Monday, April 30, 2007

The Boys Are Back In It!

Rangers 2, Sabres 1. Double OT
With New York down 2 games to none, obviously game 3 was a 'must win', and the Rangers played an inspired 97 minutes of hockey. They out-shot and out-chanced the Sabres; unfortunately, they also took more penalties, and spent a lot of anxious minutes chasing the Sabres around the defensive zone.
After a scoreless 1st, Jaromir Jagr followed up his own shot to the net and swiped in, a puck that had trickled between Ryan Miller's goal pads. A few minutes later, Jagr initiated a play that led to an apparent goal by Karel Rachunek. The goal went in off of the skate of Rachunek, and after a lengthy (4 minute) review by off ice (I think the league office in Toronto, Ontario can be considered 'off ice') officials, the goal was disallowed; ruled to have been illegally redirected by a kicking motion. That decision went over like a lead balloon; the combination of penalties called against the Rangers plus the no-goal ruling led fans to scream 'These Refs Suck!' for about 30 seconds. They're fanatical- not polite, mmkay?
Where was I? Oh yeah- so anyway, Buffalo ties the game in the 3rd, and that was it for regulation time. (My DVR stopped recording at the start of the 1st overtime, so yeah, sucks for me!) The 1st ot came and went with lots of scoring chances, including a blast off the goalpost by Sabre forward Derek Roy, but no goals.
Michal Rozsival finally broke the stalemate in the 2nd overtime, with a one-timer from the point. In his own words: “I had my eyes closed, actually,” Rozsival said. “It was a lucky shot. I was just trying to get it on the net and hopefully somebody’s going to tip it. Anything can happen when you put it on the net.”
Henrik Lundqvist was a tower of strength in net, and absolutely deserving of the fans chanting *Henrik! Henrik!*
The fans were crazy, rewarding the Blueshirts maximum effort performance with sustained, full-throated howling. Afterwards, the boys met at center ice to salute the Garden faithful:
Game 4 Tuesday night @ MSG
LET'S My Family Crest GO My Family Crest RANGERS!

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