Saturday, October 16, 2010

There's No Place Like Home!

New York Rangers 3 / Toronto Maple Leafs 4  OT

It's that old familiar feeling again one day after 'horrible' took over The Garden.  For one night only, the New York Rangers allowed the Maple Leafs to 'lay it out in front of us how vulnerable this new Blueshirts squad really is.'   Seconds after the game ended and Toronto scored the final answer, fans across Section 203 and 103 bashed the chairs and screamed 'Here We Go Again...'  

Much like the game against The Islanders, last night was much about unnecessary penalties - one in particular, Marc Staal, with 2 minutes and 12 seconds left to the much desired skills competition shootout, he allowed Toronto the man-advantage - Phil 'fast' Kessel with the game winning goal proving to be an emerging 'good to great' trade last season.  Staal made a stupid penalty and knowing Tortorella and his coaching tactics, he will pay for it off the ice.  

For the official recap go here.

The first five minutes in the first period was fierce and competitive, Blueshirts were dominating on all sides of the ice, fore-checking everyone Leafs were flying everywhere. a faulty firework, the explosion fizzled out and slowed and slowed and slowed down......   For every Ranger shot, Toronto took six.  Nothing worked.   The second period melted our hearts with 2 more Toronto goals and a Rangers team reminenscent of our mid-season team last year.

Just as Frolov, Boogaard, Fedotenko and Stepan weren't part of The New York Rangers last season, they weren't part of the home opener last night either.  Too bad.

Shortly after, we lost Chris Drury to another injury to his broken finger (estimated six weeks out) and then a left shoulder injury to Marian Gaborik (estimated four weeks out) thanks to the newly undefeated Maple Leafs.  Our star player hit, hurt and out.  No retaliation.  Too bad.

The long awaited face-off in the third had arrived.  Derek Boogeyman lined up against Colton Orr --- in the shittiest of shitty games, we were at least in this for some fisticuffs.   I remember the dramatic crescendo.....Puck hits the ground, players slightly delay, the fans took a deep breath....waited.....Boogey shoved Orr.......shoved him again....called him out that it was 'ready and time for this'......Orr looked down.....shook his head 'no' ......then nothing.  He skated away.  Coward.


We were treated to a very welcoming third period comeback with 2 sweet Ranger goals, getting us to overtime and a point in the standings, but it was only adrenaline that kept us in the game.  Honorable mention to Brian Boyle who never stopped working and scored a couple of biggies, proving that you don't need to make $6 mill a year to score goals.  Last night Gaborik who?   Prust & Avery kicked ass as usual and The King remained the greatest losing goalkeeper in the league.  There were more than five unusually outstanding saves - and thirty others - again taking over for the extremely young and inexperienced Blueshirt D-men.  I was worried that Henrik has been letting in more goals than I've seen in the past during the pre-season and opening two games, but he reminded me that he is always overcompensating for a blueline that doesn't quite understand the Torts two-way system.  Not sure I understand it either.

In any case, it was a disappointing home opener.  If it were a great loss, we'd take it and move on with the point, but the weakness of this team was never more evident than this most important game against Toronto.

I haven't given much thought about this game - it is the beginning, things need to gel and even worse and more gratifying, New Jersey lost again last night, but I do hope the right things are being addressed for the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night --  and perhaps Boogaard should stop thinking about playing real hockey and giving the people what they want.  Though, with our Captain and our superstar Marian Gaborik out for the next month or so, I'm not sure who he is now protecting these days.   Go ahead, Colorado, we dare you.....this guy is ready to explode and so are the fans.


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