game at 1-1. That score didn't last too long though as Scott Gomez fired a one timer off of a Sean Avery pass that beat Niklas Backstrom - giving the Rangers a 2-1 lead. In a game like this, I figured it might be enough... it just had that feeling. Both teams sport an excellent penalty kill (Rangers # 1, Wild # 2) so PP's really wouldn't matter - and they certainly did not matter tonight. The Rangers went 0 for again, what a surprise! The total shots in the game favored the Rangers 30-19 as Henrik Lundqvist really only had a few scary moments late in the game. Other than that, it was rather "ho-hum" for the King in this contest.
What was nice to see were the two spirited bouts. First, Sean Avery squared off with Cal Clutterbuck and then the old war horse Owen Nolan squared off with Colton Orr (not a good choice). Until Zherdev's late 1st period goal, the 2 fights kept me awake - thank God! Also, I thought the recently called up Michael Sauer played a real solid game for his first game as a Ranger. Good job! It was a big win for the Rangers tonight. This game was definitely a nice bounce back effort from the Ottawa loss a few nights ago. It's all in their hands now.
Walt Poddubny Passes Away
A former teammate of mine while with the Maple Leafs, Walt Poddubny, passed away this past Saturday. My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. I didn't get to play very long with Walt, but what I can say is that he was a good person, a great teammate, and a solid player (definitely proved this during his time with the Rangers). It's a very sad time for us who played with and knew Walt. We're gonna miss you.